Saturday, June 10, 2017

Middlesex Meanderings June 10

Today I headed into Middlesex County to visit some familiar spots.   I found it generally quiet compared to previous years at this time.
First stop was Napier Road where Clay-colored Sparrows have nested the last several years.  One can see/hear these from the car.  A couple of them were singing their monotone buzz song atop spruce trees.
Just north of that spot is a good pasture for the usual types such as Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Grasshopper Sparrow.  I saw/heard all of these.

One of the sought-after birds is Upland Sandpiper, found in the many pastures in the area.  This species has declined over the years due to loss of habitat.  They were regularly found north of Wallaceburg, but I now I have to travel some distance to see one!
I drove several roads, and strangely came up empty for them in spots I have had them before.  So, it was on to Clark Wright CA southwest of Strathroy.
This cozy little natural area is a good place for birds and butterflies.

Hobomok Skipper

Common Painted-Lady
Ebony Jewelwings are now out.

Last year, a Blue-headed Vireo was singing in the woods, and the years previous to that, White-eyed Vireo was present.  None today!
There is usually a Pine Warbler at the back among the Pines, but I even struck out on that.
A Blue-winged Warbler was singing here though, but remained a bit elusive for the camera.

Strathroy Lagoons is not far away, so that was the next stop.  Water levels were very high, so no shorebirds except Spotted Sandpiper.  I did get a bonus bird, an American Woodcock.

The lagoons have been productive in the past at times for shorebirds.  I once found an American Avocet here.  There was even a Snowy Plover once!
Butterflies can be found here, but even those were few and far between today.  Last year, I had several Milbert's Tortoiseshells and Wild Indigo Duskywings.
Some European Skippers were out today though.

Heading back west, I checked many roads again in vain for an Upland Sandpiper.  Good grief!  Not even any Dickcissels in spots they have been in the past.  I did come across this Red-headed Woodpecker along Walker's Line.

I was about to give up in disgust, but made one more pass down McArthur Road.  Finally, there was an Upland Sandpiper.  Not just one, but three in close proximity!




After this, I headed towards Skunk's Misery and started down Watterworth Road.  I briefly stopped at the Crown Land at Argyll Road where I heard a usual Hooded Warbler.  I did not hear an Acadian Flycatcher, but some American Crows were making a ruckus over perhaps an owl.

Into the Mosa Forest area, I walked a couple of trails but found it rather quiet.  It was mid-day, so that was one factor.  I found several Hooded Warblers, but no Cerulean in a usual location.

Great-crested Flycatcher

I came across some Black-shouldered Spinylegs.

I did hear a Magnolia Warbler singing at one point though, not too unusual for the area at this time.

Last walk was Wardsville Woods, west of the village of Wardsville.  I like this little spot and stop there any time in the area.  As mentioned in the past, it was once a golf course (more natural one). It is good for butterflies, but again, I did not see many today.
Blue-winged Warbler is here, and there is more than one.

I heard one singing an odd song, but never saw it, so who knows if it was a pure bird.
I will probably stop by here in about a month to check for more butterflies.

Black-shouldered Spinyleg


  1. Nice photos of the Uplands! Glad to see you got to my turf :-) I was thinking of stopping into the Dickcissel spot today, but decided not to. Kettle Point and area was pretty slow today as well...a couple lifer insects though.

    1. Thanks....those Uplands can be quite photogenic!

  2. Great blog as usual, Blake! Nice picture of the Great Crested Flycatcher!