Sunday, May 27, 2018

May's Last Hurrah

Saturday, I headed towards Essex County for a change.  My first stop was Hillman Marsh shorebird cell at first light.  I ended up spending about an hour there looking at the birds and chatting with Kevin McLaughlin.
One of the Trumpeter Swans was in the cell.  It eventually started honking, then took off!

There was nothing noteworthy  in the way of shorebirds, but it is always worth a check since things are constantly changing there.

Moving on to Point Pelee National Park, I walked to the Tip.  Songbird migration is quickly coming to a stop, as there were very few birds.  I spent a little bit of time at the Tip with an Anonymous Birder.

CSL Tadoussac in Pelee Passage

A Northern Mockingbird was flitting around the Tip.

It is time to look for odes and leps.  Painted Skimmers are around, as I found this one on the east beach not far from Sparrow Field.

I did not spend much time in the park, as there was a sprint run going on from the VC to the Tip. (I seem to run into these things far too often, screwing up my day!).

I once again stopped at Hillman Marsh shorebird cell.  Basically the same shorebirds were present, plus more gulls.  Highlight was a beautiful adult Franklin's Gull.  Too bad it was not a little closer.

They do not come much nicer than this!  The bird had been around a couple of days, so it was one of my targets for the day.

Up to seven Short-billed Dowitchers were in the cell.

I went home via highway 3 to Erieau.  A number of shorebirds were present in the fields north of the McGeachy Pond, including some distant Red Knots as reported earlier by Steve Charbonneau. Ruddy Turnstones and Black-bellied Plovers, as well as an American Golden-Plover were in the mix. Too distant and too much heat shimmer for photos.

Young Great Horned Owl at Erieau

There was not much of note at Blenheim Lagoons, where the day before a pair of Black-necked Stilts was present.  Those kinds of birds only show up on weekdays!  I probably could have seen them around supper time, but I was not up to rushing down in the Friday traffic.

A few of these are around

Sunday dawned a bit foggy along Lake Erie.  It turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day weatherwise, highly unusual for a weekend.
I checked out Rondeau to see what lingering migrants were around.  There were very few!  For warblers, I did get Blackburnian, Blackpoll (4), and a Mourning which may or may not stay.
Lots of Eastern Wood-Peewees and Great-crested Flycatchers are now in.

I was going to go cuckoo today if I did find a certain target bird.  Yellow-billed Cuckoo has eluded me all month, but both cuckoos are finally present in numbers, as I found several of both kinds today. The cuckoos typically do not arrive in numbers until late May, and this year was no exception.

Black-billed Cuckoo

A pair of White-eyed Vireos at spicebush trail will likely take up residence.

Quite a few Swainson's Thrushes are still hopping around.

Keith and I also saw a Painted Skimmer at maintenance this morning.

Near there, we looked at a plant that is rather rare in Ontario.  Although not a real showy plant, American Gromwell (Lithospermum latifolium ) was something of which we took note.

Here are some entries of plant sightings on iNaturalist.

There are often some late migrants passerines into June, but it is now time to look for breeding birds or insects!
Here are a couple of moths I saw today.
This one I believe is a Tulip Tree Beauty.  Host plants include Tulip Tree, Sassafras, Pawpaw, and Poplar.  It blends in well with the bark!

Eight-spotted Forester
Snowy Owl at Pain Court (Thursday!)

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