Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mid-September Meanderings

Saturday morning I headed down to Rondeau Park in the muggy air.  I met up with a couple of guys from Hamilton who had just arrived to look for the Great Kiskadee.  I was going to by-pass the bird, but it was a good thing I stopped to look for the bird with the fellow birders from Hamilton.
The bird was seen first thing in the morning (we heard it call three times as it emerged from its roost site).  It was not seen subsequently, and may have flown the coop or been predated.

After a brief look at the first record for Canada, I went down to south point trail.  A good number of warblers were on the move through the trees, many of which I could not get on for ID.

Young Eastern Towhee

There has been little wind the last few days and the weather quite stagnant.  The lake was calm and few birds were out there.

There has been an invasion of Purple Finches lately.  I have seen or heard them in every locale.  Last evening I found at least 14 at Peers Wetland!

I checked a few other spots later in the morning, but by then things were very quiet.  I went over to the Kiskadee trail where many birders were on the lookout.  The bird was never seen again after early morning.  One can only hope it is still around.

Some wildflowers stood out on my walks.

Closed Bottle Gentian (andrewsii)

Great Plains Ladies Tresses (with Cucumber Beetle)

Today, I was not sure what to do, but pointed my car in the direction of Essex County. I first did a check of Wheatley Harbour where some Sanderlings and a single Ruddy Turnstone were running along the beach.

There were lots of gulls, but nothing stood out.

I then went over to Point Pelee (last minute decision!), and started on Cactus Trail.  I happened to meet up with fellow blogger Dwayne Murphy and his son Michael.  We chatted a while, noting that a few hawks were on the move.
I did not come up with much there, so moved up to De Laurier trail.  There were no warblers to be found, but some hawks moved overhead, including an early Red-shouldered.

Hawk with Broad Wings

Next stop was west beach trail to look for insects.  Cabbage White and Orange Sulphur are in big numbers right now, and today was no exception.  There was little else.....again.
However, near the serengeti tree, I found a Gray Hairstreak.  Always nice to see!

As well, a couple of Common Checkered-Skippers were out and about.

A co-operative Solitary Sandpiper was nearby.

It was getting late in the morning and I wanted to check out Hillman before it got too hot.  Upon arrival, Bob and Karen Yukich from Toronto pulled in.  It is getting funny, as I meet them quite often in many spots!  Bob was at the Kiskadee event last Saturday as well.

We parted ways and I walked around the shorebird cell to look for butterflies.  There was not much, other than sulphurs and Cabbage Whites. Near the end, I met up with Bob and Karen again and we spotted a Common Buckeye.  Bob was earlier commenting that he had not seen a Buckeye yet this year.  They have been very scarce this year, like many species.

There were quite a few Common Checkered-Skippers around the cell, and I even had one in the yard this afternoon.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Happenings This Week September 10-14

I have been out and about as much as possible this week as the summer wanes.
The Snowy Egret continued at Roberta Stewart Wetland all week.  I did not see it today (morning) but did not check late afternoon.  Perhaps it moved on?

There have been lots of passerines moving through.  I checked Brander Park at Port Lambton just before work each day.  Many warblers to sort through, but mosquitoes were still horrendous!

Wednesday afternoon I left work after lunch and headed down to Rondeau area. A check of Blenheim Lagoons and Erieau revealed very little.  I think the birds had been spooked at the lagoon before my arrival as it was basically dead!

I moved on over to Rondeau Park and found the Great Kiskadee right away along the shoreline north of the marsh trail entrance.  It was hunting for food.  Apparently it hangs out there most often now.

(photo last weekend)
There have been some stellar photos of the bird taken this week!
My post about the Kiskadee last Friday has had over 300 hits.  (the most for any post ever!).

Peers Wetland is a local hot spot I check almost every day.  A few warblers have stopped by there as well.
I watch out for insects as well.


Yesterday, I spotted a Red-headed Woodpecker which was  first for that location.
I always check regularly.  Last fall I found a Nelson's Sparrow there!

Yesterday evening I walked the south shore nature trail at Mitchell's Bay.  A few birds were found.

The adjacent field looked good for Buff-breasted Sandpiper (none yet reported in Chatham-Kent!) but I did not have a scope.  There were lots of Killdeer and a few American Golden Plovers.

Today, I had an itch to look for the Red-necked Phalarope at Forest Lagoons.  I headed there immediately after work.  I spotted it right away in the distance, much too distant for a photo.  Some years we see lots move through, but this year there seems to be very few around.  I missed the one at Blenheim Lagoons a while back.
There were lots of Lesser Yellowlegs (over 40), a Greater Yellowlegs, a few Pectoral and Semipalmated Sandpipers and one Least.

Lots of ducks were present, including about 100 Blue-winged Teal.

Some warblers and other passerines were in the trees near the entrance, including several Blackpoll, Yellow-rumped, Northern Parula, Magnolia, and a getting-late Yellow Warbler.

On the way home, I spotted a Common Nighthawk over Mandaumin Road north of Moore Line.  It is the time of year to see lots of those in migration.

On to another weekend.....