Monday, September 3, 2018

Labour Day Weekend Stops

After Saturday's adventure to see the Reddish Egret on the Bruce Peninsula, I stayed fairly local on Sunday and holiday Monday.  Just as well with this crazy hot and humid weather that never seems to end.
Sunday morning was a good time to go to Rondeau Park.  Just as I was coming up to dog beach, Jim Burk sent out a message that 4 Willets were on the beach.  I arrived just in time to see them take off heading south.

We then walked south point trail and later Harrison from maintenance to pony barn.  There were some good pockets of warblers and other migrants.  Total warbler species count was about 17.
Bird list:

On the way out, I stopped by Keith McLean CA where the Snowy Egret was still present.

It was a bit distant in the hot steamy air.

A visit to Blenheim Lagoons was also in order where shorebirds were difficult to pick out in the bright sunlight.
Highlight was a pair of Wilson's Phalaropes hanging out with Bonaparte's Gulls.  They often mix in with swimming bonies, probably as a defence move.

There were lots of Common Checkered-Skippers (which seem to be everywhere now).

Today I thought it was a good time to walk the south shore nature trail at Mitchell's Bay.  I like it in early morning as the sun is basically at your back.  There was a good number of migrant passerines, and many warblers were flitting through the treetops.  I could not get a good look at many of them.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

As well, there were lots of blackbirds on the move.  From the start, I thought there was a good chance of seeing Yellow-headed.  On my walk back to the car, a large flock of blackbirds (lots of cowbirds and starlings) was slowly moving north through the bare field.  Sure enough I spotted a male Yellow-headed in the distance.

I followed the flock and spotted a second bird as well.
I find that Yellow-headed Blackbirds are more often with a large flock of cowbirds and starlings rather than a flock with mostly Red-winged or Common Grackles.

My next stop was St. Clair NWA.  It was rather quiet today, so nothing to note.

I decided to head over to Blenheim lagoons.  Upon arrival, I spotted some phalaropes, once again hanging out with bonies.  They all appeared to be Wilson's....again!  What will it take to find a Red-necked?

Shorebirds were mostly along the edge of the middle pond, so I got myself in a position with the sun at my back.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

By this time it was once again too hot and humid, but I had one more stop in mind.  I wanted to look at the rubyspots at Thamesville bridge.  It is a difficult spot to get to along the riverbank and you cannot get very close due to the steepness of the bank.  The west side is out of bounds due to new bridge construction.

Both American and Smoky Rubyspots were present, as I expected.

American Rubyspot

There was even Common Checkered-skipper here in the little parkette!

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