Friday, April 19, 2024

Recent Bird and Plant Sightings and Other Things

 Spring is in full swing.  Leaf-out in Wallaceburg and area is quite advanced already, unlike the way it was 20+ years ago it seems! 

Scene at Reid Conservation Area April 19

I have been visiting the usual locations this past week, but I did get to Point Pelee on Tuesday.  I first started at Hillman Marsh and did the long walk.  Unfortunately, nothing exciting crossed my path.

At Pelee, the usual early stuff was around.  

Phoebe from the East

A Pine Warbler at the Tip was quite obliging.

Lots of Red Admirals and American Painted-Lady butterflies were throughout the park.

There were no bears at Point Pelee, but some Bearberry plants were coming into bloom.

After wearing out Pelee, I headed home via the lakeshore to Erieau.  Some shorebirds in a low wet spot along Erieau Road included some early American Golden Plover.  Nice to see those in numbers, as it seems they are not as plentiful as I remember.  The recent heavy rains filled this area, but apparently the farmer's pump had failed helping in that regard.

Wednesday we had a bit or rain with sunny breaks, so I stayed close to home.

Rondeau was on the agenda for Thursday.  I had high hopes of seeing lots of birds, but it was actually very quiet.  An odd first-of-year bird was a Red-breasted Nuthatch.  I have never gone this long without seeing one!  Usually I have one or two at the feeder all winter, but they did not show this past season.  And, certainly they were scarce this past winter all over.

Highlight was not a bird, but a rodent.  A Red Squirrel has been hanging around the back fence of the maintenance yard in the park.

The critter is not normally found around this area in present day, but quite possibly it got caught up in someone's trailer and was accidentally transported to the park.  Only speculation.....

I saw one once before in the park back in the summer of 1999, I believe it was.  No photo at that time though!  Ironically, it was just a little ways down Harrison from this location.

I also visited Erieau marsh trail and McGeachy Pond.  That area, too, was quiet for birds much to my disappointment.

The usual Blanding's Turtle was out sunning along the marsh trail.  My favourite type of turtle.

Today started out rainy/drizzly much to my dismay.  I drove around a bit first thing.  Only thing of note was a pair of Spotted Sandpipers at Roberta Stewart Wetland, for first-of-year.  Expected by this time though.

Eventually the drizzle stopped, so I headed out to Mitchell's Bay where I really intended to go today.  However, on the way, a big rain cloud came in as I headed that direction!  I ended up sitting at the waterfront for 40 minutes until it mostly stopped.

I then headed over to the south shore nature trail.  It was still a bit miserable, but eventually the weather settled down again.  It turned out to be quite birdy, so I stayed about 1.5h where I had the trail to myself!

For warblers, there were quite a few Yellow-rumped (16) and three Pine Warblers.

I saw the female first, and it took me a few seconds to realize what it was (lol!).  It was still quite miserable weatherwise at that time, so that is my excuse.

A couple of House Wrens were chattering away unseen, as a first-of-year tally.  There were lots of Great Egrets, but no small white ones!

The same two Forster's Terns were on the dock as last time.

Highlight was a flyby of a male Yellow-headed Blackbird, but unfortunately no photo. Kind of expected in this area!

I visited Peers Wetland as well.  Yesterday there were ten Yellow-rumped Warblers there, and likely all were still there today.

A pair of American Coots was swimming around.

Of note, a couple of Purple Martins finally arrived at the housing structure.  I had seen none until today!

The afternoon was sunny and quite warm.  You guessed it, I headed up to Reid CA!  I looked for plants, as I find it quite interesting to see what I can find.  I want to seen how many different species I can document.

Two plants I specifically looked for today included Twinleaf and Largeflower Bellwort.  

Largeflower Bellwort

Of course, the Twinleaf is a ways off from flowering, but it is one of my favourite plants.

Here are some other:

Red Trillium

One of the many types of violets

Dwarf Ginseng

Wild Geranium


I actually found a couple more sites for Harbinger of Spring.  There seems to be quite a lot at Reid when one gets looking.  No doubt more to be found!  Flowers are long gone at this point of course.

The usual butterflies were fluttering about, including this comma.  I never got close, but I think it is a Grey.

Some nice birds have been reported the last day or so by various birders.  Some quite early!  So, things will be happening fast and furious soon.  Once again, it has begun......

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