Thursday, November 4, 2010

Swallows, Avocets and Crossbills..OH MY!

American Avocet behind the Pelee Days Inn. November 3rd. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

It has been an interesting past week for birds and butterflies. Here are a few highlights.

The beginning of last week was pretty warm, and the day before the storm on October 25th I decided to check out a couple of spots along the lakefront. Butterflies are still around which included 6 Buckeyes, 4 Orange Sulphurs, 2 Cabbage Whites, a Grey Hairstreak and a unidentified Crescent. The invasion of Black-capped Chickadees continues, but no Boreal Chickadee sightings yet. A nice surprise was a White-breasted Nuthatch.
On Wednesday the 27th after the huge cold front came through, I checked out Point Pelee. Unfortunately, the park is under major construction and you can not go past the White Pine picnic area. This also includes the trails and the beach.
Black-capped Chickadees, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Cedar Waxwings, were numerous. Sharp-shinned Hawks are still patrolling the park and a few lingering Blue Jays are migrating through. The highlight of course was a CAVE SWALLOW. There have been numerous sightings of this species the past few days in Ontario. October 27th is record early for the Point Pelee birding area. Butterflies are still around which included a Fiery Skipper, an Early Crescent, a few Buckeyes, a Question Mark, and a female Eastern Comma. After lunch I checked out the North Dyke. Butterflies included an American Lady, an Orange Sulphur, and a Grey Hairstreak.

Novemember 1st I did a little more looking around. Hopes of a Franklin's Gull lead me to the Leamington Marina. No Franklin's Gull, though I had a Common Loon, 3 Pine Sikins, and a Red-breasted Nuthatch. Afterwards I checked out the mudflat behind the Pelee Days Inn to see the AMERICAN AVOCET that was spotted on the weekend. My next stop was at the northeast beach at Hillman Marsh which revealed another CAVE SWALLOW. Continuing north to Wheatley Harbour I saw few gulls, and I picked up my first Snow Bunting for the fall. Driving down concession E around the onion fields I saw a group of swallows with 3 CAVE SWALLOWS and 1 Tree Swallow. I am undecided if I'm going to go through the effort of writing a rare bird report for this species. I think it should be taken off the review list with so many sightings each year. I went to Point Pelee last looking for birds and butterflies with Alan Wormington around Delaurier and across the road to west beach. Birds were abundant. Highlights included a White-breasted Nuthatch, a Blue-headed Vireo, an American Woodcock, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Tufted Titmouse, Pine Siskins, and I heard a WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL flyover. Butterflies were not so exciting (remember this is November 1st) We had 7 Buckeyes, 5 Eastern Commas, 1 Cabbage White, and 1 Common Sulphur.

November 2nd, I had a single EVENING GROSBEAK fly over the Pelee Days Inn.

November 3rd I took my mom out birding in Point Pelee for her birthday. We had a pretty descent morning around Delaurier. Fox Sparrows were numerous, as were chickadees (still no Boreal), Cedar Waxwings and Kinglets. We also sat around the parking lot waiting to see what flew over. Purple Finches, Robins, Pine Siskins, Eastern Bluebirds, along with a few raptors such as Red-tails, Red-shoulders, a Cooper's and a few Sharpies. We didn't see a single butterfly.

The Avocet was still behind the Pelee Days Inn.

1 comment:

  1. Oh My! You had some good sightings. Autumn is my favourite birding time of year!