Monday 16 May 2011

More from Pelee

Lots more great stuff lately including Henslow's Sparrow, a male Summer Tanager, another Dickcissel and several Acadian Flycatchers.

I was leading a hike when Pete Read came by and mentioned that his group just found a Henslow's Sparrow. In fact a really tall person in his group found the bird skulking in some grass less than 2 meters from the trail. So I brought my group over and we waited for a few minutes but I felt that most people were losing patience so we continued on. The tall guy in my group decided to stay back a little and sure enough he finds the bird and we all come running back and get some very close and amazing looks! Tall people are great!

Today a male Summer Tanager was found feeding in a gazebo. It remained there all day making it an easy find for me. And in the morning Pete Read heard a Dickcissel singing and we managed to find it close to the tip of Point Pelee.

There must have been an Acadian Flycatcher event today because there were at least 5 around the tip this morning and Ken Burrell had 3 on Pelee Island. Not nearly that many were seen the day before so one would think they migrated in the night before. But it was raining all night so I am confused why they would risk so much and fly across the lake.

It's been a very cold day here and the birds are really struggling to survive. Up to 8 Barn Swallows were piled one on top of the other in one nest trying to keep warm. Several more were on the verge of death as they sat shivering on the sandy beaches. Flycatchers, Vireos and Warblers totally ignored people who came within inches of them. Very saddening to watch them suffer so much. I did find 2 birds starved to death and I won't be surprised if there are more found tomorrow after a cold night tonight.

Barn Swallow shivering on the beach:

Baltimore Oriole very wet and cold:

Female Scarlet Tanager fluffed up against the cold:

Blue-winged Warbler:

Prothonotary Warbler (female) giving amazing looks:

One of many Acadian Flycatchers:

Chestnut-sided Warbler:

Red-eyed Vireo:

Swainson's Thrush:

Lincoln's Sparrow:

I keep running into Yellow-breasted Chats!

Tennessee Warbler:

 Clay-coloured Sparrow: