A second kinglet turned up yesterday along with the other birds, so I decided that I would make the trek down there this afternoon. I am not one of the hardcore winter listers by any means, but I do enjoy seeing odd birds in the winter and the Cape May fit the bill. But more importantly, I was wondering what else could be lurking with these birds here! Black-throated Gray Warbler would be one of the more regular western warblers in Ontario, a species which is prone to being found in late autumn and early winter in Ontario.
|Black-throated Gray Warbler - Bayfront Park (December 20/11)|
Remember that little bugger in the above photo? That is the Black-throated Gray Warbler that Rob Dobos found at Bayfront Park in Hamilton, last December. The story there is similar to Sedgewick Park's story this year. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was originally found, then the Patagonia Picnic Table effect took over. While searching for the gnatcatcher, the following list of birds ended up being found: 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 1 Black-throated Gray Warbler, 1 Black-throated Green Warbler, 1 Wilson's Warbler, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, and several Yellow-rumped Warblers. Not bad!
I arrived at Sedgewick this afternoon and began looking. Almost immediately when I arrived at the spot where the warblers had been seen, a flash of green caught my attention. I looked at the skulker and eventually had a half decent look - a bright Nashville Warbler! This can be a very difficult bird to get in December - in fact there hasn't been one in at least the last 5 years. If anyone knows when the last winter Nashville Warbler was, please let me know. The only other one I can find on Ebird was from 1996.
|Nashville Warbler - Sedgewick Park, Oakville|
Eventually it popped out in the open long enough to get at least a half decent photo. There was limited light and my camera has extremely poor ISO performance so the photos are less than ideal! This was, by the way, photographed species #299 this year in Ontario for me. Still need Rock Pigeon!
In short order, both Orange-crowned Warblers showed themselves, but they remained very skulky and I was unable to get photos of either. One was brighter than the other, though they both appeared to be the regular form we get in Ontario.
The Cape May Warbler was next on the agenda, a bird I was happy to catch up with. It was very active, keeping an eye on me for a lot of the time I was there.
The Yellow-rumped Warbler announced it's presence with a few "chup" notes, and I eventually was able to see it and photograph it too, for a 4 warbler day! Last but not least, I heard a Ruby-crowned Kinglet calling from deep within a thicket but I was unable to coax it out. I ended up staying at Sedgewick for almost two hours when it was all said and done. No Black-throated Gray Warbler, but I was happy to find the Nashville!
I guess the moral of the story is this: Get out and check all of those little creeks and sheltered places along the Lake Erie and Ontario shorelines! The odds are very high this time of year that if you find a warbler, it could be some western warbler, like a Townsend's or Black-throated Gray. This December has already seen a higher number of warblers, so this could be the year that a pesky Lucy's or Grace's Warbler is found.