Sunday, 14 August 2011

Central Kingbirds and more

This past week I brought my camera into the field a couple of times and managed to get a few shots of some butterflies. Common Ringlets are becoming more and more common. I saw at least one every day last week!

Common Ringlet - Windsor, Ontario

Among the skippers seen last week was this Peck's.

Peck's Skipper - Windsor, Ontario

On Wednesday, I noticed an Ontbirds post from James Holdsworth about a Western Kingbird and 3 hybrid juvenile Eastern x Western Kingbirds. I have never seen hybrid kingbirds and the location was about 2 minutes from my office, so Dan Riley and I swung by one afternoon and took a look at these "Central" Kingbirds. Pretty cool to see Westerns attempt breeding in Windsor, even though only one half of the pair was the right species. The photos are pretty bad and I'll attribute that to the very poor lighting and heavy cropping.

juvenile Eastern x Western Kingbird - Windsor, Ontario
juvenile Eastern x Western Kingbird - Windsor, Ontario

The adult Western Kingbird was present too. I had only seen this species once before (an adult seen in November, 2009 in Port Burwell) so it was nice to reacquaint myself with the species. For better photos that were taken by James Holdsworth and Dwayne Murphy, check out Dwayne's blog:

Western Kingbird - Windsor, Ontario
Yesterday I decided to check out Point Pelee before going to Cambridge for the weekend. It was a beautiful day - warm but not hot, with a nice breeze coming in off the lake. Seacliff Beach was first on my agenda. I had a bit of fun taking some shots of the abundant Larids. There were 8 species of gulls/terns present - Caspian, Forster's, and Common Terns as well as Bonaparte's, Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed, Ring-billed, and Herring Gulls. The only LBBG was this individual, molting from 1st summer to 2nd winter plumage.

Lesser Black-backed Gull - Seacliff Beach, Ontario

I had limited time in the park so I decided to walk the West Beach trail from the VC to the tip. Many Giant Swallowtails were taking advantage of the abundant Spotted Knapweed.

Giant Swallowtail - Point Pelee National Park

I was happy to see 2 new butterflies - 2 Dun Skippers (no photos) and 3 Horace's Duskywngs. Horace's had been reported on and off for the past week or two, but I was still surprised when I came across them.  They were all within 5 feet of the water's edge, landing on some of the vegetation that had washed up on shore.

Horace's Duskywing - Point Pelee National Park

Horace's Duskywing - Point Pelee National Park

This was an odd sight - a Great Blue Heron flocking with the gulls. Another 1st summer/2nd winter LBBG was with this flock as well.

Great Blue Heron - Point Pelee National Park

A single Eastern Comma allowed me to take its photo.

Eastern Comma - Point Pelee National Park

From there, I headed over to the Tilbury lagoons. The conditions still remain excellent but still there wasn't much turnover. These lagoons are now probably being checked close to every day so I would imagine that if something really rare drops in, it has a good chance of being seen and reported.

Among the 12 species of shorebirds were 4 adult Long-billed Dowitchers, 3 Short-billed Dowitchers (including 2 juvies), and an adult Stilt Sandpiper. Only 3 Great Egrets this time.


  1. Great photos and posting Josh. I think the investment in that lens was a good one, and its being well put to use. Thanks for the mention. DM

  2. One of these days Tilbury is going to produce something of value!
    Was that Saturday you were at Point Pelee? We missed each other yet again.

  3. Thanks Dwayne. Its nice to have a decent lens and to actually document everything I see. Just need to find something really rare now!

    Blake, yes it was Saturday. I'm surprised we haven't run into each other, considering that we checck out many of the same areas!