Saturday, 6 August 2011

This and that

Another week has come and gone with me unable to get out and go birding as often as I would like. I have been seeing a few things at work, including this Common Ringlet.

Common Ringlet - Windsor, Ontario

Common Ringlet has never been common in extreme southwestern Ontario, but it has been expanding as of late. The first Essex Co. record was only 10 years ago! This one location on my study site seems to be a hotspot for them - two days ago I had a high count of 6. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a record high count for Essex county?

Here is a neonate Butler's Gartersnake (regurgitating an earthworm) from the study site a few days ago. These guys have already tripled their weight since they were born (all my radio snakes gave birth between July 14 and July 27). They eat earthworms presumably every evening, and some then move under our coverboards to thermo-regulate and digest their meal.

Butler's Gartersnake - Windsor, Ontario

This 12-point buck is usually seen most days in one particular area of the study site. I happened to bring my camera with the new lens out in the field with me and got a few half decent shots in the fading light.

White-tailed Deer - Windsor, Ontario

Yesterday afternoon I heard from Russ Jones about a mysterious sighting of a possible Whooping Crane near the St. Joachim exit. I called Steve Pike and he mentioned that a friend of his who knows birds saw a "large white bird with black wingtips and a black face" fly over him while he was driving on the 401. This person saw the bird land in a field on the south side of the road. I guess another possibility is that this bird was a wood stork.

Dan Riley and I decided to check it out. We didn't find anything, so we continued on to check the Tilbury lagoons.

4 species of herons were present including 18 Great Egrets. This is the most that I have seen there this summer, and so I continue to hold out hope for a Cattle Egret, or maybe a Little Blue Heron! Reddish Egret would be nice too...

Great Egret - Tilbury Lagoons

This Black-crowned Night-Heron kept a watchful eye on me. It was one of five seen.

Black-crowned Night-Heron - Tilbury lagoons

There were decent numbers of shorebirds present of 10 species. The highlight were the dowitchers - 2 were definite Long-billed Dowitchers, and 2 were Short-billed. The two LBDOs were hanging out together up close, providing a great oppurtunity to study their plumage. The darker back, rounder body shape, more distinct lower half of eye-ring, and patterning on the undertail coverts/flanks were easy to see. 1 bird was most likely a female as it had an extremely long bill.

Thats all for now. I hope to do a round of shorebirding tomorrow, hitting up some of the hotspots in Essex/Chatham-Kent.

1 comment:

  1. Some great photos, Josh-- the gartersnake image is arresting!