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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Point Pelee - 9th May

Last weekend I was down at Point Pelee for a day with some friends. This is the first time I've been in spring since 1996. It was a good reminder why I don't go...LOTS of people. The other reason I'm not that keen is that although, inevitably, with so many sets of eyes looking, good stuff is turned up - it is also quite hard to actually re-find rare birds. I think our highlight was a male Prothonotary Warbler and (for me anyway) a flock of 16 Willet in the evening at Hillman Marsh. I also didn't take my camera around much as there were so many folk with monsterous 500mm f4 setups that one feels quite inadequate with a little 400mm f5.6. However, I do want a flash and 'better beamer' as getting warbler pictures, even with the leaves only partially open, is pretty much impossible without one.

Loads of orioles down there. Above is an 'After Second Year' male Orchard Oriole (Second Year males are yellow-olive coloured with a black face mask) and top is a male Baltimore Oriole.

Male Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Male Northern Parula.

Male Cape May Warbler singing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Afternoon at the Arboretum

Now we're into May, there's new stuff arriving every day. Yesterday I saw the first Chimney Swifts zooming around over Dundas and today at the Royal Botanical Gardens Arboretum I added a few more 'firsts for the spring' to my list: Baltimore Oriole, Warbling Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. This smart male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was most cooperative.

This female was keeping a lower profile.

Northern Flicker.

Rather dull looking female Ruby-throated Hummingbird - my first this spring.

Warbling Vireo. Several singing or calling on my walk today, another new one for the year.

Okay, I fibbed about yesterday's Yellow Warbler picture being the last one, they're so nice though...

And finally, just for fun, a naughty little male Brown-headed Cowbird in the midst of his explosive 'song'.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Last Yellow & Palm

Not new images, they're from April 2006, but I felt like using them in lieu of anything more suitable. Both these birds were trapped during Migration Monitoring operations at Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station in Toronto.