A few common birds

On Friday it was a joy to join the Whimbrel Watch at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. During the four hours I spent at the park, we observed one Whimbrel, a good number of Common Loons in flight, two Great Egrets, etc.  No other Whimbrels were observed during the balance of the watch led by Tim and Wayne.  They were wonderful.

I did a brief walkabout noting the nesting Red-necked Grebes, a few thrushes in the underbrush, Eastern Kingbirds, American Robins, Brown-head Cowbirds, a female Redstart and a male Common Yellowthroat.

male Brown-headed Cowbird

male Brown-headed Cowbird

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

male Common Yellowthroat

male Common Yellowthroat

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

American Robin on nest

American Robin on nest

You can’t miss the call or the flashy plumage of the Baltimore Orioles along the Beach Strip in Burlington.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

There are at least four nesting pairs here.

  • “The female builds the nest alone…A skilled weaver, she uses hundreds or even thousands of plant fibres to construct the pouchlike structure over a period of 4 – 8 days…This seemingly fragile structure, which can vary depending on the nature of the local climate, will withstand high winds and inclement weather.”  [Source:  The Breeding Birds of Quebec]
nest-building Baltimore Oriole

nest-building Baltimore Oriole

female Baltimore Oriole emerges from nest

female Baltimore Oriole emerges from nest

A male Red-breasted Grosbeak visited the area last week.

male Red-breasted Grosbeak consuming midges

male Red-breasted Grosbeak consuming midges

Residents of the strip include Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Cardinals, Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warblers, Warbling Vireos, House Sparrows, Carolina Wrens and American Robins.

fledgling House Sparrows

fledgling House Sparrows

Northern Cardinal and fledgling

Northern Cardinal and fledgling

female Red-winged Blackbird

female Red-winged Blackbird

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Of course, I cannot forget the Northern Mockingbirds.  I’ve watched them tirelessly chase other birds from their territory and indeed, I’ve been accosted twice.  On Saturday I spotted their two fledglings.

Northern Mockingbird nestling

Northern Mockingbird nestling

Windermere Basin

Noting the uncooperative shorebirds and that I had no scope, this Tree Sparrow had pity on me.

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

Hendrie Valley

Last week three of us focused on European Starlings.

hungry European Starling nestling biting parent's chest

hungry European Starling nestling biting parent’s chest

European Starling nestlings waiting to be fed

European Starling nestlings waiting to be fed

Sometime during our stay an adult Bald Eagle flew over.

Bald Eagle in flight

Bald Eagle in flight

This Saturday’s temperature caused us forego a trip to the Leslie Spit.  We figured a brief trip to Hendrie Valley would suffice.   We heard an Indigo Bunting and a Wood Thrush then from the boardwalk we observed two white-tailed deer making their way east.  We observed two then ultimately a total of five Great-Blue Herons in flight.

Great Blue Heron in flight

Great Blue Heron in flight

We later found this heron trying to keep cool.

Great Blue Heron trying to keep cool

Great Blue Heron trying to keep cool

As we walked along we heard the soft calls of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo but were unable to secure a photograph.  We heard a second Cuckoo at the east end of the park.  Also heard the calls of Eastern Phoebes, House Wrens, a Great-crested Flycatcher, Baltimore Orioles, Cedar Waxwings, Eastern Kingbirds, Yellow Warblers, Warbling Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and all the usual suspects.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

The female Wood Ducks were milling about with eight ducklings.  This little one left a pond, crossed the pedestrian path, and headed into the opposite pond.

Wood Duck duckling running from one pond to another

Wood Duck duckling running from one pond to another

The self-sufficient little devil had not a care in the world.

Wood Duck duckling consuming dragonfly

Wood Duck duckling consuming dragonfly

Many people tried to beat the heat at Spencer Smith Park yesterday.  Common Terns were fishing, Cliff Swallows were nest building under the pier while a lone Double-crested Cormorant was making best efforts to avoid the boats  and other watercraft on the water.

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

A family of six geese were foraging on the grass.  Once fed the parents led the goslings across the promenade.

Four goslings

Four goslings

 

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