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.
You can’t miss the call or the flashy plumage of the Baltimore Orioles along the Beach Strip in Burlington.
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]
A male Red-breasted Grosbeak visited the area last week.
Residents of the strip include Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Cardinals, Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warblers, Warbling Vireos, House Sparrows, Carolina Wrens and American Robins.
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.
Noting the uncooperative shorebirds and that I had no scope, this Tree Sparrow had pity on me.
Last week three of us focused on European Starlings.
Sometime during our stay an adult Bald Eagle flew over.
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.
We later found this 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.
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.
The self-sufficient little devil had not a care in the world.
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.
A family of six geese were foraging on the grass. Once fed the parents led the goslings across the promenade.