Showing posts from September, 2018

Common yellowthroat warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Sept 30, 2018

While not rare it is an infrequent visitor to the pond.
Geothlypis trichas Adult Common Yellowthroats sometimes fall prey to carnivorous birds such as Merlins and Loggerhead Shrikes. Occasionally they have more unexpected predators: one migrating yellowthroat was eaten by a Chuck-will's-widow, while another was found in the stomach of a largemouth bass.
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Another good day out on the pontoon boat.

Rondeau Bay, Ontario, Canada, Sept 27, 2018.
Very cool, ok, cold weather, overcast but not too windy. We saw 4 species of gulls, Caspian terns, black bellied plover and several other shorebirds, American pipit, and a rusty blackbird. Toss in a bald eagle, snipe and top it off with an American bittern.
Botaurus lentiginosus The American Bittern's yellow eyes can focus downward, giving the bird's face a comically startled, cross-eyed appearance. This visual orientation presumably enhances the bird's ability to spot and capture prey. The eyes turn orange during breeding season. source -

Palm warbler.

Rondeau Provincial Park, Sept 23, 2018
Continuing with the warbler at the pond. Another good day with 15 warbler species and a red eyed vireo tossed in for a change.
Setophaga palmarum Canada's boreal forests stretch for miles and miles. The great boreal forest, often called “North America’s bird nursery,” is the summer home to billions of migratory birds and an estimated 98% of all Palm Warblers. source -

Reflections can be deceiving.

We tend to see what we expect to see.
Rondeau Provincial Park, Sept 2018.

Northern Parula, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, May 10, 2018.

I just like the soft light and pose.
Setophaga americana Northern Parulas in the western part of their range sound different than those in the eastern part of their range. Western birds sing longer, less buzzy songs.

They just keep coming.

Black throated green warbler in the hedge above the water. Rondeau Provincial Park,Ontario, Canada. Sept 19, 2018.
Setophaga virens In areas where multiple species of warblers breed close together, Black-throated Green Warblers are generally dominant to Blackburnian Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Northern Parulas, but subordinate to Magnolia Warblers. source -…/Black-throated_Green_Warbler

Red-breasted nuthatch, Sept 18, 2018, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.

Another of the birds frequenting our water feature this fall.
Sitta canadensis Red-breasted Nuthatches migrate southward earlier than many irruptive species. They may begin in early July and may reach their southernmost point by September or October.

Bath time at Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.

Our little pond was active yesterday, Sept 18, with 14 species of warblers, one vireo and the usual suspects.
Warblers included, redstart, chestnut sided, parula, magnolia, blackburnian, black-throated green, Wilson's, bay-breasted, Cape May, yellow rump, Nashville, black and white and a palm.
Eight goldfinches and one blackpoll warbler in the pond.

A few minutes later a Cooper's hawk came in and they all disappeared.

Black crowned night heron, Rondeau Provincial Park.

Another image taken from the pontoon along Rondeau's marsh edge.
We came upon a pair of immature night herons and they posed beautifully for me.
Far too many images to chose from.

Nycticorax nycticorax
Young Black-crowned Night-Herons leave the nest at the age of 1 month but cannot fly until they are 6 weeks old. They move through the vegetation on foot, joining up in foraging flocks at night.
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Great egret.

I was out on the pontoon with a few birders looking for the great kiskadee when we saw shorebirds and great egrets on the weed mats in the bay.
We didn't find the kiskadee. Ardea alba Great Egrets fly slowly but powerfully: with just two wingbeats per second their cruising speed is around 25 miles an hour.

I'm forever blowing bubbles.

Nashville warbler doing a head plunge into our small water feature. The plunge was followed by a robust bath.
Oreothlypis ruficapilla
The Nashville Warbler sometimes uses porcupine quills as nest material.

Milkweed beetle/bug

We call them milkweed bugs but i don't know the proper name.
They were swarming on the milk pods of the milkweed plant. Usually there are just a few but this time they were massing.
Seen in rondeau Provincial Park, southwestern Ontario, Canada. If you know what they are please let me know in the comments.

Yes, it is another sora.

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Sept 11, 2018. When they pose this nicely it is only good manners to post their portrait.
Porzana carolina
Soras have earned several nicknames including Carolina rail, soree, meadow chicken, and ortolan. The name ortolan was probably given to them by hunters keen on eating the small bird, much like the actual ortolan, which is a bunting from Europe that is a delicacy in France, although an illegal one.
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Two jewels.

After watching the great kiskadee at Rondeau we watched ruby-throated hummingbirds in the jewelweed.
Archilochus colubris The Ruby-throated Hummingbird beats its wings about 53 times a second.

Great kiskadee.

Although I had partial looks at this bird over the last few days I hadn't been able to get a photo.

Today I went out in the fog/drizzle/rain and had good looks at the bird.

It perched in the open, me without my camera due to the wet.
After watching for 5 minutes I made my way back to the car and grabbed the camera.

The kiskadee was down low and eventually came up with a frog.

Certainly worth going out in the rain.

Pitangus sulphuratus

Great Kiskadees readily come to feeders to eat fruit such as bananas. Watch out for these bold birds: they also readily steal other kinds of food, such as bread, peanut butter, and pet food.
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Cape May warbler.

Cape May warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Sept 8, 2018
This Cape May warbler is about to eat a tiny insect.
Can you imagine how many bugs a warbler has to eat to sustain it?
Setophaga tigrina
The tongue of the Cape May Warbler is unique among warblers. It is curled and semitubular, and is used to collect nectar during winter.
Not a Great Kiskadee. We had a rarity at Rondeau Provincial Park the last two days, a great kiskadee.
Their range is Central America and south Texas.
Saw the bird but didn't get a photo.
While waiting for the bird I had the opportunity to play with a four foot long eastern fox snake which was just as good.
It had been captured by park staff and they were taking it in to see if it had been pit tagged. Thanks to Don Webb for sharing his photo. Pantherophis gloydi
The eastern fox snake is the third-largest snake in Ontario and can reach a length of up to 1.7 metres, 5.5 feet, although most individuals are smaller.

Least bittern, Rondeau Provincial Park, Sept 5, 2018

Another from the pontoon boat. Anne managed to spot this least bittern hiding in the reeds.
They are about 11-14 inches in length and are well camouflaged.
You have to love those feet.
Ixobrychus exilis
The least bittern is one of the smallest herons in the world.

The Ampersand Bird.

Ruby-throated hummingbird, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
This Ruby-throated hummingbird is sitting guard on one of our feeders.
He took over an empty hook and chases every other hummer away.
He didn't quite make it to a treble clef but it was close. Archilochus colubris
The oldest known Ruby-throated Hummingbird was a female, and at least 9 years, 1 month old when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in West Virginia.
source -…/Ruby-throated_Hummingbird

Northern gannet

Northern gannet, Cape st. Mary's Newfoundland, Canada. June 6, 2018
A beautiful day at the gannet colony with lots of birds flying. This one was coming in with a beakfull of nesting material. Gannets occupy the same nest year after year, until it becomes a substantial heap of feathers, fish skeletons, and droppings
Morus bassanus The Northern Gannet is well equipped by nature for its spectacular plunges for fish from great heights. Unlike most birds, it has binocular vision—that is, its eyes are positioned such that it can see forward with both. This presumably gives it the ability to estimate how far the fish are from the surface of the water. Its strong, streamlined bill is 100 mm long. It has no nostril holes, and its upper and lower bills fit tightly together so that little if any water is forced into the mouth on impact with the surface. Its streamlined body has a system of air cells between the skin of its neck and shoulders and the muscle beneath. As the gannet prepares to dive,…