Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Chickadee's Sad Fate





Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii
Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii 
Remains of a Northern Flicker, many other clumps nearby
  Only three hours in the insane blazing heat today, east to west. Just a few warbler dregs mixed in with juncos and kinglets. How hot was it? When the wind blew it was like being blasted with a hair dryer. Gross.
  I walked in on the intense scene of a Cooper's Hawk plucking and eating a Black-capped Chickadee, while being harassed by a Blue Jay. The poor 'dee was devoured in about four minutes. Everyone's gotta eat. Must be hard being a bird.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 24, 2017
Turkey Vulture-1
Sharp-shinned Hawk-1
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Ring-billed Gull-(2)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker-1 juv in Oak Ridge
Downy Woodpecker-2
Hairy Woodpecker-2
Northern Flicker-3 (1)
Red-eyed Vireo-1
Blue Jay-2
American Crow-15
Black-capped Chickadee-10 (7)
White-breasted Nuthatch-1
Winter Wren-3
Golden-crowned Kinglet-2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-10+ (4)
Eastern Bluebird-4
Swainson’s Thrush-3 (1)
Grey Catbird-2
Cedar Waxwing-3
Tennessee Warbler-2
Yellow-rumped Warbler-4 (1)
Blackpoll Warbler-1
Northern Cardinal-3
Chipping Sparrow-45+ (20+)
Song Sparrow-4 (2)
White-throated Sparrow-24+ (12+)
Dark-eyed Junco-20+ (8)
American Goldfinch-3

Last of the Fall Warblers III

Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis
Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus
Current mood
Surveyor's stake
Eastern edge of staked out field
Lovely reedy scrub patch at field's edge, where warblers, sparrows, Indigo Buntings, and more breed
Proposed cemetery expansion, as seen on a discarded document
  A lovely four-hour bimble in the sun, from west to east. Warbler variety and numbers were down - the only real wave came in the NDN Cemetery, along the wooded trail that skirts the north edge. 
  I saw a surveyor's stake in the corner of a field where the edges are quite productive, bird-wise. My suspicions that there was development planned for this quiet corner were quickly confirmed, in the most 80s-movie manner possible. Some moron left a bunch of sensitive documents (names, dollar figures, real estate details, etc...) blowing in the wind, and they all related to the proposed expansion of cemetery plots. Ah well, it's their cemetery, eh. I only hope 'they' leave the weedy fringes untouched, as even these 10-foot wide overgrown corridors provide important habitat for an impressive array of breeding and migrating species.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 23, 2017
Turkey Vulture-1
Cooper’s Hawk-2 battling with crows
Ring-billed Gull-1 (1)
Downy Woodpecker-1 (2)
Hairy Woodpecker-2
Northern Flicker-2 (1)
Eastern Wood Pewee-(1 possibly heard from far off)
Red-eyed Vireo-2 or 3 on Mountain View
Blue-headed Vireo-(1 with the warbler wave on the north edge)
Blue Jay-2
American Crow-12
Black-capped Chickadee-15+ (12)
White-breasted Nuthatch-3 (1)
Winter Wren-4
Golden-crowned Kinglet-10 (3)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-5 (3)
Eastern Bluebird-2 (8-10...many still being harried by Chipping Sparrows)
Swainson’s Thrush-1 (1)
Grey Catbird-2
Cedar Waxwing-1 or 2
Tennessee Warbler-4 (2)
Nashville Warbler-3 (3)
Magnolia Warbler-8 (10)
Black-throated Green Warbler-(1)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-3 (3)
Blackpoll Warbler-(1)
Bay-breasted Warbler-(1)
American Redstart-(1)
Northern Cardinal-3
Chipping Sparrow-35+ (50-60)
Song Sparrow-4 (2)
White-throated Sparrow-35+ (25+)
Dark-eyed Junco-45+ (12+)
American Goldfinch-3 (5+)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gageo-do sights, spring 2013

Hills of Gageo
1-Gu harbour in the fog
That steep switchback road leads roughly to the spot pictured in the last post
The quarry (I heard it's been thrashed by developers since then)  
Waves of exhausted migrants would stream onto that tree-covered bump before heading north

Soaked, exhausted, cold, and absolutely loving it
       Fog rolls in, to the soothing sounds of wind, Japanese Bush Warblers, and a buzzing phone
                                                     Looking down at the quarry...
                                                                Quarry waves
  Sights of the one-time bird-magnet quarry near 1-Gu, mainly. I'm bored. Good ol' Gageo Island was a hoot, the most fun I've had birding - probably ever. Spring migration in the Yellow Sea and all that. I've got heaps of wacky tales of Gageo and other Korean birding shenanigans written down somewhere, which I'll publish one day, although trying to find an agent sucks, innit.

The long road to 2-Gu

The road to 2-Gu - a long slog, especially in the sun
  Small Korean islands have been on my mind a lot lately (will he or won't he?), so I was shuffling around amongst old folders of pics and vids from my three week sojourn on Gageo Island in the spring of 2013 and thought I'd post a few memories up. The long walk up the hill from 1-Gu, then alongside the island's spine into the wee town of 2-Gu was always rough on the ol' legs. One day I got a lift from some affable construction workers, which saved me almost an hour of walking. I imagine it'd be pretty cool to be the only foreigner on a small Korean island. Ramble ramble.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Last of the Fall Warblers II

Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata
Wilson’s Warbler Cardellina pusilla
Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa
Quiet spot in NDN, good for sparrows, warblers and more
Oh the leaves, they are a'changing
Map of Mount-Royal Cemetery
  Last night as my lids drooped, some bird observatories posted mouth-watering radar images online of a strong nocturnal migration that was underway. You had me at ‘birds’, I’m in. 
  Started mid-morning in the NDN Cemetery, by the Decelles entrance. The radar wasn't lying - the areas on the western edge with small trees (on either side of the mausoleums) were jammed with birds: sparrows and Swainson’s on the ground, bluebirds on graves, warblers up top. 
  One mid-sized tree held a warbler IQ test that would give most birders fits – I had my fair share while picking through it for ten head-scratching minutes. A drab Common Yellowthroat mingled with lookalike Nashville and Tennessee Warblers, along with flitty Ruby-crowned Kinglets thrown in to muddy the avian waters. 
  Just when I thought I had a handle on the situation, the ultimate ‘blind men and the elephant’ birds showed up amidst the other drab tree-candy. I mumbled to myself like Heath Ledger’s Joker for a few minutes before I realized I was looking at three (three!!) Orange-crowned Warblers! No joke. I watched each individual fly off to the next field over, one at a time. These birds were the fourth, fifth, and sixth OCWA I’ve seen...ever. Further thin bands of warblers were found in the north and east of the NDN Cemetery.
  There were more warblers mingling around the edges of the Mount-Royal Cemetery in the afternoon - a small wave heading down Mountain View, and another concentration rallying through L2-L5-Pine Hill.
  The Painted Lady migration has dialed way down, with relatively few seen today. Anyway, here are some crappy pics, as per usual.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 21, 2017 
Turkey Vulture-5 circling high on a thermal, 1 cruising low
Sharp-shinned Hawk-1 or 2
Cooper’s Hawk-1 attended by crows
Ring-billed Gull-(2)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker-1 juv in L2
Downy Woodpecker-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Northern Flicker-4 (2)
Eastern Phoebe-1 (1)
Blue Jay-1 (1)
American Crow-8+ (3)
Black-capped Chickadee-10 (8)
White-breasted Nuthatch-2
Winter Wren-2 (1)
Golden-crowned Kinglet-6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-6 (8)
Eastern Bluebird-2 ( adult male was being harassed by begging juv Chipping Sparrows, which I also witnessed last week in the same spot)
Swainson’s Thrush-4 (4)
Grey Catbird-3
Cedar Waxwing-5
Tennessee Warbler-3 (2)
Nashville Warbler-1 (2)
Orange-crowned Warbler-(3!)
Magnolia Warbler-3 (2)

Cape May Warbler-1
Blackburnian Warbler-2
Black-throated Green Warbler-1 (1)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-5 (2)
Palm Warbler-3 (1)
Blackpoll Warbler-1
Common Yellowthroat-(1)
Canada Warbler-1 probable near Pine Hill (got brief but decent looks at a two-toned warbler, plainish face with a faint eye-ring – apparently unmarked undersides rich yellow from chin through to white vent, all dark grey on top, no wing bars...)
Wilson’s Warbler-1 (1)
Northern Cardinal-5
Chipping Sparrow-25+ (4)
Song Sparrow-4 (1)
White-crowned Sparrow-(1)
White-throated Sparrow-25+ (12+)
Dark-eyed Junco-15 (1)
American Goldfinch-4 (3)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Last of the Fall Warblers

Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii
Common Walkingstick Diapheromera femorata
Common Walkingstick Diapheromera femorata
  I spotted a different Red Fox from the 'regular' one I've been seeing.  This was a young fox, and I watched it leisurely scratch at fleas in sun for a few minutes.  Aside from an active group of butterbutts in M3-M4, there was almost no warbler action, on an unbearably muggy day. 
  I was about to get better pics of the Common Walkingstick (which are apparently quite rare in Quebec) when a shirtless dude came out of the bushes towards me - I suspect he thought I was taking pictures of him, which was inaccurate.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 18, 2017
Cooper’s Hawk-1 or 2
Downy Woodpecker-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Northern Flicker-4 (4)
American Crow-9+
Black-capped Chickadee-15+ (6)
White-breasted Nuthatch-1
Red-breasted Nuthatch-5
Winter Wren-2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-(1)
American Robin-2 juv
Cedar Waxwing-7 mostly juv
Yellow-rumped Warbler-9 (2)
American Redstart-1
Northern Cardinal-5 (1)
Chipping Sparrow-12+ (25+ mostly grouped in one small tree)
Song Sparrow-3 (2)
White-throated Sparrow-20+ (8+)
Dark-eyed Junco-3 (3)
American Goldfinch-4 (2)

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
  Bumped into Jean-Sebastien Mayer again, a great birder and all around good fella.  We tracked a small warbler wave down from Mountain View and into some large trees in G7, probably a last look at the maddening assortment of autumn's Wood-warblers.  Clouds of Painted Lady butterflies out - clouds, I tells ya.  The province is currently witnessing a banner year for the migration of this species, it's all over the news.  Seems they had a good spring down south so their numbers are greater than usual, combined with the fact that they're migrating lower than usual due to a meteorological quick (it's been super hot and humid) - all this translates to the current butterfly blizzard in Montreal.  Incredible to think that they're migrating from Quebec's north down to Mexico.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 15, 2017 
Sharp-shinned Hawk-2
Cooper’s Hawk-1 (1)
Bald Eagle-1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1
Downy Woodpecker-2
Hairy Woodpecker-1 (1)
Northern Flicker-5 (2)
Pileated Woodpecker-(1)
Least Flycatcher-1
Red-eyed Vireo-3
Blue-headed Vireo-1 heard
Blue Jay-1
American Crow-12+ (3)
Common Raven-1-2 heard
Black-capped Chickadee-10+ (6+)
White-breasted Nuthatch-1
Red-breasted Nuthatch-3
Winter Wren-2
Golden-crowned Kinglet-1
Eastern Bluebird-1 heard
Swainson’s Thrush-(1)
Grey Catbird-1
Tennessee Warbler-3
Nashville Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-8
Blackburnian Warbler-1 or 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler-(1)
Black-throated Green Warbler-2
Yellow-rumped Warbler-5 (3)
Blackpoll Warbler-2
Wilson’s Warbler-2
Scarlet Tanager-1
Indigo Bunting-1 juv
Northern Cardinal-5
Chipping Sparrow-8 (2)
Song Sparrow-8 (3)
White-throated Sparrow-30+ (5+)
Dark-eyed Junco-1
American Goldfinch-12+ (6+)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Confusion of Fall Warblers V

Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
  Spent almost three hours in the cemeteries today with Dan, successfully getting him onto his first Northern Parula. It was interesting to see some turnover, when compared with yesterday.  Today, a lack of Red-eyed Vireos, a seeming dip in warbler numbers and variety, and much quieter in the NDN Cemetery, with almost no bird activity in parts that were heaving yesterday.
  Also, a noticeable uptick and/or appearance today in locally partial migrants (like 
Brown CreeperRed-breasted Nuthatch, and Blue Jay) and boreal breeders (White-throated Sparrow and Swainson’s Thrushin the north of the cemetery.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 10, 2017
Turkey Vulture-1
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Peregrine Falcon-(1 by U de M)
Ring-billed Gull-1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1 (1)
Downy Woodpecker-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1 (1)
Northern Flicker-2
Least Flycatcher-(1)
Philadelphia Vireo-1
Blue Jay-6ish
American Crow-10+ (2)
Common Raven-1-3 heard
Black-capped Chickadee-10+ (8)
Brown Creeper-2
White-breasted Nuthatch-3 (1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-5 (2)
Eastern Bluebird-10 (2)
Swainson’s Thrush-8+
Grey Catbird-4
Cedar Waxwing-4+ heard
Tennessee Warbler-2
Nashville Warbler-3
Northern Parula-1
Yellow Warbler-2
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-15+ (3)
Cape May Warbler-2
Black-throated Green Warbler-4
Yellow-rumped Warbler-2
Blackpoll Warbler-3
Bay-breasted Warbler-4+
Black-and-white Warbler-2
American Redstart-3
Wilson’s Warbler-1
Scarlet Tanager-2
Indigo Bunting-4 juvie-looking birds
Northern Cardinal-3
Chipping Sparrow-45+ (10+)
Song Sparrow-5 (4)
White-throated Sparrow-35+
American Goldfinch-6

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Confusion of Fall Warblers IV

Northern Parula Setophaga americana
Northern Parula Setophaga americana
Northern Parula Setophaga americana an individual showing more of the characteristic 'collier'
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca
Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
Canada Geese Branta Canadensis doing what they do
  Only a four hour slog, in an east to west slog. Wet shoes and socks were the order of the day again after more nocturnal rains. The warbler numbers and variety started slow, but picked up steadily into the afternoon (18 species on the day). 
  Not quite as nutsoids as Thursday's walk, but still good numbers of migrants overall, with a few welcome surprises. I was surprised to see an American Red Squirrel in a corner of Mountain View, I didn't realize they were that far into the city. Time to rest my battered mummy feet.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 9, 2017
Canada Goose-55 headed in the appropriate direction high overhead
Turkey Vulture-2
Cooper’s Hawk-2
Merlin-2 near the main entrance, later mobbed by crows
Ring-billed Gull-(2)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1 (1)
Downy Woodpecker-2 (2)
Hairy Woodpecker-1 (1)
Northern Flicker-2
Least Flycatcher-2
Great Crested Flycatcher-1 heard
Philadelphia Vireo-1
Red-eyed Vireo-2 (3)
Blue-headed Vireo-(1)
Blue Jay-1 heard (1 heard)
American Crow-12+ (4)
Common Raven-1 heard (1)
Black-capped Chickadee-4 (9)
White-breasted Nuthatch-2 (3)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-1 (2)
Eastern Bluebird-6 (4)
Swainson’s Thrush-2 (2)
Grey Catbird-1
Cedar Waxwing-14
Tennessee Warbler-5 (3)
Nashville Warbler-1 (2)
Northern Parula-2 (3)
Chestnut-sided Warbler-(1)
Magnolia Warbler-16+ (10+) still one in every tree
Cape May Warbler-3 (3)
Blackburnian Warbler-2 (3)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-1 (1)
Black-throated Green Warbler-6 (5)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-2 (2)
Palm Warbler-1
Blackpoll Warbler-1 (3)
Bay-breasted Warbler-15 (10) very plentiful today
Black-and-white Warbler-1 (2)
American Redstart-2 (2)
Common Yellowthroat-1 (1)
Ovenbird-2 (1)
Wilson’s Warbler-2 (2)
Northern Cardinal-2 (2)
Chipping Sparrow-50+ (55+)
Lincoln’s Sparrow-(2 in a nifty little weedy patch)
Song Sparrow-5 (5)
American Goldfinch-6 (4)
Finch sp.-1 probable House Finch following around an Eastern Bluebird