Saturday, September 30, 2017

Last of the Fall Warblers V

White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura attended by American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe
Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis
Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
Northern Parula Setophaga americana
Black-throated Blue Warbler Setophaga caerulescens
Canada Goose Branta canadensis

  More promising nocturnal radar images led to more battered legs and feet yesterday (five hours west to east). When compared with the previous day, there were notable increases in the numbers of Golden and Ruby-crowned kinglets, Swainson's ThrushesChipping Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos. As before, the best warbler action was in the woods near the fence in the S and T sectors on the northern edge of the NDN Cemetery.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 29, 2017
Canada Goose-heard overhead most of the day, not well counted, plus one grounded individual
Turkey Vulture-(1 mobbed by crows)
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Peregrine Falcon-1
Ring-billed Gull-(1)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker-(1 mixed in with the warbler wave)
Downy Woodpecker-3 (2)
Hairy Woodpecker-2
Northern Flicker-5 (2)
Pileated Woodpecker-(1)
Eastern Phoebe-1 (1)
Blue-headed Vireo-1 (1)
Blue Jay-2
American Crow-25+ (3)
Common Raven-2
Black-capped Chickadee-12+ (10)
White-breasted Nuthatch-2 (2)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-4
Winter Wren-2
Golden-crowned Kinglet-10+ (12+)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-10+ (8+)
Eastern Bluebird-3 (2)
Swainson’s Thrush-12+ (7+)
Hermit Thrush-(1)
Grey Catbird-1 still on Pine Hill Side
Cedar Waxwing-(5)
Tennessee Warbler-2 (2)
Orange-crowned Warbler-(2 showing well)
Northern Parula-(1)
Magnolia Warbler-(1)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-(1 female again in woods in the northeast of NDN)
Black-throated Green Warbler-(1)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-8+ mostly in sectors L1 through L5
Northern Cardinal-2 (2)
Chipping Sparrow-60+ (55+ clouds of them in the morning)
Song Sparrow-2 (1)
Lincoln’s Sparrow-(1)
White-crowned Sparrow-3
White-throated Sparrow-90+ a few in every bush, with some heavy concentrations in forest edges, (40+)
Dark-eyed Junco-60+ large groups throughout, especially in A4/Oak Ridge, (80+ loads along the western edge of NDN)
American Goldfinch-(1 heard)

House Finch-1 singing in a yard near the north entrance of MRC

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Last of the Fall Warblers IV

Nashville Warbler Leiothlypis ruficapilla
Nashville Warbler Leiothlypis ruficapilla
Nashville Warbler Leiothlypis ruficapilla
Nashville Warbler Leiothlypis ruficapilla
find the Black-throated Green Warbler Setophaga virens
Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus eating what looks like a stink bug
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus using its feet to pick apart lunch
White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
also a White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
  Today’s peregrinations lasted a leg-busting 5.5 hours, from west to east and back again. The unwelcome stretch of muggy heat finally broke overnight with strong northwesterlies, and it was lovely to feel Jack Frost nipping at my finger marrow once again. The trees in the western and northern edges of NDN were once again alive with migrating warblers, all visibly migging south.
  Ran into Anthony Zerafa from the McGill group in the southern edge of Mount-Royal Cemetery, and we birded together and compared notes for a while, good times. It was pretty birdy up there, as the birds rallied for their next southern hop.
  On my way back up Mountain View in the late morning, I re-met Denis Tétreault, and we picked through the mini-wave of vireos, thrushes, warblers, and sparrows that surrounded us.

  One feller I wasn’t overly thrilled to see again was one of several guys that sit around and incessantly blare playback at top volume, whilst hunched over a big lens. I noted a wide birdless perimeter around him (that'll tend to happen when you play alarm calls for an hour), but chose not to step off my high horse and interact with him. C’mon duuude, get off the stool and look and listen, mannnnn! Yr harshin’ my mellowww, brahhh!

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 28, 2017
Canada Goose-20+ (100+ in the early morning)
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Broad-winged Hawk-1 heard at Mountain View, 1 possibly seen high overhead
Merlin-(1 cruising for warblers)
Peregrine Falcon-(1)
Ring-billed Gull-(1)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker-1 adult male in G4/Oak Ridge
Downy Woodpecker-2
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Northern Flicker-10+ (2)
Red-eyed Vireo-2 at the base of Mountain View
Blue-headed Vireo-3
Blue Jay-3
American Crow-40+
Common Raven-2
Black-capped Chickadee-15+ (8)
White-breasted Nuthatch-3 (1)
Winter Wren-2
Golden-crowned Kinglet-7 (5)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-4
Eastern Bluebird-4 (2)
Swainson’s Thrush-6+ (2)
Hermit Thrush-2
Grey Catbird-3
Cedar Waxwing-1 heard
Tennessee Warbler-3 (1)
Nashville Warbler-2
Northern Parula-(1)
Magnolia Warbler-5 (2)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-(1 female in woods in the northeast of NDN)
Black-throated Green Warbler-5+ (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-3 (3)
Palm Warbler-(6 moving south in the trees on the extreme western edge of NDN at 8 a.m. along with a decent warbler wave)
Blackpoll Warbler-2 (1)
Common Yellowthroat-1 possible
Ovenbird-2 in the woods north of Mountain View
Scarlet Tanager-1 at the base of Mountain View
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-(1 in the northeast corner of NDN)
Northern Cardinal-3
Chipping Sparrow-50+ (50+)
Song Sparrow-4 (2)
White-crowned Sparrow-2 at the top of Mountain View among the circular plots
White-throated Sparrow-35+ (25+)
Dark-eyed Junco-40+ (1)

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 hiemalis
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)