A Belter of a Day

THE day kicked off with Johnny calling me about a Yellow-headed Blackbird, a Nova Scotia tick, off I went. The weather was been challenging, with squalls roaring through, interspersed with sunny spells, albeit brief ones. I got there and it was partially obscured by unnecessary branches, it then buggered off when the Common Grackles it had decided to hang with did the same. So I drove around a bit looking for them and bumped into Murray and Cindy. They were watching a Philadelphia Vireo, and so did I for too brief a spell to get the camera on it.

After a lean month, a point that I made two posts ago, Nova Scotia had gone bird bonkers. Days before our good passage day (10/25) a Calliope Hummingbird had been seen at Pubnico by Arthur d’Entremont. He took diagnostic photos and joined a tiny group of people who have seen one in NS, it didn’t reappear, or at least it hasn’t yet. It was, however, the start of a good spell of arrival, hence the Yellow-headed Blackbird.

I’d missed a Bullock’s Oriole at Johnny’s so I spent a bit of time in his yard looking and neatly arranging tempting oranges by his feeders. No luck with the Bullock’s but the Yellow-headed Blackbird came in and duly got photographed.

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After a good morning, some sustenance was required and so it was home for tea and hot muffins. On what we laughingly call a lawn out back of the house, a Rusty Blackbird strutted its stuff. Two CSI year ticks and one NS life bird – a good morning so far.

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Venturing back to The Hawk, I worked through the birds as storms allowed and flushed a Lark Sparrow from the roadside. Of all the sparrows, lark is easiest when they flush, just look at the tail pattern in the book. I turned and parked and waited and it came back despite the heavy rain, and proceeded to take a fair share of the seeds on offer.

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It was one of those days when you are reluctant to call stumps but the light went and so that was it, would the following day be equal to or better than?

In a word, it was nearly the same as except that the rain was less, the wind had abated and the Yellow-headed Blackbird had wandered off. I walked The Hawk in the cool northerly and saw a few things: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32251395

This is the eBird checklist for the morning. In the afternoon I went back and saw the Lark Sparrow again and found a Nashville and two Orange-crowned Warblers. By this time we on CSI had become aware of Bell’s Vireos in the province, the nearest being on Seal Island but not visible from land even with a good scope. The tease of a Bell’s kept me looking until an evening appointment in Yarmouth to see the film, The Messenger: http://songbirdsos.com/

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They look better when dry!

This film really should be shown in all schools and on prime time TV instead of all that reality shit they insist on producing for the low-brows. Our birds are screwed world-wide and the message, delivered in the manner of Kitchener and his famous pointing finger is, OUR BIRDS NEED YOU.

For the record – Cape Sable Island has now recorded 241 species this year, I’ve managed to see 226 of them and hear another three but they don’t count. We might hit 250 yet, there are still possibilities and it would be nice to think that species # 250 for the year, for the island might be something wow! Ivory or Ross’s Gull (before we send them to extinction) or maybe a nice western warbler – I’ll go for Townsend’s.



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