Red not Grey

Both Red and Red-necked Phalarope are abundant migrants offshore in NS. In the bay of Fundy, clouds of them gather in the late summer through autumn and the whale trips pass bobbing flocks as they head whale-wards, not pausing for the ardent birders aboard to spend time looking. So, when you get either species down and in summer plumage then you take time to enjoy. On May-28th a distant blob inside the seawall on Daniel’s Head was scoped and soon resolved into a Red Phalarope, a bit drab at distant and so thought to be a male.

All three phalaropes dress their males in rags while the females are the ones that glad up for the party. Drab has various levels and perhaps upper-drab would describe a summer plumaged male Red Phalarope. The alert went out locally and the bird was enjoyed, as a blob, before it melted away. The tide was rising and the appearance of one, then two Cliff Swallows rather monopolised our attention, especially as the recent putative Cave Swallow near Halifax had us on high alert for ours. Cliff Swallow on CSI is not very common and these birds were my second and third in two years of pretty intensive birding.

The tide was a good one and the water was creeping up and into the corner by the parking lot. I had started for home when I glimpsed a bird in the partially submerged grassy margins. A bit of slewed parking had me out of the car and stealthily edging toward the bird, a species with a reputation for indifference to humans. At first it noticed me and drifted out a little, spinning for insects and chugging along like a swimming pigeon; then it turned and came to within eight feet. The light was tough, 1000 ISO to get a decent speed. Closer too it was obviously a female, a real beauty.

The Cliff Swallows were hawking insects off the beach, a little mixed flock with Tree and Barn. Later they all perched in a line for a wash and brush up, startling with each passing truck.

Just as an illustration of the beach insect fare available, this Willet was helping itself to a beak full.

Later the same day Johnny called with another Orchard Oriole at Murray’s feeders, his third of the spring. This time it was a full male and a handsome beast. It spent time on the hummer feeder snaffling a bit of sweet water before slipping off again. Most Orchard Orioles on CSI are the immature types, nice, but not quite as spectacular as a full male, thanks for the call Johnny.

This Alder Flycatcher was yacking away along Kenney Road recently.

Some of the birds seen along the Clyde River Road recently. Hermit Thrush, a Magnolia Warbler and a Palm Warbler.

Finally, I think I am right in calling this a Hoary Elfin, found along the Clyde River Road.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s