Since I last posted, the birding has been busy without being spectacular. Gunning is here and so dawn is pretty easy to mark, it will calm down though, especially when Lobstering starts. Much of the bird activity has been around The Hawk, with pockets of mixed warbler flocks, dominated by Yellow-rumped. It always creeps up on me, Yellow-rumped Warbler season. I know it’s coming when I see the odd one then, boom, just about every movement in the depths of the bushes comes from a Yellow-rump.
With the Yellow-rumps at the moment are good numbers of Western Palm Warblers. eBird still yelps when you enter one, but really they are a relatively common migrant. I’ve been seeing up to five at time and even had them in the yard. For that reason they are the post header bird, my best shots of them so far.
Yellow-rumped, Black-and-White Warbler and Blue-headed Vireo below.
On Oct-12th Johnny called with a Western Kingbird down on The Hawk. Two in a year may seem a bit greedy but I’m not complaining. It showed very well, a pale, washed-out bird that was very active off the wires right at the end of Hawk Point Road. Wire birds never pose very well so I spent more time trying to get it in flight.
Today (Oct-13) I started my birding in the yard. It was cold overnight and the warblers don’t stretch their wings until there is some warmth abroad so there really was no need to be anywhere else. Lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers were soon bouncing around, they never stop chasing each other plus any passing Blue Jays, Northern Flickers and even American Crows get the same treatment. I was about to go inside when I head a call, then saw a Pine Warbler in their midst, yard tick 162. Once inside I started to check my email and glanced up at the largest tree in the yard where a stunted jay sat. Once in the bins it resolved into a shrike not a jay and I called Sandra over to get a look. It stayed around the yard perhaps 15-20 minutes or so, allowing Mike to get here from Daniel’s Head. At one point it was being mobbed by a Chipping Sparrow, something I only added to my CSI year list on Oct-11th!
Going back to October-11th and I found a couple of female/immature Indigo Buntings on The Hawk. They stuck around all day but were sporadic in their appearance, preferring the depths of the Alder scrub. Later the aforementioned CSI year tick Chipping Sparrow/s rocked up in the same place and there was another sparrow with them. Both Ervin and I were just leaving when the sparrows flew up into a roadside tree and Ervin started filling his camera card. I saw a peachy-flanked, plain-lored sparrow on one side of the tree while Ervin snapped the two Chippers on the other side. I’m sure it was a Clay-colored but, even though it would be a year bird, I’m not claiming it, not without a photo and not with the two Chippers in the same tree to add a layer of mystery to the claim.
The one below is the yard bird.
The year lists on all fronts are doing ok, as you will see if you check eBird. In front in NS is Dave Bell, as predicted by me way back in May. He is based on the islands and they get a lot of birds and, unlike CSI, he can get to every spot to look for them whereas we can only cover around 5% of CSI at a best guess. We don’t do too badly though, but you just wonder what we do miss! I’m second in the list and Alix is third although we both have gaps that can be filled so I would expect us both to get near to 280 by the end of the year. I just hope any good birds don’t go dallying around the north or middle on NS but get their feathery cloacas down to the Banana Belt where they will be well enjoyed.
An immature Ring-billed Gull looking a bit weird. around the head/bill