Birding Festival & Recent Sightings

The last month has been a busy one for me and finding time to update this blog has been difficult, however I had an free hour today & decided to stop procrastinating. I wrote a brief overview of my recent birding adventures below.

 From May 24-27 and May 30-June 2 I participated in the Huron Fringe Birding Festival, which is based out of MacGregor Point Provincial Park (Here is the link for the HFBF blog).
 During the festival I enjoyed birding with knowledgeable hike leaders, attending presentations about nature and of course, seeing a lot of birds. Highlights for me included;  Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black Tern, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Black-billed Cuckoo, Grasshopper Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow along with Golden-Winged, Canada and Mourning Warblers.  I didn't get a photograph of a lot of these birds, but some posed for pictures.

- Lesser Black-backed Gull

- Black Tern

- Grasshopper Sparrow

- Canada Warbler

A few more photos from the fest..

- Wilson's Snipe

- Eastern Wood-pewee

- Spotted Sandpiper

- Blue-winged Teal

 I saw around 155+ species during the festival and met a lot of new people, so as usual, the HFBF was an enjoyable experience

  In early June I went to see a Common Gallinule that was found by Michael Bulter at the Tobermory Sewage Lagoons. This is a rare species for the Bruce, with one bird seen per year on average. The bird was distant when I observed it, so my photo didn't turn out that good. I didn't remain at the lagoons long because It was a damp, rainy day with wind from the South, which was blowing a sewage water mist in my direction... not very inviting weather to be outside in๐Ÿ˜…
- Common (and smelly) Gallinule

 While in Tobermory I had a decent birding walk at Cape Hurd Road (my list), with the highlight being a good view of a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.
- Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

 On June 15th and 16th I co-lead an OFO trip with Alfred Raab around the peninsula. I already wrote a summary of the trip for the OFO email listserve, so I'll just paste it here.
On Saturday June 15th, 10 birders met in Hepworth for the Bruce Peninsula OFO trip, despite the grim weather forecast. The morning and early afternoon were dominated by temperatures around 10°C and periods of heavy rain, which made the birding rather wet and uncomfortable. Despite this, the group made the most of it and were able to find a good variety of species
 The sun finally came out at 3pm, which gave us two hours to find some more birds and dry out before calling it a day.
 We visited numerous hotspots between Sauble Beach and Ferndale during the day, ending up with a total of 84 species.. not bad considering the weather. Some highlights for the group included;  Green-winged Teal, Greater Yellowlegs, Piping Plover, Common Loon, Least Bittern, American Bittern, Grasshopper Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Brewer's Blackbird and Mourning Warbler.

 On Sunday, June 16th, 12 birders met at the Tobermory Airport for a day of birding around the northern Bruce Peninsula. We birded around the airport for a bit and then spent the day working our way south towards Ferndale. The weather was sunny and the temperature hovered around 16°C for most of the outing, which was a nice treat after Saturday. The group netted a total of 87 species during the day, with some of the highlights being;  Upland Sandpiper, Sora, Sandhill Crane, Green Heron, Northern Harrier, Broad-winged Hawk, Bald Eagle, Cliff Swallow, Pileated Woodpecker, Bank Swallow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Golden-winged Warbler, Mourning Warbler and Northern Parula.
 A combined total of 108 species were recorded over weekend, making it a pretty successful trip.

 Spring migration is basically over now, with only a few species still passing through the peninsula. It was a different spring this year, as the timing of most migrants seemed to be late by at least a week in my area. The end of May was cold in  comparison to previous years, which also affected migration in a few ways. The lack of insects overall due to this chilly weather created large concentrations of migrants along the lakeshore, where hatching midges and other insects were plentiful. On a few days I saw 100s of warblers and 1000s of swallows flying south along the shore of Lake Huron, quite good numbers for Bruce.
Fall migration will begin in mid July (yes, fall migration is a deceiving name), when southbound shorebirds will start arriving in Bruce county. Until then I'll switch gears and focus more on butterflies, odes, botany etc. Some of my recent butterfly sightings include;  American Lady, Lucia Azure, Silvery Blue and Dreamy Duskywing.
- American Lady

- Lucia Azure

- Silvery Blue

- Dreamy Duskywing
I'm currently waiting for my county Black-bellied Whistling-ducks to show up... any day now๐Ÿ‘€

My 2022 Big Year From a Stats perspective

  I'm going to write several wrap up posts about my big year, I just have so much that I want to talk about! First off I want to talk ab...