Showing posts from August, 2011

Montrose Point, Chicago

Now back in Chicago and we've got wheels. Last night we went to a White Sox baseball game. My only other experience of a ball game had been several years ago in Toronto with a 1 - 0 bore of a game taht was over in 90 minutes. This one didn't start in any more promising fashion! However the sight of a couple of Nighthawks lit up in the floodlights feeding on flying insects and lepidoptera more than made up for that.

So this-morning we made for the local hot spot for migration - Montrose Point, a few miles north of the city and fortunately a relatively easy drive. This place is a magnet for all sorts of birds and though shorebirds could turn up anywhere along the coast or landbirds in any of the shoreline trees, this site has a habit of concentrating them 'Spurn' style. I likened the area to Filey Brigg without the height. The main feature here is the 'Magic Hedge' a line of trees and dense undergrowth that draws in the passing birds - a bit like the top hedge at…

Cottage country

A second visit to the Lakeshore Marshes and woods on the 24th was quite productive for us. An American Bittern posed for us at Cranberry Marsh and Thickson's Woods gave us our first warbler flock with Chestnut-sided, Canada, Wilson's, Black-throated Blue and American Redstart as well as Olive-sided and Great -crested Flycatchers. As we got to Oshawa's Second Marsh next to the GM HQ, the heavens opened and I narrowly avoided a soaking. All these places have viewpoints and platforms but not a hide in the UK sense was to be seen.

Another trip to Reesor Pool resulted in a single Least Sandpiper, a fly-through flock of Cliff Swallows and a couple of Hooded Mergansers.
We spent a couple of days at a cottage in the Muskoka Lakes region later in the week. The early morning wasn't very productive until around 10 when the insect life got moving and so did the warblers. Over two days I had innumerable Black-capped Chickadees and several Red-eyed Vireos (some feeding young) along w…

Toronto region 23rd Aug

Having spent a few days in Chicago with our daughter we are now in Toronto for the week and visiting some of the places I've come to enjoy over the years.

Arriving on Monday afternoon, we picked up a hire car at the airport and headed for the pools along Reesor Road before getting to our final destination. The water was pretty high which was not surprising following the downpour that the area received a couple of days ago. A single Trumpeter Swan was chasing Canada Geese around the place and a Great Egret with a green wing-tag stood motionless; unfortunately it was very windy and we were looking into the sun so I didn't get to read what was on the tag - a task for another day perhaps. Checking through the rafts of eclipse Mallard, I picked out a drake Black Duck.

The only waders were several Lesser Yellowlegs and a few Greaters. Ring-billed Gulls and a couple of Caspian Terns circled the edges of the pool and several hirundines were over the water - the North American versions…

Pipit ringing at Newton

Tuesday morning seemed like the only chance Mark and I could try and do some ringing this week. So we were up bright and early before work  and after three hours had managed to catch a few birds including the target species, this lovely Tree Pipit. Also nearly added Spotted Flycatcher and Whiethroat as they put in an unexpected appearance in the trapping area. Several Meadow Pipits and Willow Warblers along with Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Greenfinch and more juvenile Coal Tits made for an interesting time.

A quick catch up

The weather and work (!) has put paid to most birding plans these last couple of weeks though I've managed a couple of ringing outings. A colour ringed Coot on Rishton Reservoir has been just about the most interesting thing recently/ Ringed as a juvenile at Stanley Park, Blackpool last October, it has made its way to Rishton Reservoir via Bolton.

This weekend I joined Mark for some attempts at catching Pipits as they migrated over the farm. Saturday morning brought this fine second calendar year female Sparrowhawk into one of the nets. An exciting ringing tick if ever there was one.
Yesterday Mark had a good passage of Pipits over in the morning - it was throwing it down in Rishton but the weather was fine all morning just 15 miles north! I went over again in the afternoon but we just had four Meadow Pipits. We may try again tomorrow!