Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 13

AKA more horribly cropped photos of rarities...just a few more and then it's on to good shots of common birds!

Brandon and I were bored out of our minds one afternoon - spent it at the Tip photographing swallows and kingbirds sitting on the sand, then when we got tired of that I started digging holes - at which point we joked about how digging holes and skipping rocks seem to turn up rarities while at a waterbird count...

About 5 minutes after we gave up digging holes and started skipping rocks, Brandon picked up a small egret flying down the beach - Snowy Egret!!!!

A few minutes later, Brandon's dad joined us, not having received our text about the egret. Just as I turned around to toss another rock into the water, I spotted another one headed our way!

Having only seen one Snowy Egret in Ontario before (last year at Port Maitland), it was pretty cool to see two in five minutes.

Since these photos are pretty bad, here's a bonus - a Worm-eating Warbler from the next day - my first reasonably identifiable shot of this species - also a big crop but what can you do?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 12

A nice male Piping Plover spent a couple hours at the Tip one afternoon - he then returned the next morning before heading off to wherever he's breeding now.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 11

It appears I've missed two days... no excuses other than slacking. Continuing with the rarity theme, here's a distant shot of a Loggerhead Shrike that spent the better part of a day on the East Beach, and even ate a Fox Snake while we watched. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 10

Probably my best find at Pelee, and it wasn't even a bird...

Yep, it's a butterfly - a White M Hairstreak, apparently only the second record of one overwintering in Canada (the first was found a day or two prior by Blake Mann over in Rondeau) - and other than the invasion last summer, there aren't many records in general! Unfortunately it disappeared moments before other butterfliers could see it (other than Barb who was with me at the time), and it wasn't refound as far as I know.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 9

My first-for-Ontario Laughing Gull, a bird I searched unsuccessfully for at Long Point for 2 summers, missed last year as a chase, and missed finding by leaving the Tip at Pelee about 20 minutes early. At least I got to see it!

At first it was pretty far down the tip, but after most of the crowd had left, it came in a bit closer and even called a few times!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 8

I decided to split off from the group one afternoon to look for a year bird or two that everyone else had, and shortly after I had a close encounter with a Red Bat (flew by my face about 2 inches away), I got a text that there were some Black-necked Stilts at Hillman. I sprinted most of the 1.5km back to my car and raced over there, just in time for Barb to refind them in a different spot!

Since the pics with my 300mm turned out like this...

And the best I could do digiscoping at 70mm was this...

I asked Jeremy Bensette if I could borrow one of his pics to illustrate these beauties, and he kindly agreed! So here is Jeremy's pic:

Much better, thanks Jeremy! (they flew in closer after I'd left...)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 7

The star of the show, my lifer Swallow-tailed Kite! Thanks to Mike and Erica Burrell for finding and tracking it for 30km down the lakeshore, from Port Alma all the way into the park! After it flew into the park and people were (impatiently) waiting for it to fly over the visitor centre, I (sort of jokingly) said "It'll be here in 3 minutes...", at which point Barb announced to the whole crowd (of about 80 people) my prediction of 3 minutes... Luckily for me, about 2 minutes and 59 seconds later it popped up over the trees to the delight of everyone present! At first there were gasps, then dead silence (save for the rapid-fire clicking of camera shutters), and when it was gone, a round of applause and cheers went up and celebrations were had. What a bird!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 6

One of the upsides of the east winds of doom at Pelee was that the birds hung out in the nice evening sun on the west side of the tip. This Blue-headed Vireo was especially tame, and I think it may have provided Mr. Holden over at PeregrinePrints with a photo lifer????

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 5

A flock of 4 Willets made the Tip their home for a day, much to the delight of many birders and photographers (myself included).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 4

A nice male Golden-winged Warbler that was quite fond of sitting just behind a stick while at close range, but out in the open further away...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pelee photos pt. 3

An incredibly tame White-eyed Vireo which gave some good photo-ops despite spending most of its time in thick brush, at times down to less than 2 feet! It hung out in the same general location for the whole afternoon, which was nice as I left and came back later when the light was better.