Sept 22, 2015
The forecast for Sunday morning looked to be perfect. However, the reality was something else again. Sure, it was sunny-ish, but it was also quite cold and very blustery. It was the kind of morning which made me think I might not see any birds let alone get any decent photos.
It was quite dark when my alarm rang, and I was halfway to Prince Edward Point before the sun poked it’s bright self up and above the mountainous bank of clouds that lined the eastern horizon.
I pulled into the park around 7:30 with the sun hiding behind a small dark cloud. The bushes were being buffeted by the wind, and there was nary a feathered friend in sight. Still I was undaunted. I drove down to the Traverse woods, armed myself with a small twig to clear away the spiderwebs that crisscrossed the trails, and set off towards the bluff.
Despite the wind and cold, I did begin to notice a number of small birds darting about and feeding in the bushes that lined the trail.
Here was my first capture of the day.
It’s a “Black-and-white Warbler” (Mniotilta varia). Ironically, a species that I didn’t see during this year’s Spring Migration!
(click on the photo to enlarge it, then use the ‘back’ button to return to the blog)
Seeing that Black-and-white Warbler really lightened my mood, and soon afterwards I started to notice others like this Black-throated Blue Warbler.
In a thicket of leafless bushes near the bluff I also saw a Nashville Warbler and managed to capture him through a maze of bare branches.
What happened next was definitely the highlight of the day – and made all my efforts that morning worthwhile. As I stepped towards the edge of the bluff, a juvenile Bald Eagle flew over, circled and flew back in the direction it came. It was just a brief, wonderful moment that lasted long enough for me to get this shot.
All morning flocks of Blue Jays were flying overhead, typical of this time of year. I also saw vireos, kinglets, a female Scarlet Tanager, and a variety of other warblers including Black-throated Green, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped, and Pine. Of course there were also Northern Flickers which I almost always see as they are flying away displaying their prominent white rumps. On this morning though I managed to catch a Northern Flicker before he saw me.
You can tell that it’s a male by it’s black malar (or moustache as I call it).
On the way back home I stopped at Melville Creek where it crosses Highway 62 just south of Ben Gill Road, and I got this shot of a Great Egret.
It was a great (pun intended) way to end a surprisingly good morning of birding!