Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pelee Apr 19, 2012

My Dad and I spent the day at Pelee! It was probably the most fun you could have when there is virtually no migrant songbirds in the woods...

Here's the rundown (short and sweet since I'm uber-tired):

Butterflies:  EVERYWHERE... The invasion continues... Highlights were 4+ American Snouts, 1 Eastern tailed Blue, 1 Tiger Swallowtail and hoardes of Red Admirals, Orange Sulphurs, Question Marks and American Ladies... Just everywhere, and in huge numbers...

First Snout from today..  They were all very fresh

Some record  shots. The tiger wouldn't land, so I had to do the flight shot... 

Dragonflies:  very few (Green Darners).. where are they? Given the insane numbers of leps.. Wait, what was that? 

  As I told my Dad, I had no freakin idea what this thing is... Turns out, I have no experience with female Variegated (only males for me in Ontario)... And I actually (honestly) thought it was too big for a meadowhawk anyways. I guess I was wrong, since we eventually figured out it WAS a Variegated.. (But not after several minutes of getting really excited, and convincing (ok telling) my Dad we may have some sort of crazy vagrant Skimmer.... 

Birds: the park was DEAD for landbirds today... But wouldn't you know it, FIVE MINUTES after we figured out I was totally wrong on "the skimmer"... There's a funny bird calling in the trees above the visitors centre... I can't see it, but the call is really strange..

So I search, and search, and spot the bird in the open in the top of a tree... WHAT THE HECK IS THAT...... I call my Dad (who is already thinking I'm crazy with the dragonfly).. Dad, I have NO IDEA what this bird is... NONE...  (while thinking about vagrants from south america thanks to the Elaenia)

It calls, and just sits there for a minute (the ONLY TIME today I didn't have my camera around my shoulder), then flies behind the VC... I grabbed my camera, ran behind, but couldn't get a photo (although I got an audio recording of the call)...

It flew south again towards the tip, so we decided to lay chase... But on the tram to the tip, I had a little lightbulb go off in my head......  After a bit of research on my Dads smartphone, we figured it out.

Greenfinch... Female...  The angle we had (high above and facing us) showed us NO yellow... Somewhat like this (but it was up 30ft):

We downloaded a call, and it sounded pretty darn close.... WOW.. Working on 4 hours of sleep, and having this crazy run of events... At least we figured out what it was before things got too out of hand... 


Thankfully we ended the day on a solid bird note with 11 Marbled Godwits (and 5 Lapland Longspurs) at the shorebird cell. The godwits took flight and few N around 6pm. Record shot:

I need to go to bed... Keep on looking... South American Flycatchers are lurking out there... 


  1. PS - join the ontario dragonfly group!

  2. This is a hilarious post, mainly because I have these thought processes far too often. Give me a bird with even a single feather out of place, and I can have it turned into a mega-rarity in no time. Thankfully I don't have a smart phone... my saner head usually prevails before I've summoned the Ontbirders to Burlington to see the Black Turnstone (i.e., Pigeon) I just found on the rocks off of Eastport. Ok, maybe it's not that bad, but I feel your pain... a CMF one second, a WTF (as in, "WTF was I thinking?") the next. Glad to know it happens to the experts as well as me.

    By the way, I for one really enjoy the weather posts, nice to see some variety in your blog.

  3. I'll be joining that dragonfly group for sure. I really got into them last summer and hope to fill in some personal knowledge gaps this year.

    Long point was really quiet Thursday as well. It's like the warm weather only brought the rarities and that's all! Should make it easier to find them I guess :)