Monday, September 18, 2017

Last of the Fall Warblers

Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii
Common Walkingstick Diapheromera femorata
Common Walkingstick Diapheromera femorata
  I spotted a different Red Fox from the 'regular' one I've been seeing.  This was a young fox, and I watched it leisurely scratch at fleas in sun for a few minutes.  Aside from an active group of butterbutts in M3-M4, there was almost no warbler action, on an unbearably muggy day. 
  I was about to get better pics of the Common Walkingstick (which are apparently quite rare in Quebec) when a shirtless dude came out of the bushes towards me - I suspect he thought I was taking pictures of him, which was inaccurate.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 18, 2017
Cooper’s Hawk-1 or 2
Downy Woodpecker-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Northern Flicker-4 (4)
American Crow-9+
Black-capped Chickadee-15+ (6)
White-breasted Nuthatch-1
Red-breasted Nuthatch-5
Winter Wren-2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-(1)
American Robin-2 juv
Cedar Waxwing-7 mostly juv
Yellow-rumped Warbler-9 (2)
American Redstart-1
Northern Cardinal-5 (1)
Chipping Sparrow-12+ (25+ mostly grouped in one small tree)
Song Sparrow-3 (2)
White-throated Sparrow-20+ (8+)
Dark-eyed Junco-3 (3)
American Goldfinch-4 (2)

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
  Bumped into Jean-Sebastien Mayer again, a great birder and all around good fella.  We tracked a small warbler wave down from Mountain View and into some large trees in G7, probably a last look at the maddening assortment of autumn's Wood-warblers.  Clouds of Painted Lady butterflies out - clouds, I tells ya.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 15, 2017 
Sharp-shinned Hawk-2
Cooper’s Hawk-1 (1)
Bald Eagle-1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1
Downy Woodpecker-2
Hairy Woodpecker-1 (1)
Northern Flicker-5 (2)
Pileated Woodpecker-(1)
Least Flycatcher-1
Red-eyed Vireo-3
Blue-headed Vireo-1 heard
Blue Jay-1
American Crow-12+ (3)
Common Raven-1-2 heard
Black-capped Chickadee-10+ (6+)
White-breasted Nuthatch-1
Red-breasted Nuthatch-3
Winter Wren-2
Golden-crowned Kinglet-1
Eastern Bluebird-1 heard
Swainson’s Thrush-(1)
Grey Catbird-1
Tennessee Warbler-3
Nashville Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-8
Blackburnian Warbler-1 or 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler-(1)
Black-throated Green Warbler-2
Yellow-rumped Warbler-5 (3)
Blackpoll Warbler-2
Wilson’s Warbler-2
Scarlet Tanager-1
Indigo Bunting-1 juv
Northern Cardinal-5
Chipping Sparrow-8 (2)
Song Sparrow-8 (3)
White-throated Sparrow-30+ (5+)
Dark-eyed Junco-1
American Goldfinch-12+ (6+)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Confusion of Fall Warblers V

Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
  Spent almost three hours in the cemeteries today with Dan, successfully getting him onto his first Northern Parula. It was interesting to see some turnover, when compared with yesterday.  Today, a lack of Red-eyed Vireos, a seeming dip in warbler numbers and variety, and much quieter in the NDN Cemetery, with almost no bird activity in parts that were heaving yesterday.
  Also, a noticeable uptick and/or appearance today in locally partial migrants (like 
Brown CreeperRed-breasted Nuthatch, and Blue Jay) and boreal breeders (White-throated Sparrow and Swainson’s Thrushin the north of the cemetery.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 10, 2017
Turkey Vulture-1
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Peregrine Falcon-(1 by U de M)
Ring-billed Gull-1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1 (1)
Downy Woodpecker-1
Hairy Woodpecker-1 (1)
Northern Flicker-2
Least Flycatcher-(1)
Philadelphia Vireo-1
Blue Jay-6ish
American Crow-10+ (2)
Common Raven-1-3 heard
Black-capped Chickadee-10+ (8)
Brown Creeper-2
White-breasted Nuthatch-3 (1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-5 (2)
Eastern Bluebird-10 (2)
Swainson’s Thrush-8+
Grey Catbird-4
Cedar Waxwing-4+ heard
Tennessee Warbler-2
Nashville Warbler-3
Northern Parula-1
Yellow Warbler-2
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-15+ (3)
Cape May Warbler-2
Black-throated Green Warbler-4
Yellow-rumped Warbler-2
Blackpoll Warbler-3
Bay-breasted Warbler-4+
Black-and-white Warbler-2
American Redstart-3
Wilson’s Warbler-1
Scarlet Tanager-2
Indigo Bunting-4 juvie-looking birds
Northern Cardinal-3
Chipping Sparrow-45+ (10+)
Song Sparrow-5 (4)
White-throated Sparrow-35+
American Goldfinch-6

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Confusion of Fall Warblers IV

Northern Parula Setophaga americana
Northern Parula Setophaga americana
Northern Parula Setophaga americana an individual showing more of the characteristic 'collier'
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca
Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata
Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
Canada Geese Branta Canadensis doing what they do
  Only a four hour slog, in an east to west slog. Wet shoes and socks were the order of the day again after more nocturnal rains. The warbler numbers and variety started slow, but picked up steadily into the afternoon (18 species on the day). 
  Not quite as nutsoids as Thursday's walk, but still good numbers of migrants overall, with a few welcome surprises. I was surprised to see an American Red Squirrel in a corner of Mountain View, I didn't realize they were that far into the city. Time to rest my battered mummy feet.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 9, 2017
Canada Goose-55 headed in the appropriate direction high overhead
Turkey Vulture-2
Cooper’s Hawk-2
Merlin-2 near the main entrance, later mobbed by crows
Ring-billed Gull-(2)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1 (1)
Downy Woodpecker-2 (2)
Hairy Woodpecker-1 (1)
Northern Flicker-2
Least Flycatcher-2
Great Crested Flycatcher-1 heard
Philadelphia Vireo-1
Red-eyed Vireo-2 (3)
Blue-headed Vireo-(1)
Blue Jay-1 heard (1 heard)
American Crow-12+ (4)
Common Raven-1 heard (1)
Black-capped Chickadee-4 (9)
White-breasted Nuthatch-2 (3)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-1 (2)
Eastern Bluebird-6 (4)
Swainson’s Thrush-2 (2)
Grey Catbird-1
Cedar Waxwing-14
Tennessee Warbler-5 (3)
Nashville Warbler-1 (2)
Northern Parula-2 (3)
Chestnut-sided Warbler-(1)
Magnolia Warbler-16+ (10+) still one in every tree
Cape May Warbler-3 (3)
Blackburnian Warbler-2 (3)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-1 (1)
Black-throated Green Warbler-6 (5)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-2 (2)
Palm Warbler-1
Blackpoll Warbler-1 (3)
Bay-breasted Warbler-15 (10) very plentiful today
Black-and-white Warbler-1 (2)
American Redstart-2 (2)
Common Yellowthroat-1 (1)
Ovenbird-2 (1)
Wilson’s Warbler-2 (2)
Northern Cardinal-2 (2)
Chipping Sparrow-50+ (55+)
Lincoln’s Sparrow-(2 in a nifty little weedy patch)
Song Sparrow-5 (5)
American Goldfinch-6 (4)
Finch sp.-1 probable House Finch following around an Eastern Bluebird

A Confusion of Fall Warblers III

Blackpoll Warbler Setophaga striata
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea
Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum
'greeny' Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
'yellowy' Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
Nashville Warbler Leiothlypis ruficapilla
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura only a mother could love
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes ("Listen to your zugunruhe...")
  A west to east transit of the cemeteries starting in NDN, marked by wet feet and yet more warblers.  I bumped into Jean-Sebastian Mayer between the two cemeteries, who informed me he’d seen a healthy 42 species on his lunch break, with 17 Wood-warbler species among them. Well, I took that as, if not a weird personal challenge, then as a bit of a benchmark. So I hit it hard, birding for five hours through a mixed bag, both weather and bird-wise.  Loads of birds out there, innit.
  Got good and tangled up with some decent little warbler waves, mostly bunched up at the northern and southern edges of the Mount-Royal Cemetery, and several ‘new’ and fruitful spots I’ve been staking out in the NDN Cemetery. Notably birdy was the Mountain View side – every little circular plot held a different mix of skulkers below and flutterers overhead.  I sheltered from a squall in some small woods up there, and found myself looking up at the warblers filter through the canopy like I was in the world's coolest planetarium.
  Also saw 'my' Red Fox again, now officially my new spirit guide, and she was looking in better shape.  When in Korea, by the way, that role is assumed by the Blue Rock Thrush.

Mount-Royal Cemetery + (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 7, 2017
Turkey Vulture-2
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Bald Eagle-1 headed north over Mountain View
Peregrine Falcon-(1 at U de M)
Ring-billed Gull-(1)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird-1
Downy Woodpecker-2 (2)
Hairy Woodpecker-1
Northern Flicker-7
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher-1
Least Flycatcher-4 (2)
Eastern Phoebe-1
Philadelphia Vireo-(1)
Red-eyed Vireo-4 (3)
American Crow-7 (2)
Common Raven-1 heard
Black-capped Chickadee-14 (5)
White-breasted Nuthatch-4 (1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-1 heard
House Wren-1
Winter Wren-1
Eastern Bluebird-6 (4)
Swainson’s Thrush-1
Grey Catbird-2
Cedar Waxwing-7
Tennessee Warbler-7 (3)
Nashville Warbler-2
Chestnut-sided Warbler-2
Magnolia Warbler-12+ (9+) felt like there was one in every tree
Cape May Warbler-2 (1)
Blackburnian Warbler-2 (1)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-2 (1)
Black-throated Green Warbler-6+ (4+) quite a few in the southern edges
Yellow-rumped Warbler-(1)
Palm Warbler-1
Blackpoll Warbler-4 (2)
Bay-breasted Warbler-8+ (4)
Black-and-white Warbler-1
American Redstart-9 (2)
Common Yellowthroat-2
Ovenbird-2 (1)
Wilson’s Warbler-4 (2)
Scarlet Tanager-1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-1 (2)
Indigo Bunting- 1
Northern Cardinal-4
Chipping Sparrow-70+ (65+) big numbers, absolute clouds of them
Song Sparrow-6 (3)
American Goldfinch-6 (4)

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Confusion of Fall Warblers II

Black-throated Green Warbler Setophaga virens
Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
Wilson’s Warbler Cardellina pusilla
Chestnut-sided Warbler Setophaga pensylvanica
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina (a different look compared to Saturday's bird)
Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
adult Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura (adult with juvenile)
juvenile Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes
...and Empidonax flycatchers – which always confuse me. Got in a satisfying, if punishing, five-hour birding session at the cemeteries, which were sodden after yesterday's steady Harvey rains. I quickly fell victim to one of the biggest threats at the cemetery - a hidden groundhog hole. My foot plunged into the exquisitely camouflaged, grassed-over deathtrap - I saw lightning as my teeth clattered together, and sparks shot through my lower spine. I grunted, went to one knee, then found that I didn't know what planet I was on for a moment, my forehead covered in an instant slick of cold sweat.
  After that hilarious adventure, I came on a wake of perched Turkey Vultures, and for a minute I thought I was looking at a Black Vulture - turns out juvies look a bit like Black Vultures, so that was fun.
  More confusing warblers on display, with species like Cape May and Bay-breasted (AKA Blackpollpine-breasted Warbler), among others, showing both a maddening variety, and a similarity to other blah-plumaged fall warblers. Hopefully I'll remember some of the fall lessons I learned today the hard way - " that a Prairie Wa...oh shit, just a Cape May..." 

  There were loads of Magnolia Warblers out, including two separate groups of 4-5 interacting with Black-capped Chickadees in conifers, a novel sight.
  A Red Fox cut a haggard figure as it limped along a path, looking like it had seen better days. I wonder how many foxes the cemeteries hold/can support. I hope this one finds a way to make it through winter.
  I found a couple more interesting, and probably underbirded, spots in the NDN Cemetery, with plenty of visible migration going on. It was an enjoyable way to end the long day, watching my winged friends head south, one tree at a time.

Mount-Royal Cemetery + (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), September 4, 2017
Turkey Vulture-7
Cooper’s Hawk-(1)
Peregrine Falcon-(2 at U de M)
Ring-billed Gull-(1)
Downy Woodpecker-2
Hairy Woodpecker-(1)
Northern Flicker-3
Least Flycatcher-(2)
Empid sp.-1 yellowy ball of confusion
Eastern Phoebe-1 (1)
Red-eyed Vireo-1 heard
American Crow-3
Common Raven-(2)
Black-capped Chickadee-8 (3)
White-breasted Nuthatch-2
Red-breasted Nuthatch-(1)
Eastern Bluebird-5
American Robin-4
Grey Catbird-1 heard
Cedar Waxwing-45ish, with juveniles
Tennessee Warbler-2 (1)

Nashville Warbler-1
Yellow Warbler-1
Chestnut-sided Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-7 (10)
Cape May Warbler-1 (1)
Black-throated Blue Warbler-1 in the Jewish cemetery
Black-throated Green Warbler-1 (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-1
Blackpoll Warbler-(1)
Bay-breasted Warbler-2 (3)
Black-and-white Warbler-1 with a small warbler wave in the Jewish cemetery
American Redstart-1 male
Wilson’s Warbler-2 (2)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-1
Northern Cardinal-4
Chipping Sparrow-40+ (20+)
Song Sparrow-4 (2)
White-throated Sparrow-1 probably heard
American Goldfinch-8 (3)

A Confusion of Fall Warblers

Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina (note the faint yellowy ear)
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina (1st winter female)
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina
Cape May Warbler Setophaga tigrina (note the green rump and wash - it was only apparent in the sun)
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
  Bumped into fellow birder Frédéric Langlois near the cemetery, and we spent an enjoyable couple of hours picking through confusing fall warblers. Most confusing to us was a drab grey warbler, showing a streaked underside, but not many other field marks. When it danced through spots of sunshine, its olive rump, wing, and tail highlights revealed themselves, as did the hint of a yellowish ear – Cape May Warbler! Neither of us had seen this relatively uncommon migrant in this plumage (1st winter female), and I jokingly dubbed it “Paruline Tigrée Obscure” – a French birder joke. Personally, it’s always exhilarating to deal with a bird that makes you scratch your head and leaf nervously through the field guide. 
  I noticed that the migrating birds bunched up at different hotspots in the cemetery when compared with spring migrants. Makes sense when you think about which direction they’re headed.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, September 2, 2017
Turkey Vulture-1
Cooper’s Hawk-1
Ring-billed Gull-1
Downy Woodpecker-2
Hairy Woodpecker-1 heard
Empid sp.-1 evil yellow thing
Eastern Phoebe-1
Red-eyed Vireo-1 heard (tchway!)
American Crow-10+ mobbing something
Common Raven-1 or 2 heard
Black-capped Chickadee-10+
White-breasted Nuthatch-2
House Wren-2 dueling with a duo of Wilson’s Warblers
Eastern Bluebird-3
Cedar Waxwing-4
Tennessee Warbler-2
Nashville Warbler-1
Magnolia Warbler-5
Cape May Warbler-2
Black-throated Green Warbler-2
Yellow-rumped Warbler-1 heard
Bay-breasted Warbler-1
Black-and-white Warbler-1
American Redstart-2
Wilson’s Warbler-2
Scarlet Tanager-2 ‘greens’
Rose-breasted Grosbeak-1
Northern Cardinal-2
Chipping Sparrow-50+
Song Sparrow-4
American Goldfinch-5