Sunday 2 September 2018

Playing Catch-up

As some people may know, there has been an incredible push of "southern" rarities in Ontario the last few weeks. It started with a Purple Gallinule in Kingsville (which is still there at the time of writing, and this author is silently scheming ;-)). Next was a Reddish Egret in Oliphant, which was first found on August 5th, but was unknown to birders until August 22nd (also still present). Lastly was a Swallow-tailed Kite in Wasaga Beach (which has flown the coop).

I, of course, was on the remote James Bay coast when all of them showed up.

But fear not! Lucky for me, and many others, these were long-staying birds!

The Swallow-tailed Kite was only 20 minutes off the highway on our drive home from Cochrane, so of course we had to make a slight detour.

Swallow-tailed Kite

Success! The bird disappeared the next day, so I guess we were fortunate to be able to come home a day earlier than expected (we got everyone out of the field camps in time to catch the train).

Fast forward a few days of JBD (James Bay Deprivation), I was back on the road with my mom and aunt, making our way to Oliphant in Bruce to try and see the immature Reddish Egret. What was so special about this egret, was that it was a first record EVER for Ontario (perhaps slightly overdue).

It didn't take us too long, just had to look for the crowd of birders!

It was actively feeding in the marsh. Reddish Egrets have a special feeding technique, in which they raise their wings to create a shadow that small fish instinctivly seek "shelter" in.

To watch a video of a Reddish Egret hunting, click here.

After awhile it got up and flew around, then landed on a boat.

After the egret, I went to explore a few other nearby spots. The Oliphant Fen was right there, so we took a quick walk.

Autumn Meadowhawk

Lesser Fringed Gentian

Common Sneezeweed

Purple Pitcher Plant

Northern Watersnake - barely alive on road :-(

Shrubby Cinquefoil

I made a stop to the Wiarton Sewage Lagoons quickly, to check out a juvenile Wilson's Phalarope. Always nice to see.

I checked out Isaac Lake in the evening, where I found a sizeable swarm of darners. I managed to catch three species.

Green-striped Darner

Canada Darner

Canada Darner

Lance-tipped Darner

Canada Darner

I am slowly making my way through all my photos from James Bay, so I hope to start writing about that soon. School is also just a couple days away, so I guess I'll have that on my plate as well ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous photos, Quinten! 👍 Another great birding adventure!