Monday 29 August 2016

RBG and Some Shorebirds

Yesterday I decided to see what the Royal Botanical Gardens had in store, so I headed there for the day. There are some good birding opportunities within the properties, and I had the most luck at the Arboretum. I also checked out Hendrie Park, The Rock Garden, and the RBG center.

One could find a lot of Cabbage Whites, Monarchs, Black Swallowtails, bees, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in with the flowers.

The woodland trail at the back of Hendrie park provided my first Vireos and Warblers of fall migration. Eastern Wood-pewees could be heard.

After Hendrie Park, it was off to the Arbor-thingy for lunch. Chickadees and Cardinals were looking for handouts.

The Marshwalk Trail is quite hilly, but worth it. This Eastern Comma is the first one I have seen this year.

Although the observation tower may be small, the number of birds is big. Great Egrets and Caspian Terns are all over the place.

I managed to find an adult and two immature Black-crowned Night-herons.

A Bald Eagle, Osprey, Coopers Hawk, and Red-tailed Hawk were the raptors seen.

Three Great Blue Herons flew in. Mute swans were swimming and flying around.

On the way back, I spotted a Northern Flicker and a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

Next stop was the Rock Garden, which used to be a quarry. I didn't take any photos at this location.

After the Rock Garden, I went to the shore of Lake Ontario to look for some shorebirds. No luck with the Red-necked Phalaropes at the Tollgate pond, but I did find an immature Sanderling.

The best bird at Windermere Basin was the Juvenile Marbled Godwit. It was way in the back, and I barely saw it on 60x magnification, let alone get a good picture. this is what birders call  a "record shot", or what non birders call a "horrible photo".

Other birds I saw while at Windermere included Stilt Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Baird's Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover (FOY), Caspian Tern, Double-crested Cormorants, and a Night-heron. Also seen were about 15 peeps (small shorebirds) that I did not bother with. Apparently a Buff-breasted Sandpiper came in when I was there, but I didn't see it.

The last stop of the night was back at the Hamilton Harbour, where I managed to find the Red Knot.

Can you find the Red Knot? Hint: It's a Juvenile

Today I was back Hamilton way, and I wanted to try for the Red-necked Phalaropes again, so I stopped by the Tollgate ponds, but they were no where to be seen. I did however find a Whimbrel (FOY) and a couple Lesser Scaups.

Another one of those record shots

Windermere Basin was next, and I managed to find the actual viewing area! The shorebirds were not all that different from yesterday, but I did find a few new ones such as Short-billed Dowitcher, Semi-palmated Plover, and Dunlin. The Marbled Godwit didn't make an appearance.

Green Heron

Well, my fun little weekend on the shore of Lake Ontario is at an end, but fall migration is just starting to pick-up. Stay tuned for more on shorebirds and other migrants!

Yesterday's eBird checklists:
RBG Hendrie Park
RBG Marshwalk Trail
Tollgate Ponds
Windermere Basin
Hamilton Harbour

Today's eBird checklists:
Tollgate Ponds
Windermere Basin

Did you find the Red Knot?

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