Monday 28 August 2017

Long Point Adventure

Yesterday I took a little trip down to the Long Point area. We started in Old Cut, where it was apparently a slow day for banding. The only birds I saw banded were Baltimore Oriole, Gray Catbird, Veery, and an American Redstart. Bird life around the station was present, but not abundant. A Cape May was the only warbler other than the redstart.

Cape May

There was a family of Green Herons in a Blue Spruce near the Old Cut marsh.

Olive-sided Flycatcher was one of the better birds.

I caught and tagged my first Monarch of the season...although she looks a bit weathered, I am being optimistic. It was great to practice the procedure of tagging.

We spent a couple hours at Old Cut, then went to Big Creek NWA where we found a vocal Virginia Rail.

After lunch, we went to the Port Rowan Wetlands. The target here was Common Gallinule (formally known as Common Moorhen), which called as soon as we got there. Pied-billed Grebes and Blue-winged Teal were also present.

Pied-billed Grebe

After about an hour of searching I finally found a group of about 10 gallinules. Many juveniles were with them.

A Least Bittern caught me off guard when it flushed from the side of the wetland. I managed to get one blurry photo as it disappeared into the reeds.

Hahn Marsh was somewhat of a disappointment, however I still managed to find 17 Sandhill Cranes.

I caught this little Eastern Gartersnake at Hahn Marsh as well...quite feisty!

Another visit to Old Cut was due to try for the King Rail. Despite waiting (and waiting, and waiting), it never did vocalize. The 15,000+ swallows made up for it, however. The majority were Bank Swallows, but Barn, Tree, Northern Rough-winged, and Purple Martin were mixed in as well.

At one point a fairly large group of Great Egrets flew over. On eBird, anything over 6 is flagged!

The Green Heron nestlings were equally entertaining.

Despite missing the King Rail, I was still happy with what I saw. It was a great trip (despite being bitten by a Dog Tick)!

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