I’m sorry for being missing in action for much of this summer on my blog, but my summer job (working for our local agricultural society during the 108th annual Vermilion Fair), and farming, especially looking after my 100 broilers and 100 layers, have kept me very busy. On the up side, I got my driver’s license at the end of June, so I’m enjoying being more mobile.
This past week, I was finally able to get out and do some birding, something I haven’t been able to do for a while. On Wednesday, I brought my camera, binoculars, and scope in work, so when I was finished for the day, I stopped off at the Vermilion Provincial Park to see what was around.
There were lots of gulls flying around the river, mostly non-breeding Franklin’s Gulls, a few Bonapart’s Gulls, Ring-bills, and four Herring Gulls. Double-crested Cormorants were also quite prominent on the river, especially on the dock where many of them were vibrating the muscles and bones in their throats, called gular fluttering, to help them cool down.
On the way back to my truck, I heard a bird “chipping” in the poplars. I was able to see that the bird was an Orange-crowned Warbler.
Here’s my eBird checklist from my bird walk at the park, which included a Ring-billed Gull,
a pair of Herring Gulls — the front one is a juvenile and I believe the back one is a first winter plumage bird (please add a correction in the comments if necessary!),
After evening chores one night this week, I went out with my scope to our summerfallow field to look at some of the wet areas to see if there were any shorebirds feeding in the low spot. I did find a Semipalmated Plover — a year bird for me as I missed the species this spring, and five not-so-solitary Solitary Sandpipers.
I took a few photos of the plover before the resident Swainson’s Hawk flew over where the shorebirds were feeding and scared off the plover. The hawk landed in a bare tree and was immediately harassed by a pair of American Robins and Eastern Kingbirds.
Here’s my eBird checklist from that day, which included the Swainson’s Hawk and American Robin,
An adult Semipalmated Plover,
On Thursday after work, I went out for another bird walk around our yard. I first headed to the lake behind our house where I was hoping to find more shorebirds feeding along the lakeshore.
When I walking to the lake, a Merlin flew down and landed on a fence post in front of me until it noticed me and abruptly flew off,
A Red Paintbrush,
A juicy wild raspberry,
There weren’t too many birds at the lake, but there were four adult Eared Grebes feeding their chicks on the lake, and also a group of Savannah and Clay-colored Sparrows flitting about in the bushes. A Killdeer, American Goldfinches, Cedar Waxwings, and Red-winged Blackbirds flew above me.
My eBird checklist from the lake.
At the slough east of our house I found many more birds than at the lake: a Great Blue Heron, dozens of American Coots, a Black-bellied Plover, common Goldeneyes, Black-capped Chickadees, Red-winged Blackbirds, Redheads, Savannah Sparrows, a male and female Northern Harrier, Spotted Sandpiper, Pied-billed Grebes, and more.
My eBird checklist from the slough.
I spent an hour watching the birds at the slough until I noticed one of my brothers on our deck, barbecuing hamburgers, so I headed home
This Solitary Sandpiper was feeding in a group of five other Solitary Sandpipers and a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper,