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Canada & USA May/June 2010 (1 Viewer)

robinm

Registered User
Arrived in Canada on Tuesday and will be travelling around over the next 5 weeks. I will try to update this report as I go along in places where I have internet access.

Days 1 & 2 Long Point Area

We started at Long Point Marsh. Unfortunately the trail was closed because of breeding birds, however, as it was very windy this did not prove a major issue. Highlights: Sandhill Crane, c4 Northern Harrier and loads of Red-winged Blackbirds.

Moving on to the Observatory we got of out of the wind and in amongst the trees. Not many warblers as yet but we did get a single Black and White Warbler and lots of Yellow Warbler.

Out on the point proved very productive and we saw some good species. Highlights: 4 Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, a single Orchard Oriole, Scarlet Tanager.

At nearby Backus Park it was very quiet with the highlight a Green Heron in a tree.

Photos: Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Tree Swallow and Green Heron.
 

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robinm

Registered User
Days 3 & 4 Presqu’ile Provincial Park

The weather has been windy and often wet since we arrived here keeping the birds out of sight. In fact the only additional warbler species so far has been Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Lots of Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser and a few Goosander on the lake.

Over breakfast today at out B&B we were recommended to visit the Brighton Wetlands (which turned out to be settling ponds). This proved quite productive with plenty of waterfowl, waders and a pair of Osprey on the nest. Anyone visiting the area should consider this, although you need a permit.

We still have one morning here, let’s hope the rain and wind hold off.
 

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Lisa W

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
To bad about the wind Robin, it can play havoc for both birds and bird watching. Nice log - will continue monitoring.
 

Birdingcraft

Well-known member
Looking forward to your reports over the next five weeks. More than a month of May birding in southern Ontario- how exciting! I can't wait to see your posts once you connect with some major bird migration.
 

robinm

Registered User
Days 5-7. The Muskokas

Been without internet access for a few days. Trying to catch up.

Before leaving we spend the morning in the Presqu’ile area. The weather is stilll cold and windy. The only new bird at the park was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. After talking to one of the locals we decided to return to the Wetlands to look for Virginia Rails. We were unsuccessful but found a Red-necked Phalarope – a good bird for the area.

We now move on to our lakeside cabin in the Muskokas. While settling into our cabin we add Wild Turkey, Pileated Woodpecker and Common Loon to our list.

On an early morning walk I find a Brown Thrasher.

We walked the Circuit of 5 Views trail at Little Hawk Lake. There were several Ravens around and we saw Nashville and Black-throated Blue Warbler in addition to the “usual” Blue Jays etc. At one point 2 male Black-throated Blue Warblers engaged in a territorial dispute. They chased each other quite oblivious of our presence, at times flying within inches of our heads.

Photos: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hairy Woodpecker, Chipmunk, Turkey Vulture
 

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robinm

Registered User
Days 8-10 - Algonquin

We now head into Algonquin. We are booked in to a lodge on an island. While waiting for the boat across to our lodge an American Bittern flies by.
Over the next few day we walk some of the trails in the park. As well as the birds, the scenery is wonderful and we catch up with moose on several occasions.

On Peck Lake there are (obligatory) two Common Loons and plenty of warblers including Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, Magnolia and Blackburnian.

An early morning walk around the trail on our island. Several Ovenbirds were singing and there was a very showy Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. There was a pair of Ring-necked Ducks on the lake.

We walked the Mizzy Lake trail. There were several beaver dams and in one lake lots of turtles, some with metal identification plates as part of a study. We also saw our first moose.

Birds seen on the walk included: several Loons, Hooded Merganser and Black Duck on the lakes. Several Black-throated Blue Warblers, a Hermit Thrush (I am not 100% confident of ID so correct me if I’m wrong) and a very tame Gray Jay.

We spent our final day on several short trails. The leaflets provided by the Park for the trails give a lot of detail on the ecology of the park and how different landscapes developed. Makes for an interesting walk.

Bird highlights of the day: the first vireo of the trip (Blue-headed), 2+ Broad-winged Hawks and our first Common Yellowthroat. In addition the guy taking us off the island detoured so I could get some close-up shots of Common Loon.

Photos: Turtle with ID tag, Moose, Hermit Thrush and Common Loon.
 

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robinm

Registered User
Days 11-13

We leave Algonquin – it really is a fantastic place. On my early morning walk I flush a Spruce Grouse and also add Brown Creeper to the trip list.

We drive to Ottawa. The next 3 days are sightseeing around Ottawa and Quebec City.

In Quebec City we add Purple Finch to the trip list and at nearby Montmorency Falls we add American Redstart.

Tomorrow we head into New Brunswick for 3 nights, visiting Kouchibouguac Park. I am not sure if we get internet so I might not be able to log in for a few days.

No photos with this post as I don't think pics of my wife shopping in Old Quebec City count as "wildlife" ;)
 

Lisa W

Moderator
Staff member
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You have some great birds and other wildlife on your trip so far, Robin. Sounds wonderful. Looking forward to more.
 

robinm

Registered User
Days 15-17

Day 14 was a long travel day. We stop for lunch in Grand Falls and check in to our lodge on the edge of Kouchibouguac Park, New Brunswick.

Day 15 was spent in Kouchibouguac Park – an area of forest, dunes and salt marsh on the New Brunswick coast.There is a completely different landscape in this coastal area, although there was much evidence of beaver activity.

Our first port of call was the dunes where, after a few minutes, I located a Piping Plover on the tide line. This is a rare species - breeding in only 3 places in Canada.

Later in the day I spot an Osprey over the lagoon. We watch and the bird comes up with a small fish.

Other new birds today: Red-eyed Vireo and a pair of White-winged (Two-barred) Crossbill.

Also in the first photo is a bird I would like an ID check on. Thanks.

The next day was again spent in Kouchibouguac Park. The weather early on was overcast but we saw American Wigeon and Scaup on the river. The highlight of the day was our first sighting of Bald Eagle. First on a tree in a creek, where we watched it for several minutes. Later we saw one (the same bird?) fly over the lagoon.

Other new birds for the trip today include Dark-eyed Junco and Gannet.

The next day we travelled from Kouchibouguac to Fall River and our stay with my sister-in-law. Spent lunchtime at Sackville Waterfowl Park. As the name suggests this was good for waterfowl and lots of Yellow Warblers. Several Bald Eagles were seen while driving to NS.

Photos: Unknown, Osprey, Lung Lichen, Yellow Warbler.
 

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Lisa W

Moderator
Staff member
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Robin,
Looks like the vacation is still producing good results. I'm going to take a stab at the Flycatcher and say it's a Least. Can't tell if the tail is short or long but he has the other markings. Eyering with a small amount of dusky color at tip of bill, short bill, and appears large headed, good contrast to the wing bars. I'm not great with Flycatchers, so will probably be contradicted.
 

robinm

Registered User
Thanks Lisa.

I posted the unknown in the ID forum where (atm) the balance is split between Least and Yellow-bellied. I found Chris Benesh's argument for Least fairly convincing. I must say I find the empids tricky.
 

Lisa W

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
I must say I find the empids tricky.

They are definitely tricky for me (as are female hummers, and sparrows). If Chris thinks it is a Least I'd go with it - he's an amazing birder.
 

Birdingcraft

Well-known member
Yes, that is a Least Flycatcher and nice image of one in breeding plumage too! Yellow-bellied would have more yellow on the throat, longer primaries, and an eye ring that is pointed to the rear.

Great birds in great places overall! Piping Plover for Canada is very impressive. It was fun to read that you got Spruce Grouse in Algonquin. That's also where I got my lifer Spruce Grouse.
 

robinm

Registered User
Days 18-26 - Nova Scotia

We have spent some time with my sister-in-law and her family who only moved to Canada 18 months ago.

We have been visiting some of the local tourist spots – like Peggys Cove. We also spent some time at her friend’s “cottage” on a lake from where we her also able to spend some time in Kejimkujic National Park.

One day from Lunenburg we take a boat trip. It is very rough and wet. We don’t see any whales (a bit early in the season) but we do see Puffin, Eider, Razorbill and Black Guillemot and a small number of seals.

We also add Northern Parula to our trip list.

We see many orchids known as Moccasin Flower and a few White Lady's Slipper (correct me if I’m wrong on these) - both closely related to UK Slipper Orchids.

On our last morning at her friend’s cottage we find a superb Swallowtail butterfly on their beach which we watch for several minutes. We identify it as Eastern Tiger – hopefully someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

A few photos: the first hummer of the trip, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Moccasin Flower and White Lady's Slipper.
 

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robinm

Registered User
We are off tomorrow - with our next stop Arcadia National Park in Maine. Will be without internet access for several days.
 

robinm

Registered User
We are back home now. For various reason I have not been able to update this but I will complete the trip report soon.
 
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