I joined John last week to help him scout out birds at Presqu'ile in advance of the Pickering Naturalists' club outing and managed to fake (and even maintain, at times!) a smile on my face while studying shorebirds at Owen Point!!
All kidding aside, we bagged forty-eight species in high winds from the northwest, four of which were Lifers for me, whoohoo! Another birder at the tip pointed out to us juvenile Ruddy Turnstones and Red Knots, visible only through our scopes and both Lifers for me. Both Common and Caspian Terns were seen on the tip or at the beach, as were Black-bellied Plovers, Dunlin, Bonaparte's, Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, American Wigeons, Canada Geese, and Double-crested Cormorants. A single Whimbrel (an Ontario first for me) was hunkered down in a grassy patch, which we would have totally overlooked were it not for the other birders helping us out.
Sanderlings, my third Lifer for the day, are pretty little sandpipers with black and white markings above as juveniles...
...more of them, mixed in with a pair of Semipalmated Plovers:
My final Lifer for the day was Baird's Sandpiper, which were plentiful on the beach as they tend to forage for food on the drier side of the beach:
On the songbird front, as we made our way back to the van it was virtually silent, so we contented ourselves with Gentiana crinita (hah, Doug!)...
...as well as an unusual snake for both John and I, a Northern Red-bellied:
We continued along to Bayshore and encountered a Wild Turkey on the road, perhaps the same one that reportedly is playing Chicken with cars:
At the Lighthouse, we entered the magical world of Monarchs...
...and the magical world of Hummingbirds, all Ruby-throats that were feeding, then resting and preening on branches, after occasional skirmishes with one another too! It's taken me days to edit the hundreds of photos, but here are my faves:
And yes, that's the tongue sticking out!
I'm amazed by the size of its tiny feet!
Between the hummers and the monarchs, we were hard-pressed to find any other birds but we did see this Palm Warbler pumping away with its tail:
We left the park and had lunch in Brighton before heading over to the Constructed Wetlands (Note: word on the street (thanks, Skip!) is that John gained a new Timmie's Lifer on Saturday, congrats, John!)
A young Spotted Sandpiper stood on a log, all puffed up:
Both Blue-and Green-winged Teals were seen, along with Wood Ducks, a lone Northern Shovellor, Mallards, Hooded Mergansers, both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Least, Pectoral, and Stilt Sandpipers, without my eyes glazing over even once with the number of shorebirds!
An Eastern-tailed Blue butterfly rested in a sea of yellow along the edges of the water...
...as did a Band-winged Meadowhawk:
All in all it was a great day and a welcome change from my usual Kawartha haunts.
Speaking of which, this afternoon I found this unusual insect on our garage door at the cottage, isn't it the coolest thing you've seen so far today??!! Master John researched it for me and advises that it's a Phantom Crane Fly, with a missing leg, thanks again, John: