Sunday, 23 October 2016

Down to Long Point

Having been a while since I was last in Norfolk county, I managed to visit the area yesterday for the first time since last spring.

First up was the Bird Studies Canada headquarters property in Port Rowan.

There was a decent bit of activity at the far end of the property overlooking the lake.
One of several pied-billed grebes working along the shoreline.
Ducks are beginning to build up in numbers out on the lake, but most were extremely far out.  With the scope I managed to pick out a large raft of canvasback, redhead and scaup.
Raptors were moving over in good numbers.

Including the following bird.  My first thought was young bald eagle, but after reviewing my photos I'm wondering if it is a golden.  I would appreciate any ideas.  I have yet to see a golden eagle so I don't have any experience with them.

There was lots of activity in the trees along the trail.  Massive flocks or red-winged blackbirds and grackles along with the usual other species.

Afterwards was an enjoyable drive along the causeway with periodic stops to check out the view and the ever present phragmites.

A good day in Norfolk

Saturday, 1 October 2016


I recently returned from an enjoyable trip to Tennessee. 

Magnolia tree

Magnolia tree

Common buckeye butterflies were a lot more common down here.

Common Buckeye, Shelby county Tennessee

While watching the buckeyes in a parking lot, I noticed a group of vultures soaring overhead.  The light wing tips identified them as black vultures, a new species for me.  Occasionally they are reported in Ontario, but down here they are just as common as the turkey vultures.

Black Vultures, Shelby county Tennessee

Black Vulture, Shelby county Tennessee
Another bird highlight was coming across a fully coloured male summer tanager.  My photos are zoomed as far as I could and cropped so they are not as clear as they could be. 

Interestingly, unlike the scarlet tanager who turns to a dull coloured winter plumage, the male summer tanager remains brightly coloured year round.

Summer Tanager, Fayette County Tennessee

Summer Tanager, Fayette county Tennessee
 Another bird highlight was hearing the nasal calls of the fish crow one morning.

I also saw many familiar species.
Northern Mockingbird, Fayette county Tennessee

Magnolia Warbler, Fayette county Tennessee

Brown Thrasher, Fayette county Tennessee
I had the opportunity to taste the fruit of this persimmon tree. 
Persimmon tree , Tennessee
Our Tennessee visit was right around the time of cotton harvest.
Cotton field, Tennessee

On the way home we toured through the Great Smoky Mountains .

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains

American Crow, Great Smoky Mountains
American Crow, Great Smoky Mountains  

Another stop on the way home was at Seven Islands State Birding Park.  I was hoping for a northern bobwhite, but none showed themselves. I did get several lifer butterflies and saw another five lined skink.  Much better views this time.
Seven Islands State Birding Park, Tennessee

Five-Lined Skink, Seven Islands State Birding Park, Tennessee
Gulf Fritillary, Fayette county Tennessee

American Snout Butterfly, Seven Islands State Birding Park,Tennessee
Pipevine Swallowtail, Seven Islands State Birding Park,Tennessee