Thursday, June 21, 2018

End of Spring: Warblers and Shorebirds

The last 2 weeks of spring brought warblers and shorebirds to Northern Ontario; some were a bit late but most of them arrived close to their usual date. I couldn't get out as much as I usually do but I managed to check Porcupine Lake as much as I could.  I also went to Moonbeam for a few days around May 20th and visited the Moonbeam Sewage Lagoon and the René Brunelle Provincial Park.  Even though Moonbeam is just 1 hour north of Timmins, spring arrived later there. There were still some snow piles in the forest on May 20th!

Magnolia Warbler / Paruline à tête cendrée
Moonbeam Sewage Lagoon (20 May 2018)
Wilson's Warbler / Paruline à calotte noire
Moonbeam Sewage Lagoons (20 May 2018)
Northern Parula / Paruline à collier
René Brunelle Provincial Park - Moonbeam (20 May 2018)

Cape May Warbler / Paruline Tigrée
South Porcupine (1 June 2018)
Photographing warblers is always a challenge, especially with my camera which is a point and shoot (very slow with no manual focus).  The warblers that I am finding the hardest to photograph are Orange-crowned and Blackpoll.  I tried again this year and this is the best I could do:

Orange-crowned Warbler / Paruline verdâtre
Moonbeam Sewage Lagoon (21 May 2018)
Blackpoll Warbler / Paruline rayée
Porcupine Lake (29 May 2018)
As always, the Winter Wrens were singing everywhere at René Brunelle Provincial Park and I managed to capture this one.  It was fun to watch it sing a few times on a pile of dead trees.

Winter Wren / Troglodyte des forêts
René Brunelle Provincial Park - Moonbeam (20 May 2018)
During the last part of May, we had a few shorebirds stopping to rest and feed at Porcupine Lake. This doesn't happen every spring but this year the unusually dry spring produced low water levels and provided a decent exposed shoreline for them.  We were able to observe 2 shorebird species that are rarely seen in our area: the White-rumped Sandpiper and the Ruddy Turnstone. The White-rumped Sandpipers we found were surprisingly the first to be reported for Porcupine Lake.

White-rumped Sandpiper / Bécasseau à croupion blanc
Porcupine Lake (26 May 2018)

White-rumped Sandpiper / Bécasseau à croupion blanc
Porcupine Lake (31 May 2018)
Ruddy Turnstone / Tournepierre à collier
Porcupine Lake (8 June 2018)
These more common shorebirds also stopped by Porcupine Lake on their way north.

Semipalmated Plover / Pluvier semipalmé
Porcupine Lake (8 June 2018)

Dunlin / Bécasseau variable
Porcupine Lake (27 May 2018)
Semipalmated Sandpiper / Bécasseau semipalmé
Porcupine Lake (25 May 2018)
Least Sandpiper / Bécasseau minuscule
Porcupine Lake (25 May 2018)

On the same day that we added the White-rumped Sandpipers to the Porcupine Lake checklist, we added another new species: Black Terns. 

Black Terns / Guifette noire
Porcupine Lake (26 May 2018)
In other news, the Porcupine Lake Gray Catbirds are back for the 4th year in a row.
Gray Catbird / Moqueur chat
Porcupine Lake (11 June 2018)
I hope you all have a great summer! We are planning a short camping trip to Wheatley Provincial Park sometimes in July. It will be our first time camping in that area. I'm not sure what the birding situation is like near Wheatley in summer but I hope I will get the chance to see at least a few new birds.  In Wheatley, I don't think we'll be running into many of these guys like we do here.

Black Bear in our front yard
South Porcupine (16 June 2018)