Thursday, August 27th
I birded NCC Shirley’s Bay Waterfront Trail (Trail 10) from just before 0630 AM to just after noon. Amazing birding! Northwesterlies overnight = many landbirds were present and I knew I had to get on them quickly, so, I arrived shortly after dawn.
My walk route was:
- Park at Barry Mullen Park
- Walk side trail to half way between Trail 10 D and E
- Walk to checkpoint D, then C, then B, then A, then F, then E
Here’s a link to the NCC Trail System map. Trail 10 is the first trail on the map: http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/sites/default/files/pubs/nccgreenbelttrails-ceintureverduresentiersccn.pdf
I took my time and crept throughout the trail network, pishing every time I encountered a flock (first detected by chirping of ANY kind). I like to hide my silhouette when I pause to pish and generally, I crouch down; breaking the silhouette really helps to keep birds around and curious, I find. Anytime there are chickadees, I let out a loud “PSSHHH” and hope they come and chicka-dee-dee all around me. That particular scenario happened a few times throughout my walk, and I racked the species up very quickly as they came through at eye level to investigate what was going on. With pishing I never go overboard. Often, a solid 10 second bout can sustain the curiosity of a mixed flock for quite a while….the key, I’ve found, is remaining motionless, completely silent, and concealed as I work on the ID’s of the birds present. Anyhow, on to the birds!
Thanks to chickadees, this Yellow-bellied popped up from dense cover to investigate what all the fuss was about. In late summer/early fall here in Ottawa, when I find Yellow-bellied Fly’s, I find them in dense, complex cover and at, or just above, eye level.
** See at bottom of this page for some comments on the variation of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher plumage **
Another view of the Yellow-bellied. Such a gorgeous bird!
While walking just W (roughly 300 m) of parking lot P2 off of Carling, I slammed on the brakes when I thought I heard the hee-errr raspy opening note of the song of a Yellow-throated Vireo. I conducted Species at Risk surveys for Cerulean Warbler throughout Frontenac Provincial Park this summer and fell even MORE in love with Yellow-throated Vireos in the process (my fav bird). I absolutely love their song. Anyways, I sprinted along the trail, adrenaline flowing, and pished. A few seconds later, out pops a Canada Warbler, then two Black-throated Greens, then several Red-eyed Vireos, then some chickadees…….no Yellow-throated. I pished some more….still no Yellow-throated appearing in the canopy. Then….I heard a sequence of scold notes that set my heart aflame; the Yellow-throated was about 10 m from me, right at eye level.
Female Black-throated Blue…note the “handkerchief” mark at the base of its primaries.
V-err………V-err…goes the inquisitive Veery
A beautiful Canada Warbler. Perhaps a first fall female given the light necklace and very limited black in the face.
First male Black-throated Blue for the day.
Black-throated Blue was foraging just above eye level, right next to the trail! (same bird as above)
Female Black-throated Blue. Note the sharp eyebrow, white under-eye arc, dark lores, and grayish cheek; gives off a “masked” look, doesn’t it? 🙂
“Traill’s” Flycatcher (Alder/Willow); robust, dark, limited eye ring, big bill, long and esp. broad tail.
Bay-breasted Warbler. What can I say…I am no wizard with my camera. I do what I can to survive on fallout days!!
eBird Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist?subID=S24784660
Friday August 28
3 Philadelphia Vireo, 1 Blackpoll Warbler, 1 adult male Mourning Warbler, and a single Olive-sided Flycatcher = the highlights along a 600 m stretch of path just N of the Watt’s Creek Pathway (0700 – 0900 h). Parking lot is nondescript….right across from Rifle Road, off of Carling Ave.
Olive-sided Flycatcher along Greenbelt Pathway W, just N of Watt’s Creek Pathway. This trailhead can be accessed off of Carling. Rifle Road is the road directly across from this trail.
First Blackpoll of the season! Note from this angle and in poor light: very long wings, short tail, dark eyeline, bright eye arc, fine bill (Bay-breasted have a stout bill)
Better view of the Blackpoll. A large, husky, long winged n short-tailed warbler with a fine, not stout, bill. Note the dark eyeline cutting through the bright eye arcs; and the fine streaks to the chest.