Monday, April 30, 2012

P-P-P-Pelee Island #3

Hey Birders,

What a difference a day can make! Today started out pretty slow. Around 8am showers came through and lasted until 10:30am, afterwards activity was very high, with a very intense reverse migration taking place, lasting until 1:30pm. A rough guess of numbers of birds is around 3,100 birds (this is the 3rd highest reverse I've had in the past 3 springs).

Willet - 1 bird present at the Fish Point

Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1 first-winter bird at Fish Point

Reverse migration: it was a pretty awesome migration, most being warblers (2,800 birds). By far the most abundant bird were Yellow-rumped Warblers with 1,609 being seen! Other interesting birds seen included; 55 Palm Warblers, and Unidentified Warblers 1,250 (likely 95% Yellow-rump's).

Quite a number of birds were found for the first time this year; American Redstart, Cape May, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Wood Thrush, Veery, Baltimore Oriole, Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager etc.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

P-P-P-Pelee Island #2

Well, haven't posted anything on Ontbirds for the past few days, but I will once we hit May....there hasn't been too much new to really report.

The Yellow-throated Warbler(s) are still surviving in cold and wet weather. Mike and I heard one bird singing today, but will look for it tomorrow when it's a little warmer. Here's a pic of one of the birds from yesterday .

Today there was some new stuff around, including our first Least Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Lincoln's and White-crowned Sparrow's. Mike's heading out tomorrow and it looks like the Holden's are going to be coming down for a few days until they get there cottage all figured out.
Typical view during dinner at the cottage....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

P-P-Pelee Island #1

Hi Birders,

I arrived on the island last night and today was my first day on the island until May 20ish. There were a few things around, modest numbers of most migrants expected at this time of year. I also had some noteworthy sightings too!

Yellow-throated Warbler – a spanking male singing his heart out about 50m. east of my cottage. Got some nice pics! See my blog -

Louisiana Waterthrush – male (singing too) in the drainage ditch also near my cottage, on South Shore Road, west of Curry Dyke Road.

Some other interesting sightings included singles of Nashville Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Green Heron and Gray Catbird

A Worm-eating Warbler was present in the netting lanes at Fish Point from April 22-23.

Birders should note that currently the ferry (both!!!!) are inoperable, and will likely be so until May 12th. Flights are running several times daily from Windsor, out of Great Lakes Navigation at a cost of $15 roundtrip.

Good Birding!
Ken Burrell

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ken's guide to better birding, part 1

This is the inaugural post from my blog regarding a topic which has really been eating at me over the past few months, well years I guess - shitty Ontbirds posts. Now I don't mean to be rude, but the quality of some of the posts on Ontbirds has in my mind been deteriorating.

Take this past week as an example....we had a certain individual report about his usual jaunt over to the nude beach on the Toronto Islands, some 'random' reporting her car was broken into in the ghetto of Toronto (go figure), and some shitacular sightings of common birds from the Cambridge and Scarborough areas. I had suggested we use stricter guidelines for Ontbirds a while ago, but a certain person from TO was very against this, which kyboshed it.

But anyways, we'll see if something good is reported on Ontbirds over the next 24 hours. There should be a mega somewhere in the province.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gettin' ready for pelee....island

Yup, its getting to that time of year, when the push of neotropical migrants is starting to build, and over the next 6ish weeks we'll see the main push of spring migrants. I'm heading down to the island to 'set-up' my microphone for field work next Friday. For those that don't know, besides looking at 'reverse migrant's', I'm also going to be looking at nocturnal migrants with the 21C microphone, built by Old Bird Inc. this year, so it should be pretty neat.

There's some cool software that I'll be using to analyze the recordings - one is specifically designed to ID Dickcissel's! I've had 8 Dickcissel's since 2010, while doing reverse migration monitoring, so its likely they show up more frequently over night.

I'm hoping for a 'real' CMF this year....I haven't had any since the Western Wood-Pewee in 2010, so hopefully I'll get something along the lines of one of these....

Anyways, one of these guys would surely make my day.