Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A little R and R is all that's needed...

On the weekend I returned from a whirlwind northern Ontario adventure that saw me travel from Waterloo on June 20th up to Rainy River (R and R...) for a day and a bit with Nathan Miller ahead of some dragonfly work we had secured with the MNRF near Thunder Bay.

With not too much time, Nathan and I traveled through the US, making it to Marquette, Michigan on our first night (June 20th), before arriving into Rainy River (R and R...) around 2pm on the Thursday (June 21st).

We quickly set about driving the 'good' areas around the area and were able to net pretty much all the expected prairie species that are typical to this area over the afternoon of the 21st and morning of the 22nd. We had some really interesting highlights:

- exceptional numbers of LeConte's Sparrows and Sedge Wrens, with cumulative trip totals of 67 and 108 individuals, respectively!!!

Sedge Wren briefly along the fenceline.

- good numbers of Clay-colored Sparrows (84) and Brewer's Blackbirds (88)
- Franklin's Gulls (500+), Yellow-headed Blackbirds (3) and American White Pelican's (110+) were also around, primarily near Lake of the Woods, by Harris Hill

- 3 Marbled Godwits including one at a new location (per eBird)
- 3 Sharp-tailed Grouse and 11 Western Meadowlarks throughout -- I love hearing these guys!

We also managed some decent rarities for the area too:
- the first Meadowlark we heard was an Eastern! I couldn't believe it! I got a really crappy shot of it here: https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46703582

Best of all was a male Dickcissel that we found nearby! https://ebird.org/canada/view/checklist/S46709291

With our whirlwind trip to Rainy River (R and R...) we motored onto Thunder Bay for close to a week conducting dragonfly surveys (I'll post about this in a few days).


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