Saturday, August 27, 2016

Such Variety

 After not taking a full day for birding in a long time, the trip Catherine B. and I took this week was very satisfying. At every turn, we had birds. In Cape Broyle we got distracted by a large mixed flock of warblers. How exciting it is to search with the hopes of finding a migrant among them. There were none, but it was a grand early-morning moment. When we moved to the beach, we had to really puzzle out the Pectoral Sandpiper in the distance. I hadn't seen one in two years, so I certainly didn't recognize it at first sight.
 Several places where we stopped in the morning, we could hear or see a fly-over of Common Loons. It certainly added to the atmosphere.
 Warblers, interestingly enough, were not in the typical hotspots, but rather were located in mixed groups in odd spots along the road.
It was not uncommon to see several species in non-traditional plumage. This American Robin presented a plumage I have never seen before.
 With Catherine's keen spotting, we were able to see this American Bittern in a wetland in Renews.
 Yellow-bellied Flycatchers showed up in several locations. It seems to be more of them than usual this year.
 The Common Yellowthroat we saw ranged from the drab colors seen on this bird to extremely bright. One thing was consistent ... there presence. We saw many of this species throughout the day.
 St. Shott's didn't offer much of interest. Hence, this shot of a group of starlings. As the recent appearance of a Brown-headed Cowbird demonstrated, it is always worth checking over these large flocks. For me, one of the best ways to do a proper "look-over" is to catch them in flight. I also find that approach helpful when trying to identify shorebirds.
 St. Shott's beach offered up a few shorebirds, but nothing like it can. Over the next few days, the beach will likely fill up with peeps and maybe even something special. However, not on our day of birding.
 This young Tree Swallow appeared in the sky as we were walking to the car. Any swallow-like bird warrants a double-take at this time of the year.
 When we returned to Renews, we found many more shorebirds than seen earlier in the day. Three Redknot were seen one minute and then just disappeared. There were Short-billed Dowitchers and many more Black-bellied Plover seen in the afternoon. What was notable, really, was the high number of Lesser Yellowlegs seen both in Cape Broyle and in Renews.
One of the best moments of the day came in Portugal Cove South when we happened upon this immature Peregrine Falcon sitting on a wire by the road. It stayed with us for less than one minute before it flew off not to be seen again.

What variety of birds the day yielded. It certainly felt like the on-set of Fall birding. Exciting.

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