Monday, 7 May 2018

Long Point Day 1

Long Point; Old Cut
Because our flight in from Vancouver got in at 00.30 we were left with a dilemma. Drive down to Long Point overnight, or wait until morning before making the journey. We decided to go for the former, and it might not have been too bad but we lost our directions when my phone died and we had to wait an hour for it to recharge to the point it could turn back on. In that time we had already gotten lost in central Toronto. We pulled up at a McDonalds to ask for directions, but whilst Paul tried to work something out I had Skunk scuttle across the road and begin foraging in a neighbouring garden. Talk about a chance encounter! On the drive down we also had an Opossum in the road, seconds after seeing a dead one.
We arrived at Long Point around half four, slept in the car until six and then went round to the observatory where we were introduced to the members of staff and other volunteers. We got to see a few birds get ringed, including a trip target in Ovenbird. We also had a walk around the Old Cut plantation where we had a few nice species including Black and White Warbler; my most wanted warbler.
In the afternoon news broke of a Prothonotary Warbler in a nearby park, so we decided to twitch that. We were quickly able to locate it due to a small band of twitchers following it. The park had a few warbler species in it, as well as our first ‘Empid’ for the Long Point; Least Flycatcher. A Cedar Waxwing flew over as well, which was pretty exciting for us.
-Hermit Thrush
-Cape May Warbler
-Prothonotary Warbler
-Cedar Waxwing 
-Green Heron

Prothonotary Warbler - To have this rare warbler showing so well on our first day was really something we did not expect. It was either an adult female or a young male, as its head was not quite the stunningly bright yellow that I would have expected in an adult male, but it was still pretty bright. It showed really well, allowing me to get some cracking shots of it.
Black and White Warbler - My most wanted warbler for the trip was easy enough to find, although it was right at the top of a tree. People did not lie; it really did behave just like a Treecreeper, picking its way through the bark. What a cracking little bird, really awesome.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Our fourth Hummingbird species of the trip, but possibly the best yet! When one was nearby there was no high pitched noise, these actually buzzed like a large bee, and they were very approachable, with many feeders set out around the site to encourage them.
Solitary Sandpiper - Not quite as colourful as the other species around, but another of my most wanteds for the trip was this little wader. Sadly I was unable to get close to one but there were a few that we saw in flight and one that landed on a puddle next to us.
American Woodcock - It was already dark when we encountered this species. We walked outside to a chorus of ‘meep’ calls from the neighbouring woods. Without a torch we tracked down one calling from the car park and got silhouette views as it flew away from us. As an experience it was absolutely brilliant.  

Species List:
Long Point; Old Cut: Green Heron, Ovenbird, Yellow Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Gray Catbird, House Wren, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Towhee, Roe-breasted Grosbeak, Prothonotary Warbler, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Palm Warbler, American Redstart, Cedar Waxwing, Blue-headed Vireo, Swamp Sparrow, Brown Thrasher, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Warbling Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Double Crested Cormorant, Forsters Tern, Killdeer, Turkey Vulture, Least Flycatcher, Canada Goose, Red-tailed Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Ring-billed Gull, Brown Creeper, Blue Jay, American Crow, Myrtle Warbler, American Robin, Hermit Thrush, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, House Finch, White-crowned Sparrow, House Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow, European Starling, Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Purple Martin, Brown-headed Cowbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Wilsons Snipe, Eastern Kingbird, American Woodcock, Striped Skunk, Virginia Opossum, Eastern Chipmunk, American Red Squirrel, American Gray Squirrel, Eastern Cottontail, Meadow Vole,

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