In the second of my three part series about my visit to Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in New Jersey I focus primarily on egrets with a dose of Black Skimmers. Egrets were plentiful along the auto drive route providing several photo opportunities.
During late September and early October I made my first birding trip to Cape May. I had carefully selected my dates with an eye to seeing a number of migrating species, including hawks (more on that in a later blog post). What I failed to forecast and plan for included poor wind direction from a birding perspective with winds coming mostly from the Northeast or East during my stay. I was informed by one of the hawk watchers that winds from these directions are not that frequent and normally don't last more than a day or two.
On November 30 I drove from Niagara Falls, Ontario where I had spent the weekend looking at gulls and other bird species along the Niagara River to Whitby, Ontario where a Mountain Bluebird had been reported the previous day as well as early yesterday morning. I was thrilled to see and photograph the beautiful female Mountain Bluebird, a lifer for me, as it spent much of the day making its way back and forth along a pathway in search of bugs and insects.
For the past week or so a few Cave Swallows have been seen in the Oakville, Ontario area. My first observation of this species occurred on November 14. At the time, sunset was minutes away and lighting conditions were extremely poor. I managed to snap a handful of photos but the quality was poor both in terms of sharpness (or lack thereof) and high noise levels.
Earlier this week I went on a walk through parts of The Riverwood Conservancy in Mississauga, Ontario. At this time of the year, most leaves have fallen off trees and birds can be spotted more easily. With my bins and camera by my side I set off to see what photo opportunities were about. Many of the birds I came across are locally common; however, I was pleased to get several clean views and photos of birds that I have added to my website photo gallery collection.
About a week ago I was searching through a mixed flock of Dunlins and White-rumped Sandpipers. Nearby, I came across a lone Black-bellied Plover. Fall migration for Black-bellied Plover is quite long and can range from early July to early November (Dunne 2006). As I understand it, Black-bellied Plovers do not tolerate close approach, but in this case, I was able to get very good looks and photos of this particular individual.
On December 10, Chris Cheatle located a Palm Warbler at Bayfront Park in Hamilton County, Ontario. I checked eBird for Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and this was the only December record of a Palm Warbler I could find. On December 13, I joined Len Manning and Lisa Marie in an attempt to re-find the Palm Warbler. It didn't take long as Len heard a chip and quickly located it.
Early December in Oakville, Ontario is not typically a time of year when one expects to see either Tennessee Warbler or Orange-crowned Warbler. Yet on December 10, I had the good fortune to not only observe these two species; I was able to capture several uncluttered photos of each. It can be difficult to get unobstructed views of these birds past early spring; however, once the leaves fall chances of getting good views increase substantially. The location was the same as for the Northern Parula that I wrote about in a previous blog post.