huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

The Festival is Keeping the Birders Entertained!

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The festival has started and the birds are being discovered!! My wife and I are registered for action on every day of the festival and so far the birds and weather are certainly cooperating.

The first day with Michael Carlson guiding us along we saw 105 species of birds and although the morning started out damp and overcast the birds did show up !

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This Red-headed woodpecker was one that although distant did give us a good view as it was deciding waht to do. Even if there was a bit of a lull in the action the rain from the previous day made for a few good photo opportunities as this columbine shows.

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In one of the hardwood areas we managed to watch as an American redstart was busily gathering nesting material. Some birds are migrating through the area but others are setting up living quarters and are intending to stay and raise their young right here. Attending a guided hike and seeing the start of another generation of birds in the area is a wonderful way to spend a few days.

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The second day we went out Mike Burrell looked after helping us see many other birds and several species we hadn’t seen previously. Every trip through the Bruce peninsula seems to uncover more birds and more natural beauty as we learn of more places to revisit at various times of the year. The Grasshopper sparrows were willing to sit up and sing for us rather than skulk away in the long grass.

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The Eastern bluebirds were getting ready to set up a home but they couldn’t quite decide which bird box appealed to them most. As they made up their mind they gave us, who love to capture the moment a chance to do just that and show them posing in all their glory.

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On we went and new adventures awaited us. As the group trudged down the path from the Wiarton sewage lagoons after seeing a few birds on the water Mike noticed a kingbird that was quite a different color from the Eastern ones it was flying with.

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A rare visitor from the west, this Western kingbird got the crowd going as it flitted from tree to tree and had people doing their utmost for a photo to document the occasion. It was indeed a special opportunity to see a bird that seldom visits the area. Later on in the day as we visited Malcolm’s Bluff area east of Wiarton a Hooded warbler did come out to greet us and provide the group with some neck bending activity as we tried to follow its path through the forest canopy.

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Sunday we started the “Bird Til you Drop” day with Michael Carlson and after a few stops to pick up some of the local birds we were treated to a Michael Carlson special. His keen ears picked up the call from a Kirtlands warbler just as we were ready to head to Sauble Beach and VERY quickly the schedule changed. Due to the bird calling regularly we were able to track it down and get some nice views of this visitor to the area that breeds almost exclusively in the Jack Pine tree area of upper Michigan.

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It was going to be hard to top that bird for the day but others did give us a great view and gave us photographers a chance to document some of the birds that we saw.

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One of the Piping plovers from Sauble beach posed for us before taking up his nest duties as he changed over with the female. They now have 4 active nests in Sauble Beach.

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It’s nice to see these birds coming back a bit despite the challenge faced with predation of the Merlins, gulls and crows. As the day wound down we visited Isaac Lake and got views of the Sedge wren and a nice nest that the Yellow warblers were still building.

Sedge wren S.jpg

It appears that this Yellow warbler has been very busy and possibly adding more to the nest as it makes another layer to cover up possible eggs laid in its nest by Brown-headed cowbirds. The cowbirds love to have another bird raise its young but the Yellow warbler has figured out one way to possibly foil the plans of the cowbird.

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These warblers are very busy as they contionually bring more nesting material to make their home the most comfortable in the area.

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Monday brought more sunshine and more birds. The weather has certainly cooperated and it appears that it will again be perfect for the second weekend of the festival. With James Turland leading us on a hike in MacGregor Park we saw several Black-billed cuckoos, Indigo buntings and also a bird advertising “Quick three beer” 🙂 . The Olive –sided flycatcher can certainly be heard as it calls for its beer !

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Raptors were also out and two Broad-winged hawks gave great views as they cruised the air currents overhead. Some of these hawks breed near here but many are on their way north as they cruise the skies over Bruce County.

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As you can see the birds are out and with the great weather next week there will still be lots to see and lots to entertain the birders and photographers. There are still some spots left so come on out and see what the Huron Fringe Birding Festival has to offer. There are some great leaders with a few spots left to give you some GREAT birding opportunities.

 

http://friendsofmacgregor.org/page/registration

 

 

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Written by huronfringefest

May 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Posted in BIRDING

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