Sunday, 30 August 2015

A Blue-winged Warbler!

Free days to bird will be numbered for me for the remainder of the Autumn season, so when I learned yesterday that I didn't have to be at the hospital today I quickly made the decision to be on the Cape Shore of the Avalon by sunrise.

The focus was shorebirds and warblers. With almost two hours of warbling behind my by 8:15 with very few individuals (<30) seen, I pulled into the gravel pit just North of Branch without high hopes. I was surprised to note many warblers flitting about before I could stop the car. For whatever reason I immediately thought about Blue-winged Warblers. Sure enough one popped out almost immediately!

The dusky cap connecting with the nape confirms that this bird is a first year - not surprising!

This was my first Blue-winged Warbler for Newfoundland. Now just waiting for one with golden wings!

My first ever photograph of a Spotted Sandpiper - I noticed this hole in my photo albums when trying to compare juvenile Spotted Sandpipers with the Common Sandpiper of Europe. There are very subtle differences between the two species. It's probably crazy of me to wish for one here especially considering the few records in Iceland and Azores islands...

A family of Foxes was nice. Mom kept her distance as the two pups cautiously approached me with curiosity.

One of many thousands of Northern Gannets at the Cape St. Mary's breeding site:

The juveniles are coming along and are beginning to stretch their wings.

Atlantis Fritillary - a common species of butterfly in open country:

Magnolia Warbler - in the fall this species of warbler is very difficult to age. The adults and juveniles look very similar. Except for very dull first year birds they shouldn't be aged in the fall.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Some last photos from Texel

A collection of some of the images that never made it on my previous 3 blog posts. I took these while on Texel island, Holland earlier this month.

Somebody is watching:

Lots of gulls trolled the ferry as it made its crossing looking for handouts. They were very tame, coming within centimetres of the passengers!

Eurasian Kestrel - will Newfoundland get one in my life time?

An adult Eurasian Osytercatcher, with 2 younger ones:

Common Redshank:

Common Ringed Plover - even though it's in juvenile plumage the facial mask of these birds is noticeably different in the field and does pop out for me after closely studying so so many Semipalmated Plovers. Hopefully that image will appear in my view within the next few weeks...

Friday, 21 August 2015

Shorebirds and a Tern

I came back from a 4-day canoeing trip yesterday only to learn that there had been a White-winged Tern found near St. John's. After a rushed drive back I was happy to see the bird for myself:

The canoe trip didn't involve much dedicated birding - we followed the Ragged Harbour river downstream to the Ragged Harbour community.

Check out this time lapse I made of the sunset and rising tide from one of our campsites:

The nearby community of Musgrave harbour was a great spot for shorebirds. One highlight was a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper:

Juvenile Short-billed Dowitchers always excite me with their colourful orange plumage:

A Hudsonian Godwit was an unexpected find for August - I made sure to see the dark underwings to prove that it wasn't the rarer but very similar looking Black-tailed Godwit:

A sick Black-legged Kittiwake offered me my best view yet of this species while I was studying two nearby dowitchers.