Maplewood: November 7th 2010

Sunday afternoon proved to be sunny with some clouds so I put aside my schoolwork and went birding at Maplewood Conservation Area. The tide was coming in when I arrived at the mudflats and the birds were positioned perfectly for observation with my scope; not too far out so as to strain the resolving power of ones eye, but distant enough such that a human presence doesn’t alter their behaviour or movements.

Right in front of the log where I was seated a group of Greater Yellowlegs foraged in the shallows. They hung around long enough for me to attempt some video by handholding my camera up to my scope’s eyepiece.

Also present at the mudflats was at least one drake Eurasian Widgeon. I didn’t have time to scan the entire flock for others as a Bald eagle flushed the group; they didn’t settle back down but instead continued flying west. Luckily the gulls decided not to flee the area entirely; interspersed amongst the Mew and Glaucous-winged Gulls were a handful of California Gulls.

On my way out I had the pleasure of watching a very late male Black-throated Gray Warbler flitting about in the trees nearby the bird feeders. Looking at eBird, I see that my sighting is the only one ever reported in November for the province! It’s also clear that the fall migration for this species appears to have petered out by mid October. I wonder what held this little guy up?

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