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Migration Monday – May 22, 2017

Last post 05-25-2017 6:09 PM by Mark Milton. 0 replies.
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  • 05-25-2017 6:09 PM

    Migration Monday – May 22, 2017

    They’re back!  Warblers, and lots of them, are back in Timiskaming.  As of last Monday, I believe I had had reports of six species of warblers.  Now, a week later, nearly all are accounted for.  On the 16th, the first Northern Parula was seen at the Hilliardton Marsh.  Mike Leahy reported American Pipit from Harris township.  Mike Werner found American Redstart the same day at New Liskeard lagoons, and the next day, found Chestnut-sided Warbler at the same location, along with our first Bank Swallows.  Serge Gendron, at the same place, discovered Wilson’s Warblers, before going to Englehart lagoons to find Long-tailed Ducks.

    The true invasion came on the 18th.  At the marsh, Bruce and his crew of researchers reported Bay-breasted, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Blackpoll, Magnolia, and Tennessee Warblers.  They also picked up Swainson’s Thrush. The same day had some other highlights.  Mike Werner finally spotted Red-breasted Merganser at New Liskeard and some rarities for our district were observed by the growing team of “bird reporters”: Mike Leahy found a Whimbrel in Swastika, Ethan Quinton spied Common Terns on Round Lake, John Fournier and John Henderson reported a Scarlet Tanager near New Liskeard, and Serge Gendron discovered a Ruddy Turnstone at Haileybury.

    On the 19th, Serge had a Baltimore Oriole at his hummingbird feeder, and Mike Leahy found a Canada Warbler in Swastika.  Perhaps the most interesting warbler of the week showed up on the 20th, only the second-ever Pine Warbler to be banded at the marsh!  While Bruce was busy banding in Hilliardton, Jo Goddard reported a Clay-coloured Sparrow at Dawson Point.  On the 21st, Red-eyed Vireo showed up at the marsh, and Mike Werner observed the last of our expected warblers, Mourning Warbler, in the far south end of our district.  Gray-cheeked Thrush was banded at the marsh on the 22nd, and Mike Werner and I found a Red-necked Phalarope at the Englehart lagoons.

    The sad thing about spring migration is that it must come to an end.  There aren’t many species to expect between now and the shorebirds (and owls) of autumn… My “arrivals” list (which includes first sightings of resident species) stands at 190.  Although eBird shows 260 species historically recorded in Timiskaming, our record year since I’ve been keeping track is 215 species.  That means it’s going to get tougher to find new birds, and the 25 needed to reach that total would necessarily include some very rare vagrants.  By the end of the month, we can reasonably expect Short-billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s Phalarope, Cedar Waxwing, and Chimney Swift.  Anything else would be bonus, so please continue to report your sightings to eBird, timbirds.info, or to the Hilliardton Marsh!

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