Thursday, May 15, 2014

USA day 8: crazy migrant fall

After giving the successful talk last night at Rochester, we started off early this morning. We headed over towards Lake Ontario to get some migration. We started off at West Spit, and as soon as we got out of the car we noticed that this was a big and special day. Every tree was dripping with warblers, and the amount of bird calls and song was astonishing - it really filled the air. We met up with Catherine and Luke, and started birding together, working the lakeside vegetation and gardens. It was truly awesome - both the volume and variety, and the colours of course. Not only warblers were exploding, but also lots of flycatchers (Yellow-bellied, Least and Willow) and thruhes (Gray-cheeked, Swainson't and Veery) which was great. The commonest warblers were Magnolia, Yellow-rumped and Wilson's. On the lake there were Long-tailed Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers. About 10 Bay-breasted Warblers were very nice. This was the first time that I felt what a proper fallout should be like and it was great. I didn't want to leave but we had to move forward.

Bay-breasted Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler 

Yellow Warbler 


 Gray-cheeked Thrush

Brown Thrasher 

Cedar Waxwings - several flocks flying around 

We spent about an hour at Bradock Bay Bird Observatory. They experienced this same fall of migrants in their nets and had a bumper day. Despite being very busy, the observatory team was great and very friendly, and I learned a lot about the way they work and develop. And the birds were just gorgeous - I felt I was in a candy shop, chosing what bird I want to photograph.

Wilson's Warbler 

Magnolia Warbler

Canada Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler 

Northern Waterthrush

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Lake Ontario - thanks Jonathan

 Everybody look up!

In the afternoon we said goodbye to Laura and drove over to NYC. Long drive but stunning scenery, and we were happy to get here in the evening and enjoy a cool evening here at NYC.

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