PAUL ROEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Wildlife and Nature Photography

Good Birding Report: London, ON April 13-19 2014

This week's warm weather didn't just bring new birds to the area; Painted Turtles could be seen basking in the sun.

This week’s warm weather didn’t just bring new birds to the area; Painted Turtles could be seen basking in the sun.

This past week saw more consistency to the daytime highs and consequently more migrating bird species arriving in our area. Several first of year species were seen and with the weather looking to remain stable for the upcoming week, more will follow.

I finally saw my first Yellow-rumped Warblers of the year this past week after mentioning them as early returnees in previous posts. The number of sparrow species that have returned continues to grow with Field Sparrows now being added to the list. Chipping Sparrows have been regular morning visitors to my feeders this past week and White-throated Sparrows are more abundant. Northern Rough-winged Swallows can now be seen, along with increased numbers of Tree Swallows flying overhead in search of insects in areas close to water.

Many of the local ponds in the area are turning up several waterfowl species. Saunders Pond located in the Westminster Ponds ESA is a perfect example of this. Wood Ducks, Horned Grebes, American Coots, Common Mergansers, and Pied-billed Grebes were all present. A Great Egret was also observed on the north side of the pond, visible from the lookout behind Tourist Information on Wellington Road. In fact, the entire Westminster Ponds ESA provided great looks at many birds. The forest floor was alive with activity, with Hermit Thrushes and Brown Thrashers sifting though the leaf matter in search of insects. Eastern Meadowlarks could be seen and heard in the open field areas within the ESA. Five woodpecker species, the highlight being a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, were also found deep in the forests. A rather early Blue-headed Vireo was seen on the edge of the forest capturing insects. Vireos typically arrive later in April or early May, so this was a nice surprise.

Blue-headed Vireo

This Blue-headed Vireo was seen at Westminster Ponds ESA.

A complete list of birds observed this week is as follows:

Brown Thrashers could be seen sifting through leaves on the forest floors in search of insects.

Brown Thrashers could be seen sifting through leaves on forest floors in search of insects.

American Coot
American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Robin
American Wigeon
Bald Eagle
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
Brown Headed Cowbird
Brown Thrasher
Canada Goose
Carolina Wren
Chipping Sparrow
Common Grackle
Common Merganser
Dark-eyed Junco
Double-crested Cormorant
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Meadowlark
Eastern Phoebe
European Starling
Field Sparrow
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Great Egret
Hairy Woodpecker

Hermit Thrush
Horned Grebe
House Finch
House Sparrow
Killdeer
Mallard
Mourning Dove

Hermit Thrushes are another species found on or near the forest floor searching for insects.

Hermit Thrushes are another species that can be found on or near the forest floor searching for insects.

Merlin
Northern Cardinal
Northern Flicker
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Osprey
Pied-billed Grebe
Pileated Woodpecker
Song Sparrow
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-winged Blackbird
Ring-billed Gull
Tree Swallow
Turkey Vulture
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-throated Sparrow
Wood Duck
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Several Butterfly species emerged this past week including this Milbert's Tortoiseshell.

Several Butterfly species emerged this past week including this Milbert’s Tortoiseshell.

It wasn’t just bird activity that increased this past week. Reptiles, amphibians, and butterflies were all more prevalent. The calls of Spring Peepers and Chorus Frogs echoed from within flooded wooded areas. Painted Turtles could be seen basking on logs in the warm sun, and several butterfly species including Mourning Cloaks and Milbert’s Tortoiseshells emerged.

Spring Migration is really starting to pick up now that spring-like weather is finally here. The numbers of species previously reported will increase and new arrivals will be appearing over the next couple of weeks. If you get the chance over this period, head out to your local park, ESA, or Conservation Area and see what incredible nature we have right here in our own backyard.

Good birding,
Paul

 

 

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2 Responses to “Good Birding Report: London, ON April 13-19 2014”

  1. Gillian

    Love the turtle and the butterfly photos! I haven’t seen any turtles yet this year, and of the two butterfly species I’ve seen the Milbert’s Tortoiseshell wasn’t one of them. I’m hoping to see a Compton Tortoiseshell this spring, as it’s a species I don’t always seen. Maybe Sunday if it warms up in the afternoon….

    • Paul Roedding

      We were lucky to have a few days where the temperature got above 20C. It really brought out the turtles, butterflies ,and snakes. I also saw several Mourning Cloak butterflies, but was unable to manage a picture.

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