Birds of a Feather?

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We made a quick trip down to Long Point to see if there was anything going on. It was a little chilly and windy and the trees were beautiful but we didn’t see too many birds. Perhaps also because we couldn’t get away until the afternoon as well. We are definitely aware of the shortening of the daylight hours too, as we try to catch the migrating birds.

We stopped at the marsh on the way into Long Point and there were no birds or ducks to be seen there at all so we carried on into the park and took a stroll along the beach. There were a few gulls and Canada geese but that was all. Walking back to the park we did spot this Meadowlark. It was hard to miss, it was so bright!

DSC_3643Meadowlark

DSC_3601 (2)Eastern Phoebe?

We also caught sight of a Northern Harrier that was soaring above the Waterfowl Feeding areas where flights of ducks were continually taking off and landing.

DSC_3602Northern Harrier

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DSC_3620 (2)A Lone Grebe

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Heading home in the early evening we noticed a commotion of blackbirds gathering on the road. As we continued the noise of birds in the field and trees along roadside got louder and louder. We stopped to take in hundreds, no, I would have to say thousands of blackbirds sitting in the corn stalks and taking off in huge flocks circling the area and landing again. It was amazing!

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At first we thought they were Starlings but as we got a closer look, we saw that there were a few different varieties of birds gathered together. I would say that the majority were Red-winged Blackbirds and Starlings. But if you looked closely you could see Brown-headed Cowbirds and smaller birds too like Purple Finches. It’s also interesting to note that, for the most part, the Red-winged Blackbirds that were summer residents of the area around Stratford and St. Mary’s seem to have left weeks ago so we were surprised to see so many this late in the season.

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Here is a link to another Ontario bird blog where Reuven Martin talks about segregation in groups of migrating Red-wing Blackbirds. http://reuvenmartin.blogspot.ca/2014/10/red-winged-blackbirds-feeding-on-maple.html.

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