23 May 2017
Not having visited Mitchell for a few months we decided to make that our destination for our regular Tuesday walk. All the regulars were present, except for Judy, and for this outing we were joined by John Pringle, an avid and highly accomplished bird photographer from Britain, a friend of Kevin Grundy with whom he is visiting.
As you can see, John has a lens bigger than most people's ambitions!
Our old friend Curtiss MacDonald was visiting the West Perth Wetland that day and joined our group too.
Originally a sewage treatment plant, this area has been transformed into a wetland which attracts a wide range of birds, and features a substantial shorebird presence during spring and fall migration.
Most of the northbound shorebird migration has already occurred and the southward movement has not yet started, but John managed to capture these stunning images of a lingering Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla.
One quickly appreciates what a skilled photographer with the right equipment and a full complement of patience and skill can do.
John was no less successful with this male Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas.
Francine had never had a really good look at a Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis so we felt it our bounden duty to serve one up for her.
Red-winged Blackbirds Agelaius phoenicius were seen and heard wherever we walked, males defending their harems.....
..............and females gathering nesting material and in some cases already feeding young.
It was a pleasant surprise to see three Ruddy Ducks Oxyura jamaicensis in one of the ponds.
There were many, many Canada Geese Branta canadensis with young - always a delightful spectacle.
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia, as might be expected, was ubiquitous.
Of the three species of swallow we observed Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor was far and away the most common.
Near the end of our walk we saw a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheuticus ludovicianus.
Eastern Kingbird Tyannus tyrannus was the default flycatcher for the day.
Francine captured a picture of our group.......
........ and it's not hard to see that we all have fun on these weekly outings. Mary was back with us for the first time in a few weeks and we were all delighted to welcome her back into the fold.
I haven't decided where we will go next week, but I can assure you that we will have a wonderful time together.
All species: Canada Goose, Mallard, Ruddy Duck, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Kildeer, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Downy Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, American Crow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, American Goldfinch. Total: 30.