Thursday, 5 July 2018

iNaturalist and Other Recent Activities

Finally school has finished, so I've had a little bit more time recently to do stuff I've been wanting to do again for a while- mainly doing some mothing. There usually seems to be this little lull in birding in July-August, most birds have made it to their breeding grounds, set up camp and stopped singing, so not only have lots of birds left, the ones that are here are quiet and skulking around their nests. So naturally, I (and most birders) have to come up with something to fill our time. Many turn to moths, butterflies, dragonflies, orchids, and many other things. But, it turns out that there's way more moths than there is birds, so it can be quite daunting to get into. But thankfully, handy-dandy iNaturalist, and can essentially identify any living plant or animal with a picture. I had used it before, and found the website very hard to use (especially compared to eBird), but it has changed around quite a bit, and their app is fantastic. So, needless to say I'm back into it. And my rekindled interest almost perfectly aligned with the arrival of my sister's macro camera + lens, so it was shaping up to be a good summer (before summer school started that is). Here's just a bunch of random pictures from the past few weeks:



Pretty awesome right? And all of these things have been right in my own backyard...

Side from the use of iNaturalist, I also did a pretty late breeding bird survey near my chalet (grey county), which was pretty productive, highlights being Black-billed Cuckoos, Grasshopper Sparrows, over 50 Savannah Sparrows, adult and young Pine Siskins, Northern Waterthrush, and finally my incredibly overdue yearbird Sharp-shinned Hawk (#247 Ontario year)! Another recent highlight was last Thursday when I went down to Niagara to do some bat audio equipment monitoring, which got me a good number of Niagara birds, seeing as I pretty much only go once a year to the county- in December for gulls. On the way back we stopped in Port Dalhousie for the continuing Fish Crow. At first I thought it was going to be a no show, but then Lilian called me back to where a silent (but very suspicious looking) crow was eating out of a dumpster! I followed it around for a bit, but it took off east, silently, and I couldn't track it down. But then a pair of crows showed up, looking equally suspicious, and eventually one let out a squeaky "ah" when it got dive-bombed by a Barn Swallow. The pair hung out for a while, and the same kept calling, which was really nice to study! I felt pretty confident that both were Fish Crows, even though the one was silent. A nice bird to finally add to my Ontario lifelist, although I can't really complain, I've only tried for them twice ever in Ontario, so that's not too bad.

They should rename Fish Crows to Dumpster Crows, because that's all these birds would eat

And here's a list for the Fish Crows that has a record shot/recording of the Crows:

Looking ahead, I'm hoping to maybe head down to the Long Point area this weekend for some Common Gallinules or Louisiana Waterthrushes, or possibly to the Pinery for the Prairie Warblers. After that, a couple packed weeks of Grade 11 physics (yay), then a family trip to our cottage for a week, with a possible trip to Tobermory, or a bit (a huge) stretch maybe to Prince Edward Point for the Chuck-will's Widow. Then after that... I'm doing shorebird surveys in JAMES BAY for two weeks! It's going to be an awesome summer.
😁

2 comments:

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