Saturday, 15 June 2013

Piping Plover and RUTU leg flag

On June 4th I was doing a boat trip on the south shore of Long Point. When doing such trips I’m always on the lookout for shorebirds and there’s always something to be spotted. On this day I was very lucky to spot an unbanded Piping Plover feeding along the water’s edge. Had it been further up on the beach I almost certainly would not have spotted it. This species had been a nemesis bird of mine having never seen one before in Ontario. I have never bothered to twitch any of the breeders in other parts of the province and seem to miss them each year by some stroke of bad luck.
Ghostly colouration makes them hard to spot on the beach - particularly from a moving boat!

A note on some cool band recoveries: In late May I had a Ruddy Turnstone that was carrying a leg-flag on one leg and a geolocator on the other. I was able to read the leg flag and it turned out the bird was banded in Brazil back in February of this year! Then I saw a Caspian Tern with a white band and I could read the 3 letter code of that band as well. Turned out it was banded in Hamilton Harbour back in 2009 as a hatchling. We even had a racing pigeon turn up out here this spring and it turned out he was from the GTA. I wish there were more legbands/flags out there to look for as it’s really fun spotted them and getting feedback on the birds. It reminds me of when I was a youngster and we used to spot neck bands on Tundra Swans around Long Point.

 A photo of Charles the racing pigeon, or at least that's what we called him.

Nothing of note on the butterfly front...yet. Odes are increasing and I've seen 4 Painted Skimmer's so far but am hoping for something better...

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