Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Swallows and Swallowtails

The lovely bright morning was a pleasure, even if such weather implies that the birding's going to be a bit on the crappy side...
A single Townsend's warbler, and a couple of Wilson's warblers were seen, and heard. A silent flycatcher (probably a Hammond's, on appearance) briefly showed too, but it was a touch quiet along the Government House Woodland Trail otherwise. The usual Bewick's wrens and orange crowned warblers joined the towhees and robins in their vocal declarations, while tree and barn swallows chirupped busily overhead.

Yesterday, Jenny and I headed up to Mount Tolmie (after observing some of the Victoria Day Parade, of course). We'd been meaning to go and take a peek at this place for a while, and we took a picnic up there. Given the lovely clear conditions, the views were spectacular. I can see now, why this spot would be worth checking out in good fall conditions - the habitat, and elevation, make it a great place to search for early morning migrants.

I saw my first Anise swallowtail (pictured) of the year - always a treat!
Bird-wise it wasn't too thrilling, hardly surprising given the time of day. We did see red-tailed hawk, 5 turkey vultures, a warbling vireo, chipping sparrows, an olive-sided flycatcher, a single brown-headed cowbird and the usual Anna's hummers, Bewick's wrens etc. Given that it took less than 10 minutes to drive there from home, I'll certainly be heading that way next time we get some promising conditions.

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