Scissor-tailed Flycatcher still at Luther

Northern Wellington County Bird Sightings

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Scissor-tailed Flycatcher still at Luther

Postby Peter C. on Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:01 pm

Spent the first two days of this week on a little excursion to look for the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, up at Luthur WMA. I missed it my first try, but this time, was taking no chances - I arranged to stay overnight in the area, so as to get two "cracks" at it.

In theory, at least. In point of fact, we arrived too late Monday to get over to the north-east part of the marsh that it has been frequenting. We had to settle for an excursion into the far south-west corner of the marsh, near Damascus. At that point, there is a long east-west driveway (gated) which leads to the main "lake". There wasn't much light left at this point but we did get to see a few ducks and other things: Pied-billed Grebe, Mute Swan (FOY), several Great Egrets, a couple of Osprey, and at one point, a Bald Eagle (FOY). Tremendous excitement when we both heard a very unfamiliar call - coming from over our heads! Looked up to see a flock of about 10 Black-bellied Plover flying by (also FOY).

The next morning headed up around the top of the marsh, to the Monitcello area. That east-west road between Monck and Monticello, passes through some excellent habitat - it's a bit quiet at this time of year, but the marshes are full of potential. Certain unfortunate circumstances (don't ask) forced me to walk part of the way, but I was rewarded with a sighting of a very close and confiding Sora (another FOY - and about bloody time, too! I've been looking for that species since May...).

It was a bit of a walk, but not too much, into the marsh to find the flycatcher - no way would I have seen it from the road, in any case. It seems to be very loyal to that one area of upland, south-east of the "no hunting" sign by the big rock with the plaque on it. There is a long line of bushes the runs up the slope, and he was foraging in that. I was surprised to see how small it appeared - it seems to have lost some tail feathers since Peeter and Heidi took their photos.

Also present in the Monticello area - Pied-billed Grebe, a few Hooded Mergansers, many Blue-winged Teal, an American Black Duck, more Great Egrets, a Northern Harrier, several Kingfishers, and one more FOY species - a pair of Trumpeter Swans with six cygnets.

I didn't have time to get into the hinterland, unfortunately (still looking for a Ruffed Grouse) but it was a great trip. 8)
Peter C.,
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Peter C.
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