Posted in Atlantic Canada Birding

swimming and birding at Rainbow Haven July 9th

swimming and birding at Rainbow Haven July 9th Posted on July 9, 2015

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Cedar Waxwings “kissing”
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Savannah Sparrow with fly

Often I say I hate living in Eastern Passage, but during the part of the summer that Rainbow Haven gets warm enough to swim I LOVE it here. That time has arrived.  And as a new birder, my favorite new thing on a day off is to walk the mud flats birding and then have a dip in the ocean before heading home. Today as I was driving in I could hear Cedar Waxwings and was lucky enough to see one swoop up to “kiss” another one. Parked up by the beach house and walked through the flat paths which are full of Song, Savannah, and Nelson’s Sparrows (my new fixation). The Savannah’s sound like flies buzzing when they fly but I wonder if it’s because they often have flies in their mouths?  If someone can enlighten me on that one I’d love to know.  Either way they sure do catch a lot of insects.

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the Savannah Sparrows really are sweet little birds not very skittish either so easy to snap
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Savannah Sparrow with a grub

There are lots of juvenile sparrows in the flats too so many protective chipping sparrows flying about the bushes.  They should call it Sparrow Haven perhaps.  I can’t tell the baby sparrows apart maybe next year.

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juvenile sparrow my newbie guess would be a Nelson’s Sparrow as always ID help appreciated
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juvenile sparrow perhaps Savannah?

Took a little wander up to the beach and the water was a little too nippy for me today, but I did swim after birding on Monday.   So headed out and stopped to check out the Short Billed Dowitchers, who are new to me.  There are lots of them flying around the Salt Marsh area and landing in the little pool by the causeway.   It’s neat because today there were Dowitchers, Yellow Legs, and Willets all hanging together.  Well it is a bird preserve after all.

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Short Billed Dowitchers
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Willet with Yellowlegs and Dowitchers I believe

A little further down toward the cottages there was a group of Willets causing quite a commotion flying into the marsh and with them landed a Bittern right next to the area where the Willet chicks are now.   The Bitterns do eat small mammals and frogs so I wouldn’t put it past them to grab a chick but these ones are getting pretty big and the adult willets were ferociously dive bombing the Bittern.  I left before things got ugly but happy to snap a new lifer.

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the Willet chicks did not move a muscle when the Bittern was in the nearby grass they knew there was danger
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the Willets are ready to take a piece out of that Bittern if need be
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Willet parent dive-bombing the Bittern
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creepy looking buggers these Bitterns eh?
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menacing looking facing the direction of the Willet chicks

Any day of the year you head to Rainbow Haven you will see something cool in the bird world, but if you can swim too I can’t imagine a better place in the world to be.