[Ontbirds] Mountain Bluebird at Shetland, North of Thamesville

Allen Woodliffe awoodliffe at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 20 18:26:03 EST 2012

The Mountain Bluebird reported for the last couple of days near the Shetland Conservation Area was observed by my wife and I today, January 20, from about 11:45 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. The bird was accompanied by a female Eastern Bluebird. Neither bird was apparent for the first half hour or more of search, and after having seen a Northern Harrier, dark phase Rough-legged Hawk and a Northern Shrike in the general vicinity our fear was that the bluebirds may have left the area and another birder chose to leave. However eventually both bluebirds appeared in spite of the frigid cold (-18C).

The birds spent most of their time in a shrubby hedgerow on the east side of Kerry Road, between Bentpath Line and Bilton Line, and generally about 1.9 km south of Bentpath Line, more or less across from and a bit south of a row of large round bales at the edge of the field on the west side of Kerry Road. Occasionally they would fly out into the corn stubble to the east, sometimes for quite a distance, but would return to the hedgerow. They seemed especially interested in the Red Cedar trees on the far side of the ditch bank, presumably feeding on the fruits.One or two cedar trees had wild grapevines associated, and there may have been fruit remaining on them. Most of the feeding took place on the east side of the cedar trees, and the birds were not visible at that time.

Photos were taken and one will be submitted to the OFO rare bird photo gallery page editors.

Directions: from Hwy 401, take exit 109, and head north to Thamesville on county road 21. Go through Thamesville, and at the north end of the village, take Jane Street, which turns into county road 23. Follow county road 23 to Lambton Line (county road 22) and turn east (right) for one concession to Kerry Road and then turn left (north). The birds were observed along Kerry Road between Bilton Line and Bentpath Line.

Allen Woodliffe

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