Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 28 and 29,2012 Thick-billed Kingbird at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Ontario

 The first record of Thick-billed Kingbird for Ontario was discovered last night, August 28th by Bill Gilmour at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Ontario. While biking along Bayshore Drive during the early evening, he headed to the bridge at Calf Pasture to look for Common Nighthawk. As he cycled along the road he heard an unfamiliar call and stopped to investigate. To his  astonishment, there was a large billed kingbird sitting on top of tree, a THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD!  After numerous phone calls, a small group of local birders were fortunate to see this spectacle and obtain photos, videos and record the call as the light faded. That evening, the alert went out and all were hoping the kingbird would stay at the roost site.  Early on August 29th, the Thick-billed Kingbird was observed at the roost area and spent most of the day feeding in the the area. At least 150+ birders came to view the kingbird as it fed in the open and was very cooperative for everyone.  This sighting is a first record for Ontario and a second for Canada. The first sighting in Canada was in British Columbia in 1974 at Qualicum Beach from October 20-November 11. Unfortunately, it was found dead on November 12.

The Thick-billed Kingbird having breakfast.

The Thick-billed Kingbird keeps close to its overnight roosting site.

The kingbird spent some time preening during the early only of the morning.

It was very successful in fly catching.

One of its early morning perches.

This was its favorite perch.

During the early morning hours it spent time preening.

It was very active feeding during the day.