I almost canned my plans to check out some of the lagoons nearby after napping much longer than planned. In the end, I made the one hour drive to Blenheim, arriving with about an hour of light left. Due to my rushed schedule I didn't check out any of the lagoons and headed straight for the sprinkler system. The first bird that caught my eye was a huge shorebird with an upturned bill - an American Avocet. This avocet was much more advanced in its prebasic molt than the one I found at Tilbury, leading me to think that its a different individual. I watched it in the scope for about a minute before the shorebirds got spooked by something and took off. Last I saw of the avocet, it was heading south. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of this one because I left my camera in the car, and frankly, its a long walk back! Most of the shorebirds returned (minus the avocet), and they included:
30 Lesser Yellowlegs
20 Least Sandpipers
3 Solitary Sandpipers
1 Greater Yellowlegs
3 Pectoral Sandpipers
1 Semipalmated Sandpiper (first of fall for me)
X Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers.
As I was scanning the birds I could hear two Dickcissels calling, one on either side of me. Sweet! It appears that the late spring/early summer droughts in the southern states may have pushed quite a few into southwestern Ontario.
Also, when I entered the avocet in the book at Blenheim, there was a mysterious sighting for an avocet on July 18 at noon. Is it a typo or is it a prediction? Hmmm.....
I rushed over to Tilbury just before sunset to see what was around. And guess what I saw???
Not much, really. A few Black-crowned Night-Herons, a Short-billed Dowitcher, and a smattering of Least Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs among the usuals. I had a female Hooded Merganser with the ducks, which is a new Tilbury bird for me. As night fell, ~10 Chimney Swifts were hawking insects with the swallows. The duck flock is now growing, with now over 100 mallards and a few other things mixed in. Last fall quite a few teal used this place, so I'm going to predict a Cinnamon Teal this fall!