Saturday, 20 August 2011

Finally! A change at Tilbury

This morning when I posted I lamented how, despite excellent conditions, the rare birds were just not showing up at the Tilbury lagoons. I did have an American Avocet there early in July, but ever since then the rarest birds have been the regular Long-billed Dowitchers.

It seems that for today at least, the curse was slightly broken. While no rarities were found, there was a huge change in the numbers and diversity at Tilbury with a few interesting birds mixed in. Beforehand, let me mention that the quality of the photos leave something to desire. The birds were a little too far away for me to use the 300mm, so I resorted to digiscoping with my 18-55 lens.

My coworker, Matt, and I took a break from work and made the quick trip over to the lagoons. One of the first birds we saw was this Horned Grebe, hanging out with a couple of Pied-billed Grebes. What a weird sighting! I have never seen one at the lagoons. It almost seems that an Eared Grebe would have been more likely.

Horned Grebe - Tilbury lagoons

Around this time, another car pulled in and I realized it was my friends Ken and Mike Burrell. They were doing a big loop of the southern Ontario shorebird spots and had already seen an Upland Sandpiper at Mitchell and 2 Red-necked Phalaropes at Exeter. Together, the 4 of us scoped the "shorebird cell" at Tilbury with a few highlights.

This juvenile Red-necked Phalarope stood out and was one of the first birds I looked at. I nice surprise, and a new one for my Tilbury list (as well as Ontario year list, but who's counting).

juvenile Red-necked Phalarope - Tilbury lagoons

Stilt Sandpipers had arrived. Earlier in the fall I had seen 1 or 2 adults, but today 3 juveniles were present. Neat looking birds, and one of my favorites.

juvenile Stilt Sandpiper - Tilbury lagoons

I was happy to finally see a few Baird's Sandpipers at Tilbury - the first ones of the fall for me here. They were both juveniles.

juvenile Baird's Sandpiper - Tilbury lagoons

Of course there were still Dowitchers - 3 adult Long-billed, and the rest juvenile and adult Short-billed. Some of the Long-billed Dowitchers were quite far along in their prebasic molt. No pics today.

Other birds seen include 14 Great Egrets (a lot less than the 40 Blake had!), 2 Black-crowned Night-herons, both species of Teal, 5 Northern Shovelers, and 8 Wood Ducks.

This afternoon I brought my camera into the field with me in case I came across any butterflies. I found a few Fiery Skippers and an un-IDed Duskywing. My guess is Wild Indigo.

female Fiery Skipper - Turkey Creek, Windsor

I kind of like this shot of a Viceroy on the gravel path.

Viceroy - Turkey Creek, Windsor

This mama and her two fauns kept an eye on me as I approached.

White-tailed Deer - Turkey Creek, Windsor

White-tailed Deer - Turkey Creek, Windsor

That's all for now. I am hoping to go to Pelee first thing tomorrow, or at the very least Tilbury again.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see a change at Tilbury today. I saw all the egrets as I drove in and had my hopes up for a Snowy. NOT! Speaking of (k)not a Red Knot would have been nice in all those shorebirds.
    May be worth a trip tomorrow....