Last night was quite cold, dampening the migration a bit, but a few new birds had blown in. I think that more birds moved out than in, since it was extremely quiet as I walked to the tip this morning!
As I was counting the blackbirds and Blue Jays reverse-migrating, the sun slowly warmed and I watched a young raccoon scrounging around the tip. The previous day I had found a raccoon which had fatally injured a Northern Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi) but made no attempt to eat it. That kind of pissed me off and I declared a personal vendetta against all raccoons.
Despite the fact that this guy would grow up to be a snake-maiming terror, I thought it was kind of cute. In the nice morning light I took a moment to grab a few photos.
And one more. I couldn't resist...
Friends from Guelph - Chris, Chris, and Pauline - as well as Pete and Sue Read soon joined me at the tip. Pete and I saw a small dark grebe diving near the tip at the same time, and upon binocular views, we realized it was an adult Eared Grebe in alternate plumage! What a stunning bird.
This was my 8th (!) Eared Grebe I've found in the past 4 springs. I don't know why I always come across them! It wasn't a year bird however - as I found one at Long Point earlier in the spring.
There had been a large concentration of scoters off of the west beach so I checked them out later in the morning. It was truly impressive to see over 400 Surf Scoters and 50+ Black Scoters. Many of them were displaying and calling, something I had never seen or heard before.
Steve Pike had mentioned a male Long-tailed Duck that was attempting to court a female scaup, much to the chagrin of the male scaup. I came across the Long-tailed Duck (new for my Point Pelee list), but it was much too far for photos. Its not often I see them in this plumage.
I realized at this point that I was a bit dehydrated and really tired (apparently its not wise to drink only coffee and beer for 3 days straight), so I ended up taking it easy and napping. Fortunately there wasn't much to see in the park! Tonight, Rick was gracious in offering up his place for me to stay again (thanks, Rick!) so I'm looking forward to not sleeping in my car. The forecast is improving and its about to get crazy in Ontario! Hopefully the inevitable rarities that show up aren't too far from Pelee...