Monday, 21 May 2012

A few rarities along the lakeshore (with photos)

After the successful "triple twitch" the day before with Barb and I seeing/hearing Hudsonian Godwit, Piping Plover, and Yellow Rail, I returned home to my parent's place in Cambridge to spend the night before heading back to Pelee. I got the OK from Ken to have a morning off from doing the surveys so I decided that I would just relax for a day and not look at birds!

Of course, when doing a big year, plans often change. Right around noon, as I was getting ready to go buy a new computer with my dad, my phone rang - it was Alan Wormington. He had a Snowy Egret near the mouth of the Grand River near Dunnville! Needless to say I was on the road by 2:30 after the successful shopping trip. I figured I could make it to Dunnville, hopefully see the bird, and be back by dinner time!

I raced down to Dunnville, and while I was about halfway there my phone rang again. Alan again. This time he had a Laughing Gull at Nanticoke! I really gunned it as I approached Dunnville as I needed both of these birds.

Upon arriving near the mouth of the river, I checked several ponds. Eventually I spotted a small white blob perched precariously upon a stump - there it was!

Snowy Egret - Port Maitland, ON

I enjoyed this bird for a few minutes before moving on. I would have loved to have been more thorough checking out this stretch of the Lake Erie shoreline as it has fantastic rarity potential. I think that I will definitely scour this coastline this summer for rarities a fair bit.

My phone said it would take 56 minutes to get to Nanticoke - I may or may not have arrived much sooner than that. I went right to the spot where Alan found the bird, looked down to the shoreline, and there it was!

Laughing Gull - Nanticoke, ON

These two birds I had classified as code-3. While I hope to see nearly every code 3 this year, there are bound to be a few that will get away from me and I was worried that these two species I may not have a chance for. Normally Laughing Gulls show up in the spring, with the occasional summer or autumn record. Snowy Egret is a tough code-3 since there isn't a chaseable one every year.  It was great to get these two species out of the way.

Ring-billed and Laughing Gulls - Nanticoke, ON

I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy the gull before driving back to Cambridge. I would have loved to have spent the time to get better photos - guess that will have to wait til the next time I see one. I raced home and made it just in time for dinner - perfect.

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