Monday, 3 December 2012

Purplepalooza, 2012 edition

This past weekend, several of us ventured east to Presqu'ile Provincial Park to partake in this year's Purplepalooza, the 2012 edition. Purplepalooza was started way back in 2010 by Doug McRae and is just an excuse for a group of birders to head to Presqu'ile, look at Purple Sandpipers, and have an amazing pancake breakfast afterwards at Doug's place...

I drove up Saturday night with Brett Fried and Jesse Pakkala and spent the night at Mike and Erika's place near Belleville (thanks, Mike and Erika!). The following morning we met up with the group and prepared ourselves for a morning birding in steady rain and wind.

Despite the less than ideal conditions, the birds were fantastic! Of particular interest was the shorebirds, which consisted of four individuals of four species - Sanderling, Dunlin, Purple Sandpiper, and White-rumped Sandpiper! For those winter listers, both Sanderling and White-rumped are very good winter birds with few records for Ontario. David Bell took quite a few photos of the quartet, which often were feeding side-by-side.

Other decent birds seen near Gull Island included 2 Lapland Longspurs (with the Snow Buntings), several Common Redpolls, at least 3 Snowy Owls, a Northern Harrier, and the tail of a Barred Owl, which presumably has had better days!

We checked the Lighthouse and Bayshore Drive for the male Barrow's Goldeneye and a Red-throated Loon, but came up empty. From there it was on to Doug's place for brunch! Possibly the highlight of the weekend...

I actually neglected to take my camera out even once, so this post is a little sparse on photos....however I will be going to Niagara several times over the next few days, and I have some Barn Owl searching that needs to get done! Stay tuned...

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