Thursday, 18 April 2013

Conclusion of the Pelee trip

After my post a few days ago, things really slowed down at Point Pelee. Highlights were few and far between, and included:

-1 Cackling Goose with some Canada Geese on April 17 at Hillman Marsh
-1 Common Tern at the tip, April 17 (first of the year!!)


-lots of sparrows arrived in the park on April 16. I spent quite a bit of time unsuccessfully searching for a Henslow's or Le Conte's! All the expected species were present, however.

Red-winged Blackbird

-ducks: I spent quite a bit of time one morning combing through the massive scoter/scaup flock along the west side of the park. Mixed in with the scaup were about 200 Surf Scoters and several dozen each of White-winged Scoter and Black Scoter. A highlight was picking out a sleeping male Long-tailed Duck, a fairly rare bird on western Lake Erie. It called a few times as well. Unfortunately I couldn't pick out an eider of Tufted Duck in the group!

mostly scaups

-Louisiana Waterthrushes: at least 3 birds on April 16!! and that was just on the Woodland Nature Trail. Probably quite a few were in the whole park. The only other migrant warblers seen in the last two days included some Yellow-rumped.

first gnatcatcher of the year - April 15, 2013

-yesterday, a minor hawk flight took place, mainly including Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, and Sharp-shinned Hawk. I also saw singles of Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, and a surprise dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk. My first Bank Swallow of the year whipped by overhead, as did several Purple Martins.

male Purple Martin

Today I birded Elgin County for a few hours before heading home. I did some herping in the afternoon, and I'll put up some photos from that soon. As well, with this minor 2 day heatwave we are in the midst of, tomorrow could be very good for migrants!! I am going to spend the day birding the Hamilton area - something I've never done before in the middle of spring migration.

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