In Wawa, the deepest parts of the woods still had a bit of snow. Hard to say whether it is a late spring or an early fall...it sure was cold at times!! Despite the snow, most of the migrants were back. It certainly felt weird since the combination of snow and lack of vegetation growth made it feel like early April, yet neotropical migrants like Swainson's Thrush, Least Flycatcher, and about 15 species of warblers were around!
|Ruffed Grouse - Wawa|
|Michipicoten River marina|
This morning, I had a few hours to spare so I did a bit of pre-work birding. Turns out, 5 Arctic Terns had been found at Kelly Lake in Sudbury, so naturally that is where I went. There is only one other record for the district! After about 10 minutes of scanning, I picked up a couple of terns in flight way out over the lake. One came close enough to ID - an Arctic! The other tern had other plans than to allow it's identity to be seen, so it will have to go down as a tern sp. A singing Alder Flycatcher was new for the year here, and an American Bittern was "blonk-a-donk" ing from a nearby reedbed.
So in a matter of a few days, Algoma District had its first Arctic Tern, Thunder Bay District its first, and now Greater Sudbury has its second! Obviously all those northeast winds certainly helped. It appears that Arctic Terns migrate along the east edge of Ontario, north to James Bay in the spring. These winds must have been enough to throw them off course to the west. Who knows how many more are out there?
I checked out the Chelmsford sewage lagoons this morning as well, and they were surprisingly productive. The flooded field to the north held over 100 shorebirds - most being Semipalmated Plovers and Dunlin. I did see my first Solitary and Semipalmated Sandpipers of the year!
|Solitary Sandpiper - Chelmsford lagoons|
The lagoons themselves are quite interesting, with the north cell being reclaimed with aquatic plants.At least 4 Soras were calling to each other, and I was happy to have a very vocal Yellow-billed Cuckoo as well. This is a bit farther north than their known range in Ontario.
As I type this, a flock of 15 or so noisy Evening Grosbeaks are trilling outside my door. I've never had these gaudy finches in May before!
|Evening Grosbeaks - North Bay|