Saturday, 7 September 2013

Long weekend birding update - Sunday

I started the morning early by checking the onion fields for shorebirds. I heard that there was a field near the TSC store in Leamington that consistently had American Golden-plovers, so that was on the agenda. Indeed it did and I counted approximately 310 of them - a good number for Point Pelee! A few Black-bellied Plovers were also present but I couldn't turn up anything rarer there.

I went into the park and met up with Kory Renaud for a walk down to the tip and back. We had a few nice pockets of migrant songbirds and came up with 15 species of warblers. The highlight was definitely the Golden-winged that Kory first spotted - the first I had ever seen before in autumn migration.

The number of flies down near the tip was absolutely insane! Kory was covered by them, as was Mike Nelson who we ran into at the tip. For some reason they left me mostly alone - probably due to my darker pants...

Kory and friends

We met up with Chris Law and Pauline Catling on the way back from the tip and decided to check out Blue Heron, since it was so productive the previous day. No luck there, and feeling a little bored, we decided to try the tourist trap known as the "marsh boardwalk". I much prefer going into the actual marsh via canoe/kayak, but even the marsh boardwalk occasionally has good birds! As we were walking along the south side of it, a small heron-type bird flushed into the edge of the reeds. Least Bittern! Of course I had left my camera in the car (to increase the odds of seeing something really great), so I went back to retrieve it. The LEBI was still around but slightly more hidden. This was my first autumn record of this species.

Least Bittern - Point Pelee National Park

Least Bittern - Point Pelee National Park

The rest of the day had few highlights as I didn't do a whole lot of birding. I did meet up with Jeremy Bensette for a paddle in the marsh that night, but by the time we got out there we only had a little bit of light until sunset, and we ended up making the long paddle back in the pitch black.

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