Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Jaegers in Mississauga!

This evening, David Szmyr and I drove down to the Lake Ontario shoreline after work to try to find some migrant songbirds. With the cold front moving through, reports were coming in from Hamilton that a lot of birds were at the local migrant traps!

We met up with Kory Renaud (who was in Mississauga this week for work) and checked out Rattray Marsh. Much to our surprise, it was completely devoid of migrants! I don't think we found a single migrant songbird in the 45 minutes or so we walked around the place. Eventually we decided to check out the lake to see what was out there.

Not 5 minutes later, Dave had picked out a jaeger heading east! We got on it - an intermediate juvenile Parasitic that was not too distant. It was a lifer for Dave and only the second one ever for Kory, so it was pretty exciting to watch it pick up speed and harass gulls.

Kory looking for jaegers

We got on a second jaeger not long after - a Long-tailed! It was either an adult or second alternate bird and was a lifer for both Kory and Dave. We spent the rest of the evening parked out on the lake, hoping for more pelagic species as a light southeast wind blew off the lake. Two more jaegers appeared briefly from the west, traveling together. They picked on a few gulls before turning and heading back the way they came. Those ones were different individuals than the previous jaegers and were likely both Parasitics (tough to say for sure with distant looks).

Throughout the rest of the evening we got brief looks at the Long-tailed flying around to the east, but no other pelagics showed. It was an exciting few hours at the lake, and certainly beat the lack of songbirds!

As far as I am aware there are no previous records of Long-tailed Jaeger from the Regional Municipality of Peel. If someone knows otherwise, please let me know. :)

Toronto as seen from Rattray Marsh


  1. Everyone at Point Pelee is now on high-alert mega-rarity watch, because Kory is in Mississauga all week for work!

    1. Come on it's Wednesday and I haven't seen a report yet! You guys are slipping down there. LLBs!

  2. Ok, here is an interim report: This morning at the Tip myself and Mike Nelson saw singles of Sabine's Gull, Franklin's Gull and Little Gull. We are just warming up!