Saturday, 16 November 2013

Pelee rarities day two...

Another great day of birding at Point Pelee...

photo by Jeremy Bensette

I was a little late arriving at the tip this morning, and Steve Pike and Alan Wormington had already seen a Pacific Loon fly by with three Common Loons. That would have been a new Pelee bird for me. It didn't take long for another great bird to make a sighting. It was a juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake that Alan spotted, and it was close enough that we were able to take a few distant photographs.

Kittiwakes are pretty much annual at Pelee, and this was the second one this year after one seen in early January.

Not long later, I got on a second kittiwake flying south along the east side of the tip. This one was even closer and we were able to see it circling over the tip.

Other highlights included many pipits and Horned Larks, a bunch of Horned Grebes, two more Eared Grebes (including one that sat in the water offshore for a few minutes), a Merlin, a Long-tailed Duck, a Red-throated Loon, and many Common Loons. Not a bad morning at all!

Steve Pike and I birded together for the rest of the day and had a few notable sightings. The first was an Evening Grosbeak that we heard several times near the end of Shuster trail. A decent group of birds were there too, including many Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Later we checked DeLaurier. We ran into Alan who had spent several hours there, seeing a House Wren, Gray Catbird, and a bird that got away that might have been a Townsend's Solitaire. Steve and I had only walked south for about 15 minutes when we happened upon several groups of Cedar Waxwings. He saw a suspiciously large bird with them, yelled it out, and I got on it as well just before it landed in the trees. He thought it might have been a Bohemian Waxwing, though we both weren't certain that was what it was.

We walked up to the group of trees while the waxwings stayed there, feeding off a type of berries. The larger bird was there and it appeared to be a Bohemian! The rufous undertail coverts really stood out.

Other ID features include longer crest, gray body, larger size, and more drawn out, rattling call. Bohemian Waxwings aren't annual at Point Pelee and it was in fact my first and Steve's second.

We finished the day by checking the onion fields, Hillman Marsh, and Wheatley harbour. A ton of gulls were in the harbour but we weren't unable to turn up anything too interesting in the fading light. 

It was another great day in the Pelee area and we have high hopes for tomorrow morning.

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