Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15th...TONS O DUCKS!!

Wild Turkey male displaying along west beach trail, Point Pelee National Park. Photo by Marianne Balkwill.

Even though we had winds with a northerly component for the last few days I decided to go to Pelee anyway. I wasn't dissappointed! All the ducks, along the west side were right up close to shore! Then I realized.....I forgot my camera...D'oh!

Though cameraless, I did marvel in observing the hundreds of Scaups, and Surf Scoters through my binoculars and scope. Watching them sleeping, courting, mating, all up close, so close that it was easy to ID male Lesser and Greater Scaup by the head colour!

While scanning the lake I also noticed a few White-winged Scoter, 1 female Black Scoter, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Horned Grebes, Common Loons, 1 female Canvasback, 1 Northern Shoveler, 6 Ruddy Ducks, Cormorants, and Bonaparte's Gulls among the odd Ring-billed and Herring Gulls.

When I finally got to the tip from the west beach parking lot, the Red-breasted Mergansers were performing their ballet as the males dip their necks into the water, take a bow and then lift their heads up. 1 Greater Black-backed Gull was at the tip and I scared up a flock of Bonis and a Great Blue Heron. I scanned the east side and north, and saw ducks way up there. I decided to walk up the east side all the way back to Shuster's Trail.

10 Ruddy Ducks, 3 female Black Scoters close to shore, Buffleheads, Goldeneye, female Canvasbacks, Tree Swallows, and of course Scaups enjoyed the warm sun.

Land birds were few, and it seemed like nothing has moved in since last week. Brown Creepers, kinglets, Black-capped Chickadee, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Flicker, Hermit Thrush and of course, Yellow-rumped Warblers were present.

Did see my first AMERICAN PAINTED LADY for the year along the east beach south of Sparrow Field.

I then decided to take a shot to venture into the Tilden's Woods to look for Louisiana Waterthrush. I did pish out White-throated Sparrow, a Winter and Carolina Wren, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Lots of water in the woods, but no Louisiana today. The Cooper's Hawk nest along the trail appeared to be vacant as well.

All in all a nice 6 km walk. Nice fresh air, lots of ducks, and I barely saw another person out their today...boy will THAT be a lot different in 2 weeks!

1 comment:

  1. It's crazy how from 1 month to the next how empty that lake can be! I didn't end up seeing a single Scoter during May this year!! Also, those King Eiders would have been lifers for me :)