Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1st: In like a lamb

Looking south from the west side of the tip. As you can see, the lake on the west side is open, there is a nice sand spit, and the west side of the tip has gained quite a bit.....for now. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

I had some time to kill this morning so I went to Pelee to see what migrants were around for the first day of March. It seems to me that spring in Canada, or at least in Ontario, starts at Point Pelee. As soon as I turned down Point Pelee Drive this morning I saw Red-winged Blackbirds singing. I myself live barely a 10 minute drive to the northwest on Seacliff Drive and even I haven't seen a Red-winged Blackbird yet.

Today I checked out the tip and surrounding footpaths. There were not many waterfowl around this morning on the lake. The majority of the ducks were Common Mergansers, with males making frog like croaks in attempt to woe females. Other species included Red-breasted Merganser, Common Goldeneye, and Scaup. Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull seemed to be the only gulls around that I could make out in the scope. Migrating Horned Larks, Red-winged Blackbirds and the odd Snow Bunting made brief appearances in the sky. Other birds around the area included a few Common Grackles, White-throated Sparrows, Cardinals, Black-capped Chickadees, Downy Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Junco, a lone Carolina Wren, a single Golden-crowned Kinglet, and a Hermit Thrush that kept playing hide and seek with my camera. A Silver-haired bat was at the tip washroom hibernating.
Hermit Thrush. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

Silver-haired Bat at the tip washrooms. Not much of a hibernation spot. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

It is clear that winter is slowly losing its' grasp, though Environment Canada states that it will be a slow transition with the months of March, April and May having colder than normal temperatures. I hope that their prediction is wrong.

As for here at home I had my first Turkey Vulture sighting for the year on February 28th.

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