Monday, March 21, 2011

Tree Swallows, Phoebes, and a Dog Bite...OH MY!!!

Today is supposed to be the nicest day of the week so I decided to head out for some birding. As per normal routine, the first stop is the tip at Point Pelee. There I met Brandon Holden who was just grabbing his camera to get some shots of a Rusty Blackbird at the tip. Waterfowl and gulls were not in any particular abundance. Some highlights include:

1 White-winged Scoter
1 Merlin
14 Double-crested Cormorants
17 Song Sparrow
2 Fox Sparrow
6 Eastern Phoebe
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
6 Black-capped Chickadee
3 Brown Creepers
2 Rufous-sided Towhee
1 Great Blue Heron

Of course, Surf Scoter, Scaups, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, and Red-breasted Merganser are still quite plentiful.

Also saw quite a movement of Boniparte's Gull...probably 50 to 70 individuals in total. I also might have had a Little Gull but in the hazy sunlight I couldn't get a 100% ID....though I don't know what else is smaller then a Boniparte's Gull with round (not pointed) wing tips.

Near the north end of the park, the Great Horned Owl is on the nest across from Sanctuary Pond lookout.
Great Horned Owl on its nest for another year across from Sanctuary Pond. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

Outside the park around the onion fields there are now less waterfowl in the fields. The dominate species seemed to be Canada Geese, Mallard and Green-winged Teal. The south part of Hillman Marsh had some interesting waterfowl including 16 Canvasback and quite a number of Ruddy Duck and Common Merganser as well. Also had a single Turkey Vulture fly over.

Around lunch the fog really began to set in so I went home for lunch. Later in the afternoon I checked out the beach near my house. Here I had 2 Tree Swallow, 1 Pine Siskin and 3 Horned Grebes. Red-breasted Mergansers were the dominate species of waterfowl, with the males curtsying in the water to attract females.

On my way home I unfortunately got nipped below the bum by a dog that got away from its owner on a leash. I guess even birding in the suburbs isn't without peril, as I came home with a big purple bruise..

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