Friday, October 21, 2011

October 20th Sightings: Southwest winds!!!

A Northern Watersnake in the rain on Concession E. Probably trying to get warm by laying on the road. Photo by Marianne Balkwill.

Finally the birds are really stating to come in! With a last minute call from work saying they didn't need me, I quickly changed into warmmer clothes and raced to the tip. I ended up not being warm enough. It was damp and misting all day.

I arrived at the the tip of Point Pelee a little too late. Alan Wormington was all ready down there and saw a Red Phalarope. There were many birds flying down the west side including Red-breastd Mergansers, Horned Grebes, Common Terns, Bonaparte's Gulls, 5 Surf Scoters and 3 Common Loons. There was also a lot of shorebirds on the move as well including 5 Ruddy Turnstones, a White-rumped Sandpiper, a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Red-necked Phalarope, and Dunlin. 3 American Kestrels and an equal number of Merlin flew into the southwest winds as well in an attempt to cross the lake. My best bird was a male Oldsquaw.

After a chilly experience at the lake, the seasonal trail to the Sparrow Field, across the road and down the west trail back to the parking lot yielded a lot of White-crowned Sparrows, and White-thraoted Sparrows. Palm Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, both Kinglet species, Eastern Towhee, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Turkey Vultures, and a Winter Wren were the highlights.

After lunch I went back into the park and checked out Delaurier. Lots of Sparrows around including Lincoln's, White-crowned, White-throated, Chipping, Song, and an Indigo Bunting. A couple of Phoebes showed up as well along with a House Wren.

My last stop was at Whealtey Harbour. A Franklin's Gull was there on Tuesday and I need that on my Pelee list. No luck, though I did see yet another Lesser Black-backed Gull. I also had a Turkey Vulture feeding on........not sure actually.A drenched Turkey Vulture eating something, Wheatley Harbour. Photo by Marianne Balkwill.

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