Saturday, November 10, 2012

4 Hour Stand Off At The Tip of Point Pelee

Today there were south winds, so it was straight to the tip of Point Pelee for me. I was pleasantly surprised to meet Kevin McLaughlin at the tip parking lot, and we proceeded to head down and set up our scopes.

The usual suspects were down there.  Rafts of Scaups, gulls at the "Tip" which is more like an island now, and many Red-breasted Mergansers swirling around.

One duck species that was in numbers was White-winged Scoter.  During the four hours we were down there we must have had over 30 in total.

The highlight of the morning was when I spotted an intermediate juv. Pomarine Jaeger harass a Herring Gull off the southeast side of the tip. It proceeded to fly around and just lazily harass the Herring Gulls whenever it got close to one. One Herring Gull in turn decided to chase after the Jaeger.  Eventually the Pom gave up and flew off to the east.  We also had 2 Red-throated Loons fly by.

Alan Wormington came down to join us and the Bonaparte Gulls were soon on the move.  At first they were flying down both the west and the east side of the tip, but closer to noon they were coming in pretty fair sized groups mainly down the east side.  Nothing unusual was seen with them today.  Other birds on the lake included Common Loon, Horned Grebes, a group of Oldsquaw, plus one beautiful male Oldsquaw flew by the tip at close range. Yes I still say Oldsquaw as Long-tailed Duck has to be the most boring name in the world!

The only other birds of note that we had was a Merlin and Alan and Kevin each picked out a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Unfortunately, no Cave Swallows today. They are waiting for tomorrow when Jeremy Hatt makes an appearance!

I went home for lunch, but not without detouring through the onion fields first. Nothing exciting out there except for 2 Sandhill Cranes in a corn field.

Not much new at home. Had my first White-winged Crossbills for the year when a flock of 7 land in a tree this week.  That is now 81 for the yard list total, which, for only being at this house for just over two months isn't half bad if I do say so myself.

Sandhill Crane pair.  Photo by Marianne Reid-Balkwill