Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another White-faced Ibis

Today I went to Hillman Marsh near Point Pelee to look at a White-faced Ibis. It was confirmed last Monday,and not having time to get there during the week, I prayed that it would stay until the weekend. It did!
Ironically, last week, one showed up near Hamilton. I don't normally chase after birds, but I was tempted to go for that one. I decided to be patient, and luckily, one showed up not far from home right away.

I arrived just after 8 a.m., and about twenty minutes later, the ibis flew in to its feeding area. What an interesting bird! It fed very actively, catching minnows and other things. It seemed to follow around the many Greater Yellowlegs that were also feeding there. (One Long-billed Dowitcher was also among the yellowlegs).

There have only been a few records of this species in Ontario until recently. This is Pelee's third record that I am aware of. The first two in Ontario were in 1995 east of Toronto. The third record was one north of Pelee Park near the Days Inn on May 5, 2003. In 2004, one was south of Wheatley, but remains undocumented. Last year in early October, a White-faced Ibis was found with several Glossy Ibis's near Long Point. So, by my calculation, there now have been seven White-faced Ibis's in Ontario!

I tried taking some photos of the bird, but the lighting was very poor. I post the best one, but it is mostly a silhouette.

After viewing the ibis, I went to the Tip of Point Pelee. It was very active with gulls and ducks, but no rarities that I could see. The very strong west wind made things quite active.
Maybe this strong wind will blow in something else of interest!

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