Sunday, October 3, 2010

Point Edward Lakewatch

Pathfinder and tug Dorothy Ann

This weekend was the first time this season we had a decent northerly wind on the weekend.  Generally, NE winds are not too productive at Point Edward at the mouth of Lake Huron.  But this wind was NNE at 30+ km/h.  I had nothing better to do and was itching to get up there for a change, so there I went.  It is only 45 minutes from home.
I arrived just before sunrise and Adam Byrne from Michigan was already there.  He already spotted a Sabine's Gull and some phalaropes!  The Sabine's was easy to find as it drifted with the current in the channel.  It got up a couple of times, drifted again, then disappeared.  We did not see it head out into the lake, so who knows where it ended up.  Later on we saw a Sabine's heading east off Canatara Park.  Possibly another individual.
I have seen three other Sabine's here over the years.  The first one was an adult, which is rather rare on the Great Lakes.
Jim Pawlicki from the Holiday Beach Hawkwatch arrived.  It was his day off from there.  He spotted the second Sabine's.
In the noon hour, two jaegers were spotted off the Michigan shore in the distance.  They flew high all the way along the shoreline, but one appeared to be an adult.  Not twenty minutes later, another dark jaeger was seen offshore, flying low.  It turned out to be a Pomarine.  It eventually flew right over the parking lot at low altitude, giving good views!
Lots of ducks were flying including Pintail, Wigeon, both Teals, Surf and White-winged Scoters and Greater Scaup.
Grebes included Red-necked and Horned.  Only one Common Loon flyover.

Not much photo opportunity today, but I could have captured that Pomarine if the camera was ready.
Turned out to be a decent day.  Hopefully more north winds will develop on weekends!

Point Edward has been a hotspot over the years on good northerly winds.  Seems that good things are not being seen as much as they used to, but once in a while good days will occur.  Many rarities have been spotted here including Magnificent Frigatebird, Ancient Murrellet, Northern Gannett, etc.  Like any other place, it is being in the right place at the right time!  On the same token, appropriate winds have produced nothing at times!
My best time there was October 25, 2005 when we had upwards of 15 jaegers, including all three species.  Several came in right over the parking lot like the Pomarine today.  We also had a kittiwake that day.  2005 was actually a good season there.

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