Inspired by the recent report of shorebirds at Port Stanley lagoons, that is where I headed this morning. I usually stop there sometime in August, but never made it there this year.
On the way, I stopped at Ridgetown Lagoons. The habitat there is quite good and a number of shorebirds were present. Nothing new though. It is possible to drive to the back two ponds near the new treatment buildings. These used to be the "good" ponds many years ago, but recently they have had high water. Ridgetown is not checked too frequently, so many things could be missed. It will be interesting to see what happens to these ponds, as they are not needed with the new facilities. There was talk of wetland creation, but I have not heard anything lately.
I arrived at Port Stanley fairly early and was pleased to find so many shorebirds. There is good edge around the third cell. Lighting was not ideal, but I did find the Hudsonian Godwit. I cannot remember when I saw one of those last--a few years anyways. The ten (10) (count 'em!) Red-necked Phalaropes were swimming in that pond as well. That is the most I have seen at one time--neat to see.
A total of at least 13 species of shorebirds was around, but the Buff-breasted Sandpipers were not to be found. I did see some shorebirds in the distance in the bare field, but by the time I went to a good viewing location they had disappeared.
I met John Lamey there (which seems to be an annual occurence!) and he said these shorebirds had been around since Thursday. Always on the go, he had recently just returned from Nova Scotia.
I did not stop in at the Fingal Wildlife Management area this time. I usually do earlier when the prairie plants are at peak. Fall can be good there as a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was found there in October 2002.
As per tradition, I stopped at the Southwold Prehistoric Earth Works south of Iona.
It can be a good spot for butterflies and birds. Today no birds, but lots of Common Buckeye (they sure have come in recently!).
There used to be nesting Red-headed Woodpeckers and Eastern Bluebirds, but the dead trees are gone.
Erieau was next stop. About 100 Caspian Terns were on the breakwater but got flushed by children just as I arrived. One usually does not see people on the breakwater across the cut!
A good number of warblers were along the R/R track trail. Little chance for Buff-breasted as onions were not planted this year.
At Blenheim Lagoons, the Horned Grebe, already in basic plumage, was still present.
Lots of Savannah Sparrows hanging around the lagoons. Some will attempt to winter here.
Not much to photograph today. Lighting/distance was no good at Port Stanley (at least the sun was out! as the forecast said cloudy and 90% rain!). Clouded up and rained later in the day though.
Wish that was a Baird's Sparrow!