Sunday, November 18, 2012

Duck Clouds

Today seemed too predictable--few birds!  (Even though I probably saw over 100,000 birds).  The weather was just too nice.  I went to Pelee instead of Rondeau today.  Probably a better choice as reports from Rondeau were essentially entitled "Birdless".
I arrived at the Tip after being a bit delayed by dense fog in the Wallaceburg area, but that made no difference.  Marianne Reid, Bob Cermak and Mike Tate were staking out the Tip upon my arrival. 
Many Red-breasted Mergansers were moving around (35,000+??).  I only saw two Common Loons and no apparent Pacific Loon.
Merganser Mess

Just after Marianne left for parts unknown, I spotted an adult Little Gull coming down the west side.  Been a while since I have seen one of those.  They have been quite scarce this year.
On the walk back, I caught a glimpse of the red morph Screech-owl.

I lingered longer than the others then walked up the west side trail a bit.  A huge number of scaup (+others) has been hanging around.  It is estimated around 60,000 with the bulk being Greater.  At one point they all got up for an impressive sight.  I only had the big lens on, so you can see only a small fraction of them!

Some ducks were in close north of the Serengetti tree.
Scoters and Scaups

(Hey Josh, there's a Tufted Duck in there somewhere!)

Very few things flying over today, but I did hear a couple of Common Redpolls and some siskins.
I then headed up to the VC and met up with Marianne where we checked out the group campground.  Campers were absent of course, but so were the birds!  I think we heard a Chickadee (Pelee Chickadee that is).  
We then walked behind the VC and heard a Northern Cardinal.  Wow!

Lone TV

My next stop was De Laurier and the old maintenance field.  A few birds were back there including a Yellow-rumped Warbler and various sparrows.  Another redpoll flyover !  I saw one Green Darner dragonfly there.
The red morph Screech-owl at the De Laurier location was not visible.  However last Thursday Mike Bouman was lucky enough to get a shot of it.

My next stop was the south end of NW Beach parking lot.  In fact I walked the whole area up into Sanctuary.  As I walked over, I heard what was perhaps a Red Crossbill fly over.  It was not the typical flight call, but I could not pin it to any other bird.  
A few birds around plus about 5 Green Darners.

Highlight was a very fresh-looking Red Admiral.  Getting late!  It was the only butterfly of the day, but later I found out Marianne had a Common Buckeye in the same spot!

I checked out the mud at Hillman, but the shorebirds were near the bridge on Mersea Rd. 2.  There were lots of Killdeer and Dunlin.  Lighting was bad,, but that is all I made out.
Up the road I checked out 4 Long-eared Owls roosting in the cedars.  They have been there in past years as well.

I stopped at Mitchell's Bay on the way home.  Lots of gulls but no shorebirds.  On Friday, a friend photographed a Greater Yellowlegs (with bad leg) there.

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