Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sarnia Stuff

I had the urge to go to Sarnia today.  A strong NW wind was in the air so there had to be some activity at the lakewatch.  (Might have been better yesterday with the north wind).  We have always called this spot Point Edward Lakewatch or something similar, but actually it is within the city of Sarnia.  Point Edward is an isolated municipality virtually surrounded by Sarnia except along the St. Clair River.  The Lake Huron shoreline is included within Sarnia's boundary to the river entrance inshore to about where the old railroad cuts across.  Some trivia I did not realize until recently!

I arrived at the lookout just after daybreak to note about 400 Long-tailed Ducks working the current.  There were practically no other ducks except for a handful of Lesser Scaup, a few Red-breasted Mergansers, a few Bufflehead and a couple of Common Goldeneye.  A few Mallards came out of the Sarnia Yacht Club.
Gulls were quite active at first, then dropped off.  Later, more started streaming by from the direction of Canatara Park.

An adult Iceland Gull was working the shoreline.  Two first cycle Glaucous Gulls were around too.
A Pied-billed Grebe was of interest along the US shoreline (only grebe out there today!).
Two Bald Eagles flew to the Michigan side.

The best bird was too far distant to ID, but it was a jaeger.  I would assume Pomarine at this juncture in time, but who knows.
Three distant loons flew westward.  Two were decidedly Common, but the other looked smaller--possibly a Red-throated.
I also checked the marina and bay areas noting many gulls and ducks. Lots of Common Mergansers were present.
Two Pied-billed Grebes were next to the marina restaurant.
A Common Loon was in the north slip.

A Kestrel alighted upon a post near the chembarge and a sharpie alighted on the Algorail!
(not the best day for photography as it was very dull today {obviously the weekend!})

A number of dickie birds were in the scrub area near Beasley Machine including a Carolina Wren.
After an early lunch, I had an enjoyable walk at Perch Creek CA.  It looked dismal at first, but then I heard some American Robins.  Turns out a flock of about a dozen were milling about.  That was interesting since robins seem to be rather scarce this winter. First I have seen in several weeks.

On the slope of the Blackwell landfill, about 40 Common Redpolls were working the weeds (same spot as last time! Same flock?).  A sizeable flock of American Tree Sparrows was there too.  (Seems to be more after yesterday's storm!).
In the low spot along the trail at the north end of Perch Creek, several species of birds were present, including a group of six Eastern Bluebirds.  Also present were some Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Song Sparrow, chickadees, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers and several Tree Sparrows.

Down the trail I decided to cut across the plantation area and noted a flicker.  I walked back the cedar/spruce treeline and found a Northern Saw-whet Owl.  I thought perhaps it had left, but no!

The drive home was rather uneventful despite trying to find some birds!

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