Saturday, January 12, 2013

Redpoll to Waterfowl on Saturday

For the most part, today was a waterfowl type of day.  I decided to head down to Point Pelee to see what was around the Tip.  Lots of people!  The Ojibway group was quite large today as they were on one of their weekend outings.  Other than lots of mergansers, White-winged Scoters seemed to be the duck of the day.  Not many, if any, are up Sarnia way so I guess they are down that way.
After the group left, it was just Alan, Richard and myself.  The most interesting bird was a quick flyby of a redpoll.  However, it continued on out over the lake.  It was more than likely a Hoary Redpoll based on its flight call (which I heard well) and the whitish appearance.  It was alone as well which leads one to lean toward Hoary.
A Horned Lark flew over unseen, an early spring migrant.

I did not stay in the park, but checked the onion field area and Hillman Marsh.  A couple of flocks of starlings that I checked had lots of cowbirds and a few Red-winged Blackbirds.
Another gyr, I mean Northern Harrier was roaming the fields.

I stopped at south Hillman and checked the scaup on the lake.  Lots to look at but the main raft headed south before I had a good look.  Maybe the 'Tufted' was still out there....probably.  However it appears that is was a Tufted X Lesser Scaup.  Listers beware!
Lots of geese in Hillman and a few Mallards, Black and Ruddy.  Nothing new.  The puddle ducks (spring migrants?) from previous had vanished.  I was surprised not to see some puddle ducks around with this warm weather.  And, not a cackler amongst them!

I took a brief look at the Long-eared Owls (thanks Rick!) that have been wintering at Hillman and headed towards Wheatley (not much there!).

As I was getting into Wheatley I received a call from Mike Bouman about a male Harlequin Duck at Courtright.  I was going to stop at Lighthouse Cove, but decided to try for the Harlequin instead on the St. Clair River.
After the long drive, I finally found the Harlequin after a brief search. (nicest one I have seen!)

I am quite sure it is the same duck seen around Christmas north of Mooretown. It finally became accessible!
There is a long stretch from the north end of Mooretown to the north end of Corunna that one cannot see from the parkway.  Who knows what is along there!  A pair of Harlequins was along there last year which I did not know about until recently.

After the duck, I headed down to Cathcart Park to look for the Trumpeter Swan.  It was a bit distant, but its large size was obvious.  Most of the waterfowl must have been scared off as there was very little compared to yesterday.  Some local resident was out on the mud anyway! (note pail in photo).  Not sure what they were gathering, but there was even an ATV out there!

Nice to see the swan today.  The only other Trumpeter I have seen on the river was way back late January 1994.  That one had a green wing tag which I think indicated it was tagged in Minnesota.  This one has no tags or bands.

Not much else to see on the river as birds were quite spread out.  Glad I did the waterfowl survey a week ago.

1 comment:

  1. Good day overall, Blake! I'll be back out tomorrow (weekend of bed-rest being sick...) to try for some new year birds around the Onion Fields.