Sunday, March 24, 2013
A Different Year
A year ago we were outside in short-sleeved shirts at this time. While this year is closer to normal, we are still awaiting the arrival of many birds. Last year we were seeing Pine Warblers, Brown Thrashers and shorebirds (yellowlegs and snipe). I also had a Virginia Rail at Rondeau on this date. For butterflies, the azures were out a year ago!
I headed back to Pelee today as I was interested in the waterfowl, but the cloudy and windy weather did not help. As usual, the weather forecast was wrong again!
Just outside the park gate, I heard a Fox Sparrow singing along Pelee Drive--the FOY for me. The east side of the park was quite brutal with the easterly wind, but the west side quite calm.
I headed for the Tip to start things off. A first cycle Iceland Gull was among the many gulls at the Tip.
At the parking lot I was soon joined by Steve Pike and his girlfriend and we walked up the west side for a bit. A FOY Eastern Phoebe flew over us at high speed. Maybe it was retreating due to this cold weather!
Lots of scaup and several Horned Grebes were on the west side today.
I later checked the northwest beach parking lot area and found a few Song and Tree Sparrows among other things.
Next destination was Hillman Marsh, but it was a far cry from yesterday when I arrived. Only 7 white-fronted geese were visible and no Snow Geese. Not as many ducks, and no sign of a Common Teal. That is what got me interested in going back today.
Apparently 47 Greater White-fronted Geese in total were seen yesterday--a new record! Kory Renaud saw my 44 (or 45), then some others. It was difficult to count them yesterday because at times they were bunched together.
At least one Eurasian Wigeon was seen today as Steve Pike called to say he saw one fly out of the Pelee marsh. There are likely three in the area as the one at Hillman yesterday may be different than the previous two.
I stopped at St. Clair NWA on the way home. Lots of geese there too, but only Canada's.
Over at Ridgetown, more Ross's Geese (7) showed up late yesterday. The count was up to nine today!
Supposed to be cool all week, so things will only trickle in.