Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pelee Bound



As I headed out the door this morning, it was a toss-up as to where to go.  My car started aiming for Point Pelee, so there I headed!
With the recent below zero temps, much water had refrozen thereby concentrating waterfowl in the few open spots.  Even the west side of Point Pelee had lots of ice.  The east side was mostly open and that is where the concentration of scaup was.
scaup

I did a walk-around the Tip area and did not see much.  I guess the highlight was the group of three House Sparrows near the solar panel, lol!  I met up with Kory Renaud at Sparrow Field and he was not seeing much either.
Next stop was Shuster Trail were lots of American Robins were taking advantage of the sumac.

A few White-throated Sparrows were along the trail as well.
De Laurier was unproductive, so I headed out of the park over to Hillman.  That is where all the action was. Highlight was the Greater White-fronted Geese (yes I finally caught up with them!).  Numbers fluctuated, but at one point I counted 44!  (I recounted a few times).  The most I have ever seen at one time.  My previous high, which was a record, were the 20 at Rondeau in March 2006.
most of the White-fronted Geese!

The Snow Geese were also present, but there were nine, including a dark immature.  They flew around a bit at one point.

I scanned all the geese and gulls, but saw nothing of note.  As I write this, Dean Ware just posted about a Common Teal at the south end of Hillman. I saw some Green-winged Teal there, but obviously I did not look close enough.  There were a few teal and lots of pintail.
Snow Geese in flight

There were lots of ducks, especially pintail. No Eurasian Wigeon!
With the day still young, I headed along the lake over to Erieau.  A couple of Horned Grebes were in the channel, one getting into breeding plumage.

Lots to look at there as well, but most were too far away.
Even though most of the Bay had refrozen this week, there were a few open spots concentrating ducks.  Much to look at off the Rondeau Dock as well.  I tried in vain to find a Eurasian Wigeon, but one was not to be seen!  There could very well be one out there somewhere, as many waterfowl were on the far side of the Bay.

Thousands of Tundra Swans still around as well.

Here are some park hours for Point Pelee (from A.W.), sent last night.  Things are getting cut to the bare bone now!

Park hours: 7:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m. starting on March 25

Visitor Centre will remain CLOSED until April 12.
And until May 3 they don't open until 10:00 a.m.

Shuttle:
April 6 to 19 --- 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (but hopefully you can drive down after 5:00 as usual)

Here is a link to a free online issue of North American Birds.  Like everything else these days, it is going online.  This is a trial issue.  Lots of advantages to having it online, once you subscribe!
http://nab.aba.org


2 comments:

dwaynejava said...

Blake,
Were those Hillman photos from the southeast dyke? I just found out about that vantage point on Wednesday this week! ... It only took 3 years for me to find out about it!!! :-)
-DM

Blake A. Mann said...

At the dead-end road. Best spot!