Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Loons 'n Grebes (and Long-tailed Ducks)

It was evident early this morning that a good movement of Common Loons and Horned Grebes was in the making.  Five loons were up close off the Port Lambton dock as well as two Horned Grebes.  I did not bring the camera today as it was pouring rain today.
In the past, I have seen good movements there.  A few years ago I counted about 50 loons in less than a half hour moving north.
As I drove home I saw lots of bird activity.  An Osprey was flying over the north end of town (FOY, finally!), so it was a sign to go out.
Starting at Stewart Wetland, 3 Bald Eagles were soaring over Walpole Island.  Two decided to perch a ways down the Snye.  A couple of Caspian Terns were circling the wetland.  Only a single Spotted Sandpiper has been there this week in the shorebird department (besides Killdeer).

I decided to drive along the St. Clair River.  Lighting was horrible (as it usually is late in the day), but I saw quite a few Common Loons and Horned Grebes.  I counted 18 loons on the river up to Cathcart Park.  No doubt I missed a few as I did not scope anything.
(not today!)

A number of Horned Grebes were along the way as well.

Also rather significant were the number of Long-tailed Ducks.  I had been seeing a few each day, but tonight there were large rafts of them.  One had about 100 individuals near Cathcart Park.  I had seen close to 200 by the time I got to north of Cathcart.  No doubt I missed quite a few as they tend to dive en masse and stay down a while.

Things are looking up for an excellent birding weekend!  I will be taking some time off starting May 3, so it cannot come soon enough!

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