Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blackpoll Bonanza and a Purple Surprise

Frogs were happy this morning!

The weather was crappy this morning, but there were lots of birds around to see (if you wanted to get wet!).  I headed down to Rondeau early this morning, but ended up sitting in the car for over an hour.  I parked at Dog Beach and watched gulls and cormorants go by.  There were hundreds of birds but visibility was bad and I did not pick out anything of note.
While there, a large flock of warblers came in to the small trees.  90% Blackpoll!  Looked like a good day for them.
After the rain mostly stopped I walked south point trail.  Warblers were high and moving fast.  The ones I looked at were mostly Blackpoll.  There were continuous streams of them!
There were a few other warblers, but it was just Blackpoll after Blackpoll. I drove to the other end of south point and found a flock of warblers.  Out of 20 birds, 15 were Blackpoll!
I probably saw close to 200 Blackpoll.  A few years ago there was a big fall day with Blackpoll and I estimated about 800 in the park.

I drove around the park a bit and happened to meet up with Ian Richards for a chat.  I then decided to see if I could find some gulls off the east side of south point.  The only notable was an adult Little Gull.

Stopped at Ridgetown for lunch and checked the lagoons.  Not much in.  Heavy rain overnight has filled the pond.  A Long-billed Dowitcher was there the last couple of days.

Sick Sanderling

Back home, I checked email and found photos of a Snowy Egret.  One photo had a Marbled Godwit in front of the egret!  These were at Mitchell's Bay off the trailer park yesterday.  So, I went out there and looked around. First stop was at the the beach park.  I went over to the north breakwall to scan.  Oops, what is that sandpiper?
~ full framer!

A Purple Sandpiper, something I never expected in September, let alone today.  It was quite approachable as it quietly fed along the shoreline.

The Bay needs to be checked more often.....!


  1. Blake, nice Purple Sandpiper! Is that a pretty early sighting for this species?

  2. Spectacular find, Blake! Just bizarre.