As we gathered in the Sobey's parking lot in Grand Bend, Common Loons were migrating overhead--an indication that loons were on the move today.
We started at the Grand Bend waterfront and the lake was fairly active. We had close to 50 Common Loons high overhead ( a few close to the water). Some smaller ones appeared to be Red-throated. I picked out two or three Red-necked Grebes flying south just above the water too.
Quite a few scoters were moving today, especially Black. We saw many Black Scoters through the course of the day.
A couple of Peregrine Falcons made an appearance very high overhead as did a couple of Bald Eagles. We saw many Bald Eagle throughout the day, but no Golden. I was sure that a Golden would put in an appearance!
Next stop was Grand Bend Lagoons. This set of sewage ponds is a favourite of birders and often visited. It did not disappoint as we saw a large variety of ducks and two species of desirable grebe! A Red-necked Grebe was swimming around and came in close to see what we were up to.
On the far side of cell 3, an Eared Grebe was spotted! It was actually a year bird for many including myself. Too far away for a photo though.
We saw about 15 species of ducks including two female Long-tailed.
Mike Nelson caught a glimpse of a gray and white bird low and working the edge. I thought likely a Northern Shrike. Sure enough it came out and perched atop a tree. First for the fall!
We also saw the first American Tree Sparrows of the fall there. A good number there.
Loons were seen overhead here as well. I saw many more loons (and grebes) than at Pelee yesterday!
We then went into Pinery Provincial Park. It was somewhat quiet, but we saw a few birds including a Tufted Titmouse at the VC. Feeders were not stocked yet and the weather too nice, so few birds. As well, it is not a finch year. Pinery is often good for finches in the fall and winter.
We walked along the river and noted Swamp Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows and more Tree Sparrows. Some caught a glimpse of a Common Merganser in the reeds.
Next stop was Burley Bridge in the park were we saw a pair of Bald Eagles putting on a show. Their nest can be seen from the bridge.
After a drive through Port Franks, we went over to Ipperwash. A few Cedar Waxwings were seen along the way. On the beach we stopped to look at the lake. Ipperwash Beach is unique as you can drive on it for most of its length. Some more scoters and gulls were seen.
At the rock outcrop, while hoping for Purple Sandpiper, Sean Jenniskens noticed a female Wood Duck in a pool. It blended in quite well!
Can you see the duck?
At the south end of the beach more scoters and Bald Eagles were seen. A Horned Grebe was also far out. Maris Apse managed to pick out a flock of Snow Buntings coming off the lake towards the point. Another first for the fall!
We then went over to Kettle Point (the actual point) and took a look. It was a bit quiet there. This spot can be good on a NW or north wind for gulls and jaegers. Winds were not right today though.
The day was waning, so many birders left after this.
This particular outing is often excellent and lots of fun. 19 species of ducks today is a good haul. We have had good birds in the past as well.