Monday, November 25, 2013

Sudden Winter

I hope the last two days are not an indication of the coming winter. (At least I do not live in London!)  Winters around Wallaceburg are fairly benign for the most part.

It has been a very windy autumn and the wind and waves have taken a toll on the Rondeau shoreline.

The recent temperature drop and relentless wind has left still water frozen in the area.  Yesterday I made a quick stop at Mitchell's Bay and ice was 200-300m out!  Mostly because of the onshore wind no doubt.  I was half-hoping the godwits were still present, but I think they finally high-tailed it out.  Always a chance they could be lurking on some unknown mudflat.

What I did find was a small shorebird on that mudflat.  It was difficult to make out at first due to the very long distance.  Purple Sandpiper?  No, not dark enough.  Dunlin?  No, bill and overall look did not fit.  It had its back to me most of the time, but it finally turned and revealed itself to be a plover.  I could not even tell if it was a Golden or Black-bellied.  Later I decided it obviously had to be a Black-bellied.  Rather whitish underneath and plump-looking.
(there is a plover out there!)

A Golden would be rather exceptional at this date, but Black-bellied is pretty good though.  The above photo shows ice, not water!

At first light earlier in the day I went up to Sarnia to watch the lake.  Unfortunately the wind was not quite what it was supposed to be.  Too west.  Although there was a fair bit of activity, a westerly wind is not ideal for there--typical for weekends.  That spot, for the most part, has been a disappointment this year!
The usual bonies were working the US side off the Coast Guard station.  Long-tailed ducks and a few scoters were floating down the channel and flying back out to repeat the process.
One Common Loon was out there and one Horned Grebe made a flyby.

Glaucous (not winged) Gull from Saturday

I left after a couple of hours somewhat frustrated, and worked my way down the river.  In the north slip of Sarnia Harbour, a Common Loon was present (photo is on eBird by a local birder).
Not much is on the river yet, as usual, but always the potential for something of interest.  Last Friday a Harlequin Duck was off Marysville Michigan.  Could still be lurking around.  Tom Hince got a photo of it and it is posted on his blog.

Hard to believe, but Christmas Bird Counts are just around the corner!

No comments:

Post a Comment