I checked out south point trail at first light and had 3 warbler species (resident birds). Hilarious!
I then quickly checked Tulip Tree Trail and found a few warblers.
These seemed to be the winner today!
The best area of the park recently has been Harrison Trail from Bennett Road down to Gardiner, so I headed north from the VC and checked it out. Sure enough, birding was fairly steady along that route. I came up with 21 species of warblers plus some four species of vireos and lots of thrushes. Bay-breasted Warblers, Ovenbirds and Chestnut-sided Warblers were in big numbers today. Lots of Cape May too.
There were dozens of Swainson Thrushes in the park today.
A couple of Gray-cheeked were in the mix as well.
Birds were low to the ground in most cases due to the cold and damp weather.
The cool weather has delayed some wildflowers and orchids. This Showy Orchis is soon to bloom.
Later in the morning I decided to escape the drizzle and head over to Erieau. Steve and Jim were scoping the pier area in hopes of a good gull or comorant. There was an unreliable report of the Neotropic Cormorant early this morning.
After some time looking, I briefly spotted a different gull with a black M on the back. I only got a glimpse, thinking it was a bit larger than a bonie. However, it turned out to be an immature Little Gull. It stood up nicely on the rocks for a look.
Just after that Kory, Josh, Jeremy and Dominic came along and they got a look at the gull. I think they tried for the Lark Bunting early this morning, as did other birders. I already decided that bird would not show, so I went elsewhere first thing!
North of the Blenheim Lagoons, there is a field that has held some shorebirds, gulls and longspur. Today there was quite a number of Semipalmated Plovers (~50), Dunlin and about 25 Lapland Longspur.
In the afternoon, the sun did come out for a while, warming things up.
Always showing their backside....
I went back to south point trail and walked the beach area. A flock of about 500 Black-bellied Plover was circling around trying to decide what to do. They eventually moved on though. Some Ruddy Turnstones and Dunlin were mixed in.
Part of the massive flock
In the dune area, I encountered a dragonfly. It was one I thought I had never seen before, but Painted Skimmer was on my mind believe it or not. I had to look it up later, and sure enough it is a Painted Skimmer! Rare for Chatham-Kent, and in fact Paul Pratt's list does not even include it.
I saw a few more warblers along the trail, including an Orange-crowned.
Sunday looks a little better for weather and birds!