A pair was along Point Pelee Drive last year, so who knows if this is the same pair that returned to the area. There are not many records of Ontario, but a few are scattered around. There have been three appearances for Rondeau Park (only the first one documented in 2003), for example.
That was a good start to the day as I headed into the park. I walked directly to the Tip as there was a stiff SW breeze blowing. I was the only one there for the first 1.5 hours! Nothing rare showed up, but the potential was there.
The only shorebird species was Sanderling (one was a flyby).
An Osprey headed over to Pelee Island at one point. A year old Little Gull flew by as well.
After a while, I got bored and headed towards Sparrow Field. I met up with Josh Vandermeulen near the tram loop. He had also seen the collard doves this morning, and apparently five minutes before I did!
I ran into a nice flock of birds at the north end of Sparrow Field. Several warbler species including Cape May, Bay-breasted, etc. Quite a few of the birds were in a shaded spot, so photos quality not good.
|female Cape May|
I decided to head back to the Tip as some other friends were just arriving for a Tip watch. Lots of goldfish and wax cedarwings were flying off the Tip today (lol). At one point, Josh spotted an American Golden Plover flying overhead, heading west. A Rock Pigeon came along later to round out the dove list for the day.
After a while, it was time to head up the west side to look for butterflies. I walked with Steve Pike and Lindsey Valliant. Once again, there were not many butterflies, but we looked at everything along the way.
At one point, Steve saw a female Velvet Ant. I had never really looked at those before, but it is a type of wasp.
The female is wingless, looking like an ant, and is rather hairy. It can give a powerful sting. This species parasitizes larvae of ground-nesting bees and wasps.
Continuing on, the call of Greater Yellowlegs caught our attention along the way, and we saw a group of 15 heading south along the shoreline. Not many shorebirds seen today.
I broke off from the group after that walk and checked out the cactus trail. Lots of goldenrod there and many insects. A couple of Cape May Warblers and some flycatcher including Willow were feeding.
I stopped at NW Beach as usual and found a Fiery Skipper for the day. Also 3 or 4 Buckeye there.
Hillman Marsh was the next stop. I was the only one in the whole place! I wanted to walk the shorebird cell dike. I found at least 20 Peck's Skippers, but unfortunately nothing else of note.
Looks like a bit of rain tomorrow, but maybe it could make for some good birding!