Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pelee Tip Lovefest and Gull Mania at Wheatley!

Although there was a brutal west wind today, there was quite a bit of activity at the Tip of Point Pelee.  A number of people showed up today and only a couple of LLB's!

Although we had hoped for a desirable SW wind (which was forecast all week), we take what comes along.  Conditions were difficult for getting a good look at gulls barrelling down the west side as we had to take shelter out of the wind.  As well, there was a significant shimmer today which made focusing on distant birds impossible.

The only notable gulls were a couple of Lesser Black-backed sitting on the Tip.  One fine adult and one first cycle.

Several Horned Grebes were around as I counted around 30, but loons were slim picking with only about 3 Commons.

Quite a few Peregrine Falcons were on the move today.  Difficult to say how many, but I saw at least 8.  A couple of Osprey headed south over the lake as well.

Several times during the day, sleet came down!  Not sure what else to call it, but there were ice pellets.  A depressing sign of things to come.

I checked out Shuster Trail and De Laurier.  A few passerines were hiding in the shrubs.  Included were a few warblers such as an Ovenbird, a couple of Gray-cheeked Thrushes and Eastern Phoebes.

Passing by Hillman Marsh, I saw a number of Great Egrets, including this one with blue wing tag #E89.  It was banded at Nottawasaga Island 19 June 2014 by Chip Weseloh and crew.

I stopped at Wheatley Harbour on the way home and spent some time there as there were well over a thousand gulls or more!  I saw at least three Lesser Black-backed Gulls there (2 adult, 1 second cycle).

Kevin McLaughlin and Bill Lamond came along later to check out the situation too.

An early Long-tailed Duck has been frequenting the harbour this week....

I decided to take a different route home and stopped at Blenheim Lagoons.  It was actually pretty good.  Lots of shorebirds in the sprinklers again, including at least 75 Lesser Yellowlegs. Several Dunlin were in as well among other species.

The female Bufflehead is still present and a couple of American Coots were new among the usual ducks.
A good number of Tree Swallows were in (about 100). I carefully looked them through, but could not come up with any different ones.  We talked about Violet-green Swallow this morning....maybe Pelee's next new bird?

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