Saturday, November 1, 2014

Big Blow On Lake Huron !

The last couple of days I anticipated heading up to Sarnia do a lakewatch. Strong northerly winds were forecast!  I arrived today before first light.

Already one could see lots of gulls heading out into the lake.  It was too dark to say what all was there, but I am sure there were some goodies.  At one point I thought perhaps I saw a Black-legged Kittiwake with the dark 'M' pattern on the upperside.  Probably was, but...
Everything was basically heading out into the lake and not returning!

There was a flurry of activity for the first hour, and about 07:40 I spotted an immature Little Gull. Josh Bouman simultaneously spotted an adult as well.

About ten minutes later, we spotted a juv Black-legged Kittiwake heading out.  Lighting was poor and I had the wrong settings on the camera, so do not criticize this photo!

Another distant kittiwake

A number of people came out to watch for birds today.  There was even a Paul Pratt sighting!  He got to see the second kittiwake (albeit distant) that I spotted later on.  It appeared to come out of the river, so we assume it was not the same one since everything kept heading out into the lake today.

We had at least five Little Gulls through the morning, all adults except the one immature I spotted.

A number of loons were migrating today, including a single Red-throated. Most were flying very high, so no doubt we missed a lot.  
Quite a few Horned Grebes were around and at least three Red-necked were out there today.

Red-necked with 2 Horned

Lots of waterfowl with at least 14 duck species.  A scope would have been useful today, but it was far too windy to set one up!

Shorebirds included a single Dunlin and a few Sanderlings.

A few geese were seen including a pure flock of 36 Snow Geese.  Brant were most likely out there, but without the scope assistance, I could not be 100% certain.  

I left just after high noon, and less than an hour later, a Brant was seen flying by.  Must be the day for Brant as several were reported around southern Ontario!

It was quite encouraging first thing this morning, but things quickly dropped off with fewer birds seen by mid morning.  Surprisingly, no jaegers!
The wind speed dropped quite a bit through the morning, but was still brisk.  Overnight it must have been brutal, as there was flotsam and jetsam on the lawn!

Several Snow Buntings were on the loose today but nothing with them.

A number of watchers were on the Michigan side also.  They get the shelter of a building!  We have a better vantage point though.

I checked out Perch Creek in the afternoon, but found mostly blackbirds.  A few Fox Sparrows were there.

A quick check of Moore WMA on the way home, revealed a few Purple Finches.

The Scene

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