Saturday, November 8, 2014

Point Pelee Birding November 8

I was sucked down to Point Pelee today by the strong SW winds!  It was prime for a good Tip Watch as several familiar faces stood vigil.  A strong movement of birds today kept us busy.

A large number of Horned Grebes was seen again moving today.  Probably around 100, but who was counting?  I have to say that I have seen more Horned Grebes this fall than any other, or so it seems.

Red-necked is there!

At least one Red-necked Grebe was in the bunch, quite obvious by its larger size.  Also  at one point, a duskier grebe went by that was assumed to be an Eared.
Bonaparte's Gulls were not in huge numbers, but maybe more were at Wheatley Harbour, as I saw later!

Shorebirds were few with only two Sanderlings but a more desirable one was observed.  Jeremy Hatt called out "shorebird" which turned out to be a Purple.  It was a bit too distant to get a photo, but it was moving quickly south as well.

Three Red-throated Loons were seen during the course of the morning, with one flying at close range overhead.  (There will be a Pacific on Sunday, lol!).
Lots of Common Loons today.

Common Loon

There was a good assortment of ducks.  Red-breasted Mergansers were plentiful.  We had a total of 11 Long-tailed Ducks which is a fairly decent number for Point Pelee on one watch.

Along with Josh Vandermeulen and Jeremy Hatt, I stayed until after noon.  At least one half-decent gull showed in the form of an adult Little Gull.

They are nice-looking birds!

Afterwards, I checked around De Laurier a bit, but soon after my arrival there, I spotted a Vesper Sparrow at the weather station.  It perched briefly on a small tree, but another shrub was in front of me, so I was unable to focus the camera on it.  I did initially get a good look through the binos.
A couple of Purple Finches, White-throated Sparrows, Fox Sparrows and a Northern Flicker were around there as well.

Over to Wheatley....

This is a good time of year to check out gulls at Wheatley Harbour, so that was my next stop.  There were a lot to sort through, but I did not see anything in the rarity department.  There was another Paul Pratt sighting though!
Kevin McLaughlin was looking around as well.  I thought for sure a Franklin's would be there. (Kevin had 2 different ones this past week).

I did spot this 'unusual' Bonaparte's with a complete hood!

There were quite a few Horned Grebes in the harbour as well as out on the lake.  I searched for a long time to find the recent Eared Grebe. I gave up on the west side of the channel and went over to the east side.

After a while I finally found the Eared in the channel!  It was alongside a Horned for direct comparison.

Next stop was Tilbury Lagoons and not surprisingly, I could not find the Cattle Egret!  Everyone else seems to get it.  Would not be a year bird though since I found the one outside Wallaceburg last May.
A quick check of Lighthouse Cove was a waste of time unless you like large groups of people fishing.

Just before Jeannette's Creek, I came across a massive flock of blackbirds.  I really do not know how many were milling about, but perhaps 30,000.  I knew it was worthwhile to check for Yellow-headed, and soon enough, I found one as seen in this 'record' photo. (It was some distance away).

I have no doubt there was more than one in there, but I could not look at everything.  The flock was 99% Red-winged, but there were some Brown-headed Cowbirds as well.

It was a tiring, but decent day of birding!



  1. Awesome photo of the Yellow-headed Blackbird. Its that yellow dot in the middle .... correct? (LOL)

  2. Not surprised that the remaining
    Cattle Egret was gone !
    Earlier this week, it was being harassed by an eager photographer.