Saturday, May 30, 2015
Pelee Area Birding Today
I got up early this morning to see the sun rise at Wheatley Harbour. There was a lot of bird activity when I arrived with gulls and shorebirds. Quite a number of shorebirds were along the beach and gulls were coming in from the east.
I did not stay long, but I did pick out at least 3 immature Little Gulls and even a Black-headed! The gulls were swirling around quite a bit and at times rested on the beach. They did not stay put long. The lighting was no good for photos, even though I tried.
The Black-headed was a first cycle bird. A couple of weeks ago, J.B. had one at the same location, so perhaps it is the same bird? Only speculation. Another or the same was seen at Leamington earlier this week.
There were lots of shorebirds consisting of Dunlin, Semisands and Ruddy Turnstones. Perhaps a White-rumped was there as well.
On the way to Point Pelee I took a pass at the Gray Kingbird spot, but only saw Eastern. The kingbird was not reliably seen since Thursday I believe.
I took the first tram to the Tip with Kevin McLaughlin. Alan Wormington joined us as well for a Tip watch. Steve Pike and Adam Pinch also came along a bit later.
There was not too much of note during the watch. Lots of Cedar Waxwings are now showing up.
With Steve and Adam, I walked up west beach trail to the VC. The best thing of note was a female Painted Skimmer. For some reason, I drew a complete blank on ID, but the name was on the tip of my tongue! It was a while later that it dawned on me this was a Painted Skimmer.
A few other species of dragonflies were out including the common ones such as Common Baskettail.
Several Giant Swallowtails were flying today. This one a bit worn.
After a quick lunch, I checked out De Laurier area, then NW beach area. I saw a couple of American Snouts, FOY.
Earlier at the Tip parking lot we saw a FOY Common Buckeye. A fresh arrival.
Next stop was Hillman marsh shorebird cell. Lots of Black-bellied Plovers of course, a single Short-billed Dowitcher, some Dunlin and some semisands.
Wheatley Harbour was next and there was yet another Adam Pinch sighting. Shorebirds were feeding in the weeds, but not as many as earlier in the day at this location.
A small fraction of the gulls from earlier too. The young Lesser Black-backed was sitting on the rock island.
I checked for the Dickcissel at Camper's Cove Road. Although everyone else saw it today, it was hiding when I stopped by. Henrique Pacheco was looking for it as well at the time, but I see he got it later in the day as a lifer! No doubt more birds will be arriving soon.
The day was not done, so I slid over to Blenheim Lagoons. This place seems to attract lingering waterfowl as the Tundra Swan was still present as well as a male Canvasback and a male Bufflehead.
In the sprinklers, a number of semisands and a single White-rumped Sandpiper were seen. An injured (bad leg) Least Sandpiper looked lonely.
A pretty good day to be out and with good weather.....until I got to Chatham. Heavy rain, high winds and the bottom fell out of the thermometer!