Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dow Wetlands Visit

After work today I decided to head up to Dow Wetlands, Sarnia near the corner of LaSalle Line and Highway 40.  There is extensive grassland habitat and constructed wetlands to attract wildlife.
I first went to the grassland area and found Eastern Meadowlarks, Savannah Sparrows, etc.

To the SW of Doug's Pond, some Upland Sandpipers were moving around.  There are quite a few of these uncommon shorebirds in the area as there is ample habitat.  I saw three today.

Yes, it is an Upland Sandpiper!

This area used to harbour Northern Bobwhite as well.  There was one left three years ago, but I assume they may be all gone now.  There was always bobwhite here and I recall while working in the area in 2003, hearing several.
Coincidentally, I went over to Walpole Island briefly early this morning.  Unfortunately, I did not hear any bobwhite, but I was not there long.  Even sitting in the car I was attacked by mosquitoes!

This evening at Dow there were also Northern and Orchard Orioles, Least and Willow Flycatchers and other common birds.
Several swallow species were here, including Cliff.  I assume they nest under the hwy 40 bridge nearby.

Dozens of Ctenucha moths were flying around today.

On the way there, I headed up along the St. Clair River, as I had to get fuel in Corunna.  At Courtright, I caught sight of  a duck near the gravel dock. Looked like a Canvasback!  However, I was not going to turn around, but on the way back I went by there to confirm.  Sure enough, a male Canvasback was swimming there.  Last week, one was reported by J.B. nearby.  Not sure what it is doing there but may have an injured wing.

Canvasback can occasionally be seen in the St. Clair flats (Walpole-Harson's Island areas) in the breeding season.  Redhead is quite regular.  Redhead, among other waterbirds, were listed by Michigan birders doing a survey this week in the southern Walpole area.  Notably, they found two Trumpeter Swans!  Pretty good for out area, but they are increasing on the Great Lakes.  There is a photo of the pair on their eBird list.  Everything can be expected at this time.

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