I first stopped at the Jeannette's Creek boat launch--a spot I always like to check in winter. With the exceptional winter, it was quiet. However, across the river I spotted a large flock of blackbirds. Most were Red-winged with a lot of grackles and who knows what else.
Most were out of sight or too far away to get details. The spot of the flock was the Bradley property where it is not unusual to get blackbirds in winter. In years past we had some on the CBC which included all species! Perhaps some Brewer's were there as this area is known for winter records.
Next stop was Lighthouse Cove. It can be quite interesting in January at the mouth of the Thames. However, it was mostly ice, strange as it may seem for this year, but further out on the lake were hundreds of geese and swans. Much too far to get details.
Close by, some ducks were present, including the "weird" Mallard-types.
I next headed straight down Essex Rd. 37 and ended up at Hillman Marsh. I checked (briefly) NE and SE spots. At the SE spot were some Herring and Ring-billed Gulls on the ice and a few ducks (do not ask me how many!). I moved on to the National Park. I only walked Shuster trail, and it was very quiet. The few birds I had (numbering a half dozen) were very quiet below some of the sumacs, while a Horned Lark or two flew over. On the lake were a few ducks and gulls.
Just before I got off Shuster, I spotted a Hermit Thrush in the underbrush.
My next walk was over at Hillman Marsh. Lots of geese were flying over, but past the boardwalk area, I walked the little trail and came across a Marsh Wren. It was well-buried in the phragmites, so I could not get a photo.
Wheatley Harbour (C-K side) was interesting. Lots of gulls were present (mainly Ring-billed) some of which I presume just came in.
A single adult Bonaparte's Gull was flying around the entrance to the harbour.
Out on the lake, far out, were lots of ducks. Most were Common Goldeneye. I guess this is where most are since there are very few on the St. Clair River this winter!
|Gulls on Ice|
On the way home, I saw many Northern Harriers among other things.