Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gulls in the Gale

Point Pelee was the destination today, as a November gale came in overnight.  The wind direction was out of the west, not the greatest for a Tip watch, but there were lots of birds.  Especially gulls.

Upon arrival at the Tip, there were several feeding frenzies comprising several thousand gulls.  We could not pick out anything of note until a bit later when Richard Carr pointed to a small dark gull.  It was a Franklin's!

A Lesser Black-backed Gull at the very Tip caused some confusion for a while as it is not a plumage we often see here.

Earlier, I had picked out 2 first cycle Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

There were thousands of ducks as well, mostly Red-breasted Mergansers.  Among others, a couple of Long-tailed flew by at one point.
I saw all three scoters as well, but they were few and far between.

I later checked Shuster Trail and walked De Laurier with Steve Pike, but there were very few landbirds.

The Cattle Egret was still at 1715 Concession Rd. E, but too far back for a good view.

I decided to go on to Erieau, and immediately arriving at the pier, I picked out the nice male Harlequin Duck.  There was also an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull on the breakwater.  Lots of Double-crested Cormorants are still around, but they will thin out soon.

Despite the wind, I braved Blenheim Lagoons!  Just inside the gate, I noticed the Cattle Egret in flight. I later saw it near the back pumphouse.
Lots of Northern Shovelers are still around and I estimated about 130.

Shorebirds included 2 Killdeer, about 60 Dunlin and the lingering Semipalmated Sandpiper.  I did not even try to take photos at the lagoons today!

Northerly winds tomorrow....

By the way, check out the London Free Press column by Paul Nicholson. He writes about blogs! Paul is a great guy and excellent writer.


  1. I know Paul as well, and I agree he is an awesome person. He has helped me on a few bird identifications over the past year, and has been kind enough in the past to include one of my pictures in his article. I was quite honored when he wanted to include my blog in his article.

  2. The "Semipalmated" Sandpiper is a first-winter Western Sandpiper, if referring to the bird photographed and included in these eBird checklists: AND

    1. Anon,

      Thanks for the comment! I did not see it well yesterday as it was too windy to bring in a scope.
      The finder is taking this under consideration.

      (Please sign you name so we know who we are dealing with!)

    2. Wow! If this checks out it may be one of the best surprise lifers of my birding career so far!

  3. Nice post! I enjoyed the shots of the Franklin's Gull and seeing your blog featured in the article!