Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Morning at St. Clair NWA

I arrived at St. Clair National Wildlife Area before sunrise this morning.  It turned out to be a beautiful day weather-wise.  Certainly the best since..... I do not know when! (And it was still the weekend!).

The occasion was the CBC in the area, and I was just interested in doing the wildlife area.  I spent five hours there on the main dike and bit along Balmoral Line.  Pete Read and Donald Pye joined me around 09:30 as part of their section in the CBC.

It was quite active first thing in the morning and I am glad I headed out.  Birds were chipping in the marsh and waterfowl by the hundreds flying over and landing in the small bits of open water.

Right off I heard the characteristic chips of a Marsh Wren. In fact there were two not far from the parking lot.

Turns out I came across five of them along the main dike trail!  Marsh Wrens are somewhat expected in these parts during winter, so one wonders how many are really out there.

Conversely, I did not come across a Common Yellowthroat.  They are occasionally found this time of year in these parts.

My main target was to find that Nelson's Sparrow, but it was not to be.  I think it is still around though.  I spent quiet a bit of time in the target area before the other counters arrived.
Along with Donald and Pete, we certainly tried.

A couple of Bald Eagles were around in the early morning.

We did not get decent looks at the ducks and geese until we were over on Balmoral Line.  The lighting was perfect from that vantage point but we were looking through trees on the dike.

We found a good variety of ducks including 3 male Wood, a male American Wigeon, 2 male Northern Pintail, a female Common Goldeneye and 5 Ruddy Ducks among countless Mallards and some Black.

Also present were two American Coots and at least 4 Cackling Geese.

After Pete and Don left I went back to look at the waterfowl and saw a male Green-winged Teal fly in.  Allen Woodliffe was present at that time as well.

On the way home, I made a slight detour to look for the Snowy Owl along Meadowvale Line south of Wallaceburg.  It was there at its usual perch, but just up the road and on the south side was yet another.
One of the better photo ops I had of a Snowy Owl!

No comments:

Post a Comment