Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lake Erie Shoreline Birding

I took a little different tactic for birding today.  First thing this morning I headed down to Wheatley Harbour to check out shorebirds and gulls.  The spot has been good lately for shorebirds, including some Red Knots.
Some of the shorebirds I saw were Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper and Sanderling, but knot a knot!

After some time there, I decided to head over to Hillman Marsh shorebird cell. I met Marianne Reid there, but we found no shorebirds!  A single Semipalmated Sandpiper did come in, but that was it.
Another visit to Wheatley Harbour was in order, and Marianne joined me for a look.  The same shorebirds were present.

More gulls were loafing about, including a first cycle Little Gull (a FOY!).  For whatever reason Little Gulls have been scarce in these parts for the last year.
Also present was the young Lesser Black-backed Gull.

After an hour or so, I headed east.  Near the end of Campbell Road, I found a bunch of shorebirds that included about 50 Whimbrel and about 50 Black-bellied Plover. I took a quick passing shot.

Although not intended today, I ended up at Rondeau Park and walked around for about an hour.  The weather was unusually nice for a Saturday.  A number of migrants are still moving through, but most remained heard only.  It was quite pleasant with the nice weather and many birds singing.

I decided to head to Erieau to look for more shorebirds and gulls.  I spent well over an hour there looking at many gulls.

Several flocks of Whimbrel went by or circled about.  I estimated around 350 of them.

Some other shorebirds were around including the passing by of 2 Red Knots.  Many have been reported lately in southern Ontario, as they are moving north.  Of course they used to be more regular, but now are less frequent than my early days of birding.

Many boaters were out today stirring up the waters.  I caught sight of this woody, of which I am familiar.  The owner built the boat himself based on the popular Chris Craft U-22 hull.

As a parting shot, the tour boat from Tobermory departed Wheatley Harbour this morning on its way north for another season, after wintering at Hike Metals.


  1. I think I saw the Tobermory boat when I got up there!

    1. I am sure they would have arrived non-stop Saturday night!