Friday, June 30, 2017

Pelee Prize-Magnificent Frigatebird

Luckily things were slow at work today, so I headed south late morning.  The target was a frigatebird that was reported yesterday afternoon.  It was a Magnificent Frigatebird, which appears to be a female. It is a bird any serious birder cannot pass up!
I arrived at Pelee Wings Nature Store during lunch hour and went to the back deck where Mike Malone and Joan Walker have graciously allowed birders to view this magnificent creature.

It was a bit distant as it perched in a tree, but views through the scope were good.

Mike told us that a homeowner was accepting birders to view the bird from his dock, and many of us went there at the end of Robson Road to see the bird up close.  I went over with my very good friend, Rick Mayos.

It did not fly the whole hour I was there and looked lost and likely hungry as it perched in the tree.

While there I met several friends or people I know, and others came afterwards.

Rick Mayos at left, Barb Charlton looking through scope and Nathan Hood and Isabel Apkarian in centre
There have only been four previously accepted records for Ontario (prior 2016), most likely results of hurricanes in the south.
1) Point Edward, Lambton September 1988
2) Stoney Point, Essex October 1995
3) Clearville-Rondeau, Chatham-Kent July 2012
4) Long Point, Norfolk September 2012

There are two records accepted as frigatebird sp.
1) Colchester, Essex 2008
2) Lake Huron shoreline (Ipperwash, Lambton to Tobermory, Bruce) 2013

It is often difficult to assign species to some frigatebirds, as was the case in the above two records.

I stopped by Hillman Marsh on the way back and walked around the shorebird cell.  Few butterflies were to be found, but the continuing Dickcissels were singing away.  I seem to always come up with seven singing males there, but likely there are several females lurking around.

Three Great Egrets were close by affording photo ops.

It was a fine way to start the holiday weekend, and add a new Essex County bird to my list (been a while!).


  1. I can't go for the frigatebird tomorrow because of the butterfly count, but hopefully Monday I will!

    1. Hopefully it will stay for you.
      I will be at the Skunk's butterfly count tomorrow.