Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pumpkin-time Birding

This morning I headed down to Point Pelee since a good south wind was blowing.  This time of year we watch for good south winds to attempt a Tip Watch at Point Pelee.  The wind was good and there was much action at the Tip early this morning.  The weather was warm- much warmer than it really should be this time of year.  However, with climate change we have to get used to this!

There was actually a good-sized sand spit jutting out into the lake--the best I have seen in a few years.

Cedarglen passing Point Pelee

I stood watch with Dan Greenham for a couple of hours sorting through the hundreds of gulls and other birds.  Just after 08:00 I spotted a jaeger off the east side.  It was an adult-type bird which milled about for a bit SE of the Tip.

It eventually headed across the Tip and towards Pelee Island.  It had long central tail feathers which initially made me think Long-tailed.  Later on it was obviously not a Long-tailed as it exhibited a noticeable breast band, and as well, there were white primary patches on the underwing.  I believed it to be a Parasitic.

Around 08:50 I spotted another jaeger off the east side, a bit more distant.  It too was an adult, but did not have long central retricies like the previous one.  It milled about for some time harassing gulls before disappearing.
Identifying jaegers can sometimes be tough without a lot of experience.  They are highly variable and we do not get many down this way, so very few are seen.  They seem to avoid Rondeau like the plague, where I spend much of time birding!

It was a decent falcon day with at least 3 Peregrines, 6 Merlins and a Kestrel.

Quite a few different ducks were moving today including lots of Lesser Scaup.
Shorebirds included only about a dozen Sanderlings.
Some Tree Swallows were seen as well as a couple of hummingbirds flying off the Tip.

After leaving the Tip, I went up to De Laurier where there were a few warblers and kinglets.

Black-throated Green Warbler

Before heading home, I made the usual stop at Hillman Marsh and walked around the shorebird cell.  I found just under 30 Common Checkered-Skippers, 2 Fiery Skippers, a Bronze Copper and the usual common species.

Common Checkered-Skipper

Bronze Copper

Fiery Skipper

It is the holiday weekend, so more birding is in store!


  1. Looks like a great start to the weekend!

  2. Looks like a great weekend, nice that you got to see some jaegers! I did a lake watch for a few hours in Fort Erie Sunday morning with the strong SW winds and didn't come up with any.

    1. Always good to get a jaeger in these parts! It was a pretty good weekend for birding.