Sunday, April 1, 2018

Foolin' Around on April 1

Today I headed down to Hillman Marsh and Point Pelee.  Lots of Snowy Owls are still around, perhaps taking a liking to this cold weather.  I saw several in my travels today to and from Essex County.
This one along Angler Line at Mitchell's Bay was soaking up some sunshine right beside the road.

Snowy Owl #6905

I stopped by Hillman Marsh shorebird cell first thing.  Usually late in the day is better, but first thing is not too bad, and lighting is good.
Green-winged Teal seem to be the most common duck, with well over 100 in the cell.  I did not find the Common Teal again, but did see one that looked like an intergrade.  The vertical pale bar was somewhat indistinct on that one.

Dawn Swans

Lots of Northern Shovelers were in as well.  They seem to like feeding in tight rafts.

The first yellowlegs of the year was there, as well as some Dunlin.  Up to a dozen Dunlin were present (on my 2nd visit), but too far for a photo opportunity.

A Northern Shrike has been hanging around the area for some time.  I always missed it on previous visits, but finally got a distant glimpse of it today.  This time of year, one has to look closely to make sure it is not a Loggerhead!

A pair of Sandhill Cranes blended in well with the landscape in the onion fields.

I moved on to Point Pelee and went right to the Tip to scope waterfowl and waterbirds.  There was good variety, but nothing of real note.  A few Common Loons and Horned Grebes were on the move today.

Josh Vandermeulen joined me for a while at the Tip as we scanned the situation.  Greater Scaup were the most numerous duck.

An Eastern Phoebe was hanging around the Tip.

I did not encounter a swallow today, but they were all over yesterday (not where I was!).

Yesterday I was at Rondeau in the morning.  It was a nice day, but not much had come in yet.  A few Fox Sparrows were scattered around.

It appeared that more Golden-crowned Kinglets had come in, as they were in many places.  As well, more Mourning Doves were around and I kept watch for a White-winged!  If it comes back this year, it will be very soon, unless it finally threw its wings up in disgust.

Mourning Dove

I walked the campground again.  One of the wintering Yellow-rumped Warblers was still about.
One can always have a ball in the campground.

Later, I stopped by Ridgetown Lagoons.  Four Greater White-fronted Geese (along with 6 Snow Geese) were still around, but in the distance.

The afternoon was rather nasty with high winds and driving rain, so I went out to Port Lambton to watch the river.  There was quite a bit of activity, but nothing really of note.
A classic laker was nice to see.

John G. Munson


  1. I've noticed that ball there. I wonder how long it will stay?

    1. I put it there just was in the shrubs nearby!