Sunday, June 3, 2018

Weekend Tours: Pelee/Strathroy/Skunk's

Saturday I decided to take a run down to Hillman Marsh and Point Pelee again.  The Hillman shorebird cell is being drained, as per usual this time of year, so I wanted to get one last look for shorebirds, etc.
A few ducks were present including up to ten Gadwall, a Northern Pintail (male) and other common species.

Shorebirds included White-rumped, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Dunlin and Semipalmated Plovers.

Two Sandhill Cranes were present--a regular occurrence anymore.

Moving on to Point Pelee, I started at the VC and walked to the Tip.  Just as I was getting out of the car, a smallish raptor quickly flew over which struck me as a Mississippi Kite (sub-adult).  Unfortunately it disappeared behind the trees before I got a good look.  With the northerly wind, it was a good possibility.  One of those that got away......

Even though the wind was northerly, the Tip had some activity.  There were lots of gulls and terns.

Three Sanderlings and two Dunlin were working the sand the whole time.

At least three Common Loons were around.

Further up the west side, a lingering Horned Grebe was close to shore.

I walked up the west beach trail and came across a meadowlark.  It was certainly out of place for the time of year, and thoughts of Western crossed my mind.  However, it seemed to be an Eastern and certainly never vocalized.

With few tourists in the park, I checked out Tilden's, Cactus Trail and De Laurier.  Nothing in the way of migrants.
Since it was a dismal day (forecast wrong again!), there was not much in the way of butterflies.  I did come across this Common Sootywing at Northwest Beach.  They are not too common within the park.

Common Sootywing

I stopped by Hillman on the way back, but it was quieter than before.

A look at Blenheim lagoons was also on the agenda.  A few common sandpipers were present, as well as a Lesser Scaup (only one when I was there!).

Sunday was nicer weatherwise.  Just the opposite to what the forecast said all week.  Saturday was supposed to be sunny (but was cloudy), then Sunday 80 % rain (not decided until Saturday).  After a nice sunny morning, it did rain heavily around lunch on Sunday though, but I was done what I wanted to do anyway.  (same old stuff!).

I did my annual run up Strathroy way, then down to Skunk's Misery.

Napier Road had the usual Clay-colored Sparrow buzzing away, and the pasture birds.

An Upland Sandpiper along Calvert was nice to see since they are becoming scarce anymore.

Clark Wright CA was very quiet this year, and Strathroy lagoons did not produce much.  A lone Ruddy Duck stood out at the lagoons.

Wood Ducks were plentiful there.

Down Watterworth Road, the usual Hooded Warbler was at the Crown Land, but no Acadian Flycatcher.  Perhaps one was further in.

Off Sassafras Road, a couple of Blue-winged and Hooded Warblers were singing away.

A tardy Wilson's Warbler was along the trail.

I came across about 13 singing Hooded Warblers along the roads and trails in Skunk's.  They certainly like the Mosa Forest!  Most remained unseen, but were heard well.

One just drives the roads, stopping at various points.  There are several trails to check out.

It is a good place for insects (not to mention mosquitoes).

Common Whitetail

Black-shouldered Spinyleg

Hobomok Skipper

I also checked out Wardsville Woods, another favourite stop of mine.  The 'annual' Blue-winged Warbler was here again.

Some Peck's and Tawny-edged Skippers were out today.

Tawny-edged Skipper
Wardsville Woods was a former golf course, so watch out for balls!

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