Monday, May 20, 2024

New Bird for Lambton, Point Pelee Sightings and a Visit to the Misery

 After spending a few more days at Rondeau and area, Saturday was more of a day of relaxation.  However, I was out in the morning albeit quite foggy and damp.  Highlight was listening to the Western Meadowlark at Sombra (solar farm).  It was found a few days previous by Brandon Holden as he was making his rounds in the area.

It was quite pleasant to listen to it sing, a much more unique and pleasing song than its eastern counterpart.  I never got a photo, but in retrospect, could have obtained a recording.

The Western Meadowlark was a bird I really wanted to see for Lambton County.  Oddly, in all my years of birding the area, I never listed one for Lambton!  Apparently, they used to be more regular in the 1970's and before, but have fallen off the map in recent times.

There is always the occasional sighting in southern Ontario each year.  I have seen them in Middlesex, Essex, and a couple in Chatham-Kent, not to mention Rainy River District.  The Essex one was a bonus, as I photographed a bird a few years ago (2 June 2018) at Point Pelee, unknowingly that it was a Western.  My excuse is that it never vocalized!

Sunday I headed down to Point Pelee.  I first stopped at the Hillman shorebird cell to see if anything of interest was in.  Nothing new!  However, I had to satisfy my curiosity.

I then slid over to Point Pelee.  Even arriving later in the morning, the park was not all that busy despite the holiday weekend.  It was later though when I left.....the lineup to the gate was about a kilometre long, and growing.  Apparently they had to close the park for a while!

Anyway, I parked at the VC and walked towards the Tip on the road.  I cut in to west beach trail at the half way stop.  There were actually quite a few birds along the way, not to mention birders farther down.

As often is the case this time of year, there are many familiar faces along the way, and May birding is very much a social event as well.  Some, we only see this time of year, but you get to know these people and it is nice to share bird sightings and other news.

At the Tip parking lot, I was talking to Ross and Sandy (long time friends) when word came about a Neotropic Cormorant at the Tip.  We rushed to the good 'ole Tip and the the subject bird was pointed out to us.  It flew around a bit, swam a bit, and stuck around for many to see.  

Unsatisfactory photos were obtained.

That was a nice 'bonus' bird for my visit!  Not new for my Essex list, but certainly a rarity to my eyes.

While there, a couple of American White Pelicans were way out on the lake, and came a bit closer to view.

The pelicans are a regular there anymore at this time of year, so it was not surprising to see them.

As well, a couple of Whimbrel were resting on the Tip.

I walked back west beach trail looking for insects.  Nothing of note, but I had hopes of seeing a Juniper (or Olive) Hairstreak, a critically imperiled species at Point Pelee nowadays.  Ironically, one was found today!

(photo from the past)

After a quick check at Northwest Beach area, I left the park before it became overcrowded.

Silver-spotted Skipper

Long-nosed Marsh Fly

Today, I needed to go in a different direction, and headed up towards the county line of Middlesex and Lambton.  There are still lots of decent pastures in that area where one can find Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper Sparrow, etc.  In the scrubby area, Clay-colored Sparrow can be found buzzing away.

I found all of them!  But, could not get good photos....again.

Shy Clay-colored Sparrow

Eastern Meadowlarks (no Western) too.

Heading back, I checked out Skunk's Misery.  Indeed, the mosquitoes were horrific with all the rain we have had this spring.

One of my go-to places is Sitler Woods, one of the more recent acquisitions by Thames Talbot Land Trust (TTLT).

As expected, I got Acadian Flycatcher there, among other things like Hooded Warbler.

It is a place one may still find some American Chestnut.

In other areas several Hooded Warblers were singing, and a large number of Ovenbirds among other things.

Juvenal's Duskywing

While in the area, a stop at Wardsville Woods (another TTLT property) is always a necessity.  I go there more for insects, as readers of this blog know quite well.  It is a haven for rare odonates, but right now it is a bit early for some.

I found Midland Clubtails, Common Whitetails, and Twelve-spotted Skimmers today.

Midland Clubtail

Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Butterflies searching can be good here as well.

A FOY Common Ringlet

Still some bird migrants still to come. Flycatchers had not really come in numbers yet, but a few arrived today finally.  Cuckoos have not arrived to any degree yet either.

And, indeed, some rarities will be popping up to make things interesting!

No comments:

Post a Comment