After about 1.5 years of birding, I have seen/photographed about 185 birds. I'm not bragging (or putting myself down)... the number of birds a birder sees depends on many variables, such as the geographic location the birder lives in, time spent out in nature, seasons, habitats, optics and keen-ness. I've had this psychological level I want to pass, which is 200 bird species mainly in the Essex County region. To get to this level though, I have to start counting some shorebirds.
One of the last areas of birding that is still a bit confusing to me is shorebirds! Up until recently, I did not have a field-guide, and I still don't have a scope or binoculars, and they come and go from the Windsor area in the span of about two months of the year. There are no really good birding spots/habitat for shorebirding (in Windsor) that I am aware of. (One surprisingly decent spot I've recently discovered is behind This School in Lasalle).
Mid to Late August is the time of year when Ont-birders get emails notifying them of all the shorebirds at various habitats that attract these shorebirds (flooded fields, Lagoons & Wetlands). Some of the birds listed include:
- Black Bellied Plover -
- Stilt Sandpiper
- Baird's Sandpiper (Lifer)
- Semi-Palmated Sandpiper (Lifer)
- Semi-Palmated Plover
- Lesser Yellowlegs
- Greater Yellowlegs
- Pectoral Sandpiper (lifer)
- Least Sandpiper
So, recently I came across a blog that suggested there were 20+ shorebird species, including American Avocet, Hudsonian and Spotted Godwits, Phalaropes and others! And it was only 35 minutes from Windsor!
This park is called Pointe Mouillee in Rockwood, Michigan (http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/publications/pdfs/wildlife/viewingguide/slp/107Mouillee/index.htm). I had to go and check it out. This park is located on the western shores of lake erie, about 30 minutes south of Detroit.
Birds seen generally include the birds listed above plus:
Wilsons Phalarope (Lifer-giving himself away with his circular foraging strategy!)
Pied Billed Grebe (abundant)
Black Crowned Night Herons
Yellow Headed Blackbird (Lifer-in flight, with white wing-patches flashing)
Red Knot (lifer)
Sora Rail (Flushed from dyke... only seen for a second)
Bobolink (lifer - but in non breeding plumage)
Thanks must go out to Dane from Ohio who I met out on the pathways and who shared his scoped views, knowledge and company with me. As usual, I am so impressed with the keen observation skills of the birders I meet.
|Do you see the Wilson's Phalarope in this photo?|
So, for the mostpart, I have about 8 new lifers today (pushing me to about 193 birds on my life list) , but really, I'm not overly excited because well... they're shorebirds and to make matters worse, they're in their vague, non-breeding plumage. I think shorebirding will grow on me if I get a scope and see them in April with their breeding plumage. To see a Godwit or an Avocet today probably would have blown my mind. The Bobolink was nice though!