Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hillman Marsh & Point Pelee in Late September

 Wing-tagged Egret 10E at Hillman

Even though my birding travails as of late have been basically fruitless, I couldn't help but stop by Hillman Marsh this morning. When I arrived, I walked over to the bridge over Hillman Creek,  and I quickly noticed a wing-tagged Egret! I was going to add a caption.. "don't label me" (to the photo above)... but when I add captions lately, it prevents the reader from seeing the larger version of the photo. Some Yellowlegs and some peeps were around Hillman this morning, but nothing overly exciting.

 I might be wrong on the ID here, but this shorebird was quite larger than those around it and has a slightly upturned bill. The Sibley field guide to Eastern N American birds statest that the bill length of a Greater Yellowlegs is about 1.5x the length of its head (Lesser has a bill length equal to the length of its head). Having seen many Solitary Sandpipers lately, I'm actually amazed at how similar they look to the Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs!

I then proceeded to Point Pelee and headed straight to the visitor center. I had read on the Point Pelee Twitter page that there were many Kinglets and Vireos lately. I was hoping the sightings book would hint at where to find them. But the sightings book listed exclusive raptors over the last few days.  I figured I would go to the tip of the park. There seemed to be very birds on my last two PPNP trips. Are the raptors scaring them away or am I just missing them???

The tip of Point Pelee was very sparse this morning when I went,  and I saw very little with the exception of one small pocket of passerines along the east beach about 20m south of the 42 parallel path.

  Yellow Rumped in great light and razor sharp focus... Click for larger view...

In a fleeting 2 minutes I saw:
Red Breasted Nuthatch
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Nashville Warbler
American Redstart
Blue Jays

Above them were
Red Tailed Hawks
Turkey Vultures
Sharp Shinned Hawks
Merlin/Peregrin Falcon

 I ran into Rick from Leamington as I was leaving the park and we quickly checked out Delaurier for some Golden Crowned Kinglets that he had seen earlier. Rick has taken some incredible photos and video footage since I've seen him last. I would like to publish some of his video or at least link to them if he puts them online.

Merlin or Peregrine Falcon? My field guide isn't helping on this one.

Overall, I find that the passerine migration has really slowed down, at least from my meager observations. I wish I would have seen a Lincoln's Sparrow or some Vireos, but I guess some Raptors and a tiny group of warblers will do.

Good Birding!

Bonus: Last night after work, I saw this Solitary Sandpiper at Ojibway Park. ... But not much else!

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