As usual, I stopped by Holiday Beach today after work (on Friday), and spent some time on the hawk observation tower with Jim & Karen. Not too much was happening today. Some large groups of Turkey Vultures went by (100-200). I did see many American Coot, Northern Shoveler and even a Wood Duck among others.
The good news is that I saw three lifers today! The bad news... no photos! I saw a Red shouldered Hawk through a 60x scope. Pine Siskin & Orange Crowned Warbler were also seen but not photographed! The hawk above was taken near Howard Ave just south of Huron Church Road.
Black billed Cuckoo #201
Broad winged Hawk #202
Rusty Blackbird #203
Red Shouldered Hawk #204
Pine Siskin #205
Orange Crowned Warbler #206
In hindsight, I have the a terrible obscured photo that I took after watching the orange-crowned warbler bathing through a scope. I could not even see the bird when I shot this, I just photographed the general area.
The resident Osprey was flying around and perched nearby.
American Coots were numerous today. I have not seen this bird on very many occasions.
The Pine Siskens are an unofficial lifer, because I heard them, and I saw a small flock fly from tree to tree below the hawk tower, but I was really unable to lock focus on them as they did that. They may have been in front of us for 15 seconds and sadly, I did not really see the tell-tale wingbars or a decent view of the bird.
I am looking forward to going to Holiday Beach in late October. Some new raptors will be coming through at that time. I would also love to see some Saw-Whet Owls!
PS: I've always had a problem with paying $10 to get into Holiday Beach (Isn't that too expensive?). This article below is great to read, but its too bad that Amherstburg is using this nature reserve as a cash cow. Couldn't ERCA put $380,000 to better use, such as acquiring more land?
The Holiday Beach Conservation Area is getting a new face.
The entrance to the park has been under construction for the past two weeks.
The paved road has been ripped apart and replaced with dirt and gravel as workers remodel the entrance.
The park will feature parking spaces for the first time, including spots for the handicapped. There will also be an automated pay gate for visitors who want to use a credit card to pay the entry fee.
Conservative MP Jeff Watson announced Friday the federal government is paying about 90 per cent of the construction costs or $385,000.
The Essex Region Conservation Authority is paying the remainder.
"This investment builds on the federal government's investment to the environment, habitats and biodiversity," Watson said. "Protecting the environment creates tourism jobs in the future."
Amherstburg Mayor Wayne Hurst said the improvements to the park will pay great dividends to the town. There are only two more days to camp at the park, which will be closed until spring. Visitors can still park and walk in to enjoy the facilities.
Holiday Beach is popular with bird watchers, especially considering word is getting out that the conservation area is a secondary site to Point Pelee National Park, said Kevin Money, director of conservation areas for ERCA.
The park has become a bit of a hot spot since the discovery of a pair of mating prothonotary warblers, the only breeding couple in Essex County. The endangered bird requires a specific habitat -- a cavity in a dead tree over standing water. Biologists erected nesting boxes for the prothonotary warblers in the wetlands of the park.
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Read more: http://www.windsorstar.com/technology/Holiday+Beach+facelift+gets+385K+boost/3681340/story.html#ixzz12XwESuaT
Met Jim Pawlicki at Point Pelee today. He saw a Le Conte's Sparrow at the Tip.