Saturday, February 18, 2012

Early Egret v2

Great Egret on the west side of the River Canard Bridge in LaSalle ON. According to the Essex County Ebird Stats, its at least a month early!
A recent Ontbirds report from a LaSalle area birder mentioned a Great Egret in Turkey Creek near the Front Rd Bridge. This birder also mentioned a Catbird, Kingfisher and Mockingbird in the area as well. So, having some extra time,  I tried this afternoon to go see this bird for myself. I missed the Egret from the reported spot, so I figured I would drive up to River Canard, even if no birds were around, its a really beautiful drive. Long story short,  the Great Egret was seen, along with two Great Blue Herons just off to the west from the bridge that crosses over River Canard.

Also seen was an Adult Bald Eagle on its nest on Fighting Island in the Detroit River. This is visible from the LaSalle Park at the foot of Laurier Dr and Front Rd.

Great Egret Range Map from
It seems the summer range is woefully wrong...

The Cost of Birding
With gasoline selling at 1.22/L, I realized recently that even with a fuel efficient car, gas costs about $0.10 per KM! To drive from Windsor to Point Pelee and back would cost about $10! I don't know if I'm being cheap here, but 10$ for a drive to PPNP seems pretty steep. I guess I never tried to break down the cost until recently. Rondeau on the other hand would be about $15 in gas (round trip) plus $17 to enter the park. So, if I go to Rondeau Park in May, I am basically coughing up $32.... Seriously? That is major money!!! Is there any other county (Essex, Kent & Lambton Counties) in North America that has 3%** original forest cover due to agriculture, then charges people to walk around in whats left of the rare forest habitat?
Life List Wishlist
As I approach my 3rd year of birding, I think I will put less emphasis on my life list which I think is a natural progression for birders. But, I am presently sitting at about 290 species of birds, and I think it would be really fun to count the next ten as I approach 300 species. Even though its an arbitrary number, I think some celebration is in order.

There are so many birds that I still would love to see, its hard to make a list of ten or so. There are some Southwestern Species I would love to add to this list, but I will try to keep it a little more realistic with Eastern birds that I have a slight chance of seeing a little more locally.

American Bittern
Virginia Rail
Upland Sandpiper
Black Scoter
Prairie Warbler
Worm Eating Warbler
Kirtland's Warbler
Barred Owl
Little Gull
American Pipit
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Gray Jay
Common Redpoll
White winged Crossbill

To see any of the above species, I think I'm going to really have to study the stats and range maps from Many of the others may require some travel over the summer. Others may need outright chasing. It will be interesting!

Good birding,

**3% is a statistic but I don't really have a source, it may have been at the PPNP VC, Ojibway Park or informal conversation with other nature lovers. Here is a map, compliments of ERCA that shows the tiny amount of woodland that remains in Essex county. Take out your magnifying glass!


  1. I'd prefer a late Limpkin over an early Egret LOL!
    We don't mind paying something, but provincial park gate fees are way out of wack!

  2. I like the "cost of birding" comments--it's definitely something to think about! And important to remember that the cost is not only monetary.

    Good luck on the next 10 and your upcoming milestone!

  3. I love this post. Birding is quite costly but there is not much in life that is free. I have slowed down a ton compared to what I used to do mainly do the the cost. I have a few ideas for your life list Dwayne. I higher recommend luther marsh in early spring for your bittern. I used to drive around the roads surrounding that area with my windows open and you couldn't miss their calls as they were trying to find a place to settle and set up nest. I can give you more details if you like.
    As for a barred owl, I had great viewings of multiple owls at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. The road around the park offered great opportunities to see them.
    Last advice is for a gray jay. Algonquin is a very easy place to see them in the winter. Most place up north with give you a view of one of these birds but check out the visitor's center feeder in the winter and you will see many.
    I know all these destinations are not close to your location but you could make a camping weekend of it so it is not just driving for birding.



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