Friday, April 6, 2012

Birding Hiatus Birding

Having a little time to spare this morning, I figured I would try my luck at finding the Black Scoters that were so abundantly* reported as of late at Point Pelee. On the way to PPNP, I stopped by Hillman Marsh  and checked out the shorebird cell & wetland cells. Upon arrival at the shorebird cell, Kelly and Sylvain greeted me and gave a run-down at what was being seen (no Common Teal). Kelly mentioned a Northern Bobwhite calling about 20m to the right and mentioned how they were common back in her home state. She attempted to whistle the call but curiosity forced me to play the call on my Ibird App. A few moments later, the Bobwhite called with its very distinct and obvious call, fresh in my memory from having just played it. Northern Bobwhite was lifered about a year ago in Florida at the Cecil B. Webb WMA near Fort Myers. One crossed the road while I was driving... but its one of the few birds on my life list that I never got a photo of. 

The wetland cell was pretty quiet but had two Yellowlegs and about 20 Dunlin.

At Pelee, the tip's west beach was today's main destination.  While waiting for the tram to the tip, I re-united with Kelly and Sylvain along with Kory who had an incredible new 85mm Vortex scope. The four of us scanned the rafts of ducks from the tip parking lot, looking for Black Scoters.  Amongst thousands of Scaup,  (I think) I saw a Common Loon along with smatterings of Rudy Ducks, Bufflehead, and Surf Scoter. After walking North from the West Beach tip parking lot, we had a great vantage point on thousands of Ducks and Kory spotted the Black Scoter after considerable effort. Kory then spotted a pair of Horned Grebes that were right in front of us!
Where's Waldo? Where is Black Scoter?

*About four Black Scoter were amongst thousands other ducks. I can't beleive how hard it was to find them. A good scope, a little luck and patience were needed to see this rare coastal and salt water dwelling scoter!

A quick walk along Shuster Trail turned up several Winter Wrens, a Hermit Thrush and a few sparrows. A small Kinglet was seen next to the visitor center. I left the park at about noon as I had church and family plans.  Overall, it was a 'Good Friday'.

Good birding!

PS: Check out this photo that Raymond Barlow took of a Peregrine Falcon at Niagara Falls...
PSS: Did you hear that there is a Cougar roaming around in Amherstburg right now?

Lifer Summary:
Black Scoter - 296


  1. Too bad I can't get my life Black Scoter from your photograph! I am definitely thinking of starting to save up for a better scope. It's so hard to choose between equipment and trips when it comes to my birding budget. :) As for the Common Teal, I never would have found it on Sunday had it not been for other kind birders. I THOUGHT I had checked every single Green-Winged Teal, but apparently I hadn't scrutinized them all.

  2. Kelly, I realized that I need a scope on this last trip as well. Life is too short to be scanning distant birds with binoculars. Glad you found the Teal (and Am Golden Plovers)!



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