Wednesday, July 25, 2012

American White Pelicans at Big Creek in Amherstburg V3

4,5,6...7 American White Pelicans? My first for Ontario. Heavily cropped...

After reading about the reported White Pelicans and Little Blue Heron at Holiday Beach this week, I felt I should go and check it out.  It was reported that the Egret numbers at Holiday Beach/Big Creek might be the largest recorded Egret roost numbers in Canada. This morning, I was unable to find a juvenile Little Blue Heron, as most Great Egrets were very far from the hawk watching tower, and my scope is just not sharp enough to see beak detail to distinguish a LBH from a Great Egret.

Or is this a Juvenile Herring Gull?

Recent walks of Point Pelee beaches gave views of Bonaparte's Gulls and Lesser (?) black-backed Gulls. I was hoping to see a Little Gull, but I haven't convincingly seen one yet. I can't honestly differentiate between a greater and lesser gull at this point, so I usually go by what is more statistically abundant. Ebird charts for Essex County hint that Greater black backed Gulls are much more abundant than Lesser black backed Gulls.

A quick kayak trip into Point Pelee's Marsh resulted in surprisingly low numbers of shorebirds. I was expecting more to be honest. On the various islands of mudflats I saw:
2 Semipalmated Sandpipers
5 Killdeer
1 Juv Spotted Sandpiper
3 Short billed Dowitchers
15 Canada Geese
25 Black Terns (in the Lilypads)

I should enter this into e-bird. I should go out at least one more time into the marsh. Probably in the second week of August.
Any thoughts on the subspecies of this SBD? Hendersoni?

Lots of butterflies around at Point Pelee along west Beach. Common Buckeye and American Snout are very abundant, but Giant Swallowtails, Red Spotted Purples, Viceroy, Monarch, Painted Lady and even Variegated Fritillary. I was hoping to see an Olive Hairstreak this week but dipped.


Good Birding,

Long Dash Skipper? ... Probably Pecks

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