Sunday, August 19, 2012

Red necked Phalarope at Point Pelee's Lake Pond

With numerous Ontbirds postings over the last week about Red necked Phalaropes I figured I would make an attempt (my last for the season) to kayak Point Pelee's Marsh (Lake Pond) and find them myself. Sure enough, a pair was spotted at one of the first "Islands" that I visited. The black streak across the eye is easily seen from great distance! One of the two Phalaropes had some golden highlights in its plumage, and the other was monochromatic.

Like I've said many time before, it seems shorebirds ignore people when they are in a kayak. I was about 5 meters away from these two Phalaropes, a Greater Yellowlegs and a few Semi-Sandpipers. At one point, they flushed because of a Northern Harrier that flew by, but then returned immediately.

Some birds that I saw today (Saturday) include:

Red necked Phalarope  2
Short billed Dowitchers 20
Black bellied Plovers 3
Least Sandpipers 30
Semipalmated Sandpipers 30
Yellowlegs Sp. 6
Semipalmated Plovers 5
Spotted Sandpiper 5
Killdeer 10

Perhaps more diversity could have been found by navigating to other areas of Point Pelee's Marsh (see map), such as West and East Cranberry Pond, but as usual, I only had a few precious hours to bird on Saturday.
I was hoping this was a Western Sandpiper, but no, its Semipalmated.
Yellow legs
Butterfly Watching
A ditch on the nortwest side of the road leading to Point Pelee had about 20 meters of Purple Loostrife and many butterflies had taken notice. Whites, Sulphurs, Painted Lady, Monarch, Common Buckeye, Grey Hairstreak, Fiery and Sachem Skippers were all present. 

Earlier on in the week, I had photographed this Duskywing below. I had heard about some duskywings having a plume on their hindlegs, so I thought I had found something interesting here.  An online book I found while researching (Butterflies of Canada) mentioned that the following duskywings have such plumes: "Male duskywings of Icelus (Dreamy Duskywing - Too late in the season), zarucco, Funeralis, Persius (Persius Duskywing), Lucilius (Columbine), Afranius (Afranius Duskywing), and Baptisiae (Wild Indigo) have hair plumes on their hindlegs. So, considering the time and location, I think its just a Wild Indigo that had its wing oriented with the sun in a way to show some really nice iridecsence. The four white spots are hardly visible in this photo, but in others they are visible from the underside of the forwing.

Iridescent Wild Indigo Duskywing, with plumes on hindleg

Ventral View of a Tawny Emporer
Sunday Visit to Holiday Beach

Some of my best birding trips in my short three years of birding have been at Holiday Beach (Warblers peaking on Labour Day Weekend), and today gave me a little taste of what is to come over the next two or three weeks. Since May was a such a letdown in the warbler department, I look forward to enjoying vireos, flycatchers and warblers, as well as Raptors on their Southbound migration over the next month. Holiday Beach is one of North America's best Raptor Migration hotspots.

Some birds seen at Holiday Beach include:

Hundreds of Great Egrets
Many Great Blue Herons
Heard Carolina Wrens (many)
Cedar Waxwings (many)
Eastern Wood Pewee
Alder Flycatcher
Black and White Warbler
Cape May (or Magnolia) Warbler
Yellow Warbler

Hundreds of Egrets are still at Big Creek. This is a split photo, the top looking north from the big creek bridge, the bottom looking south. I looked for wing-tags but saw none.

Good Birding,


  1. An interesting blogpost.
    Wish I could get phalarope photos like that, LOL!
    I saw one of those creatures at Blenheim today.
    I'd like to get to Holiday Beach, but it just too far away for a short outing.

  2. Nice post Dwayne. I'd love to do the Holiday Beach visit too, but like the commenter above, it's far for a day trip.
    Your combined pictures of the herons and egrets had me stumped for a bit! I couldn't figure out why my eyes felt like they were playing tricks on my with sizes, or if I was seeing a group of Great Egrets in the background and a group of some smaller heron or egret in the foreground. The image almost works as one! :) No matter, that's a lot of herons and egrets in one place!

  3. Ha ha... Brian, sorry about the Egret photo. I've added a caption to the photo explaining that the top of it is looking north, and the bottom of the photo is looking south from the bridge that crosses over big creek.

    Blake, you have to rent a kayak from pelee wings and hit the marsh. The best way to shorebird!

  4. Funny I am often hoping to find a Semipalmated Sandpiper amid all these dang Westerns... Trade you a few?



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...