Thursday, September 18, 2014

Some Migration Highlights & a Failed Pointe Mouillee Trip

I've been busy with work, night school and the kids' swimming lessons ... I should really be in 'hiatus' mode, but I still have tried to find time to get some birding in - even its just close to home in Windsor. I've seen some surprisingly nice flocks of birds during my Ojibway walks - one highlight being a Blue winged Warbler - maybe one of my first of this species outside of Point Pelee and first "southbound" Blue winged that I recall seeing.  Other nice birds at Ojibway included nice looks at a Yellow billed Cuckoo, Tufted Titmouse - A local specialty - as well as some wild flowers - Great Lobelia & Nodding Ladies Tresses (or Great Plains Tresses?). Special thanks to Allen Woodliffe's blog for help on ID'ing the flowers.


I've also tried going to Holiday Beach in Amherstburg to join in the Hawk-festival festivities and just doing some birding around there. In September, the warblers and paserines at Holiday Beach are excellent...just as good or maybe better than what I see when I go to Point Pelee. Last weekend, a little walk along the beach gave looks at tonnes of passerines. I think they banded 150 warblers/thrushes/vireos and flycatchers. I had looks at Great crested Flycatchers, Wilson's Warblers, Magnolia, Black throated Blue, American Redstarts, Black and White, Blackpoll Warblers, not to mention great looks at Raptors flying overhead.

I attempted to go to Pointe Mouillee for some shorebirding last weekend, but after packing my van up with my bike... I realized that they close Pointe Mouillee in the peak of shorebird migration... Life can be so cruel some times. Its closed to anyone but hunters - but I was thinking, could you not go into the location and just not shot birds? Could you go hunting but bring a scope instead of a rifle?

Since I had a Pointe Mouillee trip failure - I figured I would post some shorebirding I did last year at this time, but never got around to posting. I had kayaked the Point Pelee Marsh and found a small muddy island peninsula that I just grounded my kayak onto. A few shorebirds were around, notably a Pectoral, Short billed Dowitcher and a White rumped Sandpiper! I have had bad luck with White rumped Sandpipers. I'm quite certain this is one - an adult too-  I think!

After work today, I was lucky enough to witness a major Broad-winged Hawk Migration today at Holiday Beach.  Thousands of them kettled and streamed by along with a great diversity of other raptors. More on that in my next posting!

Good birding!

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