Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pelee May 14th !!! This place, I tell ya...

This is how I felt this morning (above)... 

I thought the fun and games would (generally) be over for today, but we got lucky with the rain and winds and had a LARGE DROP of migrants (what the heck is a mini fallout?) in the park today. Long story short - there were a LOT of birds around today, but they were up high - very active - and against a gray sky. Not the best conditions, but I didn't care.

Lots of Blackpolls, Tennessee, Thrushes and Tanagers arrived overnight, augmenting the high numbers of Orioles, Grosbeaks, Yellows etc. It may have been the highest number of migrant birds (individuals) I've seen in the park in the last two years! (which isn't saying tooo much, but still fun)..


With all that said (above) - I have very little to report. It felt like a "Kirtland's" kind of day, but no one found any! I just enjoyed the walk and colourful birds until the rain started early in the afternoon! (HEAVY rain at times).

Best bird was a RAVEN !!! That I could hear from the Visitor's Centre (barely) for about 15 minutes before it finally flew north along the west beach...

I drove the onion fields on my way back to our cottage. I actually stopped at Hillman at dawn (didn't see much) so I skipped it later... Good thing, because Wheatley Harbour was packin RARES!

I could see these beauties with my eyes as I drove up! Same Laughing Gull reported as yesterday, but check out Frank! (Franklin's Gull) - hanging out with the snazzy Laugher!!!

Frank stayed for 2-3 minutes in total, before flushing and flying west. Sounds like it eventually settled down at Hillman. Woot! I decided to check the east beach of Wheatley, even though I had already used up my good luck here. wait... WAIT.....

That's an Eared Grebe!! In stunning breeding garb. The photo is AWFUL (it was pouring rain) - but I had realllllly good looks in the scope. BEAUTY!

Back at the cottage, I waited out the rain.. Where would I go? After doing some laundry, the skies broke and it was almost sunny!!! I noticed the clouds were racing out of the NE - then it hit me - I could watch the skies AND the lake from our cottage... I went for it...

8 minutes later............

M I S S I S S I P P I !!!!!

I yelled for Barb Wire and we watched it cruise pretty low over our cottage... Another 1st basic (like yesterday) but a different bird based on feather wear (as expected). I then realized I made the right decision, and watched for the next 4 hours with a brew in tow.

No other rares, but we had some good "cottage birds" like Wilson's, Tennessee and Blackburnian Warbs, Scarlet Tanagers, Black Tern, etc etc etc... There was actually a huge feeding frenzy offshore that provided a lot of entertainment (loons, grebes etc) and we picked out all of the Swallows among the throngs moving along the lakeshore (huge numbers of swifts as well).

Beauty of a day!

(view from the cottage)

Tomorrow's another day! Things gotta be slower tomorrow, no? 

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