Great Egret

Great Egret

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Mixed Monday

It was cloudy, rainy, breezy and even sunny at times on this first day of May. At least there wasn't any snow!

The heavy overcast conditions along with rain convinced me to not take my camera with me during the first part of the day. My umbrella was going to be of much more use!

A couple of warblers caught my attention along the South Point Trail, both of which were the first of the year for me: Cape May and Northern Parula. They were feeding high up in the trees. A Yellow-breasted Chat which had showed up from time to time a little farther down the trail eluded us, but I caught up to a White-eyed Vireo. From the old Dillon Trail, I added Sandhill Crane and Broad-winged Hawk.

I walked the Tuliptree Trail, but it was very quiet, so I stopped in at the Visitor Centre and chatted with staff, along with friends I hadn't seen for years. The feeders were busy with birds.

A return along Lakeshore Road turned up the long-staying White-winged Dove, as well as my FOY Orchard Oriole.

As the day wore on, the rain lessened and there were mostly precipitation free times, so I put away my umbrella and got out my camera. A few House Wrens were scattered here and there..... were Field Sparrows.

A Killdeer, which had had its first nest fail, was trying again.

The sun actually came out quite nicely later in the afternoon. I had heard that some birders and a film crew had some fabulous looks for several minutes of a cooperative Sedge Wren in the beach dunes at the northeast corner of the park. (I know, I doesn't often read Sedge Wren, fabulous looks and cooperative in the same sentence!) I wasn't too far away so off I went, but it was not showing itself for me, and with the wind and waves making lots of noise just a few metres way, there is no way I would have heard its faint buzzy song. As consolation, not too far from where I parked the car I had Tufted Titmouse as well as a smattering of warblers including Black-throated Green, Yellow, Palm and Yellow-rumped.
Black-throated Green Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Over the course of the day, I noted at least 5 Red-headed Woodpecker. This is the most I have seen in one day for quite awhile. In fact it is the first time in probably decades, where I saw more Red-headed Woodpeckers (5+) than Red-bellied Woodpeckers (3).
I had also heard about a few Willets seen around mid-day at Shrewsbury. Willets seem to have been blown well of their normal course this spring, since several dozen or more have appeared in various places along the lake shore of southern Ontario. With the sun out and beginning to dry up the rain, it was rather foggy at times. As soon as I got to the boat launch area of Shrewsbury, I noted a group of large shorebirds flying through the foggy sunlight along the west side. As they flew by and banked, their overall gray appearance with the vivid black-and-white wing pattern conclusively identified them as Willet. They flew, circled and landed several times, affording some great views. The nine of them eventually settled at the water's edge, which is where I left them.

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