Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lake Erie Metropark - 25 Oct 2008

It rained all yesterday afternoon and evening, and forecasts called for continued rain this morning, followed by clouds.
However, skies were clearing at sunrise, so I drove down to Pt. Mouillee. Roberts Rd. was quiet except for a few White-throated Sparrows feeding alongside the road. Backtracking to Campau Rd. I drove over to the boat ramp at Pt. Moo HQ and found Patricia Gamburd parked near the water.

Winds were starting to pick up, but we took a look out over the bay for shorebirds. A west wind was pushing the water out into the lake, exposing the mudflats near the mouth of the river. Hundreds of Bonaparte's Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls were roosting and feeding. We watched as several hundred Double-crested Cormorants moved south along the lake shore. Out on the mudflats I spotted a single American Golden Plover and three Black-bellied Plovers. A pair of Greater Yellowlegs and several Killdeer were the only other shorebirds until a flock of two dozen Dunlin flew in. Nearby a Great Blue Heron and Black-crowned Night Heron fed in the ditch next to the parking lot while a Sharp-shinned Hawk roosted in a bare snag across the marsh.

We then drove over to Lake Erie Metropark and stopped at the Marshland Museum. At the entrance into the woods we found dozens of White-throated Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, American Robins and Golden-crowned Kinglets feeding on privet berries. I managed a few pics of the warblers before spotting an immature Baltimore Oriole that flew in for a moment (see image at top).

The woods were buzzing with dozens of Yellow-rumps, more Kinglets, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, several Downy Woodpeckers, and more White-throats. I managed to photograph a White-crowned Sparrow among the masses. As we walked we flushed a Cooper's Hawk, had a Red-tailed Hawk fly overhead, and spotted a Rusty Blackbird among several Red-winged Blackbirds roosting along the canal. At one point I made the comment of hoping to see some Hermit Thrushes when three birds appeared practically at our feet. Unable to get clear photos we settled for nice looks through the binoculars. It turned out to be a nice morning despite news that winds will be in the 40+ mph range tomorrow, and that the Upper Peninsula is getting its first snow storm this afternoon.....

2 comments:

Blake A. Mann said...

I enjoy reading your reports! I am just over the border in Ontario.
http://burgbirder.blogspot.com/

Denise said...

Jerry, It's Denise from NMB, I love checking your blog and have added you to my blogroll. Come on over and peek in www.VintageLogCabin.blogspot.com

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