Monday, May 28, 2012
Whimbrels. Should've Been Here Yesterday! - 26 May 2012
Between 22 May and 29 May of each year Whimbrels have been documented migrating through Michigan and other nearby locales by the hundreds. The kicker is that it tends to be a one-day wonder, meaning that they arrive on a single day (here in MI) and are gone (completely) by the next.
On 22 May Jim Van Allen was a Pt. Mouillee and found 168 Whimbrels (and 95 Black-bellied Plovers) in Cell 3 and the Vermet Unit. On the same day 635 Whimbrel were counted by Wayne Renaud at Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Toronto.
The next day David Boon went to Pt. Mouillee and found no Whimbrels. On the 24th of May another 482 Whimbrel would be counted in Toronto, followed by another 769 on the 25th. Surprisingly, Allen Chartier would find 235 Whimbrel (and 181 Ruddy Turnstones) on the 25th at Pt. Mouillee. Today (26th) I went to Pt. Mouillee and found no Whimbrels, and only 3 Ruddy Turnstones. Missed again. Incredibly though, Wayne Renaud and the folks at Colonel Samuel Smith Park would count a whopping 2264 Whimbrels.
I rode around to east side of Cell 3 just as the rains came, and got soaked. The birds didn't mind, so I spent a few minutes digiscoping the Dunlin and Semipalms that were foraging in the shallows just below the dike. I then noticed three Short-billed Dowitchers farther toward the middle of the unit.
With the skies starting to open up I headed back to the car and headed for home.