I took an early evening bike ride down to Pt. Mouillee to look for the White Ibis, which had been spotted in the SW corner of the Vermet Unit numerous times since first reported last Saturday by Mary Trombley.
The DNR had performed controlled burns along the North Causeway and in the NE corner of the Humphries Unit yesterday, so they were patrolling in earnest for hotspots. Phragmites growing along the causeway from the Siegler Rd. parking lot were all but gone, leaving a charred ground with just a bit of stubble.
As I reached the dike separating the Vermet and Long Pond Units I ran into Patrick Jakel and walked with him out to the SW corner of the Vermet Unit. The White Ibis was spotted almost immediately about 200 yards out, foraging among dozens of Great Egrets. I managed to get a few digiscoped images from this long distance before the bird suddenly flushed and disappeared into the Humphries/Cell 3 area.
We didn't bother chasing the bird, instead remaining in the SW corner and enjoying the evening's birds. Lesser Yellowlegs were everywhere, but a few Greater Yellowlegs (left) were also present. Pectoral Sandpipers were dispersed among the other shorebirds that included a pair of Wilson's Snipe and Short-billed Dowitchers. The first Solitary Sandpipers of the fall were finally found, as well.
I spent a bit of time trying to capture flight shots of the numerous yellowlegs and Bank, Barn and Tree Swallows that were flying all around us. A flock of Purple Martins also moved through the area. It was windy (and hot), so birds were really moving. At one point Patrick saw the Snowy Egret take off from the middle of the Vermet Unit toward the Humphries Unit.
Convinced that we wouldn't see the ibis returned, we headed back to the Siegler Rd. parking lot. Along the way we spotted the Cattle Egret toward the north end of the Vermet Unit, and took some times digiscoped images before it flew off.
A sun-setting Osprey w/ a Gizzard Shad made for a nice end to the evening.