Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Petrie Island with Tony Beck

Tues, June 29, 2010, 7:30 am

Quite a big group today: Tony, Heather, Rick, Russell, Sally, Chris & a friend and Irene.

We heard a Marsh Wren close by. Tony tried to call it out, but the trucks backing up drowned him out.
We watched the Ring-billed Gulls and Red-winged Blackbirds for a while and Sally heard a Belted Kingfisher. A Great Blue Heron flew past and I spotted a Mallard. Also spotted were Barn Swallows, American Robin, Baltimore Oriole and a Mourning Dove. With patience we saw American Goldfinches, a Yellow Warbler, a distant Osprey and a silhouetted Great-crested Flycatcher. Tony saw a Northern Flicker fly across and we heard Common Grackles, Song Sparrows and an American Redstart.

The best birds were a few Black Terns and a hard to spot Green Heron.

Unfortunately, it began to drizzle and it quickly turned to steady rain. We decided to head to Tim Hortons to regroup, although Chris and his lady friend went straight to Embrun. Irene decided to pack it in, as she was not prepared for rain.

We car pooled to Embrun, and were somewhat surprised to see Chris & friend already there at the lagoons. The rain had let up, so we got out our equipment and hopped the fence. There were lots of Ruddy Ducks, which Tony explained were the only duck in breeding plumage at this time of year. We also saw a Northern Shoveller and a Pied-billed Grebe. But no sooner did we set up than the rain came on hard again. Chris decided to pack it in.

There was not point in staying, so we worked our way back stopping at the Dignard constructed wetland. It was drizzling and there was mud everywhere – what a mess.
We only saw a Kildeer, a Savannah Sparrow, Barn Swallows, European Starlings and Rock Pigeons for our trouble.

Our next stop was at Giroux Ponds. More Kildeers and an Eastern Kingbird. Tony saw a Spotted Sandpiper and a female Green-winged Teal on the far shore. I spotted a Belted Kingfisher perched on a Mullein plant. Further along Giroux Road, we saw several male and female Bobolinks. Rick saw an Eastern Meadowlark. Tony and Heather went on a futile trek across the fields looking for a Clay-colored Sparrow.

Our final stop was along Wall Road looking for an Upland Sandpiper, but we came up empty. No photos today due to the constant drizzle.