[Ontbirds]More Whimbrel at Rattray Marsh, Mississauga.

Wayne Renaud wayne at renaudwebber.com
Wed May 24 21:40:11 EDT 2006

This evening, I birded Rattray Marsh and adjacent woods from 6:00 to 9:00
pm.  A evening flight of Whimbrel totaling about 500 flew low heading
north-west over the marsh from 8:30 to 8:40.  There were nine groups ranging
in size from 13 to 250.  Earlier in the day, I saw a flock of about 250
flying over Port Credit around 6:30 am and later I saw three flocks in Col.
Sam Smith park totally about 120 individuals, Etobicoke with David Hallett
and several other birds whose names escape me around 11:00 am.
For reference purposes, here is a fairly complete summary of the highest
Whimbrel spring counts in the Great Lakes Basin:
1.    Manitowac/Bailey¹s Hr.,L. Mich., WI       22 My 1980    3000+   Kleen
2.    Toronto, L. ON                            24 My 1988    3000    Weir
3.    Toronto, L. ON                            23 My 2005    2643
4.    Toronto/Whitby, L. ON                     24 My 1992    2340
J.Guild/Weir (1992)
5.    Pt. Bruce, L. Erie, ON                    21 My 1996    2220    Ridout
6.    Long Pt. at Wiarton, L. Huron, ON            25 My 1983    2000    Weir
7.    Toronto, L. ON                            25 My 1994    2000    Ridout
8.    Rondeau, L. Erie, ON                      23 My 1984    1200    Weir
9.    Long Pt., L. Erie, ON                     21 My 1976    1000
Goodwin (1976)
10.   Presqu¹ile, L. Ontario, ON                21 My 1985    1000    Weir
11.   Marmora n at L. Ontario, ON                  21 My 1984    1000    Weir
12.   nr. Rondeau, L. Erie, ON                  25 My 2003    1000
friends at rondeauprovincialpark.ca
Obvious from year to year,  the peak arrival dates vary little (ie. only by
4 days!!!!).

The extensive mudflat's at Rattray Marsh continue to attract a good variety
of shorbirds though in small numbers, like eight species this evening
(Killdeer, Semipalmated Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper,
Dunlin, Pectoral Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper & Common Snipe).  Except for a
Mourning Warbler  in a flooded section of dense dogwoods along the boardwalk
on the east side of the marsh and Hooded Warbler near the culvert intake of
small marsh located 50 meters from a parking area locate off the south end
of Meadowwood, warblers were scarce.

Wayne Renaud

The closest access of the marsh is from a parking area at the south of
Bexhill which runs off Lakeshore about half a kilometer east of Erin Mills
Parkway (or Clarkson) and 1.5 kilometers west of Mississauga Road.  Walk
down the hill and turn left and follow the boardwalk around until you find
trail leading to the lake.  The marsh opens out into the lake a couple of
hundred yards west, offering the best (and closest) view of the mudflat.
Alternately you can follow the trail that runs straight southwest from the
bottom of the hill of Bexhill, through the south end of the woods to a
boardwalk lookout tower. 

More information about the ONTBIRDS mailing list