[Ontbirds] OFO Presqu'ile Fieldtrip

Don Shanahan vic.hide at sympatico.ca
Sun Sep 13 21:22:43 EDT 2009

Over thirty birders, old friends and new, gathered at the Presqu'ile lighthouse this morning for a good day of birding in beautiful late-summer weather. Our first go-round of the lighthouse was unproductive and songbirds proved to be challenging all day. However, the beach yielded twelve shorebird species and the number of water birds seen in various habitats continued to impress all day. 
Probably our best shorebird, a Long-billed Dowitcher, required two or three visits for everyone to get a good look. The dowitcher's tertials received much scrutiny. American Golden and Black-bellied Plovers were seen well in the same area and, at Owen Point, a number of Baird's Sandpipers and a single White-rumped Sandpiper offered good scope looks. A nice selection of rather nervous-looking ducks patrolled the waters off Owen Point, as did two Horned Grebes. 
A viewing lunch at the Gilmour's produced four woodpecker species and, at various bird baths, Gray Catbirds, two Northern Parulas, a Common Yellowthroat and a Magnolia Warbler. 
After leaving the park we visited the Brighton Water Polishing Ponds thanks to the generosity of Tiny Lee. Sora and Virginia Rails offered repeated, open-water looks and both yellowlegs species as well as a pair of Stilt Sandpipers mingled with the Blue and Green-winged Teal in the shallows. Above, a Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen rising in a thermal and an Osprey "rode shotgun" on a passing immature Bald Eagle. Across the road, we saw Northern Shovelers, Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers and a couple of dozen Bonaparte's Gulls. 
Several group members had lifers, most had good looks at birds presenting identification challenges and everyone enjoyed the good companionship of the day. In total, the group saw 89 species. Many thanks for the help provided by my Presqu'ile friends, the hospitality of Bill and Margaret and Tiny Lee. Also, thanks to Terry for the check list.

Don Shanahan

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