[Ontbirds] West Perth Wetlands - Update - May 1st

EZ Raptor ez_raptor at hotmail.com
Wed May 2 00:24:04 EDT 2012

Hi All,
First ....a quick note about the West Perth Wetlands (Mitchell) and the current state of the shorebird habitat.
For those who expressed concern about how much the shorebird cell had dried out you'll be happy to know that over this past weekend we managed to pump water back into this cell (behind the parking lot) and water levels are almost perfect for shorebirds at this point  The predicted rain this week and (hopefully) southerly winds should help bring in more birds.  There's also decent mud and shallows around the other cells too.

Birds observed today (May 1st):
Shorebirds:  Dunlin (1), Stilt (1), Lesser Yellowlegs (sev.), Great Yellowlegs (sev.), Pectoral (2).  All pretty much into alternate plumage (the Stilt looked great!)  Also of note....a Killdeer with 2 young....seen actively out and about on the mud already as of last Thursday the 26th of April and again today...which means a VERY early nesting date...likely within the first couple of days of April (incubation for Killdeers is I think around 24-28 days).
Waterfowl: Pintail, Shovelers, Wigeon, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Ruddy and Lesser Scaup (a few of each)
Passerines and Others:  Brown Thrasher (1), Belted Kingfisher (1 male), White-crowned Sparrow (sev.), Song Sparrow (sev.), Savannah Sparrow (Sev.), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1 female), Yellow-rumped Warbler (1 male), Great Blue Heron (4) (Thanks to Katy and Gerry Kolkman for their report and pics of several of these birds).
And a few surprises so far this spring (apologies for not posting these when they occurred....but I just got subscribed back onto this listserv)....
Greater White-fronted Goose (observed and photographed March 21st by Mark Cunningham) - was with a small flock of Canada Geese. This is the first one I'm aware of at Mitchel WPW.
Lesser Black-backed Gull (observed April 29th by me) - Also a first for the WPW...the bird was standing alone in the shorebird cell in excellent viewing conditions. It appeared to be an adult bird...and I noticed the dark mantle immediately (charcoal coloured contrasting slightly with the black tipped primaries) and the conspicuous thick yellow legs....light yellowish eye with red orbital ring. Watched the bird in my scope from 100 ft. for several minutes. It then took to the air and circled around to right over my head providing some nice views of both the topside and underside of the wings. Great bird! And me with no camera and no one else around to see it. The last I saw the bird was headed northwest toward the river.
Also had a Great Egret that hung out for a couple of days last week (the bird had no wing tags) though it appears to have moved on.
That's it for now.  I'm hoping to get out to keep an eye on water levels and any new arrivals and will try and keep you posted.
Take care...and good birding,

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