10 April 2016
John Lichty and I spent the day at Long Point and the surrounding area to see what was happening in terms of spring migration, given the very unseasonably cold weather we have been having. It was about -6° when we set out and it struggled to make it above the freezing mark at any point during the day.
In many places a thin covering of ice still lay upon the water.
The birding, however, was not bad, despite the fact that many predictable migrants have not yet arrived. A good warm front over the next few days should bring in many species that are waiting for favourable winds to move in from farther south.
The highlight of the day was a drake Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope at Lee Brown waterfowl area. It never came especially close but I was able to get a picture of the bird hanging out with its North American cousins.
A Canada Goose Branta canadensis can be seen in the centre of the picture and a Killdeer Charadrius vociferus off to the right.
There was a decent variety of waterfowl, although not huge numbers of any species.
|Greater Scaup Aytha marila|
|Redhead Aytha americana|
Resident Northern Cardinals Cardinalis cardinalis were ubiquitous, with ardent, hormonally charged males singing from every suitable vantage.
American Robins Turdus migratorius are everywhere one looks and judging from their sleek, chubby appearance they seem to have no trouble finding ample food. In addition to earthworms and other invertebrates, there is an ample berry crop for them to gorge on.
The Long Point Bird Observatory enables many young biology students to get their first (and perhaps only) experience at banding birds, and I am always pleased to see these bright and enthusiastic youngsters eagerly perfecting their skills and expanding their knowledge.
Many readers of my blog probably also consult the fine blog of UK birder and bird bander Phil Slade, Another Bird Blog (http://anotherbirdblog.blogspot.ca/). Phil interned at Long Point many years ago, and has fond memories of his time there I know. It's hard to imagine him as a mere stripling, impressionable and excited by the experience of handling new and different species. I had thought his period at the Old Cut Banding Station would have been memorialized with a plaque, or some other suitable grand and ostentatious object of recognition. Alas no such thing could be found!
You will have to soldier on in obscurity, Phil!