October 29, 2007

A great birding day

Some days you have a good selection of birds, other times they are awesome.

The day started with a beautiful sunrise over Lake Erie while I was having my coffee.

There was a report on he internet of a white faced ibis near Point Pelee on the weekend. As we live about 45 miles away and it was a geougeousl fall day we decide to head off and see what we could find.

Driving along the road that hugs the north coast of Lake Erie, Anne spotted what she thought was a bald eagle.

After pulling over and taking a look we realized it was a golden eagle, this was only the second time we had seen one.

It stayed fairly low so we had excellent looks at the bird. A bald eagle appeared and started harassing the golden; they were flipping on their backs and presenting their talons. This is something we had only seen on TV before. After a few minutes a second bald eagle showed up.

At one point we had 2 bald and a golden in the same field of view.

We continued down to Hillman Marsh which is next door to Point Pelee and within minutes we saw the white faced ibis, which was a life bird (never seen before).

While we were there we saw a flock of Greater Yellow Legs feeding as a group. Several of the birds were swimming and feeding on small fish. We didn’t know that yellow legs did this, another first for us.

Just before we left a first year female peregrine falcon came in and began buzzing the marsh. It seemed intent on getting a great white egret to fly. Now that’s confidence. It would be a matter of who caught who.

On the way back Anne spotted birds coming towards us, so I pulled over.

W had approximately 100 turkey vultures, 3 bald eagles, a dozen red tailed hawks and 2 red shouldered hawks fly by.

Toss in a king fisher, great blue herons, cormorants, kestrels, horned larks black crowned night heron and assorted other birds and it was a very good day.


Harry Bickerstaff said...

Hi Ric,
That sounds like a GREAT day's birding. We found Hillman Marsh to be one of the most productive places for close-up views of shorebirds on our very first visit to Ontario (8years ago), so were not surprised you did so well.
Never seen a Red-shouldered Hawk in Ontario and that's a goodie in anyone's language.
Swimming Greater Yellowlegs is similar to our Spotted Redshanks, which also swim and the Lesser Yellowlegs is extremely similar in behaviour to our Common Redshanks. I think they are the Old World and New World equivalents of each other, so it would figure. Give us more of this - it's great

Susie at GW said...

Sometimes I wonder why a certain bird that I "think" should be around where I am (Maryland) is one I've never seen, and then you, or someone else equally far away, says there are 10 or 12 of em where they live, and I realize, oh, they're all over THERE. Guess I need to read those range maps more carefully and seasonally! THanks for a great post.

Susan Gets Native said...

A great day!!