Sunday 22 July 2012

Early Migrants

My daily visits to Columbia Lake (in Waterloo) hasn't rewarded me with anything since the Pectoral Sandpiper. In fact, the number and diversity seems to be steadily declining, despite the growing mudflats.
A Semipalmated Plover, yesterday morning and today, was my first one for the lake but nothing else was new.

A short trip along the Lake Erie shoreline, yesterday, with Ken Burrell revealed some other interesting birds.
Somehow, I missed Red-headed Woodpecker at Point Pelee during the 5 days I was there this May. So I was happy to see one fly across the road near Port Burwell.

6 Little Gulls were also new for me this year:

The most notable sighting came when Ken and I met up with 2 of his friends and showed them birds on the lake. Several Pied-billed Grebes, Wood Ducks, and an unexpected Greater Scaup were all nice to see.
As we were tiring of the heat I scoped out another grebe that appeared to have some yellow/brightness on the face. At first I thought it was just a trick of the light but it soon became clear that it was either a Horned Grebe or Eared Grebe. After studying the bird for the next 15 minutes or so with Ken, we couldn't come to a definite conclusion. But we both suspected it was an Eared Grebe.
We notified David Bell, who was able to confirm its identity today.

Eared Grebe, digiscoped in Alberta 3 weeks ago (yesterdays EAGR probably wasn't a migrant?):