Tuesday 28 May 2013

North Shore of Lake Superior - May 25 & 26

Saturday and Sunday were spent driving around the Ontario side of Lake Superior and checking in on all the communities along the way - much like the birding in Newfoundland. Unlike our northward part of the trip, it was warm and wasn't raining. So the birds weren't concentrated at the feeders.

One of our first stops was at Hurkett Cove Conservation Area. On this day there was a big birding event, with almost 100 birders converging on the area! It was the Pelee of the North!

We were told of the best spot for shorebirds and made the short walk out to the sandy spit. It's a beautiful spot where a Snowy Plover and possible Couch's Kingbird were once found nearby! This is amazing considering that it probably gets checked less than 20 times a year!

At the spit were Dunlin, Semipalmated & Least Sandpipers, Black-bellied & Semipalmated Plovers, and a Hudsonian Godwit and Greater Yellowlegs flew over.

Lapland Longspurs were hanging out with all the Dunlin and behaved just like shorebirds!

Neys Provincial Park was one of our many stops. A beautiful park where we some how missed Boreal Chickadee (a species we missed on the whole trip!)

Many tame Ruffed Grouse were in the park:

A few abandoned boats were at the rocky point, once used to move prisoners of war around the area for logging work:

A Least Chipmunk was munching on something near the boats:

American Redstarts were one of the most common species of warbler of the trip:

The lack of birds at Marathon was compensated with a beautiful blue sky and blue lake:

One of my favourite locations we visited was Pic River. This unusual camping and RV area is at the mouth of the Pic River and has many sandy dunes. The area seemed to attract many birds when we stopped here on the 21st. On the 26th it didn't have many birds. Our only Sanderling of the trip was here though:

Mike pointed out a bunch of Tiger Beetles, and I think we to find 3 species:

This first one is as of now unidentified! I thought it would be easy considering that it's relatively plain, and has a white border along the rear of the wing. Any Tiger Beetle experts out there?

Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle (Cicindela hirticollis) can be identified by the hairy-looking neck, and g-shaped marking on the shoulder:

Oblique-lined Tiger Beetle (Cicindela tranquebarica) - identified by the elongated line on the hind part of the shoulder:

Check out this Tiger Beetle guide for Ontario - there aren't many species so it's relatively easy to figure them out - even though I couldn't figure out that first one!

An obliging Spring Azure was nearby: