Another Front - 30 May 2021

Friday (28th) brought cold, strong winds, and rain. All day. Things cleared up Saturday, but it continued to be cool and windy, and I suspected that the front would blow out all of the shorebirds at Pt. Mouillee that included phalaropes, Red Knots, Whimbrel and Black-bellied Plover. I was right.

I took a ride Sunday morning and found only a hand full of shorebirds. Dunlin in the NE corner of the Long Pond Unit with a pair of Greater Yellowlegs. The Red Knots (reported Saturday) were gone. The plovers that had been near the pump house were also gone. But, the morning was not a loss.

I rode out along the east side of Walpatich Unit and did hear Sedge Wrens singing to the east. American Bittern were also belching out their song. Indigo Buntings and Willow Flycatchers sang between the Swamp Sparrows, and I did manage a pic or two of a Willow Flycatcher catching damselflies.

A Marsh Wren was singing and challenging all comers as I headed toward the North Causeway.

Common Yellowthroats were also taking advantage of the early morning Sun to dry off.

After some night sky photography I found my Sony a9 would not cooperate; the EVF would not come on. It took me a while to see that I had somehow turned it off. It cost me the yellowlegs, but once I got it working I was able to take some test digiscoping shots on a Pied-billed Grebe and roosting Caspian Terns.

I looped back around the Vermet Unit and headed around Cell 3 to check on the Lake Erie shoreline. Waves were breaking on the shoreline, and flooding was being reported in NW Ohio, but there was a sand strip midway across the cell. No shorebirds, but a pair of Bonaparte's Gulls were a nice find.

Returning to the Middle Causeway I began looking for the Wilson's Phalaropes that had been reported for the past several weeks. I finally spotted the female preening in the morning sunlight and got some nice digiscoped images before she flew across the path and joined the male near a pair of Sandhill Cranes. They foraged a bit then flew back east toward the deeper part of the Vermet shoreline. 

Before leaving I found a Short-billed Dowitcher.

With the winds picking up again I headed back to the car and drove back to Lake Erie Metropark to see if the phalarope pair from Thursday were still around. They were not. The grass had been mowed so I don't know if that scared them off. Too bad.


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