Monday, 22 May 2017

Amherst Island - A Big Morning (Marbled Godwit and Red Knot)

My dad and I got out to Amherst Island on the weekend, planning to do a big day.  Our version of a big day on the island is really a big morning.  We caught the ferry over to the island at 630am and birded all the usual spots and some others that we haven't paid much attention to in the past.  The winds were from the northeast, so we spent a bit more time in the southwest side of the island in hopes of picking up more songbirds where things were calmer.  The big surprise(s) of the morning came on the Martin Edwards Reserve property on the east end of the island.  While scanning the shorebirds we found a Red Knot!  However, the birds were quickly flushed by a Merlin.  Fortunately the birds returned.  While trying to refind the knot, we spotted a Marbled Godwit!  Another fantastic shorebird for the island!  We had hit 100 species of birds by around 1230pm and decided to head home on a high note.  A really great day and I can't wait to repeat it again next year!

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit
 I don't get to see Red Knots very often, and its large size was readily apparent next to the numerous Dunlin.
Red Knot with Dunlin

Another treat, although more expected, was seeing several Wilson's Phalarope.  The island is the only reliable spot that I know of to get this species and I always enjoy seeing them!

Wilson's Phalarope male (left centre), female (right centre) among Dunlin

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