Sunday 19 May 2019

Amherst Island Birding Trip - May 2019

On Saturday, Dad and I took the first ferry over to Amherst Island for our 3rd annual May birding trip!  Typically we try to catch the 1pm ferry home, leaving us approximately 6hrs of bird watching.  In 2016 we had 100 species and in 2017 we tallied 103 species.  Our goal this year was to beat our previous record, and I am happy to report that we were successful...barely!  We got 104 species with only about a half hour to spare!

The highlight of the day was definitely a Least Bittern that we found on the edge of a marsh just a few metres away!  We were so happy that he sat there and posed for photos!  I always forget how small they are! They are indeed our smallest heron, being only the size of a robin!  They are quite secretive and I have heard far more than I have ever seen!

Immediately prior to finding the bittern we had great views of a Virginia Rail, another secretive marsh bird.  This individual was less cooperative as it was actively feeding, scuttling along the shoreline.

Other highlights were 18 species of warblers, Orchard Orioles, and a good number of shorebirds including at least a dozen Wilson's Phalarope!

Wilson's Phalarope

I can hardly wait until next year to try to get 105!

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