The birds are making us work for it today.
At 8:30 the parking lot is already full and overflow parking is in use. Soon after we get off the tram to the point, an older gentleman tells us that the tip is so dead this morning that all the better birders have already come and gone. He can’t abandon the hike because he has a bunch of beginners in tow who don’t realize it’s a bad day for birds. They are all perfectly happy with the Cardinals, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Yell0w-rumps.
What a difference a day makes in the make-up of the crowd, too! For a few weeks now we have had the whole park practically to ourselves. The only other birders have been the hard-core birders…the ones who know you don’t have to wait for peak weekend to see good birds. Suddenly today we are surrounded on all sides by novices. It is kind of cool being able to tell groups of people what bird they are looking at, or that the Yellow-breasted Chat is just around the next bend.
Our list for the park proper is:
Warbling Vireo, Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-crowned Sparrow, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Blue Jay, Red-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Kingbird, House Wren, Yell0w-rumped Warbler, Grey Catbird, Yell0w-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Prothonotary Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker, Swainson’s Hawk, Northern Waterthrush, Yell0w-breasted Chat.
At Pelee Wings Nature Store and rocky breakwater that juts out from their neighbour’s backyard:
Black-bellied Plover, but not the Ruddy Turnstone
At Hillman Marsh after lunch:
Mallard, Dunlin, Brown Thrasher, Wilson’s Phalarope, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Northern Shoveler.
We are both too exhausted to go back tomorrow, even if we get an email saying a big wave of birds has arrived. Plus I don’t think my laundry is going to do itself.
Post Script: I’ve just tallied our checklist to discover that Sylvain has seen 85 and I have seen 99 of the 100 species we need to complete the 100-species challenge. Sylvain said, “Had we known you were one bird away, we would still be out there looking for your hundredth bird.”