As mentioned previously, on August 29 I left Long Point after an awesome 4 months, headed up to Presqu'ile for the Kingbird, then zoomed to Sudbury for the night. After a relaxing day there it was back home to the Sault for a few days of birding and visiting and whatnot.
Determined to find some new birds for the Sault, I was out at Gros Cap on the morning of the 31st, where I was greeted by strong NW winds and a fair number of birds including 264 Red-necked Grebes, a Parasitic Jaeger and a Red Crossbill - all new for the year and PAJA was new for Algoma. There was also a pretty good assortment of ducks including a White-winged Scoter and a good number of loons! The next morning I was back at it but with NE winds it was not so great for waterbirds with only a smattering of loons and grebes, and very few ducks! Passerines were on the move, however, with quite a few mixed flocks of warblers going through.
September 2 was my second-ever visit to Goertimus Island, an amazing shorebird spot that was basically unknown until last year. It did not disappoint, with 10 species of shorebirds (highlights: Whimbrel and 7 Buff-breasted Sandpipers), and what was likely a young Yellow Rail ticking in the extensive sedges. They probably breed here but were not confirmed this year. The next day I was back at it with Kirk, and we turned up 11 species of shorebirds (different composition to the day before though, making 13 species total), the definite highlight being a grand total of 16(!) Buff-breasted Sandpipers! Although the total number of shorebirds was much lower than usual, any day with 16 BBSA's is a good one in my books.
September 4 promised a wind change and rainstorm overnight, so down to Whitefish Island I went in the morning, and was far from disappointed. In the few hours I was there I racked up 80 species including Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Olive-sided Flycatcher, American Golden-Plover and the best, a Carolina Wren! I also had 20 species of warblers which is always nice. The next morning saw me back for a quick walk which didn't yield much different from the day before besides a Red Crossbill, my 200th species for the island.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper on Goertimus Island - 1 of 7 that day
My first decent shot of a Pectoral Sandpiper
The two of them in flight
One of 23 Baird's Sandpipers - wish I'd put more effort into these guys
The next day, Kirk on the flats - the whole west side of the island looks like this
Ruddy Turnstone, my first for Algoma
4 of 16 Buff-breasted Sandpipers
Mixed flock of shorebirds, mostly Leasts but 1 Semi Plover, 1 SemiSand and 1 BB Sand
Buffies in flight - one has a feather stuck to its foot
Interesting dark toad that I found
Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the Locks - a fairly rare bird in Algoma