Sunday, May 2, 2010


Migration is well under way here in the Sault, and so far about 10 of the 25 regular warblers have been reported, although not in any sort of numbers yet. White-throated Sparrows had a major push the other day, with around 600 birds down at the Locks. Other passerines are slowly moving in, and the south winds the last few days have helped quite a bit. I'll hopefully be out birding quite a bit in the next two and a half weeks before I head off to Southern Ontario to do bird censusing plots.

With the warm weather and strong south winds yesterday there was a massive movement of Hawks across the U.P., and I got an email from Skye Haas partway through the day that said he'd had a Swainson's Hawk fly over his house, along with a ton of Broad-wings and other hawks. I decided it'd be a good idea to do some hawkwatching of my own, so I went and sat out on the back deck with my binocs. I looked up to the sky, and....HOLY *$#& AN ANHINGA!!!!!! was my only thought as I raced to grab my camera. My brother's only comment was "Rare bird?" Rare bird indeed. It didn't stick around for any pics, but I'd had a good look through the binoculars as it went by about 500 feet overhead. I immediately called around and sent a few emails, along with making a sketch of the bird with field marks. Ken and Kirk went down to scan the waterfront for it on the slim chance that it may have turned around. Kirk eventually gave up and spent a while photographing Herman, an extremely tame Wood Duck that has taken a Mallard as its mate and set up shop at the Locks. He then went to look for the Harlequin Duck that's been hanging around, and amazingly had the Anhinga fly back across the river into the States! This would represent the second Michigan record if accepted. As for the Canadian side, I'm not sure, but Ontario is the only province with Anhinga on its list, so this may have been only the third or fourth record for Canada! I will post an update if I find anything out regarding the record status. Oh, and I submitted the record, as did Kirk, for anyone who was wondering.

Ken, Bob and I spent the morning this morning scanning up and down the river without any luck to see if the Anhinga stuck around. There are so many wetlands in this area that if it did stick around, it'd be pretty hard to find.

Other than that, I added a couple year birds with Black-and-White Warbler and Brewer's Blackbird out at the airport. My two-day hawkwatching tally stands at 39 Broad-wings, 4 Sharp-shinneds, and a Merlin. And an Anhinga. Which was new for the Sault checklist. In my backyard. Woot.

It's always nice finding rare birds!

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