The weather was not ideal today, with rain first thing restricting us ringing, and subsequent showers throughout the day. By the end of the morning we were beginning to think that this might be the first day without any lifers. However that was most certainly not the case as it turned into one of the best days at the Tip so far. Ringing was fairly slow even once we had got the nets opened; with the best bird we caught probably being no more than a Least Flycatcher.
Once the nets were closed we went out a sub-census walk to see if we could find anything else and we were rewarded with three awesome birds, including a proper rarity; Eastern Bluebird, Bay-breasted Warbler and a stunning male Cerulean Warbler. Despite these goodies the bushes were generally pretty quiet.
However, because of those rarities we decided to reopen the nets to see what we could catch, perhaps something that had not been discovered yet. We caught very little, despite working the bushes adjacent to the nets. However, down at the Tip a Piping Plover was found so we closed the nets and raced down to have a look at this very rare bird. After a slow start it really did end on a high.
Eastern Bluebird - Before we set out on our sub-census I had a very rewarding trek up to the toilet. On my way back I found a cracking male Eastern Bluebird flying south. It landed briefly in a distant tree before getting up again and flying off. Given how slow the day had been I was pretty buzzing after that, the only downside being that nobody else was able to see it before it departed.
Bay-breasted Warbler - Our walk was fairly slow throughout, the only exception being when we reached the area of pines on the south shore. Usually the best area, today it exceeded itself when we found a cracking male Bar-breasted Warbler in the tree above us. It would have been a great moment, but sadly it was taken away from the bird a few seconds later…
Cerulean Warbler - When we found the Bay-breasted we were pretty buzzing, but then two seconds later we spotted another Warbler in the bushes behind. Immediately it was clear it something new, and the lack of colour, cap and necklace suggested possibly Blackpoll. We entertained this idea for a second before it clearly revealed itself to be Cerulean Warbler, one of my most wanted Warblers for the trip. It continued to show for people walking up from the cabin, remaining in a low willow for most of the day. What a cracking little bird.
Piping Plover - The Cerulean Warbler should have been the bird of the day, but in the evening Kristoff found a Piping Plover at the Tip. This endangered plover was extremely exciting, and well worth running for. It was rather confiding at times, allowing us to get good enough views to read the rings on its legs; important data for the conservation of this species.
Long Point; The Tip: Piping Plover, Eastern Bluebird, Bay-breasted Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Double-crested Cormorant, Canada Goose, Mallard, Red-breasted Merganser, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Bonaparte’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, American Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Slavonian Grebe, Common Tern, Forster’s Tern, Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Blue Jay, House Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Veery, Swainson’s Thrush, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Brown Thrasher, American Pipit, European Starling, Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Myrtle Warbler, Palm Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincolns Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Peregrine, Muskrat,