Monday, 16 November 2015

Down to Norfolk County

The pleasant weather today made it a great day to get out and do some birding.  I hadn't had a chance to return to the Long Point area for a while and decided today would be the day.

First stop on arriving in the area was to check out the Bird Studies Canada headquarters property, not far from the park itself.

I took a quick look around inside the building.  This was the closest that I got to tundra swans today.

The trail leading up to the waterfront viewing area was fairly quiet.  A few small birds, mostly juncos were fluttering around.

It looked quite quiet at the lake when I first arrived.

  I began scoping and soon found most of the waterfowl was well off in the distance.  A lone pied-billed grebe was the closest, working through the reeds along the waters edge.

American coots were out in full force.  I estimated at least 275 but that number could easily have been 300 or more together in one large group of birds.

Several bufflehead and redhead were also seen.  There was another large raft of ducks even further out which I could not see well enough to identify even through the scope.

From there it was on to Long Point Provincial Park.  The park is technically closed but public access is still allowed.

 Entering the park I spotted several swans which I assumed were tundra.  When I got the scope on them, they turned out to be mute swans.  They were in the company of an active group of waterfowl consisting of mallard, canada goose, redhead, bufflehead and gadwall.

Juncos and american tree sparrows were actively moving through the brush and along the edge of the road.

I also spotted this guy.  Not sure if it is unusual to see them around this time of year or not.

It moved into the defensive stance when I nudged it.

Sandhill cranes could be heard in the distance as we headed out of the park.  As we left I noticed a butterfly fluttering by, a monarch.  This is the latest that I have seen one.  It must have been late hatching and it seems unlikely that it will make it to Mexico.

We decided to make a final stop in the town of Port Dover before heading for home.

I spotted three winter plumage horned grebes swimming in the harbor as well as a group of relatively tame mallards and black ducks along with a single bufflehead.

Cormorants and ring-billed gulls were quite numerous.  I scanned the gulls in hopes of maybe a Franklins.  Franklin's gulls seem to have invaded southern Ontario in large numbers over the last few days, but I couldn't find one.
Ring-billed gulls

It was rather dissapointing when I got home and realized that I must have left my field guide sitting on the bench along the harbor in Port Dover.  If any of my readers are from that area and find a battered field guide on one of the benches, you know who it probably belongs to.  It isn't too hard to order a new one, but I kept some notes in there that I will have to recreate by looking through old eBird lists.

Otherwise it was a great birding day and definitely an area worth a visit if you end up down that way. 


  1. I hope your field guide makes it back to you. I have almost the same photo of the Tundra Swans from the Bird Studies Canada HQ when I was there in 2013. Long Point is such a fabulous place, I hope to go back soon!

    1. Thanks for commenting Charlotte. Here in southern Ontario, it seems Pelee gets most of the attention, but Long Point can be just as good.