A group of 11 Pipits met at 8am Saturday, September 9 2023, in Woodland Cemetery. As per what seems to be the norm, my meeting location directions confused a good number of participants, and led to a few false starts for the morning. My apologies everyone, I do try to give accurate locations. Bear with me.
Valley Inn is a lovely location in RBG's Hendrie Valley, and was our first stop of the morning. This is a common spot for photographers to collect, as Ospreys, Herons, ducks, and shorebirds tend to favour the area. The water can be quite low here, exposing mud flats which can attract shorebirds, however, this year the water was high. We only saw one shorebird, a Solitary Sandpiper. There were quite a few Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, and a Black Crowned Night Heron visible this morning.
Woodland Cemetery was our next stop. As we were walking to the Cemetery, a notification came out on the Ontario Bird Alert discord server, that some people were seeing a Whip-poor-will on a visible branch. We quickly went to this location, but unfortunately, the bird had been flushed. The Cemetery is a hotspot for migrating songbirds during both spring and fall migrations. It seemed fairly unbirdy while we were searching for the mixed flocks of songbirds that characterize fall migration. We did however see some warblers, among other birds.
Our final stop of the morning was Van Wagners Beach in Hamilton. Notifications had been coming out about the winds being the right direction (North East I believe) for bringing pelagic sea going birds into the Hamilton Bay area. When wind conditions are like this, birders tend to accumulate along the edge of Lakeview, and large numbers can be found lined up along the side of the building, or on the deck, scopes all in a row, all waiting to either spot a distant pelagic bird, or hear the shout out from someone else who spotted one. On this day, just after I left and almost arrived home, a notification came out that a Manx Shearwater was off the beach at Van Wagners. I turned around, and went back. Two Pipit members were still there, and I was so delighted to hear that they had seen the bird. This was the third report in Ontario ever!
What a great day, thank you to everyone for making it so!