Yesterday, there was a Sault Naturalists outing where the main goal was to see what kinds of birds could be found at Bellevue Park and Whitefish Island in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. There were 12 members who came out, despite the light drizzle of rain.
We all met at the main
parking lot of Bellevue Park, right along to St. Mary's River. On the
left side of Topsail Island, which is part of Bellevue Park, where all
the sailboats moor in the summer, was a Lesser Scaup, some Buffleheads,
some Hooded Mergansers and a Common Merganser. We walked along the path
onto Topsail Island, seeing some goldfinches and chickadees.
one point, I was in the front of the group and was the first one to
approach a lookout point. There I was an American Coot, fairly close to
shore I got really excited, because they shouldn't be here this time
of the year. In fact, this sighting is only one of a handful ever made
in December in the Algoma District. The rest of the group hurried over
and was able to see it before it swam too far away. Off in the distance
we saw some Common Goldeneyes diving.
After we finished on
Topsail Island, we toured the rest of the park. We managed to find a
small flock of Common Redpolls and a Common Grackle, which is uncommon
for this time of the year. In total, we saw 18 different species in a
few hours at Bellevue Park.
Next we traveled over to Whitefish
Island. Unfortunately, this spot didn't produce any interesting birds
like Bellevue Park did. We saw the usual Mallards, goldeneyes, gulls
chickadees and pigeons that are almost impossible not to see at
Whitefish Island. We ended up with 10 different species here.
highlight of the day was a few hours after the Sault Naturalists outing
ended. I was leaving my apartment and was turning right onto Pine
Street. As I was looking left to check for traffic, I noticed a bunch
of people looking up in the sky at a lamp post. I figured there must
have been something interesting on top of it, so I turned that way
instead. It turned out to be a Snowy Owl sitting on the top of the lamp
post. This was a lifer for me! I snapped a few pictures then
continued on to my original destination.
To see the full list of birds from Bellevue Park, click here.
To see the full list of birds from Whitefish Island, click here.