Well, we all knew it would be a great day for lake watching, so MK picked me up in the blustery darkness and we bombed it westwards, stopping only for essential Timmy supplies. Still pre-dawn when we arrived at Hutch’s to join the already assembling locals.
Straight away there were ducks – lots of them. Mostly Long-tailed Ducks, RB Mergs and WW Scoters, but also a few Surfs, Buffleheads etc. Then the Kittiwakes started to appear, often in small flocks. A few jaegers also joined in, many too far out to identify with certainty, but several Poms were picked out, a few Parasitics and a lone Long-tailed. Brant were also on the move in flocks of varying size. It was quite a spectacle for a while, very busy.
With so many “tuned-in” birders around it didn’t take long for news from other sites to filter in. Leach’s Storm-Petrels were noted either side of us, so we knew we were in with a chance, and so it was to be. The first SP to appear was a magically wonderful Leach’s – very close and much appreciated! It was followed by another SP shortly thereafter that was identified as a surprise Wilson’s. But for me, unfortunately, the views were inconclusive… too bad! Two more distant SPs followed and that was pretty much it. It went very quiet for the remainder of the day. Later on a flock of 75 hideously distant Snow Geese went through and a 1stW Glaucous Gull flew along the beach.
I won’t list all the numbers as this has been done elsewhere. Suffice to say that by Ontario standards it was pretty impressive and I was glad I went…