Monday, October 22, 2007

White-faced Ibis - ANOTHER MISS!!

White-faced Ibis (photographed by Steve Pike)- second record for the Point Pelee Birding Circle

On Saturday, October 20, Dean Ware of Wheatley reported a Plegadis Ibis sp. at Hillman Marsh. This is one of very few records of Plegadis Ibises for the Point Pelee Birding Circle. I'm just surprised the bird wasn't witnessed by any other birders during the OFO convention. Here is his post:

Yes, I am still alive. I still do look at birds! And here is a post for down south here is Essex County.

Early afternoon Saturday Oct.20/07 my uncle and I observed a dark Ibis flying from west to east through the center of Hillman Marsh. When the bird arrived to the beach it turned around and few back the same flight path heading west. I did not get close views however a nice sight no matter what species. The Ducks Unlimited/ERCA shorebird/waterfowl cell is being filled slowly and perhaps it may have went there.(?) Perhaps I may look for it later and try for a closer look.

Good Birding,

Dean Ware
Wheatley ON.


As if this wasn't exciting enough news, I just got a message from Marianne saying she got a call from Alan. The bird was a White-faced Ibis, only the second record for this species in the Pelee Birding Cirle (the first was seen during May of 2003). Here is Marianne's post:

This afternnoon around 2:00pm an adult White-faced Ibis was seen at Hillman Marsh near the north bridge right at the Hillman Marsh main entrance. I arrived at 3:30pm and the Ibis was still there feeding, and preening.

This is most likely the same bird that Dean Ware posted on Saturday.

Good birding,
Marianne Reid

Special thanks to Alan Wormington for the phone call....


>From Leamington:
Take Oak Street east out of the town. When you see the entrance for Hillman Marsh just keep going a little further until you see the bridge. The Ibis has been seen from both sides of the bridge.

>From 401
Tilbury exit south to County Road 1 (Wheatley townline) to Number #3 highway. Turn right onto the number #3 then watch for the Hillman Conservation area Signs. They will show you the way.


Hopefully this bird will stick around until this coming Saturday. It's a long shot, but I'm going home a few days before leaving for Florida so I could have a chance to see it. I missed the first sighting on the lawns next to Pelee Days Inn and I was IN Point Pelee at the time! It's probable that I'll miss it again. I guess I shouldn't be complaining though...I did just get Northern Wheatear for my Ontario list. Interestingly enough, this is the second report this week of White-faced Ibis. There was also one present on October 20 at Dundas Marsh, Hamilton. Here are directions to the marsh as posted on Ontbirds by Cheryl Edgecombe:
Dundas Hydro Ponds

It is best to park in the front of the hydro utility station on Olympic
Drive (near the intersection with Cootes Drive) in Dundas. To reach the
pond follow the north side of the Desjardins Canal on the east side of
the road.

There is a small trail that leads through a dense stand of Phragmites
grass for 200 - 300 m. You then reach the medium sided pond where the
bird was seen.


I have not read any further reports of whether the bird is still present at Dundas Marsh or not. But when two birds of this species are reported in Southern Ontario on the same day, the best advice I can give other birders: keep an eye out!

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