Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lake Erie Weekend Whimbrel

Labor Day weekend started out hot, but quickly turned to stormy on Sunday. The lake was really throwing its best rollers at the Lakeside dock- which had to be closed. Most tourists headed home, but this is my favorite time on Lake Erie!

Angry clouds and wind stir the waves. The power of storms on the lake is surreal. And you never know what might drop in...

A lone Whimbrel showed up at Lorain Harbor.

It casually put on quite a show as he strolled through the grass in search of tasty bugs and worms.

Whimbrels dwarf the other mud-flat visitors, like this Sanderling. These jumbo-sized birds seem to drop into shore habitat for very brief visits during their fall migration. Generally it is touch down, feed a bit and off again. They rarely hang around long, perhaps the high winds and foul weather kept this bird grounded longer than usual.

The waves were really pounding the exterior walls of the harbor, but it was well worth the buffeting we took by the wind to see this bird!

Meanwhile, back in Lakeside- the birds are gathering in the park for a convention. I think it is called Midwest BIRD Symposium. No vendors or speakers, but the Lakeside hospitality is a draw.

And remember the first snapshot? That's Kelleys Island, we'll be headed there on Sunday of the Midwest Birding Symposium. I hope you will be with us!

The Kelleys Island ferry is plenty big enough to withstand almost any weather Lake Erie might throw at us. The locals call it "BOB" (Big Orange Boat).

Lakeside is ready to roll out the red carpet for 1000 birders coming to MBS, and I can't wait to share my old hometown with all of you! Hope to see you there!

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