Last night I was flipping through some emails and I noticed an eBird rare bird alert for Chatham-Kent county that really peaked my interest. An Immature White Ibis was reported earlier in the day at Wheatley Provincial Park – an extremely rare bird for this area! I immediately texted Jeremy Hatt to see if he knew anything else about the posting. After some quick emails back and forth with the original eBird poster, he found out that a camper, the eBird poster’s mother, had seen the bird and had no easy way of getting the word out about this rarity. Some clever thinking led them to have their daughter, who lives in Michigan, make an eBird report about the bird to start spreading the word. Well it worked.
I checked to see what time sunrise was going to be and planned on getting there to have a look before I had to get back home to work. The bird did not disappoint. The sun was not even up yet and I was set up on the bridge that leads from Two Creeks Campground down to the beach and started scanning. Within 20 minutes, I noticed a dark bird land right in the middle of marsh, directly in front of me. There was no mistaking what this was. That bill is unlike any other common bird around here – everything checked out on the bird!
I made a few quick calls, texts and a post to Ontbirds to help continue spreading the word. Within 15 minutes, the birders started arriving to add the bird to their Point Pelee Area bird list. I watched the bird for a little longer but had to get on my way and get to work. Nice start to a Monday! Point Pelee Area bird # 284 for me – and Ontario Bird # 315.
Thank you again to the original finder – a great bird! Point Pelee area’s only 2nd record for this species!