Friday 11 August 2017

West Perth Shorebirds

A couple days ago, I checked out the Mitchell Sewage Lagoons/West Perth Wetlands in Perth County. This location is known for being great for shorebirds, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Over the years, more than 30 species of shorebirds have been spotted there.

Unlike last year, the water levels were quite high, making some of the cells perfect for shorebirds and other desolate of them.

There was quite the variety of shorebirds, and I ended up with 10 species. Not an earth-shattering number, but still impressive given the location and how some common species (Semipalmated Plover) were absent.

Killdeer and Lesser Yellowlegs were the most common.

Peeps such as Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers could be found in decent numbers as well.

Solitary Sandpipers weren't very solitary and I found about 5 throughout the cells.

I found only one Stilt Sandpiper, but I'll take it because they are uncommon. Stilt Sandpipers are more common fall migrants than springtime migrants. Finding one in spring is a real treat, and the one that was found when I was at Hillman got some of the shorebird enthusiasts excited. I'm not sure if it stuck around for anyone to add to their Festival of Birds list though.

There were a few Pectoral, Greater Yellowlegs, and Spotted Sandpipers working the shoreline. My records show that they were the first Pectoral Sandpipers that I've seen this year!


The best shorebird species seen were two White-rumped Sandpipers. White-rumps are sought after shorebirds that are hard to get if you aren't in the right place at the right time. They are a bit easier to find in the fall than the spring, much like the Stilt Sandpiper. This year has thus far proven to be a good year for them. I only saw them in the scope, so I was unable to get a photo.

A few other birds can be found around cells.

Green Heron

Red-tailed Hawk

Chimney Swift

Song Sparrow

Cedar Waxwing

Yellow Warbler

One bird that I am surprised I missed is Savannah Sparrow. They are almost guaranteed!

There were a few other things around that I didn't bother getting any photos of such as Monarchs, Viceroys, Painted Ladies, Common Whitetails, and Common Green Darners. I have found CGD pretty scarce this year, and I have seen more in the past few days than so far this entire year!

Despite the lack of photographs, it was a very successful outing and I can't wait to do some more shorebirding. Fall migration is upon us!


  1. I like that place! Can be good for butterflies as well. There was Sachem there during that invasion year a few years ago.

    1. That is a decent butterfly!

      It really is a cool spot.

  2. Nice to see that you were in my home county. I don't get to Mitchell as often as I would like, but those lagoons can be really rewarding in the right conditions.

    1. I like to bird around :)

      I have only ever birdied there in August, but I'm sure that it is great in all seasons.