This initial discomfort was not the end of it. After a quick walk around The Tip trail, I persuaded my comrades to try the West Beach Trail. Given the steady west wind, I reasoned, we would surely find the midges less bothersome and might even find a mourning warbler or two. All agreed to this clever strategy but five minutes later we were choking out billions of midges that were even thicker than before. With my planning credibility shot, we beat a hasty retreat back to the east side of the peninsula!
Midges were not the only insect issue in Pelee. We were warned about ticks back on our first day here and we took as much care as we could to avoid this particular critter. Despite our best efforts we did find a couple of them. Mike kindly modelled this one for our cameras.
On these last couple of days we had only five new year birds. Two of them were good warbler finds, a Canada Warbler and a Blackpoll Warbler. We had great views of both!
Two others were Chimney Swift and Short-billed Dowitcher, neither of which allowed a close-up view. The fifth bird was very noteworthy. Thrushes have been fairly common here (Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush and Veery). Today we saw what was most likely a Gray-cheeked Thrush. There were a number of observers who felt this thrush might actually be a Bicknell's Thrush which would be amazing! These observers put their huge lenses to work and no doubt greater authorities than any of us will make a final determination. We will stick with Gray-cheeked Thrush in the interim!
|Little Brown Bat (dead)|