|Black-throated Blue Warbler|
Birder traffic on the trails continues to increase so we take a lunch break at the Visitors Centre, where the sausage hot dog is excellent. Under mostly sunny skies, we we walk a loop near the Visitors Centre and make our way on to the Sanctuary. Here we strike a bonanza, seeing 11 warbler species including Northern Parula and Cape May Warbler plus a couple flyover Broad-winged Hawks. And Phil gets his own life Black-billed Cuckoo!
We move on to Hillman Marsh and note an uncommon Wilson's Phalarope among a mass of Black-bellied Plovers. A patient lady shows us an American Golden-Plover. Following a quick tour of the Onion Fields we head the hotel and supper. Our total of over a hundred for the day includes 19 warbler species. It's a good day.
Early May 6 finds us back in Pelee NP. The mature forest is dominated by Carolinian species including black walnut, shagbark hickory, silver maple and tulip, and the plant life ranges from trillium to horse's tail in wetter sections. Sections of the park are undergoing the slow, tedious process of invasive plant removal. We're well-warned to avoid the local hazards of ticks and "southern" poison ivy.
Following lunch Ray departs to meet his son Rob, and the three of us patrol a trail near the Visitors Centre. But the birds are quiet and we're tired -- or at least I am. A three o'clock break for a nap is welcome and needed.
After dinner, the 5 of us went back to the park for a couple of hours. In the Northwest Beach area we found a Bank Swallow which was quickly followed by a Philadephia Vireo and a Lark Sparrow (which is a rare bird for Ontario but common in Alberta). We wrapped up the evening with an American Woodcock (a catch-up bird for Phil).