Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Point Pelee ... getting reacquainted

On Tuesday evening, Ray, Mike and I arrived at Point Pelee (Phil will join us on Friday).  The three of us have all been here before but it has been a few years.  After checking into our motel and a quick dinner, we headed for “the tip” – mainland Canada’s southernmost point of land.
Brian & Mike at the tip (Red-breasted Mergansers flying in the background)

The view is even more amazing looking north from the tip.  This is the view that many birds have as they cross Lake Erie.
Looking north from the tip

We had heard that the migration had been pretty quiet so far so we weren’t expecting much on our walk.  Thus we were pleasantly surprised to see Nashville, Yellow, Yellow-rumped and Chestnut-sided Warblers as well as a few other migrants.  On the drive back to the motel, there were a number of Raccoons on the road for mammal species #30.

On Wednesday, we headed for the tip again but this time the pathways were filled with other birders.  We quickly added to our warbler total with Black-and-White, Palm and Black-throated Green Warblers all being reasonably common.  There was also a Pine Warbler directly above the path.
Black-throated Green Warbler

We had to work a bit but eventually had good looks at the beautiful Blue-winged Warbler.  We walked all of the way back to the Visitor Centre (about 3 km) and picked up a few new birds – Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Towhee and Blackburnian Warbler.
Blue-winged Warbler

The Visitor Centre had muffins and soft drinks which we chose for lunch rather than heading back to town.  While eating our lunch, Ray spotted a Red-headed Woodpecker flying overhead.  We then made a couple of more stops in the park before heading to Hillman Marsh.
Red-headed Woodpecker

Hillman Marsh is known as the best shorebird spot in the Point Pelee area but today the duck species (10) outnumbered the shorebirds (3).  We did pick up a few new team birds at the marsh in Caspian Tern, Forster’s Tern and Black-bellied Plover.  On the walk back to parking lot we were pleased to see a couple of handsome Bobolinks.

After a brief rest & dinner stop, we drove out to the tip again.  New birds on this walk included Eastern Bluebird, Savannah Sparrow, Northern Waterthrush and a cute little Field Sparrow.  There were also a couple of Eastern Cottontails along the path.
Field Sparrow

The sun was just going down as we finished our walk and we enjoyed watching the bright red sun sink below the horizon.
Point Pelee sunset

But we weren’t done yet … our last stop was the Delaurier Parking lot to look for American Woodcock.  While waiting for the woodcock to display, we saw a single as yet unidentified bat.  For some reason, the woodcock was not displaying in its usual area but we did get brief glimpses of it flying high in the air.

All in all, we had a pretty good day (at least by our standards) with over 100 bird species as well as 5 mammal species.  With birding days lasting about 15 hours, it will be difficult to keep the blog, the lists and the photos up-to-date.  We’ll try to update the blog every couple of days and get to the lists and photos as time permits.

No comments:

Post a Comment