Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things happening at Point Pelee

Was at Point Pelee today (or yesterday, when you read this --- and will still be there tomorrow --or today-- when it gets posted).

Annnnyways... Wonder what it's like at Pelee with all this recent heat? Here's what I had (on Mar 28):

Tip:  --- started here early. Some reverse migration and some ducks moving, but nothing really rare or unexpected. Surf/White-winged Scoters seen.... Greater Yellowlegs... I always really enjoy seeing flocks of Ruddy Ducks on the wing here (rarely see them flying anywhere else).  A few eagles, a few migrant Common Loons... etc etc Also had my first Green Darner of the year

Woodland Nature Trail: more migrants north in the park. Brown Creepers were the "common" migrant of the day. New year birds included Sapsucker(2), Winter Wren (sev), Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet(singing) etc etc.. lots of Blackbirds (many Rusties). Spring Azures were everywhere, and I picked up my first Red Admiral of the year.. A Vesper Sparrow near the VC was new for me

I then had plans to do Tildens, but after seeing a second Red Admiral, I decided to go to the beach. Several Winter Wrens were the only birds (of note) I had on the walk out, and when I got to the beach itself, I couldn't help but notice it was HOT and sunny (and totally out of the wind).... After a short walk, I discovered a lawn chair washed up on the beach... After sitting in the chair for a while (and falling asleep).. I decided to actually lay down on the beach........

Before I knew it, it was 4pm, and time to get ready for some evening birding! I did the Blue Heron area with few new additions (Although again, more migrants away from the tip). Did my usual hair/face wash.. teeth and shaved in the bathrooms (such is live when living in your car).

--- A drive outside the park turned up LOTS of geese in the fields, and a few gulls. I had my first DUNLIN of the year (flock of 10), that weren't permitted to land for long, before the gulls harassed them.. Looked pretty annoying after migrating all that way up here. Highlight was seeing the two long-staying Ross's Geese up close:

Pic from today...

Hillman Marsh was the final stop, and it was looking good with lower water levels (although I only picked out 5 Snipe on the muddy edge). The area was PACKED with ducks.. Practically most of the spring migrant ducks were present in the shorebird cell (along with 2 Dunlin)... 300+ each of Gadwall, Shovellers and GW Teal, with a smattering of other puddles and bay ducks. Perhaps the first time I've seen Canvasbacks in the cell??

Highlight of the day was a rather surprising "Common Teal" (Eurasian Green-winged Teal subspecies) in the shorebird cell... Bird was textbook in every way shape and form...  Not toally unexpected in a mega-group of teal in late March in Ontario... But I really wasn't expecting to see one 10 days after I found this impure "Common Teal" only a few hundred meters away 10 days earlier:

The Mar 18 bird.. Shockingly similar to todays bird.. Only difference was the lack of the "Green-winged Teal" spur hint this bird shows, and possibly some more white on the face than this bird. I tried for some pics but I don't think they worked (too late/dark/distant). 

Hopefully some good hawks (or vultures) to report for tomorrow! Before I get back to the working world on Friday. 


  1. A Limpkin probably flew by while you were sleeping.

  2. Sweet find with the Common Teal..

    I wonder how many more rarities you would find if you didn't sleep half the time ;)

  3. You guys are hilarious.. Hilarious!

  4. I think that photo of the Ross's Geese should go in the next Point Pelee Annual Report!

    I can't figure out where those little buggers have been hiding on most days .... maybe the Pelee Marsh, I suppose?

    1. I would say Pelee marsh without a doubt! They seem to spend the day out there, then they fly somewhere NW to roost for the night (Jack Miners?).. When I was there in Mid March I had them flying in from the NW and disappearing into the marsh. --- and sometimes in the evenings they stop for a corn snack north of the park!

  5. Were you actually sleeping on the beach or baiting Black Vultures for a photo opp?