Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pelee Island, May 6-17th, 2016

Fish Point - wrecked by storms in 2015... 

Had a ball at Pelee Island from the 6th to 17th of May... Overall, it wasn't the most memorable for "weather" (the source of all good birding or general enjoyment of the outdoors) - but it was freakin PELEE ISLAND - so of course an excellent time was had by all.

Possibly most notable were some of the things we DIDN'T see:

E. Fox Snake
Blue-spotted/Smallmouth Salamander
Blue Racer (ok, I guess some of these are to be expected)...
Gray Fox
Most butterflies
Most ducks
Many "semi-expected" rarities or even "rare/uncommon" birds. (eg,/ missed all southern overshoots, Cerulean, White-eyed Vireo, Clay-coloured Sparrow etc etc etc)

In fact, the bird checklist for the entire trip topped out at ~155 species... A nice total, but I also had 150 species IN A DAY in May 2014, without trying to max-out on species... Just a little context I guess...

Lake Erie Water Snake

Huge Red(?) Mul Berry 

Some highlights:

Select #'s of migrant butterflies (ladies, admirals)
Black Saddlebags (1)
Map Turtle
Blanding's Turtles
Lake Erie Watersnakes (sev)
"Melanistic" Gartersnakes (sev)

Botany was great/fun - but I don't know enough to say what they all were - but lots of great plants/trees....

7 American Avocets
White Pelicans on 4-5 different days (including one from our cottage)
2-3 observations of Neotropic Cormorant
1 "possible/distant" Pacific Loon
1-2-3 observations of possible Black-capped X Carolina Chickadee hybrids (photos to come).
26 Warbler species
1 Dickcissel
Thayer's & Lesser Black-backed Gulls
Whimbrel (2 days, first three on May 12th)
A presumed "Florida" Bald Eagle

"Southern" Baldie 

Cott Age Will Ets



One thing we did really quite well with was some very memorable birds/birding/moments - with May 11th standing out as being particularly insane. We casually birded Fish Point (only) throughout the day, and ended up with HUGE numbers and excellent looks at the neotropic migrants (est 2000+ warblers, 60+ Scarlet Tanagers, 200+ Kingbirds etc). Other days had some really great days/views/encounters with obscene numbers of Blue Jays, cooperative shorebirds, Swallow congregations etc. Even managed a dash of photography here and there...

So yeah! Overall, not the most action-packed rarity/busy/intense May of birding I've ever seen, but thankfully we had an A+ time --- keeping the excitement alive for 2017 where hopefully the weather is a bit warmer and more variety and big days occur!


I'll probably pull another blog post or three out of some additional Pelee pics/events. Stay tuned. Or don't. Doesn't really matter. 


  1. Replies
    1. Word homes.. It was insane. They ate 50lbs of seed from one homeowner alone.. !

    2. Last time I saw that many Blue Jays on the ground they were playing the Texas Rangers (PS. I came up with this HILARIOUS comment all by myself) #zing #ohsnap! #Idontgetoutmuch #hashtagsarefunnierthancomments