The last few days have been uneventful with dismal weather and very few birds to see. (looks like a quiet winter!). Today, Sunday, was the most dismal with fog and later rain. But I did get a highlight at Point Pelee to brighten things up.
Point Pelee National Park was closed all this past week for deer herd management, but opened back up on Saturday. Paul Pratt's group managed to spot a Townsend's Solitaire at De Laurier yesterday. Obviously it was the continuing bird that was found back on November 20 at that location.
With nothing else to do today, I made my way through the fog to Point Pelee and first stopped at De Laurier. I lurked around the parking lot and homestead area for some time, and even walked the trail without detecting the subject thrush.
After walking the trail, I stood just into the start of the trail at the north end. I heard a high-pitched whistle which I instantly recognized as the call of a Townsend's Solitaire. I changed my position and found the bird atop at tree along the driveway. Lighting was poor and I did not get satisfactory photos, but mission accomplished!
I moved on and checked out the Tip and Sparrow Field area. It was too foggy to see any distance, and birds were scarce.
|Horned Grebe in fog|
I then walked the cemetery and cactus field area before moving on.
I thought one more try for the solitaire was in order. Upon arrival, the said thrush was right at the parking lot! It was eating hackberries and cedar berries, but came down right in front of me at one point.
This time, I got decent photos!
Point Pelee has had several records of Townsend's Solitaire, mainly in the cold months. Several are in the De Laurier area, which is quite ideally suited with berry trees and the open area. There are at least eight other records in the park, and this was my third for the park. (First was in the middle of May, 2002).
Later, I stopped by Hillman Marsh for a short walk, but did not see much. The dense fog did not help matters!
Recently, a new book was published on North American Flycatchers. This volume was the second in the series covering Empidonax (or "empids") and Peewees. With the recent event at Rondeau, I had to order one! It came Friday evening.
The book looks very simple, but is actually packed full of information on each species; everything you want to know. Each species is shown, with descriptions, range maps and sonograms. As well, comparisons are made to similar-looking species.
This has come in handy with the recent Western Flycatcher at Rondeau. The Rondeau bird fits Western to a 'T' when one checks out the features covered in this book. There is no doubt we had a Western Flycatcher at Rondeau in my opinion!