Sunday, November 21, 2010

To The Tip! Point Pelee Birding

This weekend we finally had access to the Tip of Point Pelee after several weeks.  Many of us had withdrawal symptons, so it was nice go birding there again today.  The sun never really came out today for any length of time.
The wind was southeast somewhat brisk and moved more easterly later.  It was supposed to go south, but as usual that did not happen.
I was the only birder there for the first two hours, but Steve Pike and his friend came along later.  There was lots of activity, especially with Red-breasted Mergansers.  There were thousands, and after a while I realized it was a big day for them, so I tried to count.  I estimated at least 50,000+.  Could have been more, especially since they were still coming when we left the Tip.  Last year on 7 November we had 54,000 in three hours. 

Pike at the Tip!

There were several other species of ducks including all three scoters.  Only three Common Loons and three Horned Grebes were seen.  No shorebirds!
At the Tip washrooms, a bat was clinging to the wall.  Its fur was all mussed up though.

Afterwards, we walked up West Beach Trail, but activity was minimal.  There were lots of Chickadees and Golden-crowned Kinglets. One male kinglet had a bold fiery crest!  I have never seen one so boldly displayed.


Raptors included a couple of Harriers, three dark morph Rough-legged Hawks (together!), an adult Red-shouldered Hawk, a Peregrine Falcon and a Cooper's Hawk.
The best activity was at the group campground where there was a large gathering of birds.  Included were about 15 Eastern Bluebirds, a couple of American Robins, Hermit Thrushes, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Chickadees, Brown Creeper, Yellow-rumped Warblers, etc.

Fat Chickadee!

On the way home I caught sight of a Red-necked Grebe in Hillman Marsh at the bridge on Mersea Rd. 2.  I had just looked at two Pied-billed Grebes on the other side of the bridge.
Checked out Wheatley Harbour also.  An Irene Woods sighting and just ordinary gulls there...

Serious-looking Herring Gull

Content Ring-billed Gull

There have been considerable changes at Point Pelee. The road to the Tip has been repaved and the Tip Loop modified.  The VC parking lot is totally reconfigured to give a better flow of traffic. However there seems to be fewer parking spaces!

1 comment:

  1. Blake, glad to hear that PPNP is open again. I love the firecrest!