Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pelee Passage

Point Pelee was on the agenda today.  It was a clear and calm day, unusual for a Saturday, so it was an excellent day for being out birdwatching.

A mixed flock of blackbirds has been hanging out along Point Pelee Drive near Freddy's, so I headed there on my way in.  I took concession C road and remarkably, the flock just flew in as I approached the end of the road back of Freddy's!  It is a good mixed flock with at least one Brewer's Blackbird.

Approaching the Gate

The Tip parking lot is rather small for some reason....

After that I headed into the park and met up with Kory Renaud at Sparrow Field.  A number of wintering birds were there including Yellow-rumped Warblers, Hermit Thrushes, two Fox Sparrows, a Northern Flicker and a Purple Finch among others.
One of many Hermits

Of course, lots of American Robins are throughout the park.
As one would expect, there is a lot of snow built up along the west side.  Might be June before it all melts!

Attempting to walk the west side would be an adventure!

Lots of White-throated Sparrows were along the road throughout the park.  A few American Tree Sparrows were feeding as well.

One bat is still clinging to the Tip washroom wall.  I was tempted to poke it to see if it was frozen!

We then headed to the Wayne and Shuster Trail were a number of similar birds were feeding.

Hardy Yellow-rumped Warbler

I went ahead to the end where there are several kilometres of open water.  Lake Erie is not entirely frozen!

Meanwhile, Kory met up with Jeremy Bensette and Josh Vandermeulen and we then headed down the trail to check out the ducks.  There were several, including Long-tailed.  Several Bald Eagles were out and about and four went over providing stellar photo opportunities.

Kory and I headed up to Blue Heron to have lunch in the picnic shelter.  A few robins were there as well.
A red morph Screech-owl was taking advantage of the rare sunlight!  I know Rick the owl whisperer saw it too!

I headed out and noted the blackbird flock again just south of Freddy's.
I saw a Red-shouldered Hawk along Mersea Road 2 just east of the bridge.  It was a juvenile and likely the one that has been around all winter.
Near Wheatley, I caught up with the 'afternoon shift'. (Afterall it was after lunch).

The drive home was pleasant, but I did not see much of interest.  Not many hawks around this winter...I only saw one dark morph Rough-legged west of Grande Pointe.  It was about as dark as they come!

Tomorrow I will check Sarnia where there is apparently an insane number of Long-tailed Ducks in the river.  There are also several grebes.  These birds were undoubtedly forced out of the lake due to the ice.  Many of the ducks usually tend to stay out on the lake, but numbers have been building all winter.  Many ducks in the river are having a tough time getting food.  Some have been dying.  Perhaps the Canvasback on the road yesterday was a weak one.


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