Saturday, August 30, 2014

Point Pelee Saturday Stuff

It was time to visit Point Pelee again.  Today I headed out early towards Leamington and the first item on the agenda was the reported Eurasian Collared-Doves on Seacliffe Drive.  A pair was on the wire right away, so I barely stopped!  Due to the position I was in, I did not bother to get a photo.
A pair was along Point Pelee Drive last year, so who knows if this is the same pair that returned to the area. There are not many records of Ontario, but a few are scattered around.  There have been three appearances for Rondeau Park (only the first one documented in 2003), for example.

That was a good start to the day as I headed into the park.  I walked directly to the Tip as there was a stiff SW breeze blowing.  I was the only one there for the first 1.5 hours!  Nothing rare showed up, but the potential was there.
The only shorebird species was Sanderling (one was a flyby).

An Osprey headed over to Pelee Island at one point.  A year old Little Gull flew by as well.
After a while, I got bored and headed towards Sparrow Field.  I met up with Josh Vandermeulen near the tram loop.  He had also seen the collard doves this morning, and apparently five minutes before I did!

I ran into a nice flock of birds at the north end of Sparrow Field. Several warbler species including Cape May, Bay-breasted, etc.  Quite a few of the birds were in a shaded spot, so photos quality not good.

female Cape May

I decided to head back to the Tip as some other friends were just arriving for a Tip watch.  Lots of goldfish and wax cedarwings were flying off the Tip today (lol).  At one point, Josh spotted an American Golden Plover flying overhead, heading west.  A Rock Pigeon came along later to round out the dove list for the day.

After a while, it was time to head up the west side to look for butterflies.  I walked with Steve Pike and Lindsey Valliant. Once again, there were not many butterflies, but we looked at everything along the way.

At one point, Steve saw a female Velvet Ant.  I had never really looked at those before, but it is a type of wasp.

The female is wingless, looking like an ant, and is rather hairy.  It can give a powerful sting.  This species parasitizes larvae of ground-nesting bees and wasps.

Continuing on, the call of Greater Yellowlegs caught our attention along the way, and we saw a group of 15 heading south along the shoreline.  Not many shorebirds seen today.

I broke off from the group after that walk and checked out the cactus trail. Lots of goldenrod there and many insects.  A couple of Cape May Warblers and some flycatcher including Willow were feeding.

Cicada Killer!

I stopped at NW Beach as usual and found a Fiery Skipper for the day.  Also 3 or 4 Buckeye there.

Hillman Marsh was the next stop.  I was the only one in the whole place!  I wanted to walk the shorebird cell dike.  I found at least 20 Peck's Skippers, but unfortunately nothing else of note.

Looks like a bit of rain tomorrow, but maybe it could make for some good birding!

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff! Good seeing you today Blake. I wanted to stop by northwest beach (would have been nice to find a fiery skipper) but ended up going to holiday beach instead.-dm