Saturday, February 4, 2017

Depths of Winter Birding-Point Pelee

I was due for a visit to Point Pelee, so that is where I went!  The weather was good today, although a little too windy in the open areas.  It was nice to see the sun as we have not had much of it in the last month.
I usually start at the Tip in the park, but given the conditions today, I opted to begin at Shuster Trail.  This trail is one of the better spots to check in the dead of winter.
Most birds were towards the east end of the trail and along the beach.  I guess they were getting out of the wind and taking advantage of the morning sun!

East Beach

I came across a Rusty Blackbird in the undergrowth.  At first I thought it was a Gray Catbird (Jeremy Bensette had one here yesterday), but it took a while to get a good look to see what it was.

A bit later, I saw the bird along the beach for better views.

There were several White-throated Sparrows along the edge of the beach, among other birds. Included were 3 Northern Flickers.

White-throated Sparrow on Sumac

I took the long walk up through Tilden's Woods and up to the cemetery.  There was not much in the way of bird activity though.

high Hermit Thrush!

Getting back to the parking lot, I decided to head out Shuster again, where I met up with Jeremy Bensette and Kory Renaud.  We had more looks at the Rusty Blackbird, as well as a Hermit Thrush and a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Hermit Thrush on Sumac

Next stop was De Laurier where we watched a perched Great Horned Owl.
There were numerous Golden-crowned Kinglets, but near the end of the trail, I spotted a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

After a snack, I headed over to Hillman Marsh.  I had hopes of finding a Marsh Wren, but it was very windy along the shorebird cell.
Kory met up with me and we checked the boardwalk area where I had a Marsh Wren just over a year ago. No luck!

After parting ways, I headed down Mersea Rd. 2 and encountered a mixed flock of blackbirds.  They were spread out all around a house and in the trees, so I was not able to get a good count of what was there.
Many Red-winged Blackbirds, cowbirds and starlings were within this flock of a few hundred.

On the way home, I never saw a Snowy Owl so perhaps some from last week have moved on.

Jeremy looking at the Ruby-crowned


  1. I wondered if that gathering of the Snowies a week or so ago was an indication they were getting ready to head north.

    1. Last weekend was quite different. Everything frozen and no big good flocks this weekend!