Saturday, December 23, 2017

Wintery Birding: Point Pelee-Hillman-Wheatley Harbour

Today I planned to go to Point Pelee for perhaps the last time this year.  Luckily, a decent bird has been hanging around since Monday in the form of a Bohemian Waxwing.  Unfortunately, the weather did not co-operate, but then it IS the weekend!  Just like clockwork, the weather went for a crap this morning.  At least later in the afternoon it was nice.
I arrived at the park under steady snow around 08:00 and went straight to the VC.  I headed down Woodland Trail and was joined by Ian Woodfield.  We arrived at the prescribed spot along Redbud Trail and it did not take long to see a flock of waxwings.  I immediately picked out the Bohemian, but they did not stay long in the poor conditions.
It took another half hour before they showed up again, for Jim Burk, affording a better view, but not all that great!

I have seen Bohemians only a couple of times before in Point Pelee.  They are most certainly pretty birds.

While there, a Hermit Thrush made an appearance along with a few Purple Finches, Black-capped chickadees, and a very vocal Carolina Wren.

We all then headed down to the Tip (or what is left of it) to see a few gulls and ducks.  Water is high and with all the wind, there is little beach all along the east side.  It was too crappy to check for a Northern Gannet, which has been just across the lake at Cleveland!

After parting ways, I checked out Shuster Trail and De Laurier for very few birds. 

Scene along Shuster Trail

There were a couple of Yellow-rumped, a Swamp Sparrow, etc.  plus a White-breasted Nuthatch (probably two) along the way.

My next stop was Hillman Marsh.  Along the way I spotted a couple of Sandhill Cranes along Mersea Rd. 19.
At the shorebird cell I was delighted to see 8 Eastern Meadowlarks.  They show up well in the snow!

I had several here a few weeks ago, so I wonder if they are the same birds.

I checked a usual spot for Marsh Wren, and sure enough, it was there!  However, it wanted to hide.

A stop at Wheatley Harbour revealed lots of geese including 28 Snows.

Perhaps these came in yesterday with the movement of geese all over.

Time to slow down a bit (not really) for Christmas!

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