Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 6th Trip to Point Pelee

Point Pelee may be one of the top ten birding spots in North America, but outside of the spring and fall migrations, its not really any better than any typical Carolinian forest. I guess the nice thing about it is that it has several habitats (forest, water, swamp & grassland) so you typically get a few more birds on a trip here than to your local park.

Point Pelee is almost 1 hour from my house, and I must say I often get home and feel underwhelmed from my trip. I just don't seem to see the rarities that others rave about, such as a grey catbird, northern mockingbird,... I still havent seen a Carolina Wren...

What I did see are the typical winter species... Black Capped Chickadee, Cardinal, Downy & Red Bellied Woodpeckers... I photographed a pair of Common Mergansers and my first real ID on a Black Backed Gull. I haven't really gotten into gulls, but this was a pretty neat photo. 

 Not particularily great photography...I'm practicing for May...
Can you spot the Black Backed Gull below?


 True to the seasonal migration charts, I noticed this Brown-Headed Cowbird on the North Dyke Road outside Point Pelee. I also noticed some iridescent Common Grackles in Point Pelee as well.

On my way home, I was driving down a typical street in Windsor and saw a huge lump in a tree. I stopped and noticed it was a giant hawk! I took many photos of this raptor without getting out of my car, and this was probably the best photo I could get. Is this a Coopers or Sharp-Shinned?

Quiz - Is this a Sharp-Shinned Hawk or a Coopers?

According to the Point Pelee Website, the following list of birds should be appearing in the month of March:

American Black Duck
American Robin*
Red-winged Blackbird*
Northern Pintail
Common Grackle*
Pied-billed Grebe
Hooded Merganser
Tundra Swan
American Coot
American Woodcock
American Wigeon
Mourning Dove
Northern Shoveller
Belted Kingfisher
Wood Duck
Eastern Bluebird
Ring-necked Duck
Eastern Meadowlark
Greater Scaup
Rusty Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Lesser Scaup
Horned Grebe
Northern Flicker*
Great Blue Heron
Eastern Phoebe
Green-winged Teal
Tree Swallow
Blue-winged Teal
Winter Wren
White-winged Scoter
Hermit Thrush*
Ruddy Duck
American Pipit
Bonaparte's Gull
Fox Sparrow
In late March, mallard, American black duck, northern pintail, redhead, canvasback and killdeer are present in their greatest numbers.

Happy Birding!


  1. Good to see you on Saturday. Things will get better and Carolina Wrens will come!
    The accipiter could be a small Cooper's Hawk. Tip of tail is more rounded in Cooper's while Sharp-shinned is more squared.

  2. Nice post! I'll be in Pelee this May for a week only but hopefully we'll cross paths during that time. Leamington is my true birding haunt but I do enjoy the birds I get in Toronto now as well. Keep posting those great photos.



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