Sunday, April 18, 2010
Sweet Bird Carolina
I reluctantly went birding to Point Pelee and Hillman Marsh today. It was cold and cloudy and basically not nice. The only reason I did go though was to pick up a Kayak from Pelee Wings. I started birding at Hillman Marsh... or should I say... Hillman Mudflats. Where is all the water this Spring?
I'm still really bad at identifying shore birds. But in short, Hillman had:
Great Blue Heron
Blue Winged Teal
I quickly continued on through side roads I have never driven on before.... Have you ever heard the song "Where the streets have no name"? I think U2 was talking about Mersea township!!! Anyway, I got to get a good look at what Tom Hince refers to as the Onion Fields in his Birding Point Pelee book.
The North Dyke road had Killdeer and Horned Larks in small numbers and great distances.
At this point, I only had about 1 hour to bird Point Pelee.... What path should I take???
I decided on the nature woodland trail, as I have not been on that trail yet this year! I also wanted to take a quick peek at the bird sightings book in the visitor center.
Not a bad turnout!
I quickly noticed a male Downy Woodpecker, then a female Yellow Belllied Sapsucker. Its strange. This YBSS looked like someone had spilt coffee on her! I'm still looking for a Red Headed Woodpecker!. Moving along the path briskly, I decided to take the Redbud Nature Trail as I had never walked this path before... where are the redbuds???
I did end up seeing several Kinglets (Golden and Ruby Crowned)... but wow are they hard to photograph. The redbud trail is basically a cloud of fine tree branches. ... Impossible to zoom with. The photo below is the best I could do, but this was me focusing manually. The exposure is off, as the bright background will fool the camera into underexposing the main (tiny) subject.
I reached the end of Redbud trail somewhat happy. I had at least seen some kinglets... not a bad day. But then as I walked along the nature trail, parallel to the road for the shuttle,,, I heard "tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle"... then after trying to locate the sound.... wham... I see a rust-coloured ball of feathers on a mossy, decaying branch. Incredible! But I was not able to photograph it at that point. I patiently followed it as is meandered along the path and got a few more photos of it...
Did I mention that the Carolina Wren is a lifer??? Wow... I was really happy to see this guy. My birding ended there as I soon approached the visitor center.
I finally picked up my kayak as well... I'll leave that for another post...