Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birding Pointe Mouillee and Oak Openings Metropark

Black crowned Night Heron with Fermi cooling towers in the background

Pointe Mouille is about 30 minutes south of Windsor if you were to cross the Ambassador Bridge. There are some incredible shorebirds that show up to this 700-acre manmade wetland. Its interesting to read about how this area was made and how duck hunters, birders and government use this area. According to the US Army Corps of Engineers:  "The primary purpose of the Pointe Mouillee Confined Disposal Facility is to contain 18 million cubic yards of contaminated dredged material that will be removed from the existing navigation channels in the Detroit and Rouge Rivers" (USACE).

I brought my mountain bike because the distances required to navigate this area are in the units of miles. Bring water, portable snacks and sun protection if you go. Also, print out a map. I was not feeling too good when I arived at this park, so I did not stay long. In my short time there, I did see Green and Black Crowned Night Herons, GB Herons, Great Egrets, A flyby Least Bittern (seen near the middle causeway and the long-pond and vermeet areas)... Not as good a look at one as I had last summer at St Clair NWA. Hooded Mergansers and Pied billed Grebes were seen. A recent blog posting had incredible birds here including: Little Blue Herons, American Avocets and White faced Ibis. I did not make it to Cell 3 (the shorebird cell) because the middle causeway was blocked with a gaggle of geese!

I really like Pointe Mouillee but I must say I hate crossing the border. I find the border guards to be unneccesarily rude... "Wutz a matter,,, don't they have birds in Canada no more?" is one of the nicer comments I've had in my three birding visits. Give me a break. I'm sure Americans on their way to Point Pelee are not treated in the same manner.

Oak Openings is an awesome metropark in Toledo (Swanton Ohio actually). Check out this website for more details. Its about 1 hour from Windsor, or 30 or so minutes past Point-Moo-Yee. This park is similar to Ojibway Park in Windsor but it boasts breeding species including Blue Grosbeaks, Lark Sparrows, Prarie Warblers and Yellow breasted Chats. See the chart for this hotspot for more details.

Upon arriving to the park, I birded a few fields which are highlighted on the websites' literature as hotspots but really did not see too much. I would imagine its just way too late in the season to bother seeing some of the rarities. I will try to return in June next year. Some things seen in my short time at Oak Openings were Red headed Woodpeckers, Indigo Buntings, Chipping and Song Sparrows, American Copper, and Pipevine Swallowtails.

Cylindrical Blazingstar

An interesting thing about this park is that the visitor center is unstaffed. It has some interpretive displays and nice pamphlets but nobody in the room. Great park nonetheless and the visitor center is still really nice.

A little closer to home, things have also been quiet. Holiday Beach produced my first Hackberry Emperor as well as Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Common Moorehen and the common herons and egrets were around as well.
Anyone know what flower this Giant Swallowtail is feeding on?

Good birding,

USACE, "Pointe Moullee - Beneficial Use", April 24, 2005, obtained: July 26, 2011,

1 comment:

  1. Some excellent finds! Flower is Wild Bergamot (sometimes just called Monarda)-fairly common. Butterflies really like it.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...