Saturday, September 17, 2011

Point Pelee's OFO Convention Birding

I stopped into PPNP this morning for a short birding walk. As usual, I only had a precious two hours to bird the park, so I rolled the dice and decided to walk the Delaurier Path. This path has been really good in the past, especially in the fall because there is lots of edge habitat (forest/field and forest/marsh) as well as several wet sloughs. The area around the sloughs (the elevated boardwalk & octagon platform) are loaded with dogwood berries, wild grapes, sumac and jewelweed.

The Delaurier parking lot provided a brief look at a (house?) Wren, and a few warblers were seen along the path, but really, I hardly saw much as I rounded the Delarier path. I did have good looks at Northern Flicker and many overhead Sharp Shinned Hawks. Perhaps that's why nothing was really out in the open. Even though birds were hardly seen, it was cool to see so many Ruby throated hummingbirds. Along the path, batches of Jewelweed would be guarded by a perched Hummingbird (see above photo). I must have seen about 15 hummingbirds along this path. 

Then, just as I rounded the Delaurier path, I ran into a group of birders from the OFO convention that was talking place this weekend at Point Pelee. I think the group was led by Bruce DiLabio, and his son Ben (the leader calling his son Ben tipped me off). Bruce and the group quickly spotted a Grey Cheeked Thrush which would have been a lifer. Another group member mentioned seeing a flycatcher skulking in the same bush. Ben later mentioned seeing a Yellow bellied Flycatcher as well (another potential lifer)!

Yellow bellied Flycatcher. An unexpected and exciting lifer.
I did not really see any birds at first, and I then followed the group along Ander's Path to see some hard-fought warblers, Magnolia, Black throated Blue, and a Blue headed Vireo, preening in a pine. The group quickly left Ander's Footpath shortly after (they rushed off to NW Beach). As I was about to leave myself, I tried one more time for the Grey Cheeked thrush and luckily, it perched out into the open, along with the yellow bellied flycatcher... Both lifers at #282 & #283.
A Grey cheeked Thrush. Do you see it's gray facial features? Its almost identical to a Hermit Thrush!
While exciting to get two more lifers, I must say it was a cautious excitement because these two particular birds are tough to identify. The flycatchers are so similar I really am not 100% sure of what I'm looking at when I see one. Also, the spot-breasted Thrushes are all very similar as well. But I'm quite confident the identification is correct. The thrush above is obviously not a Swainson's Thush.  Lifers are few and far between as you approach 300!

Good birding,

PS: I checked the onion fields for American Golden Plover (they were reported there yesterday) but no such luck. I think I'm the only birder in Ontario who has not yet seen an Am G. Plover!

Lifer summary:
Grey cheeked Thrush #282
Yellow bellied Flycatcher #283


  1. Thanks Tiffanie, I agree! Thanks for reading Nerdy for Birdy BTW :^)

  2. Hi Dwayne,
    It was a bit quiet for birds today but we did find some good pockets.
    Some good butterflies as well! Didn't have a camera though.
    Had a Gray-cheeked as well.

  3. If it makes you feel better, I have not seen an American Golden Plover. Thanks for sharing your fun bird walk.



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