Sunday, October 2, 2011

Early October Birding at Point Pelee & Holiday Beach

Sure enough, once last week's low pressure system moved off to the east, trailing north winds followed this counter-clockwise spinning weather system. Birding Point Pelee's West beach towards the tip had fall-out numbers ( 'fallout' is the most overused term of birders, but ya... I said it!) of late season warblers. This posting describes Saturday at Point Pelee and Sunday at Holiday Beach.

Hillman Marsh***
Hillman was my first stop, and it was cold, windy and just barely raining. I walked from the parking lot to the shorebird cell, only to see nothing until my walk back to the parking lot. As I walked back to the lot, I think I flushed a small Rail of some sort. It was very dark and I recall seeing redish in its wings or scapulars. Really weird, it was about the size of a red-winged blackbird with an upright posture. I have no idea what it was! I then flushed a Ring necked Pheasant. No photos...

Point Pelee's Delaurier Trail***
It was quiet on this path, but probably because there were raptors everywhere overhead.  Sharp shinned, Coopers, even Bald Eagles were constantly criss-crossing the area.  A Solitary Sandpiper greeted me in the parking lot. The snickering call of Belted Kingfishers was heard all day if you were anywhere near water. Along west beach, along the North Dyke road, and even the wet sloughs of Delarier trail had many Kingfishers (see top photo).  Thrushes and a small pocket of warblers were seen near the Delaurier Home.


The Tip and West Beach Footpaths***
Merlins, Sharp Shinned, Coopers, Bald Eagles were easily seen overhead, and along the scrubby trees along west beach, Grey-Cheeked Thrushes and Swainsons Thrushes were everywhere. White crowned Sparrows along with Yellow-Rumped and Palm Warblers (hundreds seemingly) with lesser numbers of Black throated Green, Magnolia and Common Yellowthroat warblers. This was great birding, I can't recall seeing so many birds at the tip of Point Pelee, even though it was lots of birds with little variety.

Southernmost Sanderling. Two Sanderlings and a Rudy Turnstone ignored visitors at the tip.

Holiday Beach***
Sunday, I stopped by Holiday Beach with my wife and son, and we saw many of the same warblers along the beach, Norther Parula and Red eyed Vireo were nice along with a FOS (first of season) Eastern Phoebe. Kestrels, Sharp Shinned, Coopers, Broad winged, TV's, and Bald Eagles constantly streamed over the tower. We only visited for a short time though.

Shake your Buteo. Broad winged Hawk with its Spade-shaped belly markings.

Probably added too many photos in this posting... Oddly enough, the most common bird (yellow rumped warbler) was not featured in this posting.

Good birding!


  1. Rondeau was superb on Saturday according to a friend of mine. I had fun at Lake Huron though.
    Lots of Phoebes at Rondeau today--a complete change over in birds apparently.
    We needed this weather system to stir things up!

  2. And here's me who stayed home. Sheesh! Looks like I missed some fantastic birds. :(



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