Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mid Week Holiday Beach Birding Walk

I stopped by Holiday Beach after work today for a quick 1 hour walk and tower observing. It was really slow this afternoon even though winds seemed favorable for good raptor migration.  But, almost nothing went by this afternoon. Today's Holiday Beach report was emailed out and it was stated that winds were (in the afternoon) "increasing slightly out of the northwest". It made me wonder if NW winds push Raptors into Point Pelee (which acts as a bird funnel) and then over the Lake Erie Archipelago Islands towards Ohio. It would be a good orithological experiment to take several days and compare counts at Holiday beach verses Point Pelee and see which spots gets more traffic based on NW winds and NE winds. I guess several other factors would come into play... Buteos may be more willing to cross the water than Accipiters. Flight elevation or sun/cloud cover may be other variables. Maybe I'm overthinking it... Maybe it was just a slow day!!!

Anyway, I walked around the pond and checked out some other areas at Holiday Beach that have been birdy in the past and basically I saw the following:

Lots of overhead blackbirds
Eastern Phoebe
Golden Crowned Kinglets
Ruby Crowned Kinglets
Winter Wren *
Carolina Wren *
Many Thrushes, Mainly Robins
Northern Flicker
Downy Woodpecker

 Do you see the Winter Wren in the above photo?

I love Wrens. Seeing a Winter Wren last year at around this time was incredibly exciting. You have to really be looking for a Winter Wren to find one in my experience. You have to know its habitat, and also know when its coming through. Carolina Wrens are brilliant to look at and behold, possibly even more so sonically. The "Tea-kettle Tea-kettle" call or the "Breeeeet  Breeeeet  Breeeet" call are absolutely awesome to experience. It took me a while to associate these calls with this bird. That is the learning curve of birding by ear....

Good Birding!

PS: Speaking about the Lake Erie Archipelago, I hope to finally visit Pelee Island... Hopefully next April or May... Stay tuned.

PSS: The Ontario Field Onithologists website has a great article on Raptor Migration in Ontario here:

PSSS: Could this old photo be a ... Northern Goshawk? I ID'd this last November as a Cooper's Hawk.  Any thoughts? NG's have fluffy undertail coverts, that have dark markings in them. I should check if other photos show this marking.


  1. The Ruby-crowned Kinglet couldn't be any cuter. That is such a sweet looking bird.
    I saw my first Winter Wren at Rondeau and I almost missed it. They're so tiny and blend in so well to their surroundings.
    I love to vicariously go birding through your blog. :)

  2. There was a Winter Wren that stuck around the patio at work last year, favouring the underside of the BBQ. Definitely made my day(s) for a couple of weeks.



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