Sunday, May 6, 2012

Early May Birding at Pelee

So many things to talk about bird-wise! Took a personal day on Friday (May 4th) and spent a good day birding Point Pelee. Some personal highlights for me were seeing Red headed Woodpeckers and 5 species of Vireo ( White eyed, Yellow throated, Warbling, Red eyed, Blue headed) along with... 80 species of birds. I didn't really count or list them, but you get the point.

Some Random Thoughts (in point form for brevity and clarity):
  • I was mucking around with my "blog templates" and irreversibly changed my original template to the "newer style" of templates.  I really liked my old template, so I spent much time trying to customize my new template to look like my old one, but still... its not the same. :-(
  • I must have 70 photos that I would like to share, but I only chose 8 or so to add to this posting. 
  • I just bought a new cellphone and this was the first time I was birding while texting. More on the subject of "Technobirding" later.
  • Butterflies are everywhere this year. Amazing variety and its only the first week of May.
  • Its amazing how different people will see a completely different set of birds. A flickr friend had YB Chats and Summer Tanagers on this same Friday May 4th. 
  • Every year, it seems different birds seem to be more present than others. Last year, I hardly saw any Black throated blue Warblers, where this year, I've seen many. Same with Yellow throated Vireos. I guess its this randomness that keeps things interesting. 
  • Lots of variety at Pelee, but seemingly low numbers. It seems that each bird was hard fought for this year. It seems also to be slower than previous years, but perhaps things are the same, the only change being the lack of 'life bird rush' that I was getting in the previous years.
  • I did not hear or see a Wood Thrush yet this season... Seems odd no? I did see Hermit, Veery and Swainson's.

I had breathtaking looks at this beautiful yellow throated vireo... nuff said.
I was on West Beach Trail when I heard a "Fitz-Bew" call of a Flycatcher. I pished a little and a few warblers came to inspect the noise. I must have taken 15 photos of this white eyed vireo each as amazing as the next. What an amazing bird... I never saw the flycatcher until further down the path. I think it was a Least Flycatcher, based on the eye-rings.

A Point Pelee Specialty... Also seen at Ojibway in Windsor

Even though pretty common, and a local breeder, its always nice to see GCFs.

 Hillman Marsh

After Pelee, I drove over to Hillman Marsh proudly bearing a scope over my shoulder. Nothing super rare I guess, but a few nice birds included Green winged Teal, seasonal Terns, Black bellied Plover in stunning breeding plumage.  American Golden Plovers and Long billed Dowitcher were the highlights, and seeing them through my new scope was awesome.
American Golden Plover in a heavily cropped photo. Notice the greenish golden coloured plovers behind the horizontal row of bonaparte's gulls & terns. Black bellied Plovers in the foreground.

While shorebirding at Hillman, I realized I was standing next to and talking to Jean Iron. Wow! I realized it was her as she had mentioned Blenheim SL and I had just read her Ontbirds posting a few hours earlier.  The birding community is pretty small isn't it?

Good birding,


  1. Nice series of shots Dwayne!

  2. Very nice photos indeed-- beautifully composed and exposed. I'm looking forward to my one chance at Pelee next week.

  3. Good work!

    I was sick at home today. Never would have thought I'd go birding while stuck at home. Well, I'm laying down in bed and my wife calls me. "There's this orangish-redish bird out the window!" Well, who would have known? I saw a Summer Tanager today... without even leaving my home :)



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