Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hawkfest Birding at Holiday Beach & Pelee

Saturday morning, the family and I headed out to the hawk festival at Holiday Beach.  A few Kestrels flew overhead as we arrived and some kettles of Turkey Vultures and Broad wings (at stratospheric levels) were seen. The Canadian Peregrine Foundation had some captive raptors on display including this Barn Owl above. I find it kinda sad to see any captive bird and was almost reluctant to post this gorgeous bird (he looks so sad!). This weekend was not too great for Hawkwatching. The winds were southerly and little was moving. I guess on Tuesday this week, a huge cold front will push lots of raptors south.

While leaving Holiday Beach, I walked along the scrubby area parallel to the beach with my son and saw a few warblers: Blackpoll, Blackburnian and Nashville Warblers were seen briefly. Nuthatches were heard but not seen. A few flycatchers were around but I did not really have time to really ID them. I think one was an Eastern Pewee, and the other (see below) may be another Olive sided?!?

Audubon Magazine recently had an article which listed out the ten best Hawk-watching places in North America, and Holiday Beach was third in the list!  Pretty cool. See the article here:

Another Olive sided Flycatcher?
Blackburnian Warbler... Non Cooperative...

Sachem on New England Aster Behind Pelee Inn
Point Pelee Tour with the Family 

A large tree in Sparrow Field always has Hackberry butterflies on it. It may be leaking sap.

Point Pelee was quiet bird-wise until my wife and two sons visited the tip. While leaving the beach and getting onto the west path back to the tram loop, I noticed many birds in the first few trees at the tip of Point Pelee. The trees were crawling with Red-breasted Nuthatches (10+?), Yellow rumped Warblers (6) and Blue grey Gnatcatchers (4).  A single southernmost-Sanderling was trying to avoid tourists walking the beach at the tip of Pelee... the only shorebird. Hundreds of gulls  (some black-backed) and Cormorants were on the three islands that extended out from the tip of Pelee.

Checkered Skipper on Short's Aster

Good birding,

PS: A little buzz in Windsor lately about a birding film being shot at various parts of Essex including Ojibway Park.

Praying Mantis. On my son's play-house!

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