Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sora and Virginia Rails at Point Pelee's Marsh Boardwalk

I took a quick trip out to Point Pelee this morning. After checking out Hillman Marsh, I quickly headed for Point Pelee. The first stop was the Marsh Boardwalk. I rarely walk the marsh boardwalk, but figured I would give it a try today. That turned out to be a good decision.

There were two buses in the marsh parking lot and about 50+ people on the marsh observation tower. I think they were from Dan Minnill's U of W Ornithology class, but I could be mistaken. On the boardwalk, the first two birds I noticed were Eastern Phoebes and Swamp Sparrows. Other highlights included: 5 Rusty Blackbirds, 5 Sora,  1 Virginia Rail (lifer #306), 10 Eastern Phoebes, and a pair of Ruby throated Hummingbirds.

Very Exciting to see this Virginia Rail. About the same size as Sora. I thought it would be bigger.

Rusty Blackbirds.

I saw 5 Soras today! It was a Sora Fallout.

After the marsh boardwalk, I did a quick tour of the Delaurier path. I ran into Kory Renaud and we birded the path together. Lots of Golden crowned Kinglets, Ruby crowned Kinglets, Winter Wren, White throated Sparrows (some singing "oh sweet Canada") a few seasonal warblers, Red breasted Nuthatches, Swainson's Thrush, Yellow bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker were seen as well. A Brown Creeper was seen as well as several Sharp shinned Hawks flying right above us. Kory and I both wanted to see Blue headed Vireo but it wasn't to be on this path today. Today I realized what the female call of an Eastern Towhee sounds like (Towhee?).  On the way out of the Delaurier, I ran into Rick & Dan from Leamington and Gerry Peltier. Good times!

Ojibway Park this week gave nice views of 3 Yellow bellied Sapsuckers, Tennessee and Nashville Warblers, Ruby crowned Kinglets, White and Red breasted Nuthatches, Red bellied and Downy Woodpeckers. Always nice to walk Ojibway after work on a weekday.

Seeing the Virginia Rail today was very exciting. I have wanted to see this bird for at least two years. I think I saw one at Pointe Mouillee once, (I remember flushing a small bird which flew a short distance with its legs dangling) and I think I heard them in Carden Alvar's Sedge Wren or Prospect Marsh. My view of it was a fleeting 3 seconds. I'm amazed I even obtained a photo of it.

I'm looking forward to October. I'm dying to see Saw Whet Owls as well as American Pipits. Like the Virgina Rail above, they have eluded me for too long! Any winter finches would be nice to see as well.

Good birding!
Recent Lifers:
American Bittern #300
Willow Flycatcher #301
Upland Sandpiper #302
Bank Swallow #303
Cliff Swallow #304
Olive Sided Flycatcher #305
Virginia Rail #306


  1. American Pipits are around now. You need to learn the flight call! Heard some up Midland way this morning!

  2. Congrats on the slew of life birds Dwayne! Nice post with quite a mitt full of birds for a "quick morning trip"! :)

  3. Congrats on the Virginia Rail! I'll be keeping an eye out for one this winter! Hope you find a Saw-whet soon; that would be awesome to see!

  4. Congrats on the Virginia Rail! I headed to PPNP today to see if I could find it and the luck for me, but I did see a few new lifers for me :) Thanks for your help ID`ing birds :)

  5. Nice report, Dwayne. You should consider planning your next trip to Florida when you can make the pelagic trip into the Gulf Stream from Ponce Inlet. Contact Michael Brothers at the Marine Science Center for information.

  6. Hooray to seeing the V. rail! Sounds like some really good birding was had when you took all these great photos. Good luck in Oct.!



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