Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Birding Pointe Mouillee on Lake Erie's West Shore

The famous "Cell 3" at Pointe Mouillee. A great place to view shorebirds!

For the last three or so years, I've tried to do some shorebirding in late August at Pointe Mouillee (pronounced "puent moi-yee" - French for wet point) in Rockwood Michigan. I've had some awesome shorebirds here in the past... Marbled Godwits, Red Knots, Buff breasted Sandpipers and Phalaropes. Its about 30 minutes south of Detroit but right across the river from Amherstburg [Google Map, Gov Site, Gov Map].

This huge 4000 acre wetland has a man-made dyke that the US Army Engineers are using to store contaminated sediment from the Rouge River. I've learnt from experience that if you go, you need to bring a bike, water, granola, hats... Be prepared for a rigorous journey, because you are biking like 4 Miles (6.5KMs). I find that even with hat, water and snacks, I somehow get heat stroke when I go, but maybe I'm just out of shape!
Snowy Egrets at Pointe Mouillee

A recent trip gave looks at some pretty good birds. Some highlights were 5 Snowy Egrets, 1 American Avocet, 3 Wilsons Phalarope, 4 Red necked Phalaropes, 1 Black bellied Plover, 1 White rumped Sandpiper, 10 Stilt Sandpipers, 2-3 Probably LBDs (no LLBs) ... I think I saw over 50 species on this trip!
Wilsons & Red Necked Phalaropes at Pointe Mouillee

Stilt Sandpiper at Pointe Mouillee

Avocet, Wilsons Phalarope & White rumped Sandpiper at Pointe Mouillee

Grebes and Coots at Pointe Mouillee
A birder that I met out there asked me if I use E-bird, and I replied... "I want to"... Its just so daunting. I must have seen over 50 species though!

I will try to bird Pelee on Labour Day weekend, and then frequent the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory heavily during the fall. I also have 5-6 bird postings on the back burner. I'm just really busy right now with work and night school. Stay tuned!

Good birding!

Budding Birder

PS: I missed the Wheatley Brown Pelican, as I waited till Saturday morning to go see it (work). My son & I, along with Jeremy Bensette tried for it but found out it had gone back to Cleveland!

Curve-tailed Bush Katydid (Point Pelee)


  1. Thanks for the tip on this site. I didn't know about it at all. I'm surprised you find eBird daunting. Ever since you turned me onto it, I think it's the easiest way for me to log my trips and sightings--on my phone while in the field.

  2. Dwayne, thanks for the tip about the tomato field on Saturday! There were hundreds of plovers, just like you said. And today we had some great birding at P. Pelee: at least a dozen spp. of warblers, 54 spp. of birds total.



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