Saturday, April 12, 2014

Early April Migrants at Pelee

The Ojibway Birding Group met up at Point Pelee this morning so I figured I would attempt to join them for a little birding, comradery and exercise. The weather today was excellent! One almost didn't need to wear a coat!
Wilson's Snipe - Dowitching!

But before arrived at Pelee, I wanted to check out another migrant that was reported, some Golden Plovers on Road E. At 7:30 am I noted three or four Wilson's Snipes along with many Blue winged Teal. On a telephone wire along the road, a (FOS) Tree Swallow was noted!

At the tip parking lot, the Ojibway group was observing many species of ducks, common loons, Surf Scoters, Northern Flickers and more. Breeding plumaged Bonapartes Gulls were nice to see. Song and Savannah Sparrows were seen along the tip along with singles of Eastern Phoebe.

The birding group continued on to Delaurier Trail, but I had another trail that I wanted to visit. I had limited time and decided to branch off from the group to see Rusty Blackbirds and Yellow bellied Sapsuckers. Those two birds are more likely seen at Woodland Nature Trail, since it offers flooded forest habitat as opposed to more open scruby habitat that Delaurier offers. My WNT walk resulted in neither of those target birds! But, I did see a Winter Wren, Yellow rumped Warbler, Lots of Kinglets (40 Golden crowned, 5 Ruby crowned), a few Hermit Thrushes (10 or so). Many Robins, Red shouldered Blackbirds Red winged Blackbird (thanks Alan) and Common Grackels! An Eastern Comma butterfly was noted. I believe I acknowledged Spring Peepers calling along Woodland Nature Trail as well today.

Winter Wren in this photo... Can you see him?

My best bird though was a Louisiana Waterthrush! It was on the gravel path and hopped along the path as I walked back towards the Visitor Center! I noticed it not by its plumage, but by its behavior. It was wagging its tail up and down and eating bugs along the gravel path. This bird is well known for migrating well ahead of its similar looking cousin, the Northern Waterthrush. Usually this bird is seen in the wetter slough areas so this was a nice surprise to see it on a drier part of the trail!

Louisiana Waterthrush - Woodland Nature Trail - April 12, 2014

Stopped by Hillman shorebirds cell after Pelee. I noted several shorebird species from the comfort of the new viewing blind. 6 pectoral,10 golden plovers, 10 killdeer, 2 greater yellowlegs. Shoveler, green and blue teal were abundant.

Greater or Lesser? Hard to tell! I'm thinking greater!

I didn't get to see my target birds of Rusty Blackbirds and YBSS, but I think next weekend, I will have another chance!  

Good birding!


  1. lol @ Alan's ? I was wondering that too, Dwayne! :D
    I'm envious of your L. Waterthrush and Snipes! Sweet!
    I got your Rusty B.'s and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Ruscom Shores today. There were 2 butterbutts at Derwent park this morning which were my first 2 warblers of this year.

  2. btw, isn't this the same location one was hanging around last year?

    1. Karen, yes, Woodland Nature Trail is good habitat for waterthrushes.

  3. Lots of Rusty Blackbirds at Rondeau today, but no Red-shouldered Blackbirds!

  4. LOL! I need to fix that later. Thanks for the gentle correction. I had my four-year old son on my lap as I typed my posting today :-p ...



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