Passerines migration Part I (Point Pelee)

Sightings along the Northern Lake Erie Shoreline

Moderator: wcleung

Passerines migration Part I (Point Pelee)

Postby wcleung on Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:14 am

A much delayed post on migration birding.

Notable weather conditions end of April through mid May: (1) extreme amount of rainfall, (2) consistently northernly wind (and low temperatures early May), (3) early leaves, and additional problems: (4) many rigid, non-negotiable work days in May, (5) unprecedented demand in accommodation near Point Pelee, and not getting anything for the desired day, made for a challenging birding season.

We set off after work Thur May 4, and arrived at a mostly flooded Leamington and Point Pelee with an hour of day light. We walked the Woodland trail for 30 mins and saw one robin, one grackle, and one red-winged blackbird, and we were glad to be back in the car (out of the rain) and not having slipped on the wooden bridges (that you could skate on).

With little to expect, we woke up late to light rain and made it to West Beach (the smaller crowd was a small consolation to the bad weather). We had a lovely late morning walk, seeing some FOY catbirds and warblers (yellow and common yellow-throat, the latter skipped a syllable in his song). Note the light rain.

Image

A FOY veery that followed us and followed my whisper "turn ... I need to see your front."

Image

We enjoyed the Virginia rail calling but no luck seeing him. Then, we and many others were rained in for 2 hrs around lunch. This soaked mama dove explained the how weather was.

Image

Finally, we were on the right (west) side of the storm.

Image

Birds were feeding actively after such a prolonged period of bad weather. This yellow-breasted chat in cactus field was a lot less shy than would be!

Image

There were enough ruby-crowned kinglets and blue-grey gnatcatchers, but warblers (besides the two mentioned above) were few. I was happy to photograph this male yellow warbler. They were so underappreciated.

Image

Later on the afternoon, we walked back via the West beach, and I remembered many palm warblers we saw there the last day of the last visit, so, I told Jon, "I want a palm warbler" and this guy hopped out and posed!

Image

We also ran into this REALLY hungry female yellow warbler, who would ignore us completely (and this shot at 300mm was only slightly cropped). But then the rain came back in full force and we had to call it a day. We had never seen PP so empty in May.

Image


Saturday started out dry! The front was JUST east of PP. It was cold and overcast with strong northernly wind and occasional light showers but surely we called this gorgeous weather. Happy to hear two rusty blackbirds (one shown below) both singing loud. No cerulean for us.

Image

The weather was stable enough so we went to the "tip" or whatever remained of it.

Image

A eared grebe was alone in the super-rough water.

Image

A blue-headed vireo posed nicely.

Image

We saw a lincoln sparrow and a Nashville warbler, and the southern most raccoon in continental Canada.

Image

But no swallows at the tram stop. No luck on the sedge wren at sparrow field, but an osprey soared with 2 adult eagles ... A nice male rose-breasted grosbeak fed shyly near the tram stop, and came out in the clear very briefly.

Image

Back to Shuster trail, the rail was so close, but refused to show up for 40 mins. No prothonatory, no waterthrush for us, but a glimpse of a hooded warbler, many red-headed woodpeckers that day (they were back in good numbers every observed site according to Ontbirds) but we had a myrtle and a least flycatcher, our FOY empid.

Image

Image

Image

We hopped north, and eventually there was a nice surprise sunset in the gap of the thick clouds and storms. The woodcocks were peenting early and we had great views.

Image

Sunday was sunny! There were many fewer birds, but many more birders. We birded north, and swallows (tree swallows and purple martins shown below, barn swallows and a grumpy juvie cliff swallow) were finally seen!

Image

Image

For the first time, we caught a shuttle moving people up/down north of the visitor center. Our rush to the white-eyed vireo was futile, but we saw 3 snakes, all different forms of the common eastern garter snakes. This one had genes from a red-sided ancester.

Image

This (blue sky and blue calm water) was a sighting too.

Image

A black-bellied plover was resting in the tip, and his friends (30+) were flying overhead.

Image

Near the cactus field where the chat was, a FOY male black-and-white posed (that was a very late sighting), and the chat turned into a common yellow-throat.

Image

Image

House wrens were plenty and vocal. This one gladly took up residence at the cactus field.

Image

We got a second quick glimpse of the chat, and saw a couple of field sparrows before heading home early to get ready for the work week. We said bye to a grey-morph screech owl in the north shown by us by some kind fellow birder.

Image

Part II to follow. Comments welcomed.

Cheers, Debbie
wcleung
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:34 pm

Return to Lake Erie Shoreline

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron