Friday, 13 May 2016

Long Point to Point Pelee or The Kirtland's Twitch..

After an early breakfast at the motel in Simcoe we met in the car park where some Common Loons were seen flying overhead. Then we drove towards Long Point, stopping when a Sandhill Crane was spotted feeding in a roadside field and we managed some reasonably close views.

Sandhill Crane

Once at Long Point Observatory it was much busier and a complete contrast to yesterday with a big fall of Myrtle Warblers immediately apparent. 

Myrtle Warblers

Sifting through all the activity revealed a female Pine Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler and Chestnut-sided Warbler amongst the highlights. Walking the trails we also found Northern Parula, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Nashville, Tennessee and Orange-crowned  Warblers, a Veery, Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a feeder, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Cedar Waxwing, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Towhee, American Bittern in flight, and a flyover Bobolink.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Northern Cardinal

Drove up to the picnic area but didn’t find much new although Warbling Vireo and yet more waxwings were seen, although their numbers were greatly reduced, plus carpets of White-throated Sparrows

White-throated Sparrow

Just up the road we called in to an overlook and scanned the reedbed where 2 Sandhill Cranes could be seen in the distance, American Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Caspian and Forster’s Terns and a Swamp Sparrow were found, with a Belted Kingfisher seen as we were leaving.

Then it was time to set out on the 2.5 hour drive Point Pelee, where en-route a quick check of the ABA Rarities Round-up revealed at least one and possibly two Kirtland’s Warblers were present there. So we eventually arrived at 3.30pm and drove to the Visitor Centre, catching the next tram down to the tip. After a bit of a run-around, seeing Wilson’s Warbler, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, and Blue-headed Vireo we made it to the right spot where the bird had been seen only to find just two photographers waiting for it. 

Brown Thrasher

We spread out and over the next hour noted numerous Palm Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Brown Thrasher before we picked up the Kirtland’s Warbler in a conifer right beside the trail. 

The rare Kirtland's Warbler

Over the next half an hour the bird gave point-blank views and we soaked up the whole experience of seeing such a rare bird – and celebrated a successful twitch. Leaving here we walked up to the tram stop and found a mixed feeding flock with 3 more Black-and-white Warblers, Nashville, Common Yellowthroat, Myrtle and a cracking Blackburnian Warbler to end an excellent day.

Driving in and out of Pelee also produced a Red-headed Woodpecker and Wild Turkey.

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