Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Point Pelee and Rondeau Provincial Park

We woke to light rain this morning and were soon driving the 15 minutes to Point Pelee. Upon arrival we took the electric bus down to the tip in company with many other birders but the wet and windy conditions were not conducive to seeing migrants and in fact there was very little around. 

Baltimore Oriole is very common here.

A Wood Thrush, Savannah Sparrow, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-eyed Vireo and a few Yellow Warblers were all that was on offer so we returned to the Visitor Centre for a much-needed cup of coffee and some cake. With news of a Prothonotary Warbler being seen at Pioneer we drove to this area situated further inland and on the leeward side of the promontory, seeing Wild Turkey and a Merlin along the way. 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female)

A good walk around the trails continued in much the same vain with little on offer apart from our first Swainson’s Thrushes, Eastern Kingbird, Common Yellowthroat and 4 Spotted Sandpipers along the beach, although walking to the next parking area was better. Many more birds such as Red-bellied Woodpecker, Orchard & Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Grey Catbirds, White-crowned Sparrow and both Veery & Hermit Thrush were present, but alas no new migrants. So from here we checked out a few small pools near the entrance gate for a reported Stilt Sandpiper, although this bird seemed to have departed we had a flock of Dunlin, 3 Least Sandpipers, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, and a Short-billed Dowitcher. The pools were a bit distant so no photos.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male)

Then we decided to drive just over an hour to Rondeau Provincial Park, and upon arrival called in to the Visitor Centre for a welcoming bowl of soup and some coffee. The feeding station, as well as attracting birders, also provides nourishment for a variety of birds and we had incredible close-ups of Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker and White-breasted Nuthatch amongst others. 

Downy Woodpecker

Then we drove to where a Prothonotary Warbler had been sighted and amazingly after a short walk and a little wait we actually connected with this key bird. It was feeding around some pools in the forest and keeping low, just above the water in some fallen trees and branches and we were fortunate to be able to stay with it for half an hour. 

Prothonotary Warbler

What an awesome bird and it has been maybe 10 years since I last saw one of these. Whilst watching this a Chestnut-sided Warbler and a Brown Creeper appeared as well, and a Least Flycatcher a little while later. Then we walked along some trails and eventually came across a small flock with Northern Parula, Blue-headed and Yellow-throated Vireos, Blackburnian Warbler and the ultra-common Yellow Warbler

Yellow-throated Vireo

Red-headed Woodpecker

A quick check of the Paddock area revealed nothing new apart from a fine Red-headed Woodpecker so we drove back to Leamington and an early dinner. But none of us could ever have expected the amazing events that would occur tomorrow...........

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