Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Point Pelee - Snow, Wind and the wings of a Prairie...

A windy day of snow flurries (yes snow….) and temperatures hovering around 0 degrees and I can tell you that birding was really tough today - and being more used to steamy rainforests and tropical climes I did suffer this morning. We probably reached the point the earliest of our entire stay to see the waves crashing over the western side of the promontory and a howling gale making finding birds impossible. Nice!

Point Pelee today - bleak or what?

Hirundines were using the leeward beach to rest and hunt for insects and we had very close views of Cliff Swallows, and this bunch of Sand Martins looking very sorry for themselves as well. 

Cliff Swallow

Sand Martins (or Bank Swallows if you like)

There was also a flyover Western Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Cedar Waxwing, plus a few Bonaparte's Gulls of the point

Bonaparte's Gulls

Still we persevered and eventually after a wait a few of us had views of the female Prairie Warbler that had been found yesterday whilst we were at Rondeau (our 32nd species of warbler so far). But the high winds made it very tricky to see this bird and it soon disappeared, so we went for coffee and a chance to recover from the weather. Then we returned to the point and found the sun was out and even the wind had abated, so the Prairie Warbler had relocated to a more sheltered spot and showed very well indeed, along with Canada and Blackpoll Warblers practically in the same bush. 

Prairie Warbler - a scarce bird up here

We then took the tram to the midpoint stop and walked the Woodland Trail getting news of a Connecticut Warbler further along the trail, so of course we headed straight there but as it is ‘near-mythical’ and practically invisible and impossible to see – well we didn’t see it. 

Still not bored with Prothonotary Warbler yet...

But point-blank views of Prothonotary Warbler was a little compensation and the Great Horned Owl chick was a little more showy as well.

Yep - it's a Great Horned Owl alright...

So after lunch at the VC we tried again along the Woodland Trail and staked out the Connecticut Warbler spot, seeing Scarlet Tanager, Tennessee Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher before heading over to Tilden Woods where Lee found us a Grey-cheeked Thrush

Plenty of Scarlet Tanagers around today
Grey-cheeked Thrush - the only one seen on our tour..

Then we drove to the Route 33 wader pools but nothing new was on offer, but still nice to have a look at Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher before getting to the motel at 5pm for a nice long rest before dinner.

Eastern Phoebe

Lincoln's Sparrow

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