Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Point Pelee National Park (Part 2)

After a phenomenal Wednesday of warbler watching, Thursday and Friday also proved to be good days!  Some of the highlights included numerous shorebirds seen in and around Hillman Marsh and an Eared Grebe off of the west beach at Point Pelee.

This bird was a real thrill to see! Ken and I got phenomenal views of this guy as he swam around and dove often.  This is a rare bird in Ontario, and one that is more commonly seen in the midwest to the West Coast, but quite a few go astray every year and end up in Ontario.  This bird is transitioning to its breeding plumage.

Eared Grebe
Eared Grebe mid-dive!
While checking Hillman Marsh, we spotted this American Avocet, much closer than the birds I saw a few weeks earlier!

Out in some fields we also spotted some huge flocks of American Golden Plovers, the one day we counted over 600!

American Golden Plover
Large flock of American Golden Plovers
We also had great looks at this young Red-tailed Hawk perched near the tip of Point Pelee

Each morning I would rise at around 445am and make the drive to Point Pelee National Park and take the tram out to the "tip".  Here, along with many other birders, we would await the often large reverse migration that would happen as birds left Canada and flew back across the water to the U.S.  A phenomenon that occurs when birds seemingly overshoot their breeding grounds and scramble to adjust.

Sunrise at Canada's southern most part of the mainland
Literally thousands of birds pour south during reverse migration as birders try to pick out the rare ones!  It was difficult to get any decent shots of the smaller songbirds, but I did take this photo of a nice adult Surf Scoter (a type of diving duck).

Surf Scoter
In the next post I will detail the exciting time I had on Pelee Island, don't worry, I saved the best for last!

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