Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

Text only


Day 4 (Sunday, 10th May)

     Point Pelee tip to visitor centre via Woodland Trail

Click for Point Pelee Tip map

Occasional heavy rain the previous evening and probably overnight, with some light rain on the approach to the tip, boded well for a fall of migrants. The temperature was also a little lower than previously, increasing expectations further. We arrived somewhat later than yesterday, parking the car at 5.45, but the train started slightly earlier than 6, and there was one journey's worth of queue. However, there was next to no visible migration at the tip, apart from large numbers of mainly Brown-headed Cowbirds heading South. We hung around for 15 minutes or so, and took the executive (and correct) decision to make a move and walk the road back towards the visitor centre, taking in the Woodlands Trail on the way. This was totally different to yesterday, with regular parties of mainly wood warblers interspersed with individuals to keep the interest alive. Most of these were unfortunately a little high in the trees, but some did come very close. One mixed flock contained Canada, Bay-breasted, Chestnut-sided, & Magnolia Warblers. Even the start of the walk back began well, with Pine Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird in quick succession. Thrushes had been hard to get, but a pair of Swainson's next to the road began a few sightings for the morning.

Woodland Woodland Woodland
The Woodland Trail The Woodland Trail The Woodland Trail

The WoodlandTrail was again varied and worthwhile. It has a much sparser growth of trees with muddy pools throughout. Initially, it was fairly quiet, yet still pleasant, but seemed to get better and better as we progressed. Perhaps the first notable bird was an American Redstart, and this triggered off a purple patch in a smallish area. Thrushes at long last put in a bit of an appearance, with a Swainson's and two separate Veery in amongst the wet and muddy patches. Wood warblers were excellent. In addition to the ones already seen, we added Black-and-white, Hooded, and another Canada in one spot, where a tour group had been watching a very close Red-eyed Vireo.

American Redstart Red-eyed Vireo Solitary Sandpiper
American Redstart Red-eyed Vireo Solitary Sandpiper
Swainson's Thrush Veery Yellow Warbler
Swainson's Thrush Veery American Yellow Warbler

     Route 21 near Hillman Marsh

Route 21 Route 21

Chatting with one of the other birders at Pelee, and agreeing that Hillman Marsh wasn't as good for birds as it used it used to be, she put us in to a track just nearby where she had seen Vesper Sparrow. It was found by turning right from the marsh, right again along Lakeview Drive, and then left on to the farm track along the first straight - road #21. Just before we came across the track, we were discussing the identity, or not, of a raptor during the morning which we then felt was probably not Cooper's Hawk, when seconds later, a pair of the aforementioned flew over the car. The track headed straight North, crossed another track, and there is a green mound on the left. We checked for some time, but unfortunately drew a blank on the Sparrows. However, it was an enjoyable stop, with Cliff Swallows along the wires, Shorelarks in the fields, and Purple Martins using the provided nest boxes. The track drives directly through arable fields, and must have good potential for grassland types of various species.

Cliff Swallow Shorelark Savannah Sparrow
American Cliff Swallow Shorelark Savannah Sparrow

     Lake St Clair Marsh

St Clair St Clair  

After an excellent morning in the woods, we decided to vary the latter part of the day with a bit of variation in habitat, so took the 50 minutes drive north to the shore of Lake St Clair, and the marsh of its name. This marsh is best known as one of the two localities in the province for breeding Yellow-headed Blackbirds. We scanned what is quite an area of mainly cattail reedbeds with some open water, but they didn't seem to have arrived as yet. The location of the observation tower didn't really help. The height of the covered deck seemed ok, and it was fairly central to the marsh, but having a whopping great tree next to one side was just bad planning! Yet the visit was otherwise very profitable. Shortly after crossing the small bridge to a one way trail which bisects the marsh, we had excellent views of a Common Yellowthroat. Shortly after, I suggested we listen to a recording of Marsh Wren so that we were familiar with it. The first bars of the song had finished when an irate male appeared from his hiding place and replied back at us with gusto. A Swamp Sparrow joined in the fun a few reed stalks away in competition. We scanned the whole of the area from the observation tower, and only came up with the numerous Red-winged Blackbirds. However, Terns in the shape of single Caspian & Black were welcome. As we returned to the car, a few distant rolls of thunder were heard, and we had the first very light rain since the early morning trip to Pelee.

Common Yellowthroat Marsh Wren Swamp Sparrow
Common Yellowthroat Marsh Wren Swamp Sparrow

     Tremblay Beach

Tremblay Tremblay

This is the other site for Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and is only a 30 minute drive from St Clair. There is a car park next to the reedbed, with an observation tower in the corner overlooking said reeds, although the only Blackbirds again were Red-winged. Another part of the site is the sewage lagoon, and this can be found officially by following the well marked path from the steel gate in the corner of the car park. This is initially adjacent to the lake, then bends to the right to follow a channel. A break in the wire fence leads over the railroad (which IS in use as demonstrated by the train which passed by minutes after we crossed), and then the path turns into grass to the right to now lie adjacent to the railroad, with the sewage lagoons to the left. A gate warns of trespassing, but it was open so we had a peek anyway. An alternate route back can be found by simply crossing the railroad again. A Woodchuck was keeping watch from his burrow at this point. The two sewage lagoons were quiet but for a few duck, and an impressive adult Bald Eagle overhead, but fun was had pinning own a busy group of Myrtle & Palm Warblers.

Palm Warbler Woodchuck
Palm Warbler Woodchuck

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

Text only