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Day 6 (Tuesday, 12th May)

     Point Pelee tip & Woodland Trail

The non event of a tornado of the previous evening had morphed into fair, cool weather, but with strong westerly winds. We reverted to type and arrived at the Pelee car park around 5.30, meeting fewer crowds than the previous visit. The birding day had started even before this, with an American Woodcock on the road in the headlights, and a second picked out in display flight over the car park. Even a single White-tailed Deer was roadside in the dark. While on the shuttle, the winds seemed stronger towards the tip, and the sea on the windward side was very rough, contrasting with the much calmer waters on the leeward side. Some marine birds such as Double-crested Cormorants and Great Northern Divers were passing, and an optimistic Ruby-throated Hummingbird flew South, but it was obvious that any birds here would be looking for shelter. This was in fact the case, with a stunning close Blackburnian Warbler joined by a couple of Least Flycatchers and a Black-and-White Warbler. A Northern Harrier battled its way overhead. Other activity at the tip was slow, so we decided yet again on the slow walk back up the road, taking in Woodland Trail. The former was much quieter today, as was the trail, but the latter did improve as we walked along. There was not the variety or numbers of birds as compared with our last walk here, but we did notch up another Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Red-eyed Vireo, and a couple of Magnolia Warblers. Towards the end, a pair of courting Wild Turkeys were a strange sight in the woodland, with a stunning male Scarlet Tanager opposite.

American Herring GUll Franklin's Gull Ring-billed Gull
American Herring Gull Franklin's Gull Ring-billed Gull
Brown Thrasher Common Grackle
Brown Thrasher Common Grackle
American Robin Bay-breasted Warbler Blackburnian Warbler
American Robin Bay-breasted Warbler Blackburnian Warbler
Wild Turkey Least Flycatcher Woodpewee
Wild Turkey Least Flycatcher Eastern Woodpewee

     Tilden Woods

Tilden Beach Tilden open area
East Beach from Tilden Woods

Cactus Fields off Chinquapin trail

With the strong westerlies continuing to blow, and the temperatures in the coolish mid teens, we headed for Tilden, hoping for a few migrants which favoured a bit more shelter on the east side of the peninsular. We weren't too disappointed either. This time we took a bit of a detour by continuing straight on inside the trail towards the lake East Shore. Here, a narrow sand and shingle beach follows the water in each direction. The waves of this inland lake were a little choppy, but a group of Red-breasted Mergansers contained Bufflehead. One was a dapper male, and he used his striking good looks to woo one of the females into doing naughty things! In the wooded edges there, Warbling Vireos were very active, but searching through them also unearthed a Philadelphia Vireo, singing to proclaim his patch. A couple of Flycatchers were also here, one a Western Wood Pewee, the other a Trails Flycatcher - Willow or Alder, since it didn't call. As we met the return trail - the same one we exited to see the beach - one bush held both Blackburnian & Chestnut-sided Warbler.

The Warbling Vireos continued their manic feeding to be accompanied by less active Red-eyed Vireos. We took the seasonal trail which had held a Mourning Warbler a couple of days before - this time Swainson's Thrush and ridiculously close American Redstart, to meet the Chinquapin trail. Getting hungry, we did the old trick of just going another 100 metres, which was a good call. We came across a clearing which seemed to be too exposed in the wind to hold anything. After spotting a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak building a nest, moments later a Blue-winged Warbler perched for a brief time in a nearby tree. Only metres further on, a Magnolia Warbler was static in a cut wood thicket, and to seal the deal, an Eastern Bluebird was hunting for insects in the open. A good extension to trail - lunch tasted all the better!

Buffelhead Baltimore Oriole American Redstart
Buffelhead Baltimore Oriole American Redstart
Black-throated Green Warbler Eastern Bluebird Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler Eastern Bluebird Magnolia Warbler
Screech Owl Red-eyed Vireo
Eastern Screech Owl Red-eyed Vireo
Trails Flycatcher Warbling Vireo Philadelphia Vireo
Trails Flycatcher Warbling Vireo Philadelphia Vireo

     Marsh Boardwalk

Marsh Marsh Masrh

This was oneof the Pelee sites we had not covered, and we expected to cover the marsh in no time bagging a few water based specialities at the same time. This didn't happen, but the birding was superb. An observation tower overlooks the cattail reedbeds, which are interspersed with some open water. The walk around is only about 1km, and takes no time, partly because there was no more than Common Yellowthroat and Swamp Sparrow to spot. The surprise was the quality of the birds in the trees along the edge of the marsh, toward and beyond the toilet block to the North. Good numbers of various wood warblers seemed to find the trees over the regular wet areas to their liking, and were in constant presence. Although many of them were higher up, a good proportion were also at lower and ground level. There was even a mini twitch on, with some of the Ontario birders "needing" and getting a female Cerulean Warbler which we were happy to share with them (ok, it was they who spotted the bird first!).

Barn Swallow Common Yellowthroat Myrtle Warbler
Barn Swallow Common Yellowthroat Myrtle Warbler
Parula Philadelphia Vireo
Northern Parula Philadelphia Vireo

     Tilden Woods

Click for Visitor Centre & Tilden Woods map

With some time before the light acted against photography, and a good days migration watching behind us, we decided on a return to Tilden Woods, hoping for a few extra titbits that might have eluded us earlier. We headed for the seasonal trail to the rear, mainly because a Loiusiana Waterthrush had been spotted there earlier, but also since we hadn't walked this as yet. Predictably, no Waterthrush of any description was present, but we quickly added Great Crested Flycatcher and Black-and-white Warbler. Rejoining the main trail back towards the visitor centre, we were lucky enough to stumble on a female Hooded Warbler, which unfortunately was a little too active in the tangles for prolonged views. Last bird of the day was also a treat - a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding and then displaying in a pendular flight back and forth.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird American Goldfinch
Ruby-throated Hummingbird American Goldfinch
Black-and-white Warbler Great Crested Flycatcher
Black-and-white Warbler Great Crested Flycatcher

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

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Contact

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Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

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