Monday, January 7, 2008

Ringing in 2008 with a January Thaw

Hello everyone!

A new year, and a brand spanking new blog post!

Birding, in the Pelee region in 2007 was quite exciting and 2008 has been equally rewarding already.

Today, January 7th, we had record breaking temperatures. We easily went up into the 50, and away from the lake, the 60 degree range! I decided to venture out to see what the warm weather brought in.

When I got to the gates at Point Pelee the fog was thick, as well as at the tip. I decided to turn around and head to the centre of the park where there appeared to be little or no fog.

Walking down the Shuster Trail off of Tilden's a encountered a nice pocket of species including:

Gray Catbird - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler- 7
White-throated Sparrow- 24
Black-capped Chickadee- 3
Carolina Wren- 1
Downy Woodpecker- 2
Northern Cardinal- 6
Purple Finch- 12
American Goldfinch- 1
Hermit Thrush- 1

Approaching the lake were the usual suspects on the water. Lots of Red-breasted Mergansers with a few Common Mergansers thrown in. Scaups, Goldeneyes, and Buffleheads dotted the water as well.

The rest of Tilden's Trail I heard the call of a Robin and 2 more Clack-capped Chickadees. One thing of note was the forest floor. With our mild winters, there always seems to be something green.

photo by Marianne Reid

Dealaurier Trail was my next stop, but I barely saw a bird, so I decided to head on out and patrol the onion fields. A beautiful dark phased Rough-legged Hawk made me slam on the breaks and I got a descent photo.

photo by Marianne Reid

Wheatley Harbour, which I really looked foward to was a disappointment. Thick Fog blanketed the area, not leaving me any chances of identifying any gulls.

With such mild temperatures I then decided to walk around Hillman Marsh. When I turned into the entry I looked over to my left to look out over the marsh. What caught my eye right away blew my mind. I male Peafowl!!! I couldn't beleive it. It was in perfect view for a photo so I grabbed my camera for a shot, but then it got nervous and started heading into the marsh. I did get one photo though. No mistaking this one.

photo by Marianne Reid

Not one single Duck or Goose was to be found in the melting waters at Hillman. Lots of American Tree Sparrows were tuning their voices by practising their tinkling song. I walked over to the house and saw another surprise, a Woolly Bear Catterpillar!! This was getting very interesting indeed. I continued to explore around the house for maybe another one when I happend to look up and saw....A BUTTERFLY?! Get outta here!! I couldn't get an ID on it as the breeze caught it and it wizzed over the house and outta sight. I'm pretty sure it was a butterfly and not a moth by the flight. I wish I got better looks at it.

photo by Marianne Reid

So, this is Januwary 7th, 2008, and we are also under a tornado watch tonight as well. I'll let all this sink in as I prepare for my next blog.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Marianne, looks like you had an interesting day! I saw a Gray Catbird at Rondeau on December 8 (see my post and photo). It probably would have been there a week later on the CBC if the weather hadn't caused the count to be postponed. I always take my camera along too--you never know what may turn up. Catch you later....