Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Early Spring Migration Bonanza in Pelee!

Just a little side track from posting about Florida, I spent last Friday, Monday, and a couple of hours today in Point Pelee National Park for a little bit of spring birding. I was not disappointed!

Friday I went in thinking I was just going to go for a half day of birding. Boy was I wrong! There was a major migration over night and the park was just rich in birdlife. This was obviously due to the warm weather and southerly flow of warm air. Most notable was a mega movement of both White-throated Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers. There must've been at least a couple thousand White-throated Sparrows in that park if not more. I easily saw 300, and I was only on the Woodland Nature trail, west beach and Tilden's Wood.

Monday, was very much the same weather conditions, I knew birders would be down at the tip so I decided to bird the middle of the park at Sleepy Hollow, the Dunes, along the road, and the seasonal trail at the Blue Heron Picnic area. At Sleepy Hollow, I just had to stand there as waves of birds including thrushes, vireos, and tons of Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers flew by, landing to feed, and keep heading north. Along the road I had a Golden-winged Warbler male, singing like a Blue-winged Warbler. This bird was probably a hybrid as it had a little yellow under its bib, and a small splash of yellow on its back. Along the the seasonal trail at Blue Heron I had a Worm-eating Warbler and a very early Wilson's Warbler.

Today, was a little different. Colder temperatures and rain made me retreat a little early from the park. A few of us took the 8:00 am tram down to the tip and braved the rain and the dampness. We were rewarded with a female Prothonotary Warbler, a first year singing male Cerulean Warbler, a male Chestnut-sided Warbler, a male Blackpoll Warbler and a group of soaking wet Pine Siskins.

It seems like an early spring so far. I hope that there are still lots of goodies around when I lead hikes on the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14 th of May!

Flowers, such as Dutchman's Breeches are in bloom, and Red Admirals, Spring Azures, and Eastern Commas are also beginning to make an appearance now as well. DeKay's Brown Snakes and Garter Snakes are also sunning themselves on the trails.

I still haven't had a chance to check out the Hillman Marsh shorebird cell. There have been American Avocet, Semipalmated Plover, Willet, and Marbled Godwit there already this spring.

And it's only April!

1 comment:

  1. Messed up the last comment!

    Point Pelee sure has had great birding early this year. I wish I could be birding seven days a week, but....