Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Birding with my Mom

Yellow Warbler. Photo by Marianne Balkwill

Went out this afternoon with Mom for four hours of birding. The first stop was the Visitor Centre in Point Pelee to check out the sightings book. Lots of neat birds around today. Mom still needs a few birds on her lifelist and a Henslow's Sparrow, that was spotted by Blake Mann, was a short distance away so we tried for that one. Of course, by the time we got there the bird was hidden. After a good 20 minutes of just standing around not seeing a single bird, mom and I decided to venture out and find our own. When walking back I saw my first Monarch Butterfly for the year. We parked at the Pioneer Picnic Area and walked the seasonal birding trail north. It started out fairly slow with just White-throated Sparrows, but after a while we had Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Balitmore and Orchard Oriole, 3 male Indigo Buntings in one bush (stunning!), a male Tennesee Warbler, 2 Nashville Warblers, Eastern Towhee, and a Yellow Warbler. Eventually we arrived at the Dunes Picnic Area where we heard there were some interesting species being seen. Right away we had a beautiful male Prairie Warbler! There was a report of a Worm-eating Warbler and that is a lifer for mom. I quickly located the Worm-eating but Mom missed it! This particular bird has been seen since last evening so I knew it would come back......ummm eventually......I hope..
After repeatedly seeing Blue-winged Warbler, the Prairie again, 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, a Black-and-White Warbler, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and MANY White-throated Sparrows, I eventually relocated the Worm-eating Warbler for Mom. Probably THE best views ever of a classic textbook Worm-eating, looking for insects on dead leaves from a fallen branch. LIFER FOR MY MOM! At the same time the Worm-eating reappeared, a male Common Yellowthroat made an appearance as well. We could also hear the calls of a Wood Thrush.

After celebrating we began the walk back to my car to the sound of thunder rumbling off in the distance. The only other notable birds we picked up on the way back was a White-eyed Vireo, and a House Wren. We also decided to quickly check out around the Delaurier Homestead. We turned up White-crowned Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, a House Wren, and an Eastern Kingbird.

We had a pretty fun time! One thing I noticed was that we didn't see a single Yellow-rumped Warbler. At the beginning of the week, that was the number one warbler species being seen. Red Admirals are all over the place now as well.

I also went out briefly after work on Friday night but my feet hurt real bad from work, so I didn't stay to long. The only notable species I had that day was a male Blackburnian Warbler at the Blue Heron Picnic Area, along with a Lincoln's Sparrow near the Cactail Cafe.
So far a pretty exciting spring!


  1. I heard later on that you were out with your Mom. I saw many friends and people I know today! Turned out to be a decent day even though there were not many birds around--just a few quality birds.

  2. It is nice seeing birding friends again isn't it? Are you taking any time off this month?

  3. I will be back May 13-15, camping right in the park 13th and 14th. Should be fun!!
    Unfortunately I am too busy at work this time of year to take much time off!!