One of the nice treats this week was this female (immature?) Ruby-throated Hummingbird at my feeder in my yard. Photo by Marianne Balkwill.
This past week has been an exciting one in the Pelee area. September is now over and October rained in with cooler temperatures that finally brought in some migrants.
I had the morning off on October 3rd so I decided to head out to Pelee to see what migrants flew in. There were birds everywhere! I walked the Woodland Nature Trail down through Post Woods and into Sparrow Field. I saw a lot of new fall migrants including Hermit Thrush, Brown Creepers, both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-throated Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. White-crowned Sparrows and Eastern Phoebes were also more abundant and there has been another surge of warblers including Nashville, Black-throated Green, Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue, Orange-crowned, Wilson's, Parula, Palm, Blackpoll, Black-and White, and my first Mourning Warbler of the year which was a juvenile bird. A flock of around 130 Pine Siskins was a nice treat as well. Vireos included Red-eyed, Philadelphia and Blue-headed. I actually haven't seen a White-eyed Vireo yet this fall.
I missed a lifer and a Pelee bird on Monday, which was kind of a disappointment. Alan Wormington had a Brant at Wheatley Harbour that afternoon. I was at work until 9:30 that night so I wouldn't have had a chance to run out and see it.
The temperatures sky rocketed into the mid to high 20s for the rest of the week. This seemed to stall out the migration especially for passerines! In between jobs on Friday October 7th I went to Pelee to have my lunch at the Delaurier parking lot and saw Alan Wormington there. We watched the raptors migrating over. I had my first Red-shouldered Hawk for the fall. Harriers, Sharpies, Kestrels, Red-tails, Turkey Vultures a single Coopers, and a single Bad Eagle also flew over. A White-breasted Nuthatch also made an appearance. We also had what may be the first fall migrants of American Crows with 3 birds flying south. Alan mentioned to keep an eye out for Common Raven to which I replied that it is odd that there are never any sightings down here. Alan remarked that there are no Pileated Woodpeckers or Ruffed Grouse down here as well though they are resident only a few hours drive to the north. Yup this is true...........................At this point another "crow" came flying over but this one was soaring and had a wedge shaped tail...A COMMON RAVEN! We were both floored that a Raven decided to fly over right after we finished talking about it! The last time a Raven was spotted in Point Pelee was 1970, so this is a new bird on my Pelee List which is now at 316.
Sunday October 9th I had a Birdingpal tour with a lovely couple from Missouri. I first took them down to the tip where Blake Mann and Alan Wormington were already stationed. The tip was devoid of gulls and there were not many birds around. We did have a Tufted Titmouse and a couple of Blackpoll Warblers at the tip. A couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers flew over. On the water there were Scaups, Cormorants, Horned Grebes and Surf Scotors. The 4 "common gulls" were around as well, being Ring-billed, Herring, Boniparte's, and Great Black-backed.
The interior of the park was no better for birds. We walked down Shuster Trail only to see a couple of Brown Creepers, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglet, a Nashville Warbler, Winter Wren and a White-throated Sparrow.
After lunch in the park we decided to go to a new found hotspot for shorebirds north of Comber. I wish I brought my camera because the place was a goldmine and I could've got some nice photos of White-rumped Sandpiper. The shorebirds were at a flooded field north of the Agris building on the Comber Sideroad just north of the 401. We had a total of 15 species that included the following:
American Golden Plover
The tour ended up at Lighthouse Cove for the Snowy Egret that was reported there on Saturday. We picked up the bird right away. The bird seems to be a juvenile Snowy Egret, or at least I think it was with its yellow feet, two toned legs, greyish bill, and yellow lores. We also had a couple of Black-crowned Night-Herons as well.
I must say I am starting to love doing birding tours. I think next year I am going to get my name out there as much as possible and perhaps I can just have one job and do birding jobs on the side. We shall see....