Monday, May 18, 2009

Point Pelee National Park

Painted Turtle
Canada Goose Common Goslings (left) Adult Male (center) Adult Female (right)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Adult Male Breeding
Magnolia Warbler Adult Female Breeding
Canada Anemone
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1st Summer Male
Yellow Warbler Adult Male Eastern
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Adult Male Breeding
Common Yellowthroat Adult Male
Painted Turtle
Barn Swallow Adult Female
Yellow Warbler Adult Female
Wild Turkey Adult Male Eastern In Display
Wild Turkey Adult Male Eastern
Indigo Bunting Adult Male Breeding

Last Saturday we packed our supplies and started driving to Leamington, Ontario. We arrived there after four hours, unpacked at Pelee Days Inn and drove to Point Pelee National Park. We paid and stopped at the lookout. There was seven Great Blue Herons stalking the shallow marsh. We drove a little bit further and saw a bright flash of blue. We quickly stopped and heard a descending gobble from ahead. We turned around to see a Wild Turkey displaying at the vehicles. Then I saw the Indigo Bunting foraging on the tall grass. We then drove to the visitor center and took the "train" to the Tip Trail. It was about a fifteen minute drive, but it was worth it because we were welcomed by Barn Swallows in the ceiling of the gazebo. We started walking and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird flew by me. Then my mom spotted a Eastern Kingbird perched in the tree. Then various warblers filled the rest of the trail until we came to the tip. There I saw Double-crested Cormorants flying across Lake Erie. I also noticed various gulls and terns in the background, but they were to far away even with binoculars to identify. We took the "train" back and drove to the Marsh Boardwalk. There Jesse and I climbed a tree and got our picture taken. Then we saw Barn Swallows building nests and a pair of Canada Geese defending their goslings. Soon we came to the boardwalk, but we didn't see anything unusual until we came to the middle. There it was filled with common wetland-animals such as Black Terns, Common Yellowthroats, Painted Turtles, Bluegill Sunfish, etc. Although we didn't see and Wood Ducks or Northern Watersnakes. It was late evening we we finished the boardwalk so we ate dinner and went swimming, played pool, air hockey and arcade games. The next morning we woke up early, went swimming, ate breakfast and went back to Point Pelee National Park. We drove in and we were welcomed by the sound of warblers, tanagers and orioles singing proudly. We stopped at one of the trails and saw a Scarlet Tanager singing, in the treetop. Unfortunately the Visitor Center parking lot was full so parked at the West Beach Footpath. We got out, brought our cameras, binoculars and snacks and started hiking. We accidentally flushed a Yellow Warbler from its nest but it was back a few minutes later. The footpath was directly beside Lake Erie there were constant flocks of cormorants flying over head. After hiking for about 2 kilometers the trail started to lead away from lake Erie and there was less bird activity so we turned back. I noticed a unfamiliar warbler for me so I took a photo of it and remembered the song it was singing. We walked to the Visitor Center and I showed the manager my photo, described the the appearance and song and after about 10 minutes of researching we discovered it was a Magnolia Warbler. Then we went into the gift shop and bought Ruth (Body, soul and spirit) a Checklist of Birds of Point Pelee National Park. Then we checked the sightings map and the most current bird activity was in the Tilden Woods Trail. (I was still repeating the song from the Magnolia Warbler in my head, in case I heard it again.) Sure enough I did and as soon as we entered the trail too, along with our wood-warblers, icterids and mimids. I identified most of them but it was very difficult since very few of them were visible. Anyway the habitat changed from a dense canopy to a wooded swamp along with the bird species (grosbeaks, cardinals and vireos.) Then we finished the trail at about noon so we went to the Marsh Boardwalk again in search for the Wood Duck. Lots of fish were resting under lily pads and the wetland-birds were becoming more active. We spotted much more such as; sparrows, wrens and martins. Although we didn't see Wood Ducks we did see some species we'd never seen before. Then we drove home and edited our pictures on the way. Despite we didn't break our record of sixty-four species on this annual trip we still had lots of fun. Thank you mom and dad for making this possible and for your time and money.
Total Names of Birds Seen:
Canada Goose
Wild Turkey
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture (Check for 2009)
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern (Check for Life List)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Check for 2009)
Red-headed Woodpecker (Check for 2009)
White-eyed Vireo (Check for Life List)
Red-eyed Vireo (Check for 2009)
Blue Jay
American Crow
Purple Martin (Check for 2009)
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Check for 2009)
Bank Swallow (Check for 2009)
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
House Wren
Sedge Wren (Check for 2009)
Marsh Wren
Veery (Check for 2009)
American Robin
Gray Catbird (Check for 2009)
European Starling
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Check for 2009)
Magnolia Warbler (Check for Life List)
Cape May Warbler (Check for Life List)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Check for 2009)
American Redstart
Prothonatary Warbler (Check for 2009)
Common Yellowthroat (Check for 2009)
Canada Warbler (Check for Life List)
Scarlet Tanager (Check for 2009)
Swamp Sparrow (Check for Life List)
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting (Check for 2009)
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow
Total Number of Birds Seen: 51 species


omalois said...

Wow! what a trip. Sounds amazing. You sure saw a lot of very interesting birds. Loved your pictures. I'm glad your weekend at Point Pelee was a great event. The hotel-time sounded enjoyable too.

Ruth said...

Your write up is great! I would have loved to have gone to Point Pelee with you. I still haven't totalled the birds we saw, but you certainly counted more of them. Thanks for getting me the bird checklist. I hope it is in English ;-)

Birdman said...


omalois-Thank you for caring for Max while we were gone.

Ruth-I'm glad you had a good time there too. Congradulations on the number of species you saw.


AMIT said...

Yeah it looks amazing.The pictures you took are just mindblowing.

Alternative energy

Greg Gillson said...

Samuel, I love your site. I appreciate your photography and narrative. In fact, I have featured your blog on my post for the Pacific NW Backyard Birder as an example of the new wave of bird photographer/bloggers:

Keep up the good work!



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Rachael Ruddick said...

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