Point Pelee National Park and Carden Plain, Ontario, May 2016
All photos are copyright Allan or Cathy Murrant unless otherwise stated.
May 4, 2016 to June 1, 2016
May 4, 2016 We drove from Sand Lake to La Pocatiere, Quebec. We had a bit of time before dark we spent it looking at the Snow Geese along the St. Lawrence River.
May 5, 2016 - We continued on to Presquile Provincial Park, Ontario. On Highway 20 east of Montreal exit 98 takes you south of Montreal on Highway 30 avoiding the city. We arrived at Presquile PP around 3pm. We spent the evening birding around the park.
We had a Veery in the campsite it was a nice bird for us to see. We had a few species that were a treat to us White-breasted Nuthatch, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Veery, Wood Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Caspian Tern, Northern Cardinal, Mute Swan, and Barred Owl.
May 6, 2016 - We left Presquile Provincial Park, Ontario for Wheatley Provincial Park, Ontario. Wheatley is the closest Provincial Park about a 20 minute drive to Point Pelee National Park. Point Pelee National Park has group camping for special groups but not for individual visitors.
May 7, 2016 - Point Pelee National Park
The "Festival of Birds" is held each year in Point Pelee it started April 29 and went until May 18, 2016. The Friends of Point Pelee and Point Pelee National Park welcome
"birders" each spring to experience the avian migration phenomenon from Canada's southernmost mainland. You can visit their site for more information.
http://friendsofpointpelee.com/festivalofbirds In 2017 it will be held May 1st to May 22nd.
The distance from the Park Entrance to the Visitor Center is about 6 km. There are trails with parking along the road any of which could produce a good bird. Most birders head straight for the tip at daylight. Wild Turkeys were seen almost everyday along the road.
Indigo Bunting seen along the road to the Vistor Center in front of the Staff house.
The shuttle leaves the Visitor Centre and travels 2 km (7 min) to the Tip's outdoor exhibit.
On the wall in the visitor center is a white board with a Map of Point Pelee National Park. Referred to as "the board" sightings for a few days are posted on it. Birders make visits to check to see what birds are being seen and where.
Horned Grebe fishing at the tip.
Every morning we were up before daylight and travelled straight to the tip. From the shuttle it is a short walk to the tip where we hoped to see new birds that had arrived overnight. We birded the tip then walked other trails for the rest of the day. This sleeping Raccoon was seen along the Woodland Nature Trail.
Lots of Red-winged Blackbirds.
Dogs are permitted in the park. Puddles spent most of the day 5-6 hrs walking the trails when she was tired she could ride on my back. Our first Ruby-throated Hummingbird for 2016 was seen checking out the flowers on the backpack.
Allan with his camera.
Field Sparrow at the Sanctuary parking area.
Scarlet Tanagers were seen most days.
Gray Catbird seen on the Redbud Footpath.
Red-headed Woodpecker along the Cactus Field Footpath.
Barn Swallows nest and fly around the Tip's Outdoor Exhibit.
Baltimore Oriole stealing flies from a spiders web.
Baltimore Oriole are seen all through the park.
Carolina Wren were nesting at the north end of the Sparrow Field Footpath.
We were on our way to bird the West Beach Footpath when we met a photographer on the Woodland Trail. She tipped us off to a Eastern Whip-poor-will seen sleeping along the Woodland Trail near the Visitor Center. We quickly made our way to the sleeping bird. Traffic cones and a Park Interpreter were in place to protect the bird and help visitors locate it.
A lot of visitors made their way to the Great Horned Owl nest on the Woodland Trail.
An Eastern Screech Owl could be seen everyday sleeping in the same area of Tilden Woods. Birders who had seen the screech owl took turns doing their part to point it out to new comers.
Eastern Bluebird seen at the DeLaurier Homestead.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak were seen thoughout the park.
Black-billed Cuckoo seen in the Tip Exhibit Area.
House Wren seen in the Tip Exhibit Area.
Yellow-breasted Chat seen in the Tip Exhibit Area.
Orchard Oriole seen in the Tip Exhibit Area.
Wednesday May 11, 2016 Every morning we would head right to the tip at daylight. We were hoping to see birds that had arrived through the night. This was the day we were hoping for there were birds everywhere. It was so exciting for us, a dream come true, to be at Point Pelee during a "Fallout". We heard comments of how it was the best birding for years. The Warblers and Vireo's were the highlight that day.
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Friday May 13, 2016 We had Summer Tanager at the tip.
Friday May 15, 2016 it snowed overnight and it was cold. Not many birds were at the tip we headed back to Wheatley Provincial Park.
Cooper's Hawk seen along the Highway between Wheatley Provincial Park and Point Pelee National Park.
It was sheltered from the wind and warmer in Wheatley. We were lucky there were Scarlet Tanagers sheltering in the park. We don't know how many we saw but we had 7 in one view as well as Brewster's Warbler, Gray-cheeked Thrush and Ovenbird.
May 19, 2016 - Carden Plain, Wylie Road, Kirkfield, Ontario
For more information on Carden Alvar you can visit http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/articles.cardenalvar . In 1996 we stumbled on this birding spot by accident. We were driving around while visiting friends at their summer home in Bolsover. We turned up the Wylie Road and noticed the Field Station and numbered Bluebird Boxes. The birding was excellent so we returned a few years in a row. So not surprising 20 years later there was a lot of birding going on.
Just east of Bolsover along highway 48 is Prospect Road. Here at a small marsh area before you get to the main area we found 4 Trumpeter Swans. We got 2 lifers in this small pond. Trumpeter Swan and Least Bittern but we were too awe struck by the Least Bittern to get photos.
Species Count for the trip was 194. We had 33 Species of warbler at Point Pelee National Park. We had 3 lifers on our trip Kirtland's Warbler, Least Bittern and Trumpeter Swan. Species seen that were not photographed that deserve a special mention were Loggerhead Shrike, Least Bittern, Whip-poor-will at Carden, Vesper Sparrow, Great Crested Flycatcher, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Willow Flycatcher, Purple Martin and Northern Cardinal.