Friday, 23 May 2014

Birding on the other side of the pond (Part 4) - Point Pelee - May 2014

It was my final day at Pelee today (22nd May) and so I headed down to the point early again. This time the overnight weather had been fine, with a clear sky and no rain. These are not usually good fall conditions, but the clear sky would at least have meant that birds were moving. I chose to walk down to the point again, rather than catch the bus, and it was evident that there had been some bird movement straight away. Flycathers were numerous with Eastern Wood-pewee, Least, Great-crested and trails (Willow/Alder) all present in good numbers. Warbler numbers appeared good too, as Black-throated Green, American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat were seen.

I arrived at the Tip and immediately picked up a Tennessee Warbler, Chestnut-sided and two Blue-grey Gnatcatchers. It seemed quieter at the Tip but as I worked my way down a Green Heron flew over, and then a birder informed me of a Black-billed Cuckoo just around the corner. I quickly went round to the spot and there it was. I set about trying to get some photos and it soon became apparent that there were two birds not one, both were giving great views.

Black-billed Cuckoo - Pelee

With the sun on the east side of the point I moved out onto the beach, as this was where most of the insects were. The two Black-billed’s had the same idea and sat on the edge of the trees in full sun, an excellent photo opportunity.

Black-billed Cuckoo - Pelee

Bird activity was buzzing with Red-eyed, Warbling and Philadelphia Vireos present, the warbler species included Magnolia, Blackpoll, Wilson’s, Bay-breasted and the ‘icing on the cake’ a Golden-Winged Warbler.

Blackpoll Warbler - Pelee
Philadelphia Vireo - Pelee 
Golden-winged Warbler - Pelee

Back at the Tip bus station I noticed a small bat roosting on a side wall. I am not that familiar with the bats of Ontario, but think this individual was most likely to be an Eastern Pipistrelle Pipistrellus subflavus, but that is just my opinion. This was the second bat I had seen in three days, the other was a large bat probably Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus, at the B&B. This bat was flying around in broad daylight and tried to land in a nearby tree, before flying off.

Probable Eastern Pipistrelle - Pelee

It was time to move on from Pelee so I headed back towards my car, again walking rather than getting the bus. As I approached the main visitors centre I picked up another Black-billed Cuckoo, and then another. It is likely that the second sighting was the same bird, but it did cross my mind that the two birds at the Tip may have started to move north during the day as many birds do.

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