Friday, 8 May 2015

Pelee and Rondeau Weekend Part 2: Point Pelee National Park

One of the most well known birding locations in Canada is Point Pelee and that is where we headed after leaving Hillman Marsh.  We arrived at the park early that afternoon and decided to start with the marsh boardwalk trail.

 As well as an amazing 1 km boardwalk through excellent marsh habitat, this area also offers a lookout over the marsh and canoe rentals for those interested in exploring a different area.
Canada goose munching on something.

The boardwalk was quiet to start.  Canada geese were feeding in the shallows and further on a lone american coot was busily working among the reeds.  A drake wood duck was also swimming some distance off.
American coot.

The highlight here came as we neared the end of the boardwalk.  I heard the unmistakeable kiddit kiddit kiddit call of a a virginia rail, another lifer.  I saw the grasses move as the bird moved around, but didn't actually see it.

We then headed on to the Pelee tip, stopping first at the visitor centre where we looked around and then took the shuttle down to the most southern point of Canada.

I'm always interested in the taxidermy displays such as these from the visitor centre.
Passenger pigeon

Mergansers and vulture
Ruffed grouse, a species no longer found in the Pelee area.

I immediately picked out two more lifers that for some reason I had not seen before on my previous trips to Pelee, red-breasted mergansers and bonaparte's gulls.  I also saw some buffleheads and double crested cormoronts flying and swimming off the tip, not lifers but fun to see.

I spent a while at the tip, but very little variety was flying over.  I heard later that there were several surf scoters off the tip that day, but I missed them.

The Pelee tip.

Looking back from the tip.
From here it was on to the woodland trail.  There was good bird activity where I picked up a lifer hermit thrush, but also great opportunities to photograph the plantlife.

Wild Leeks
The final trail of the day was the tilden's woods trail.  More of the usual ducks, songbirds and these turkeys.
Up next is a stop at the Eurasian collared doves that appear to be nesting in the area and a visit to Holiday Beach, an area just as rich in birds.

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