I was out the door early this morning with plans to bird Point Pelee at first light. I had a few birds on my mind that I wanted to put some effort into trying to see: Eastern Whip-poor-will, any Jaeger, Nelson’s Sparrow, and maybe even a Pine Siskin or two (a species I had surprisingly not seen or heard yet this year in Essex County).
I met Jeremy Hatt and we walked down the West Beach trail hoping to maybe spot a Whip-poor-will but no luck. We were however surrounded by both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets for the entire walk. As we were making our way down to the tip, we noticed that the forecasted south winds that we were hoping for were pretty minimal – Not a great sign for our next target – Jaegers. We didn’t end up having any luck with Jaegers, but we did get to witness the gorgeous sunrise, lots of raptors flying overhead and many Monarchs.
While watching the lake, we noticed a HUGE feeding frenzy at the north end of the park. We decided to make our way north to get a better look at the group of gulls. At the Visitor Centre, we finally picked up a ‘target’ bird – Pine Siskin. It was no Jaeger but hey, it was still a year bird (lol).
We met up with Andy P, a local nature enthusiast, who was interested in learning more about birding. He joined us at the north end of the park. Unfortunately by the time we got there, the group of gulls had made their way a little further to the south. Jeremy had other plans for the day so he left us but Andy and I decided to head back south and check out the beach at Pioneer to see if we could get another look at the group. We did catch up with the gulls but we didn’t pick out anything too interesting. We headed over to Delaurier and came up with quite a few land birds which were nice to see. None of the targets but still lots to look at.
Our final stop for the day would be out near Hillman Marsh where Nelson’s Sparrows had been seen recently. As we got to the exact spot where they had been seen, a small orangey sparrow popped up into view – it was our target Nelson’s! The bird stayed deep in the willow but I was able to snap a few record shots. On our way back to the cars, I spotted another Nelson’s but this one stayed even further out of view. A nice end to the day!
The winds are forecasted to be strong out of the southwest tomorrow morning – ideal conditions for a Jaeger watch at the tip. That’s where I’ll be heading. I still have a chance to pick up the other 2 weekend target birds – or who knows, maybe even something better!