Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Birding @ Point Pelee

Today we got up early and headed to Hillman Marsh to see shore birds with our new spotting scope. We saw three types of plovers: semipalmated, American golden and black-bellied as well as the odd kildeer. There were barn swallows, tree swallows; Caspian, Forster's and common terns; lesser yellowlegs, sanderlings, dunlins, blue- and green-winged teal and Northern shovelers.
We then headed to Point Pelee National Park to have lunch and get ready for our escorted walking tour with Peter Read. There were about 16 in our group. Peter was very skilled at identifying bird calls and then spotting the bird after. We saw a Mississippi kite who is WAY off his usual flight path, a blue-headed vireo, warbling vireo, house wren, blue-gray gnatcatcher, Baltimore oriole, yellow warbler, black-throated, green warbler, Blackburnian warbler, black-and-white warbler, common yellowthroat, blue jay, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers. I think I missed a couple in there but that covers most of them. The park at Point Pelee was packed. I can't even imagine what it will be like there on the weekend.

We then headed back to Hillman Marsh to use the scope again with the light coming from the west. We saw many of the same birds from the morning and another blue-gray gnatcatcher but this time prompted by a group of enthusiastic birders, spotted a sora. According to them, it was the bird of the day.

After that we drove into Leamington and had dinner at another Mennonite Mexican food restaurant, 'Family Kitchen'. I had perogies filled with dry cottage cheese and covered with cream sauce. They were served with sausage, corn and a side of canned peaches. Skip had ham and noodles covered with a cream sauce and a side of corn and a dry bun. Unusual, starchy, rich but tasty.

Tomorrow we're headed to the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada outside of Guelph. I became enthralled with the place last year so we thought we'd make a return visit. The website now has a bio and photographic portrait for each donkey. Too cute!

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