On September 11, eighteen people attended the Point Pelee National Park and surrounding area trip. We finished w/ a total of 58 species. There was a notable lack of migrant raptors due to southwest winds (north winds are ideal for hawk-watching in the park) but fortunately there were plenty of songbirds around. The temperature started off cool and quickly warmed up w/ the sun out all day but the breeze made it comfortable.
While we waited for the tram, everyone had great views of a family of Wild Turkeys, including recently hatched chicks, walking on the sidewalk in front of the Visitor Center. When we arrived at the Tip, we found out that a Parasitic Jaeger had been seen earlier in the morning but unfortunately no other jaegers made an appearance while we were there. There wasn't much activity on the lake despite the southwest winds so we decided to head north early to look for migrant songbirds.
On the DeLaurier Homestead Trail, highlights included a Yellow-billed Cuckoo feeding and calling right out in the open, a Common Nighthawk perched on a bare branch, several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feeding on Jewelweed next to the trail, Philadelphia Vireo, and plenty of Swainson's Thrushes. We also saw nine warbler species including Black-and-white, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Cape May, Chestnut-sided, Blackpoll, Palm, Black-throated Green, and Wilson's. Although it was nice to see an assortment of thrushes, vireos, and warblers, most of them were high and very active, moving quickly from tree to tree, and making it difficult for our group to see!
After lunch at Northwest Beach, we headed to the onion fields between Point Pelee and Hillman Marsh. At the east end of Mersea Rd E where it meets Mersea Rd 19, there is a lookout where you can view the dark soil of the recently harvested onion fields and the northern edge of the Point Pelee marsh, both of which are good for shorebirds in September. Here we found our best bird of the day, a juvenile Red Knot. If that wasn't exciting enough, shortly after, two Willets flew into the Pelee marsh calling and showing off their beautiful black and white wings. We also saw a few distant Black-bellied Plovers and had great looks at Wilson's Snipe, Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, and a Green Heron fishing along the water's edge.
We finished the trip at Wheatley Harbour. Unfortunately, there were no shorebirds on the beach and just the usual suspects for gulls.
Thank you to everyone who attended the outing and for helping make it such an enjoyable day.