January 8 – Point Pelee & vicinity

This morning I dragged myself out of bed to drive down to Point Pelee National Park. I had arranged to meet my friend and local birder, Jeremy Hatt. We met out at the Tip just after dawn to see what was around. The winds were pretty light so the viewing conditions were pretty good. There wasn’t a whole lot to be found, but I did add 1 KILLDEER and 3 HORNED GREBE to my year list. Also of interest was a single American Pipit feeding along the shoreline. Not a bad start!

We decided to leave the park and search for some land birds. With Jeremy’s help I was able to add 4 LONG-EARED OWLS to my list. We also came across a bright Savannah Sparrow, which is always nice in the winter. Not too far down the road I added another new species in the form of a flock of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS.

After parting ways I decided I would head back eastwards along the lakeshore. In one of the small hamlets along the highway I spotted a COOPER’S HAWK sitting up in a tree. I then stopped in at Erieau, but there was not much happening. If anyone still needs American Coot or Ruddy Duck for their winter lists, this area still has some.

Then came my first major milestone of the year…what was bird species # 100 going to be? Well, at my next stop in Port Stanley I came across my most surprising sighting of the day… 13 TURKEY VULTURES! They were circling right over town on a wooded hillside near the beach. They seemed to be going down to roost for the night.


Photo: Some of the Turkey Vultures at Port Stanley going to roost.

I was happy to add 6 new species today. The weather is looking a bit nasty for tomorrow so I plan to stay local and see what’s around.

Good birding!


PS: Jeremy Hatt is also a regular bird blogger. You can check his great blog out here: http://ceruleansky15.blogspot.ca


About canadabigyear2013

I'm a lifelong birder and naturalist who is undertaking a Canada Big Year in 2013.
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