Well, today was a great day.
I dragged myself out of bed and drove down to Ojibway Prairie in Windsor, with the hopes of seeing the Blue Grosbeak that had been reported 2 days previously at the visitor center feeders.
It was a glorious sunny morning (although quite chilly), and the birds were singing. I talked to some of the other birders who were already gathered at Ojibway and they mentioned that the grosbeak had been seen earlier in the morning. After locating another group of birders/paparazzi, the bird popped up into the morning light. And what a sight he was. A stunning male BLUE GROSBEAK! It is hard to describe the colour of blue, but it’s almost sapphire. This is only my second Blue Grosbeak in Canada, and the first male. I actually think I let out a slight gasp when I say it in the morning sun…just one of those moments.
Photo: Male Blue Grosbeak at Ojibway Prairie.
Also of note at the visitor center was an Eastern Tufted Titmouse, a single Sandhill Crane, and a YELLOW WARBLER foraging on the lawn.
Next it was off to Point Pelee . I stopped in at the visitor center to see what had been reported. I noticed a Worm-eating Warbler was seen the previous day on the Woodland Trail, so I decided to try my luck. Well, 5 minutes later I was staring at a very cooperative WORM-EATING WARBLER feeding at my feet about 50m south of the visitor center. What a nice surprise! Thankfully it stayed around for several other birders to see.
Photo: Worm-eating Warbler at Point Pelee National Park.
Other new birds for the year included CLIFF SWALLOW (#200 for the year!!!!!) flying along West Beach, and EASTERN KINGBIRD flying over the parking lot at the visitor center, a male BLUE-WINGED WARBLER at the Anders Footpath/Cemetery junction, and an OVENBIRD near the Tilden Woods boardwalk.
Photos: Blue-headed Vireo and Ovenbird on Tilden Woods Trail at Point Pelee National Park.
After a quick lunch break at “the bus”, it was off to Hillman Marsh. Many of the same species were present from my last visit, but 6 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (in the shorebird cell), and a LEAST SANDPIPER (viewed from the bridge across from the marsh) were new.
Another visit to the park produced very few birds, but a single GRAY CATBIRD was still hanging around the Blue Heron seasonal footpath (thanks Jeremy!).
Photo: Melanistic Garter Snake at Point Pelee National Park.
So, after a long and wonderful day of birding, filled with great birds and great birding companions, I added 10 new species to my Big Year. Thank you, April 21, 2013!