Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Pelee

Last weekend I went to Pelee to lead some birding hikes at the park. Not being able to do any school work on the weekends, trying to squeeze as much birding as possible into the week while in Waterloo, and trying to keep on top of my work isn't easy! The blog loses any priority it had.

Anyway, before driving to the park I stopped by Grass Lake. It's more of a marsh in Waterloo county that has several species that are hard to come by in the rest of the county.
The only notable species I saw in the marsh was a Common Moorhen/Gallinule. But in a nearby wood-lot I came across 3 Bay-breasted Warblers. They're my favourite species of warbler so I was quite content to see them.

I then continued on to Pelee, where the birds were few but the diversity was good. Not having many birds is frustrating as a birder, but even more frustrating when you're leading hikes and you have people expecting to see all the warblers that makes Point Pelee famous!
My impression of Pelee between spending 3 weeks there last year, and from last weekend is that the birds its famous for is a bit overstated. I would claim that the main reason so many rarities are seen at Pelee is simply because there are so many people that go there. If you have hundreds of people constantly walking the trails, you're eventually going to find something good! It makes it a bit surprising that Long Point has about the same number of species as the Pelee region - but many of those may be from the long history of banding there.

On the other hand, the park is great for butterflies, and during the hikes I led we often looked at a few butterflies when the birding got slow.

I also relied on this Eastern Screech-Owl to keep people smiling:

I'll be back there this coming weekend.

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