Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Day Birding

 Following tradition, we headed out to Point Pelee for Mother's Day...myself, my husband and kids. The weather didn't look promising when we headed out, but it turned out to be a beautiful day! After reading "A Birder's Guide to Point Pelee" by Tom Hince, I decided to stray from our normal routine and walk a trail I had never walked before...the Tilden's Woods Trail. We normally do the Marsh Boardwalk, the trail behind the visitor's centre and the Tip. I was happy to spot, on my own, a beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeak (a life bird for me) and a couple Wood Thrushes (also a life bird).  We later found a Rose-breasted Grosbeak pair that I managed some half-decent pictures of.

For the most part though, I found birding that day to be very frustrating! We bumped into a group with a guide who was calling out warbler species left and right (maybe 7 different species!), but I only managed to get my binoculars on husband, without binolculars, saw more than I did!  My children thought it was torture....see the picture my daughter snapped of the group.  I was happy to see a Black-throated Blue, a Black-throated Green, a Tenessee and a Northerrn Parula, thanks to Scott, the guide. I did see lots of Yellow Warblers...very abundant! I have a couple of pictures to show, but none of the warblers...they were too far off for my lens and I had a difficult time finding them in the first place!  Top that with the fact that I don't know warblers well in general...bought a book to fix that though....ran into its author in the woods...that was cool!

To top off the frustration, we ran into a couple of guys doing a Big Day and asked them how there day was going.  They had seen 90 species so far that day and told us to go check out the Little Gull that was hanging around near the beach...they gave us "directions", but we got lost and never did find the beach.  As frustrating as the birding was, I did enjoy the day.  The weather was wonderful, there were a lot of birds (got to show my husband his first Gray Catbird...found it myself!),  I was excited to see 6 new life birds...and of course, spending time with my family :)  Enjoy the few pics I got...

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

One of two Wood Thrushes we found on a footpath.

Can you guess which is my son???  I am between my husband (in the red) and Scott the Guide in the plaid..not visible..just like the warblers :/