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Canada: Point Pelee & Algonquin
8th – 17th MAY 2010

Leaders            Dave Read & Andy Shooter
Participants     Dickie & Doreen Bird, Doreen Marsh, Paul Bateman, Michael Howes, Graham Foster, Tony Lowry and Arthur Read .

Day 1, Saturday 8th
The tour started with what was supposed to be a direct flight from Manchester to Toronto, however once on the plane we soon realised this was not to be, due to the looming volcanic ash cloud hanging over the Atlantic.  Instead we were redirected north to Newcastle, over the North Sea and up the Norwegian coast before swinging out well north of Iceland and back down the coast of Greenland, eventually reaching the northern shores of Newfoundland.  Of course by now, with all the extra mileage we had to land at the Canadian air force base at Goose Bay to refuel before continuing to Toronto, finally arriving some 12 hours or so after take off.  We then picked up the minibus and just a little over an hour later we arrived at our hotel in Niagara, tired and weary, but full of anticipation as to what the following day would bring.

Day 2, Sunday 9th
Rising a little later than planned due to the previous days delay, we were soon enjoying a traditional American style all you can eat breakfast buffet, fuel for the rest of the day, which we started by heading out towards the mighty falls.  It wasn’t long before we started finding a few of the commoner species, which included Red-winged Blackbird, American Robin, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch and White-throated & Song Sparrows amongst others.  At the falls Ring-billed Gull and Double-crested Cormorant were both common but the star here was a stunning male Peregrine.  An area of nearby parkland added a few more species with Black-capped Chickadee, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Least Flycatcher the highlights.
Driving to Leamington, our base for the next five nights, we noted several Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks along the way, as well as a few Wild Turkeys.  Once there we checked in and had some time to refresh before heading out a short distance to the edge of Point Pelee National Park, where we drove along Concession Road E.  This produced both Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, a Brown Thrasher and a small flock of Wood Duck overhead.  A stop at a small area of scrub gave a glimpse of what was to come with Yellow, Magnolia & Palm Warblers noted, along with a Gray Catbird.

Day 3, Monday 10th
We awoke early, had breakfast and drove straight to Pelee where we boarded the second train down to the Tip, arriving around 6.30am on a cold damp morning with a northerly breeze.  Not ideal conditions for migration but none the less we were not disappointed.  At the Tip Lesser Scaup and White-winged Scoter were on the lake and an adult Bald Eagle flew over.  Walking the various Trails back to the visitor centre produced several good birds including Red-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Orchard Oriole and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, along with a selection of common warblers.  Next we spent some time in Tilden’s Wood where highlights included Veery, House Wren and a roosting Common Nighthawk.  Later a walk around the Marsh Boardwalk produced Black Tern, Swamp Sparrow and several Common Yellowthroats. Nearby we enjoyed excellent views of two Great-horned Owl chicks in the nest, with an adult perched on guard close by. 
Leaving the park for a while, we visited Hillmans Marsh Conservation Area where several waders were present including Lesser & Greater Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Plover, American Golden Plover and a very obliging Wilson’s Phalarope.  Blue-winged Teal, Caspian Tern and Bonaparte’s Gull were also noted.  We then returned to the park briefly as news broke of a male Summer Tanager, with the bird showing well on arrival.

Day 4, Tuesday 11th
We arrived at Pelee around 9.00am starting at the West Beach, where the shelter provided some cover from the torrential rain which lasted for most of the day.  Highlights included Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Blue-headed Vireo and Wood Thrush, along with a good mix of commoner migrants.  Walking the seasonal Trails to Sanctuary and back produced a handful of interesting birds, including several good views of Eastern Kingbird, a Philadelphia Vireo and a fabulous male Scarlet Tanager.  We were now however very wet and with no sign of an improvement in the weather we returned to the hotel for some dry clothing before we went for lunch.
Afterwards we drove to Rondeau to take advantage of there excellent facilities, namely the indoor café area with large glass window overlooking the bird feeding station (excellent wet weather birding).  Highlights here included Red-bellied, Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers, House Finch, Baltimore Oriole and Chipping & White-crowned Sparrows.  Braving the weather again we walked the Spice Bush Trail, which gave us our first Black-throated Blue Warbler as well as Eastern Chipmunk.

Day 5, Wednesday 12th
With the weather forecast sounding favourable we decided on another early morning visit to the Tip.  We arrived just a little after 6.00am just after the rain had cleared to witness Pelee at its unrivalled best.  There had obviously been a sizable fall, including several flycatchers with Least, Alder and several Willow present along with an Eastern Wood Pewee.  A Yellow-billed Cuckoo moved quickly through, while other highlights included Yellow-throated Vireo, Lincoln’s Sparrow and Least Bittern.  Meanwhile on the lake the White-winged Scoter had been joined by two Black Scoter and a male Surf Scoter.  After a coffee at the centre we headed across into Tilden’s Wood, this too was teaming with birds and included at least two Black-billed Cuckoos, Northern Flicker, a Great-crested Flycatcher and another male Summer Tanager. 
Leaving the park we headed to Wheatley Harbour adding Great Egret and Black-crowned Night Heron on the way.  Once there Northern Rough-winged Swallow was added, along with several Great Black-backed Gulls, amongst which was a 2nd summer Glaucous Gull.  Hillmans Marsh was our next stop, where a Willet was another addition to the trip.  Nearby a visit to an area of flooded fields paid off with several species of wader present including 25 Short-billed Dowitcher, as well as at least three Buff-bellied Pipits.
It is however perhaps the abundance of warblers that the day will best be remembered for, with a total of 22 species recorded during the day.  The most notable of which were Ovenbird, Mourning, Wilson’s and Orange-crowned all at the Tip, while Tilden’s Wood produced Golden-winged, Blue-winged, Tennessee, Bay-breasted and Northern Parula.  Also of note were Blackburnian and Black-throated Green, which were both present in exceptional numbers.

Day 6, Thursday 13th
The full day was spent at Rondeau, with an adult Bald Eagle noted on the way.  Unfortunately the weather soon turned for the worst, with frequent heavy showers for the remainder of the day.  This didn’t stop us though; it just meant we had a good excuse to spend a little extra time in front of the bird feeders, with a coffee in hand.  A walk along the Bennett Avenue added Eastern Phoebe and Pileated Woodpecker to the list and two Northern Parula gave excellent views.  We then had a leisurely walk along the Spice Bush Trail, before moving to the campsite in search of a Blue Grosbeak which had been reported several times over the previous days.  This was a productive site with several species noted including White-breasted Nuthatch and Swainson’s Thrush, both new birds for the trip.  Eventually the Blue Grosbeak also put in an appearance among the several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks which were present in good numbers.  We also spent some time down at the south beach area before returning for the last half an hour or so to the centre where many birds were again noted along with this very obliging Common Racoon (right) which showed down to just a few feet as it raided the feeders.

Day 7, Friday 14th
Our last visit to the Tip before heading north was another very rewarding mornings birding, with another large fall of migrants obvious. Warblers were again the main attraction, with a total of 22 species recorded in just a few hours at the Tip, two of which were new for the tour, the first a fine male Blackpoll, but the highlight had to be a singing male Kirtland’s.  Other noteworthy warblers included two Golden-winged, two Mourning, several Tennessee, an Orange-crowned and a nice male Canada.  Other highlights included Grey-cheeked Thrush, Savannah Sparrow and a flyby Glaucous Gull.  However for many the bird of the day and for some bird of the trip was finding a cracking Red-headed Woodpecker which gave fantastic views in the early morning sunlight.
Lunch was taken at Paula’s Fish Bar, giving us one last chance to sample their delicious Lake Erie Yellow Perch for which it is famed, washed down of course by a cold refreshing beer.  Afterwards we made a start on the journey north to Barrie, where we stayed for the night, ready to commence birding next day.

Day 8, Saturday 15th
After breakfast we drove approximately one hour to our first birding location on the Carden Alders, though a quick stop on route to look at a flooded field produced two immature Sandhill Cranes.  It wasn’t long after, before our next new bird was found in the shape of Osprey, the first of many seen in the area.  Once on the Alders, Eastern Bluebird was the first of the grassland species to be found, with Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark also quickly added, along with no less than three new sparrows for the trip list Grasshopper, Field and Clay-coloured.  While a stop at a nearby wetland provided us with reasonably good views of this Sedge Wren, although an especially vocal Sora was not so obliging.  Other birds of note in the area included American Kestrel, Northern Harrier several Brown Thrashers and Eastern Towhee.
Continuing north we soon reached Dwight, our base for the final two nights.  Here we checked in and had a short break before heading out the short distance to the West Gate, the entrance to Algonquin Park.  Once in the park we took a short walk, with Red-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Swainson’s Thrush all noteworthy.  However the highlight for those who saw them was three Beaver.  The day was brought to an end with American Woodcock displaying at a lek.

Day 9, Sunday 16th
The full day was spent visiting various sites along highway 60 in Algonquin Park, with the first of these being a drive along Arowhon Road, the highlight of which was Ruffed Grouse.  Continuing further through the park we stopped when a female Moose was spotted at the side of the road, where Ring-necked Duck, with Purple Finch were also noted.  Further on a short walk produced our first Hermit Thrush and only Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Red Squirrel was also noted in.  Later we spent some time looking for Black-backed Woodpecker; however despite knowing exactly where a pair was nesting, we had no luck, so continued on our eastward journey through the park.  We completed a very rewarding 1.3 km trail, producing Common Merganser and a very showy Hermit Thrush, though the undoubted highlight was a pair of Gray Jay (left).  Also here were several Painted Turtles and a large Snapping Turtle, along with another American Red Squirrel.   We then returned to the motel for Dinner; however the van was brought to a sudden stop as we drove back past Black-backed Woodpeckers territory, where the males head was spotted poking out of the nest hole, the female also showing well.

Day 10, Monday 17th
Our final day started with a pre breakfast walk along the old railway line running east from Arowhon Road.  This was a delightful walk with many interesting birds, the highlight of which was Hooded Merganser.  Driving back to Dwight several Broad-winged Hawks were noted along Highway 60, along with a number of Moose.  After breakfast we packed up the van one last time and made a start on the journey back to Toronto.  We did make one quick stop at Bracebridge sewage lagoons; however these were rather disappointing as the water levels were too high for waders, having said that two Least Sandpipers were present, making them the final species to be make it on to the trip list. 

This brought the final total to an impressive 171 species of birds, along with 9 mammals and 4 reptiles.

We would like to thank the entire group for making this such a pleasurable and rewarding tour.  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, and hope you might join us again some time in the future.

Systematic list of species

Common Loon   (Great Northern Diver)
Noted from the Tip at Pelee, on some of the larger lakes in Algonquin and in flight over the Carden Alders.  All were breeding plumage adults.

Double-crested Cormorant
A common bird on the Great Lakes, with large numbers at many sites, including Niagara, Pelee and Wheatley Harbor.  Not recorded in Algonquin.

Least Bittern
One at Pelee on the 12th was a surprise, when it was found roosting deep in cover at the Tip, and was surely a fresh migrant that morning

Great Blue Heron
Small numbers were noted on six dates with Pelee, Rondeau and Hillmans Marsh all providing records.

Great Egret
One gave prolonged views near Wheatley on the 12th, with another over Hillmans Marsh later that day.

Black-crowned Night Heron
An immature was near Wheatley on the 12th.

Turkey Vulture
A common bird, with daily sightings in all areas visited.

Canada Goose
Recorded daily and obviously a common breeder, with several birds with young noted.

Mute Swan
Small numbers were seen on the Great Lakes, also two were present in Rondeau Bay.

Wood Duck
Sightings were made on a number of dates, all from the Pelee area.

Two were present on Hillmans Marsh on the 10th.

Reasonably common with records most days from many sites.

Blue-winged Teal
Our best views came when three drakes showed well at Hillmans Marsh.  Other sightings included 3 at Rondeau Bay and two at Bracebridge sewage lagoons.

Ring-necked Duck
Only recorded in Algonquin.

Lesser Scaup
Most reliably found off the Tip at Pelee where it was recorded on four dates. 

Black Scoter
Two were at Pelee viewed from the Tip, on the 12th.

White-winged Scoter
On the 10th one was at the Tip, with two there on the 12th.

Surf Scoter
On the 12th an adult male had joined other scoters at the Tip to complete the trio.

Hooded Merganser
Two stunning drakes were much appreciated while on a pre breakfast walk in Algonquin.

Common Merganser   (Goosander)
Only noted in Algonquin.

Red-breasted Merganser
Small numbers were noted at Niagara and from the Tip at Pelee.

At least 6 birds were noted in the Lake Dalrymple area.

Bald Eagle
On the 10th an adult flew over the Tip at Pelee, while on the 13th another adult gave good views near Wheatley as it followed the coastline parallel to the road we were travelling on for well over a mile

Northern Harrier   (Hen Harrier)
Two were near Lake Dalrymple on the 15th.

Cooper's Hawk
A pair was seen displaying over the car park at Pelee, with another seen nearby at the turning point.  Away from Pelee a nest close to the visitors centre at Rondeau held an incubating bird, and a single was noted in Algonquin.

Broad-winged Hawk
Only seen in the north with the majority of records coming from within Algonquin Park. 

Red-tailed Hawk
A reasonably common raptor, frequently seen from the roadside.  It was also regularly noted over Pelee.

American Kestrel
A male was seen briefly from the minibus as we left Niagara on the 9th.  However another male near Lake Dalrymple showed much better on the 15th allowing decent scope views perched in a tree top.

On the 9th while at Niagara we were treated to exceptional views of this adult male, (right) both in flight and perched when it showed down to just a few meters.  Later it was seen harassing an immature female, presumably trying to force it from its territory, though seemingly without much success.

Ruffed Grouse
One was seen crossing a well forested track in Algonquin.

Wild Turkey
A notable increase in the area over the last few years led to sightings on four dates, including 4 displaying males on the entrance road into Pelee.

At least two were heard singing their whinnying song but could not be seen.
Sandhill Crane
Two immatures on a flooded field north of Barrie was our only record.

American Golden Plover
A summer plumage bird was noted amongst the many Black-bellied Plovers at the Hillmans Marsh.

Black-bellied Plover   (Grey Plover)
Large numbers were present at Hillmans Marsh and nearby flooded fields.

Semipalmated Plover
Four to five birds were at Hillmans Marsh.

A common and widespread wader with sightings most days.  Probably our most notable record was a pair with two young at Rondeau.  Not recorded in Algonquin.

Greater Yellowlegs
The best site was Hillmans Marsh, with good views there on two dates, also noted at a number of wetland habitats.

Lesser Yellowlegs
Recorded at a number of sites but as with the previous species our best views came from Hillmans Marsh.

Solitary Sandpiper
Two were noted in a ditch near Pelee, one was in a flooded field near Rondeau and one gave good views on the Carden Alders.

One at Hillmans Marsh on the 12th was the only record.

Spotted Sandpiper
One near Pelee on the 9th remained our only sighting until the 17th when 2-3 were at Bracebridge sewage lagoons.

Ruddy Turnstone
On the 10th one was noted at the Hillmans Marsh.

Least Sandpiper
Two distant birds were found at Bracebridge sewage lagoons on our return to Toronto.

Hillmans Marsh proved the best site for this species.  

Short-billed Dowitcher
A total of 25 birds were recorded on the 12th, when several fields along Concession Road D were flooded.

American Woodcock
A lekking male was watched on a small area of grass which gave reasonable views in the minibus headlights.  Next day several birds were noted in flight late evening along Highway 60.

Wilsons Phalarope
A breeding plumage female gave prolonged close views at the Hillmans Marsh on the 10th.

Bonaparte's Gull
Recorded on three dates, notable sites included the Tip, Hillmans Marsh and Wheatley Harbor.

Ring-billed Gull
By far the commonest and most widespread gull in the area, with good numbers recorded daily, except in Algonquin

American Herring Gull
Recorded daily, the most notable of which were at Niagara on the 9th and Wheatley Harbor on the 12th.

Lesser Black-backed Gull
One caused a bit of a stir amongst local birders when it flew over Hillmans Marsh on the 12th.  Formally a rare vagrant throughout North America, this European species has seen a marked increase in sighting in recent years.

Great Black-backed Gull
Several birds of all ages and plumages were present at Wheatley Harbor on the 12th.

Glaucous Gull
A 2nd summer was at Wheatley Harbor on the 12th, with another or the same near the Tip on the 14th.

Caspian Tern
Up to 5 birds were noted at Hillmans Marsh, elsewhere one flew over the Carden Alders.

Forster's Tern
Large numbers were recorded at Hillmans Marsh with equally large numbers present at Wheatley Harbor and in Rondeau Bay.  Smaller numbers were also recorded at the Tip.

Black Tern
Three were seen from the Marsh Boardwalk on the 10th.

Feral Pigeon
Common in any built up areas, e.g. Toronto, Niagara and Leamington.

Mourning Dove
A common bird in the south where it was recorded daily from many locations.

Black-billed Cuckoo
One was seen briefly in flight at the Tip on the 12th, later that day several sightings in Tilden’s Wood probably involved at least two individuals with one of these giving excellent views close to the path.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Our only sighting came on the 12th when one flew in at the Tip and moved quickly out of sight to the north.

Great Horned Owl
On the 10th we visited a site where a nest was clearly visible from the road.  Here we were treated to excellent views of two well grown chicks in the nest as well as an adult, probably the female sat nearby guarding her young.  Driving by the site on the 12th & 14th the two young were noted still in the nest, but the adult was not seen.

Common Nighthawk
On the 10th one was found roosting in a Black Walnut Tree in Tilden’s Wood, allowing good views through the scope of the sleeping bird.  On the 12th presumably the same bird was again found roosting in the same tree.

Chimney Swift
Seen on five dates, with the most notable record on the 12th when 30+ were seen over Leamington.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
This species proved unusually difficult to catch up with, perhaps as a result of the cold northerly winds and prolonged wet weather experienced during the first half of our stay.  Despite very brief views at Rondeau & Pelee it wasn’t until late afternoon on the 16th that we managed good views, when this female (right) visited a feeder at the Dwight Village Motel.

Red-headed Woodpecker
One near the Tip on the 14th was unfortunately our only record, but quality views of this stunning bird in the morning sunlight made up for the lack of other sightings, and proved to be the bird of the trip for some.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Recorded on five dates, with our best views coming from the feeding station at Rondeau. 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Singles at Pelee were late records; however more typical sightings came from Algonquin where two pairs gave exceptional views, both these records clearly related to birds on territory.

Downy Woodpecker
Recorded fairly frequently at both Pelee and Rondeau, with our best views coming from the feeders at the latter.

Hairy Woodpecker
One was noted on the 11th & 13th at the feeding station at Rondeau, where it was seen in close proximity to the more numerous Downy Woodpecker, allowing a comparison of the two very similar species.  Away from Rondeau the only record was one at Bracebridge sewage lagoons.

Black-backed Woodpecker
In Algonquin a pair was watched excavating a nest hole.  The female showed very well but only the head of the male was visible as it peered out of the hole.

Northern Flicker
Our first sighting came from Tilden’s Wood with subsequent sightings at Rondeau, the Tip, Carden Alders and Bracebridge sewage lagoons.

Pileated Woodpecker
A single at Rondeau was unfortunately our only sighting.

Eastern Wood-Pewee
One showed near the Tip on the 12th, and was part of a significant fall of flycatchers at Pelee that morning.

Alder Flycatcher
At least one was positively identified amongst several flycatchers present at Pelee on the 12th by its distinctive song.  Elsewhere one was heard singing in Algonquin on the 16th.

Willow Flycatcher
On the 12th several were amongst the many Empidonax flycatchers at Pelee where they were best identified by song.

Least Flycatcher
The commonest of the Empidonax flycatchers with records from Niagara, Pelee, Rondeau and the Carden Alders.

Eastern Phoebe
One showed reasonably well at Rondeau on the 13th, while on the 15th one was seen briefly near Lake Dalrymple.

Great Crested Flycatcher
One showed reasonably well at Pelee on the 12th along the cycle track near Tilden’s Woods.

Eastern Kingbird
Reasonably common at Pelee where it was recorded on four dates, often affording good views.  Elsewhere it was recorded at the Carden Alders, where it was also fairly numerous.

White-eyed Vireo
A singing male was at Pelee on the 12th but unfortunately quickly moved through the scrub and was lost to view.
Blue-headed Vireo
One gave excellent views at the West Beech car park on the 11th, while next day saw several sighting at Pelee, with numbers of many passerines swelled by a large fall that morning.  Also noted in Algonquin on the 15th.

Warbling Vireo
Reasonably common at Pelee, with records on four dates, also noted on the Carden Alders.

Philadelphia Vireo
Only seen at Pelee, where one showed reasonably well near the West Beech on the 11th, with a few sighting scattered through the park the following day.

Red-eyed Vireo
Again only recorded at Pelee, with sightings on the 10th, 12th and 14th.

Yellow-throated Vireo
On the morning of the 12th one was singing near the Tip , but it remained difficult to view as it stayed high in the tree canopy, luckily later that day another was found showing much better in Tilden’s Wood, with all 6 possible vireo species recorded in the day.

Gray Jay
Though not particularly rare and despite its lack of fear towards humans this boreal species can still be a difficult bird to find owing to the vastness of the Algonquin forests, so a pair which gave exceptional views down to just a few feet was much appreciated.

Blue Jay
Recorded daily from the 10th onwards from various sites, including good numbers at Pelee where a sizeable movement was noted on the 14th.

American Crow
Recorded daily, though only in small numbers, often singly or in pairs.

Common Raven
Only recorded in Algonquin. 

Purple Martin
This large hirundine was reasonably common and widespread with daily sightings from the 9th through to the 15th.  Not recorded in Algonquin.

Tree Swallow
Recorded daily while in the south, however our best views came from the Carden Alders where this bird (right) showed very well.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Wheatley Harbor produced c20 birds which gave good views at close range, allowing the differences between this and the similar Bank Swallow to be noted.

Bank Swallow   (Sand Martin)
Fairly common in the south.

Cliff Swallow
Only recorded on the 12th, when at least two were amongst a small flock of hirundines feeding at the Tip.

Barn Swallow   (Swallow)

Black-capped Chickadee
Recorded at Niagara, Rondeau and Algonquin.

Red-breasted Nuthatch
One at the Tip on the 10th was a late record at Pelee, while a number of breeding pairs in Algonquin were typical.

White-breasted Nuthatch
Only recorded at Rondeau.

House Wren
Reasonably common in the woodlands at Pelee and Rondeau with several sightings.

Winter Wren   (Wren)
Heard but not seen while in Algonquin.

Sedge Wren
After much searching and having heard several, one eventually showed at a wetland on the Carden Alders.

Golden-crowned Kinglet
One gave very good views on the Spruce Bog Boardwalk in Algonquin on the 16th.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Reasonably common at Pelee and Rondeau.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Good views were obtained daily while in the south, with the Tip area at Pelee providing the bulk of sightings.

Eastern Bluebird
Only recorded while visiting the Carden Alders with a total of 10 birds seen during the day.

Reasonably common in damp woodlands with several sightings at both Pelee and Rondeau.

Gray-cheeked Thrush
One near the Tip on the 14th was the only record.

Swainson's Thrush
One was at Rondeau on the 13th, with a territorial male seen well in Algonquin on the 15th.

Hermit Thrush
Only recorded while in Algonquin where several were heard singing, one of which gave exceptional views.
Wood Thrush
Singles were recorded at Pelee on the 11th, 12th & 14th.

American Robin
Common and widespread with daily sighting, frequently seen feeding on garden lawns.

Gray Catbird
Fairly common with daily sighting in the south, not recorded in Algonquin.

Brown Thrasher
First recorded near Pelee on the 9th, with no further sightings until the 15th when several were on the Carden Alders.

European Starling
Common and widespread throughout, often close to urbanization.

Buff-bellied Pipit
At least 3 breeding plumage birds were on flooded fields near the entrance to Point Pelee.  

Blue-winged Warbler
Always one of the harder warblers, this year was no exception with just one record coming from Tilden’s Wood.

Golden-winged Warbler
It proved a good year for this species at Pelee with no less than three sightings during our visit.  

Tennessee Warbler
On the 12th one was found in Tilden’s Wood, but typically for this species remained high in the canopy making viewing difficult.  Luckily on the 14th we had several sightings at the Tip which provided much better views.

Orange-crowned Warbler
Two were noted at the Tip on the 12th, with a single there on the 14th.

Nashville Warbler
A common warbler with many records from the Pelee area, also noted on the Carden Alders and in Algonquin.

Northern Parula
First recorded at Pelee on the 12th , however our best views came from Rondeau the following day when two gave exceptional views.  Back at Pelee on the 14th two to three birds were at the Tip.

Yellow Warbler
The most abundant warbler species, with daily sightings from many locations.

Chestnut-sided Warbler
Recorded only at Pelee, with sightings on the 10th, 12th & 14th.

Magnolia Warbler
A reasonably common warbler with sightings on six dates, the majority of which came from Pelee.  Also fairly common in Algonquin.

Cape May Warbler
Only seen at Pelee where it was first recorded on the 10th, subsequent sightings came on the 12th & 14th.

Black-throated Blue Warbler
Reasonably common, with sightings on five dates, with Rondeau, Pelee and Algonquin all providing records.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
First recorded at Niagara where 4 were in parkland on the 9th.  It was subsequently recorded at Pelee on the 10th, 11th, 12th & 14th in reasonable numbers.  It was also the most commonly recorded warbler while in Algonquin.

Kirtland’s Warbler
At Pelee on the morning of the 14th a male was found on the eastern side of the Tip where it showed well for some time singing from the tree canopy. 

Black-throated Green Warbler
Good numbers were recorded daily at Pelee including this stunning male (left) with smaller numbers noted at Rondeau and in Algonquin.

Blackburnian Warbler
Higher than normal numbers of this dazzling species were recorded at Pelee and at times several birds could be seen at once.  Away from Pelee it was recorded in Algonquin on two dates.

Pine Warbler
One was seen briefly at Pelee on the 10th.

Palm Warbler
Noted on three dates, all from the Pelee area..

Bay-breasted Warbler
Usually a fairly common warbler at Pelee and Rondeau, however we only managed one record of a single bird in Tilden’s Wood on the 12th, illustrating just how different the birding scene can be from one year to the next.

Blackpoll Warbler
Our only record came on the 14th when one was at the Tip.  This is the last warbler to pass through Pelee, with the bulk of birds not arriving until the latter half of May.

Black-and-white Warbler
This striking species was reasonably common at both Pelee and Rondeau with frequent sightings on five dates.  It was also recorded in Algonquin.

American Redstart
Only recorded at Pelee where it was seen on the 10th, 12th & 14th.

Two were at Pelee on the 12th & 14th, one was at Rondeau on the 13th and several were heard while in Algonquin.

Northern Waterthrush
Remarkably, one singing from the top of a tall spruce in Algonquin was our only record of this usually common warbler, perhaps a result of the very dry conditions in the south this spring.

Mourning Warbler
Only seen at Pelee, where one was present on the 12th followed on the 14th by two birds, one of which provided good views of this skulking cover loving bird.

Common Yellowthroat
Recorded on five dates, with birds at Pelee and Rondeau.

Wilson's Warbler
Two were at the Tip on the 12th.
Canada Warbler
Singles were noted at Pelee on the 12th and 14th, the latter giving very good views.
Summer Tanager
This southern overshoot is always a difficult bird to catch up with at Pelee, so two records during our stay was a good tally.  

Scarlet Tanager
Seen on four dates with all records coming from Pelee.  

Eastern Towhee
On the 15th one was seen on the Carden Alders, with others heard singing in the area.

Chipping Sparrow
A reasonably common species with daily sightings.

Clay-colored Sparrow
A singing male on the 15th on the Carden Alders was our only record.

Field Sparrow
As with the previous species, a singing male on the Carden Alders was our only record.

Savannah Sparrow
Up to four were present at Pelee on the 14th; next day however on the Carden Alders it appeared to be common.

Grasshopper Sparrow
One showed briefly on the Carden Alders on the 15th.

Song Sparrow
First recorded on the 9th at Niagara, and then subsequently on a number of dates in the Pelee area. 

Lincoln's Sparrow
Recorded in small numbers at Pelee on the 12th & 14th and at Rondeau on the 13th.

Swamp Sparrow
A number of birds were recorded at Pelee on the 10th, with a few also noted at on the Carden Alders on the 15th.

White-throated Sparrow
A common and widespread species with daily sightings.
White-crowned Sparrow
Fairly common at Pelee and Rondeau with sightings on five consecutive dates.

House Sparrow
Common in built up areas.

Northern Cardinal
This male (right) was one of a pair that gave outstanding views at Niagara, with further sightings from Pelee and Rondeau on four dates.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Recorded on five dates with sightings coming from various locations both at Pelee and Rondeau.

Blue Grosbeak
Described as a rare vagrant to the area, a female of this southern species joined the many Rose-breasted Grosbeaks which were visiting the feeders at Rondeau, where It showed reasonably well for some time.

Indigo Bunting
Recorded only at Pelee with sightings on four dates.

On the 15th several were noted while visiting the grasslands on the Carden Alders and Lake Dalrymple.

Eastern Meadowlark
Up to six were present on the Carden Alders on the 15th.

Red-winged Blackbird
Very common with daily sightings.

Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird
Very common and widespread with daily sightings.

Orchard Oriole
Though normally fairly scarce, reasonable numbers were recorded in the south with daily sightings at Pelee and Rondeau.

Baltimore Oriole
Fairly common in the south with several sightings at Pelee and Rondeau, also noted on the Carden Alders.

Purple Finch
Recorded only in Algonquin with sightings on two dates.

House Finch
Strangely only recorded twice with both sightings coming from Rondeau. 

American Goldfinch
Reasonably common with daily sightings.



Three were seen briefly on the Oxtongue River in Algonquin on the 15th.

Eastern Grey Squirrel
The most frequently recorded mammal, with most being the all black form.  Noted at Niagara, Pelee & Rondeau.

American Red Squirrel
Noted only in Algonquin, with a number of sightings.

Eastern Chipmunk
The most reliable site proved to be Rondeau, where they were commonly recorded.  Also noted in Algonquin.

One was seen near Pelee on the 9th, with no further sightings until the 15th when one was noted in Algonquin.

Eastern Cottontail
Recorded in small numbers along concession road E, Rondeau and the Carden Alders.

White-tailed Deer
Two just inside the entrance to Pelee on the 12th were the only record.

Common Raccoon 
Singles were noted at Pelee on the 10th & 12th, with two at Rondeau on the 13th..

With Algonquin one of the best places in Canada for this species, we were not disappointed with the many encounters along Highway 60. Sightings included a fully grown male close to the road and this female (left)




Eastern Fox Sake
On was seen at Pelee coiled up in a bush near the Tip, where it gave good views close to the path and at eye level.

Northern Leopard Frog
One was seen in a roadside ditch on the Carden Alders on the 15th.

Common Snapping Turtle
On the 16th one was seen basking on an island in the small pond along the Logging Museum Trail.

Midland Painted Turtle
The small pond along the Logging Museum Trail held several on the 16th.


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