GREAT LAKES


In May 2011 Brian and Pat Wetton joined a Birdfinders tour lead by Dave Milsom to Point Pelee and Michigan. Dave proved an excellent leader and the group enjoyed good birding and fun combined. Other participants were Mike Ambler, Michael Jeeves, Neil Robertson, John and Sue Rowe, Jason Smart, Perry Smale and Neil Westwater. Brian recorded 224 species of birds.

Itinerary:

8th May    Gatwick to Toronto (with Transat) & onwards via Woodstock (WS) to Kingsville

9th May    Point Pelee (PP) including Tip, Woodland Trail, Tilden Wood, NW Beach & Sanctuary Wood

10th May  Rondeau (RD) inc. Bennett & Harrison Ave. & Spice Bush Trail and Blenheim (BL) Sewage Works

11th May  Point Pelee ( Tip, Black Willow, Marsh Boardwalk, NW Beach & Sanctuary) & Wheatley (WH)

12th May  Point Pelee (Tip, Post Wood, Sparrow Field, Tilden Wood, DeLaurier & NW Beach) & Hilman Marsh (HM)

13th May  Point Pelee (Tip, Post Wood, Woodland Trail, Tilden Wood, Dunes & NW Beach)

14th May  To Michigan inc. Mackinac Bridge (MC), Trout Lake Marsh (TL) & Whitefish Point (WF)

15th May  Highway 123 (HW), Seney Wildlife Refuge (SN) & Hulbert Bog (HB)

16th May  Whitefish Point, Vermilion Road (VR) & Clark Lake (CL)

17th May  Highway 123, Mackinac Bridge & Grayling (GR)

18th May  Tawas Point (TW), Nayanquing Marsh (NY) & Bay City Park (BY)

19th May  Point Pelee (Tip, Post Wood, Tilden Wood & DeLaurier)

20th May  Rondeau (South Point, Bennett Ave. & Pony Barns), McGeachy's Fields (MF), Blenheim & Pelee

21st May  Long Point (LP), Backus Wood (BW), Walsingham Wood (WS), BSC Pond (BS), Lee Brown Pond (LB) & Big Creek (BC)

22nd May Fort Erie (FE), Niagara Falls (NF), Niagara Ridge (NR) & Ontario Shore (OS) (inc. Shore Acres & Sam Smith)

23rd May  Return from Toronto to Gatwick

Site Profiles:

Woodstock: a service station on Route 401 with wood and adjoining fields

Point Pelee: a peninsular on the north shore of Lake Erie with deciduous woods, swamps, marsh, fields, dune scrub and shoreline. Designated National Park.

Rondeau: a foreland on the north shore of Lake Erie with deciduous woods, sluices & swamps and fields. A State Park.

Blenheim: sewage works with pools, filtration beds and fields.

Wheatley: a Provincial Park with mixed woods, grassland, pond and camping ground.

Hilman Marsh: shallow pools with fringing marsh and scrub. Some adjoining flooded fields on our visit.

McGeachy's Fields: coastal fields with stubble at the time of our visit. Adjoining McGeachy's Pond.

Mackinac: lacustrine area near Mackinac Bridge leading to upper peninsular of Michigan between Lakes Michigan and Huron.

Trout Lake Marsh: swamp near Trout Lake in Upper Michigan.

Whitefish Point: peninsular on south shore of Lake Superior with shingle beach and adjoining pine woodland. Feeders at a bird observatory and ringing station.

Highway 123: highway west from Paradise in Upper Michigan with pine and birch forest and bogs.

Vermilion Road: track from Paradise to Vermilion Point on shore of Lake Superior through pine forest with  bogs and lakes leading to shoreline.

Clark Lake: lake in pine forest off Highway 123.

Seney Wildlife Refuge: large designated refuge in Upper Michigan with pine & birch forest, grassland and extensive lakes.

Hulbert Bog: bog with adjoining woodland.

Eckerman Road: roadside pine and birch forest south from Paradise.

Grayling: young Jack Pine plantations near the town of Grayling. in Lower Michigan.

Tawas Point: peninsular on the west shore of Lake Huron with ponds, coastal scrub, grassland & mud flats.

Nayanquing Marsh: large marsh near Lake Huron in Lower Michigan.

Bay City Park: park with pond and fringing marsh & woods on shore of Lake Huron near Bay City.

Long Point: peninsular on north shore of Lake Erie with ringing station, camp ground, woodland & scub.

Big Creek: extensive riverside marsh at base of Long Point.

BSC Pond: pond in grounds of Bird Studies Canada building.

Lee Brown Pond: pond near Long Point.

Backus Wood: large deciduous wood with streams and pools north-east of Long Point.

Walsingham Wood: deciduous wood near Backus.

Fort Erie: shoreline at eastern end of Lake Erie.

Niagara Falls: famous waterfalls and gorges between Lakes Erie and Ontario on Niagara River.

Niagara Ridge: flower-rich hay meadows on hills north of Niagara.

Ontario Shore: shoreline parks on Lake Ontario (including Shore Acres and Colonel Sam Smith Parks) with coastal woods and marshes.

Birds Recorded (see itinerary for key to sites):

Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Great Northern Diver 6 5+ RD,PP,WF,SN,NF
Pacific Diver 1 1 PP
Red-throated Diver 1 1 PP
Horned Grebe 1 1 PP
Pied-billed Grebe  3 1+ SN,HW,NY
Red-necked Grebe 3 4 WF,OS
Double-crested Cormorant 13 1000+ various
Great Blue Heron 12 10+ various
Great White Egret 5 10 WH,PP,NY,MF,BL
Green Heron 1 2 BS
Black-crowned Night-Heron 5 3 PP,MC,NY,BL,OS
Least Bittern 1 1 OS(Sam Smith)
American Bittern 3 1 HB,HW,CL
Trumpeter Swan 1 10 SN
Mute Swan 8 20+ various
Canada Goose 15 50+ various (inc. richardsoni)
Wood Duck 3 5 BY,BL,LB
American Wigeon 3 6 BL,MC,LB
Gadwall 5 10+ BL,HM,MC,TW,NY,BY
Green-winged Teal 3 2 MC,SN,BL
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Mallard 15 30+ various
Black Duck 3 2 HM,MC
Northern Pintail 1 10+ HM
Blue-winged Teal 4 4 BL,HM,SN
Northern Shoveler 3 4 BL,HM
Canvasback 3 1 MC,LB
Redhead 4 8 PP,MC,BL
Ring-necked Duck 7 10 BL,MC,SN,NY,LB
Greater Scaup 6 20+ PP,BL,MC,
Lesser Scaup 1 2 BL
Black Scoter 1 2 PP
Surf Scoter 2 2+ PP,WF
White-winged Scoter 7 20 PP,MC,WF,OS
Common Eider 1 2 OS(Shore Acres)
Common Goldeneye 1 2 MC
Bufflehead 5 8 BL,MC,WF
Long-tailed Duck 3 50+ MC,WF,FE,OS
Ruddy Duck 3 20+ PP,BL
Red-breasted Merganser 12 500+ various
Goosander 5 10 MC,SN,WF,TW
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Turkey Vulture 15 20+ various
Golden Eagle 1 1 WF
Bald Eagle 3 6 SN,WF,NY
Northern Harrier 5 5 TL,SN,WF,NY,BC
Sharp-shinned Hawk 5 50+ PP,WF,OS
Cooper's Hawk 2 3 PP,RD
Broad-winged Hawk 3 10 WF,HW
Rough-legged Buzzard 1 1 WF
Red-tailed Hawk 7 6+ WS,RD,WF,SN,TW,LP
Osprey 2 3 SN,WF
American Kestrel 2 1 SN,GR
Merlin 4 3 PP,WF,HW,SN
Peregrine Falcon 1 1 TW
Ruffed Grouse 4 4+ HW,CL,WS
Sharp-tailed Grouse 1 4 SN
Ring-necked Pheasant  3 2 TW,RD,OS
Wild Turkey 7 3 PP,HW,TW,RD
Virginia Rail 1 1 NY
Sora Rail 1 2 NY
Common Moorhen 2 1 BC,OS(Sam Smith)
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
American Coot 6 8 BL,WH,HM,HW,NY
Sandhill Crane 9 8 RD,HM,WF,SN,HW,NY,PP,LB
American Golden Plover 1 10 MF
Grey Plover 3 800 HM,TW,MF
Semipalmated Plover 1 2+ HM
Killdeer 14 4 various
American Woodcock 4 2 WH,HW,CL
Upland Sandpiper 1 4 SN
Lesser Yellowlegs 5 5 BL,HM,MC,LB
Solitary Sandpiper 2 1 BY,BS
Spotted Sandpiper 7 8 various
Ruddy Turnstone 3 30+ BY,MF,FE
Short-billed Dowitcher 3 30+ BL(inc.1 griseus),HM,MF
Semipalmated Sandpiper 2 10+ HM,BL
Least Sandpiper 6 20+ BL,HM,TW,MF,BS,FE
White-rumped Sandpiper 1 1 BL
Dunlin 5 250 BL,HM,TW,MF,BS,FE
Wilson's Phalarope 1 2 HM
Ring-billed Gull 15 500+ various
Iceland (Kumlien's) Gull 1 1 PP
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
American Herring Gull 13 20+ various
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 1 PP
Great Black-backed Gull 5 15 PP,WF,RD
Bonaparte's Gull 7 500+ PP,RD,HM
Caspian Tern 4 2+ HM,TW,PP,OS
Common Tern 10 10+ various
Forster's Tern 5 30+ PP,RD,HM
Black Tern 4 5+ PP,RD,BC
Feral Pigeon 9 10+ various
Mourning Dove 15 10+ various
Black-billed Cuckoo 1 1 LP
Long-eared Owl 1 1 WF
Great Horned Owl 3 2 PP
Common Nighthawk 1 1 PP
Whip-poor-will 1 2 HW
Chimney Swift 7 10+ various
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 11 10+ various
Belted Kingfisher 4 4 TL,HW,SN,HB,BC
Red-headed Woodpecker 4 3 PP,RD
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2 2 HB,BW
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Downy Woodpecker 10 10+ various
Hairy Woodpecker 2 2 RD,WF
Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker 13 6 various
Pileated Woodpecker 1 Heard HW
Eastern Wood-Pewee 6 2 PP,RD,LP,OS
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 4 4 PP,RD
Acadian Flycatcher 1 1 PP
Alder Flycatcher 4 2 PP,HW,TW
Willow Flycatcher 7 2+ PP,RD,LP,OS
Least Flycatcher 7 8 PP,RD,TW
Eastern Phoebe 1 2 VR
Great Crested Flycatcher 5 3 PP,RD,LP
Eastern Kingbird 9 8 WS,PP,RD,MC,LP,OS
Shore Lark 2 8 WS,WF
Barn Swallow 15 100+ various
Tree Swallow 14 200+ various
Purple Martin 10 10+ PP,RD,TW,BL,LP,BS,FE
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1 1 HM
Sand Martin 8 40+ various
Cliff Swallow 3 6 BL,BC
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
American Pipit 5 6 HM,MC,SN,WF
Cedar Waxwing 8 25 PP,TW,LP,OS
Sedge Wren 1 Heard HW
Marsh Wren 2 5 BY,BC
Carolina Wren 5 1 PP,LP
House Wren 8 5 WS,PP,RD,WH,TW,BY,LP
Grey Catbird 10 10+ WS,PP,RD,TW,BY,LP
Northern Mockingbird 2 3 PP,OS
Brown Thrasher 3 5 PP,TW,LP
Eastern Bluebird 3 2 PP,GR
Veery 8 6 PP,RD,BW
Grey-cheeked Thrush 1 1 LP
Swainson's Thrush 7 5+ PP,TW,RD,LP,BW
Hermit Thrush 4 4+ PP,HW,WF
Wood Thrush 7 5 RD,PP,LP
American Robin 15 50+ various
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 8 20+ PP,RD,TW
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1 1 HB
Blue-grey Gnatcatcher  7 1+ PP,RD
Black-capped Chickadee 12 20+ various
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Tufted Titmouse 2 2 RD
Boreal Chickadee 2 1+ WF
Red-breasted Nuthatch 10 8 various
White-breasted Nuthatch 4 2 RD,HW,WF,LP
Blue Jay 15 300+ various
American Crow 11 20+ various
Common Raven 5 6+ WF,SN,HW,MC,TW
Common Starling 15 20+ various
White-eyed Vireo 1 2 PP
Blue-headed Vireo 9 2 PP,HW,TW,LP,OS
Yellow-throated Vireo 1 1 PP
Philadelphia Vireo 2 1 PP,OS
Red-eyed Vireo 9 5 PP,RD,TW,LP,BW,OS
Warbling Vireo 10 2+ WS,PP,RD,TW,LP,OS
Bell's Vireo 1 1 PP
Blue-winged Warbler 3 2 PP (inc.Brewster's),BW
Tennessee Warbler 4 2+ PP,TW
Orange-crowned Warbler 3 3 PP
Nashville Warbler 10 6 various
Northern Parula 6 8 PP,TW
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Yellow Warbler 12 50+ various
Chestnut-sided Warbler 10 10 PP,RD,TW,LP,BW,OS
Magnolia Warbler 9 30+ PP,RD,TW,BY,LP
Cape May Warbler 5 5 PP,HW,TW
Black-throated Blue Warbler 7 8 RD,PP,TW
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler 12 20+ various
Black-throated Green Warbler 6 3 PP,HW,TW
Blackburnian Warbler 7 6+ PP,TW,LP
Pine Warbler  2 3 HW
Yellow-throated Warbler 1 2 RD
Kirtland's Warbler 1 5 GR
Prairie Warbler 1 1 PP
Palm Warbler 10 10 PP,WF,HW,MC,TW
Bay-breasted Warbler 6 6 PP,BL,TW
Blackpoll Warbler 3 4 PP,HM
Cerulean Warbler 1 1+ BW
Black-and-white Warbler 12  6+ various
American Redstart 20+ PP,RD,TW,LP
Prothonotary Warbler 3 3+ PP
Ovenbird 5 4+ RD,PP,HW
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Northern Waterthrush 5 5 PP,RD
Mourning Warbler 4 2 PP,LP
Common Yellowthroat 10 10 WS,PP,RD,BL,TW,NYLP,OS
Hooded Warbler 5 1+ PP,TW,RD,LP
Wilson's Warbler 6 3 PP,TW
Canada Warbler 5 5 PP,BW
Summer Tanager 2 1 PP
Scarlet Tanager 7 3 PP,RD,TW,LP
Northern Cardinal 11 5+ WS,PP,RD,TW,BY,LP,OS
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 14 20 various
Indigo Bunting 4 10+ HM,PP,MF
Dickcissel 1 1 PP
Song Sparrow 13 5+ various
Lincoln's Sparrow 8 4 PP,WF,HW,TW,RD
Swamp Sparrow 7 4 PP,HB,HW,NY,BC
White-crowned Sparrow 15 50+ various
White-throated Sparrow 12 100+ various
Savannah Sparrow 8 6+ WS,BL,HM,SN,GR,TW,OS
Le Conte's Sparrow 1 1 RD
American Tree Sparrow 3 1 RD,WF,TW
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Chipping Sparrow 14 20+ various
Clay-coloured Sparrow 3 2 PP,WF
Field Sparrow 1 2 PP
Vesper Sparrow 1 5+ SN
Eastern Towhee 6 4 RD,PP,GR
Dark-eyed (Slate-coloured) Junco 4 2 PP,WF,HW
Lapland Bunting 1 30+ SN
Bobolink 3 9 BL,NR
Red-winged Blackbird 15 200+ various
Eastern Meadowlark 2 1+ RD,NR
Yellow-headed Blackbird 1 3 NY
Rusty Blackbird 2 1 PP,TL
Brewer's Blackbird 1 17 SN
Common Grackle 15 100+ various
Brown-headed Cowbird 13 20 various
Baltimore Oriole 12 20+ various
Orchard Oriole 9 20+ PP,TW,RD,LP,OS
Purple Finch 3 20 HB,CL,HW
House Finch 1 1 RD
Red Crossbill 1 4 WF
Species No of days Max No Sites Recorded
Pine Siskin 4 6+ WF,HW,LP
American Goldfinch 13 10+ varuious
Evening Grosbeak 1 1 WF
House Sparrow 9 10+  various

 Other Records:

Mammals: Eastern Grey Squirrel (inc. black morph), Spruce (Red) Squirrel, Woodchuck, Eastern Chipmunk, Musk Rat, Racoon, Virginia Opossum, Porcupine, Coyote, Red Fox, Meadow Jumping Mouse, Brown Meadow Vole, Cottontail, White-tailed Deer, Eastern Pipistrelle, Big Brown Bat

Reptiles & Amphibians: Eastern Garter Snake, Snapping Turtle, Midland Painted Turtle, Map Turtle, 5-lined Skink, Spring Peeper Frog, American Toad, Northern Leopard Frog, American Bull Frog, Green Frog

Butterflies: Spring Azure, Small (Cabbage) White, Green-veined White, Viceroy, Monarch, Red Admiral, Camberwell Beauty, Black Swallowtail, Pink-edged Sulphur, Eastern Tailed Blue, Common Sooty-wing, Hoary Elfin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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