The water’s edge at Point Pelee National Park is the southernmost point in mainland Canada. It is located close by Leamington, Ontario, home to the Heinz food company.
Each Spring and each Fall, Point Pelee plays host to thousands of migratory birds as they reach landfall after crossing Lake Erie. Whenever you find a concentration of migratory birds, you are sure to find a concentration of avid bird watchers. Point Pelee is no exception. Thousands of bird watchers descend on the park each Spring and Fall hoping to catch a glimpse of the one or more migratory birds that they still need for that life list. First stop, for most visitors, is the trail leading to the very tip of land where birds congregate on the sand spit reaching out into Lake Erie. A recent winter storm had washed away a large part of the sand spit, so signs stopped access to the point and led to even greater human congestion on this trail than would be the case in a normal year.
In the Spring, birds are not the only interesting thing to see at Pt. Pelee National Park.
Aside from the sand spit at the point, most birders tend to wander the woodland trails looking for the many varieties of warblers that visit the park. On this particular Spring weekend, cooler temperatures had slowed the migration and, although there were many bird species to be seen and heard, the number of warblers was less than expected for this time of the year. There were also very few shore birds visiting yet so without shorebirds on the beach, there were fewer birders on the beach, and I had the beach almost all to myself.
This particular weekend, the trees were alive with the sight and sounds of migrating Baltimore Orioles. At times, it seemed that the tip of every tall tree had a male bursting forth in song. Tough to photograph up high but a true delight to listen to and to see.
The Baltimore Orioles weren’t the only birds bursting out with song but some of the resident birds were already in nesting mode and busy looking after the nest or their offspring.
With flowers blooming and Spring alive in the air, this visit was truly enjoyable even with no abundance of warblers.