|My favorite warbler, the Canada Warbler. Thrilled to see them while on vacation.|
Our second week of vacation started May 13th. We headed down to the Port Rowan/Long Point area for a four day, three night stay. We had really enjoyed our stay the year before and were happy to be returning. We once again stayed at Bayside Vacation Resort, and had the same cottage as last year. Actually, we've already booked again for 2019! We really enjoy the area, and having the cottage makes it more "vacation like". There are many great birding spots a short drive from the cottage. But we were looking forward to this trip for a lifer sighting that had nothing to do with birds.
Rob and I have been Facebook friends with Tammie for about seven years. From early November to mid April her northern Ontario backyard plays hosts to a webcam run by Cornell Lab of Ornithology for Project FeederWatch. Her and her husband, Ben, had quite the Ontario road trip from Manitouwadge, visiting friends and family along the way. They stayed in the cottage next to ours for the nights we had booked, and as they had never visited the area before, we had fun playing tour guides. I know they had many lifers on this trip, and it was fun for us to have that experience with them. **Click on photos to enlarge them**
|The stunning Scarlet Tanager - Backus Woods|
|A lifer for all of us! A Yellow-throated Vireo - Backus Woods|
|Hooded Warbler - Backus Woods.|
|We all enjoyed our visit and tour of the Bird Studies Canada office.|
|We spent a lot of time at "Old Cut", good birds, great people!|
Our second night it rained heavily and the wind howled. I woke up at 2am due to the thunder and lightning. I was so worried about the Killdeer on her nest, I didn't really sleep well the rest of the night. I kept thinking there was no way her nest survived this storm. When I finally woke just before 6am, I could hardly wait to get outside. The storm had passed and there she was, sitting on her nest like nothing had happened! I was overjoyed, and a little dumbfounded. The memory of that storm and the happiness I felt that morning will stay with me for a long time.
|Mama Killdeer on her nest the morning after the storm.|
A few of the birds we saw while in the area.
|Tammie's jaw dropped the first time she saw a Black-throated Blue Warbler.|
|Beauty Purple Martin.|
|Another shot of the Scarlet Tanager, so you can see his tail.|
|Black and White Warbler.|
Now, last year, Jody was instrumental in getting us to the right location so I could FINALLY hear my Whip-poor-wills. Click here to read all about that. Little did we know that we were in for an even bigger treat this year.
We all had been to Old Cut the day before and the trees were dripping Warblers! They were everywhere you looked! After a clear night for the birds to keep moving, it was a much quieter this morning. But still, we were looking forward to spending some time with Jody. We met up with him at 8am, and he was very excited about a reported Kirtland's Warbler in the area. He told us to get in the van, we were going "twitching" with Jody!
Rob and I had seen a Kirtland's Warbler in 2016 at Point Pelee, along with a big crowd of people. This sighting was very, very different. We had spectacular views of the bird and with a very small and polite crowd, including the President of Bird Studies Canada, Steven Price.
|The huge crowd watching the Kirtland's Warbler.|
|The star of the show, Kirtland's Warbler.|
The next bit of our vacation was enjoyed at home, enjoying our backyard, where we added another new yard bird, and the baby squirrels kept us entertained.
|Four baby squirrels born in our Screech Owl box.|
|Another new yard bird, Bay-breasted Warbler!|
TWO WEEK VACATION RECAP;
* 124 Species seen, including 2 rarities (Le Conte's Sparrow and Kirtland's Warbler)
* 4 Lifers for Rob and I ( Blue-winged Teal, Common Moorehen, Le Conte's Sparrow and Yellow-throated Vireo)
* 6 New Yard Birds ( Brown Thrasher, Indigo Bunting, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, and an Eastern Towhee)
You can read about our first week of vacation by clicking here.
|Lifer - Common Moorhen, with a Painted Turtle.|
|Lifer - Pair of Blue-winged Teals with a Mallard Duck for size comparison.|
It was a great two weeks!