We were so pleased to be a part of the recent Festival of Birds at Point Pelee National Park. This beautiful park is rightly considered a bird migration hotspot of international significance and thousands of nature lovers had an opportunity to enjoy the annual rites of spring here. What were some highlights from this year’s festival?
 
The Birds!
This is surely not a surprise. It’s always special to be in a place where the density of excellent bird sightings is so high. Quest leader Chris Earley got photos of one of at least six Prothonotary Warblers setting up breeding territories in the park’s flooded forests. This was a rather exceptional year and many visitors got to see them!

Warbler

Red-headed Woodpeckers were also regularly found this year and I was happy to get a good look at this one along the Chinquapin Oak Trail!

Woodpecker
 
The soundscape!
As migration progressed it was fun to listen to the ever-changing soundscape. I recorded this video early in May along the Woodland Nature Trail. It was the first day when there was a palpable variety and volume in the chorus! You can also hear the distant roaring sound of Lake Erie’s waves crashing against the nearby East Beach.
 
 
The surprises!
While we’re looking mainly at birds, there are many other potentially entertaining sightings at Pelee. Chris Earley and one of his hike groups discovered this juvenile Northern Watersnake basking on a trail. Chris moved it safely aside after taking its photograph.

Snake

Re-acquainting with old friends
Pelee’s habitats are diverse and many are particularly luxuriant or endowed with notable landmarks. It is hard to resist a photo opportunity with this huge Eastern Cottonwood at the Cactus Field.

Justin with tree

Naturally, is was wonderful to meet and re-acquaint with so many fellow nature lovers during our guided hikes and at our Quest Nature Tours booth. Speaking of which, many of you participated in our draw for a Bushnell Elite spotting scope with tripod. And the winner is…

Sandra E. of Toronto! Congratulations to Sandra! We’ll be in touch with you soon.

We hope to see you at next year’s Festival of Birds!