Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Henslow's Sparrow/Kentucky Warbler at the Tip

What. An. Evening.

On a day where a number of texts and Ontbirds posts were indicating a great day at Pelee, I was excited when work was done and I could head over to try my luck at some of the rarities that were around.

On the way over, I picked up a drink and a burrito at Birdie's Perch. Upon leaving, I drove slowly by the Pelee Wings Nature Store feeders thinking I might catch another glimpse of the female Painted Bunting. I didn't see the bird but I did see two people pointing and laughing at me. How rude, I thought. I sped up to escape these mean people. Only when I saw my Dr. Pepper rolling down and spilling across my back window did I realize they were right to laugh at me. Oh well...could have been worse. Could have been my wallet I left up there (again).

Once I got to the park, I headed straight to the VC to catch the tram down to try for the Henslow's Sparrow, which Josh Vandermeulen told me had been seen on and off throughout the day. As soon as I parked the tram arrived. Good timing! I ran over and sat down on the tram. I waited patiently. Waited some more. Waiiiited....the huh? Someone who had pity on me walked over and politely told me the tram was done running to the Tip for the day. I mumbled something like "Oh, uhh, ya, I knew that, I was just...resting...." and scuttled away.

Turns out the gates open just after 5pm once tram service ends, which is excellent since the Tip was the place to be this evening. I started at the West Beach Footpath, ready to search for the Henslow's Sparrow reported from near the Serengeti Tree. Not far along the trail I saw Josh V., David Bell, and Dwayne Murphy all looking straight down at the ground. Could it really be that close?! I gingerly tip-toed over, which was completely unnecessary since this is the tamest Henslow's Sparrow ever, walking around the feet of observers looking very much like a mouse creeping through the grass. Mindblowing views.

From there we started walking toward the Tip to see what other migrants we could find but were stopped short by a text from Brandon Holden. They'd found a Kentucky Warbler around the corner from where we were walking on the main road to the Tip. We rushed over. I arrived out of breath...somewhat pathetic to be out of breath from jogging 50 metres, I know...but I think it was the excitement of the moment. My mom would say it's because I'm vegetarian. As soon as we got there, the warbler popped up and gave short but good looks. My adrenaline was thru the roof, let me tell ya.

I feel incredibly lucky to be seeing a number of species that I did not see last year during my Big Year. Here's the list so far:

Gray Partridge
Townsend's Solitaire
Kentucky Warbler
Worm-eating Warbler (heard last year but not seen)
Louisiana Waterthrush (heard last year but not seen)
Henslow's Sparrow
Blue Grosbeak
Painted Bunting

And y'know what's crazy...? It's not even May yet.

1 comment:

Blake A. Mann said...

A fine list of birds!
I have hardly seen anything yet. Crappy weekends do not help!