PEC’s South Shore vs Point Pelee for birders

Birders_May09 (2)

South Shore birders. Credit: Terry Sprague

Point Pelee National Park is a well-known destination for birders, recognized internationally, as described here .  We asked Terry Sprague, County naturalist emeritus, how he would rank the County’s South Shore as a birding location relative to Point Pelee.  Here is his response:

Prince Edward Point [at the eastern end of the South Shore of PEC] quite often surpasses Point Pelee in terms of abundance and densities of birds. In fact, nowhere else along the north shore of Lake Ontario do the numbers of migrants (spring and fall) compare with those found at Prince Edward Point.

The only difference is that birds of southern affinities that are more or less regulars down there, may only be found in ones and two at Prince Edward Point during migration – Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, etc. We refer to these southern birds as “over shoots” – southern birds that migrate north a bit farther than they should. Much like a braking car going through a stop sign.

We are finding that an increasing number of Quebecers are making PEPt their destination rather than Pelee, as it is closer for them.

While Prince Edward Point is where birds tend to congregate, much the same can be said for the entire South Shore. Birds arrive en masse all along the shore and gradually work their way along the shoreline to PEPt proper. They are seeking the shortest route across Prince Edward Bay and the Bay of Quinte on their way northward to the boreal forests where many of these species traditionally nest.

We did our Birdathon yesterday [May 11, 2015] and came up with 131 species, all but a few having been found at the Point and along Army Reserve Road. We spent almost an hour at Ostrander Point Road where the fallout of warblers there was phenomenal in the wet wooded area about half way down the road.

Posted on May 14, 2015, in Natural environment, Ostrander Point. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Who did this report?

    Myrna Wood

    Prince Edward County Field Naturalists


  2. Maggie Walker

    The Ont Liberals do not care about birds. I just got back from the Point Pelee Area that now has 1000 turbines going crazy. It looks like Christmas with all the flashing red lights at night. Apparently they have put up as many turbines as they are allowed in that area. But have contracts in the works for 6000 more along the shores of the Great Lakes. Michigan has banned them so they stop at Ontario shores. We should concentrate our fight on the drainage of the wetlands in PEC. That has more clout than the birds.

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