PEC’s South Shore vs Point Pelee for birders
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.