A Blustery Morning at Prince Edward Point

Sept 22, 2015
The forecast for Sunday morning looked to be perfect. However, the reality was something else again. Sure, it was sunny-ish, but it was also quite cold and very blustery. It was the kind of morning which made me think I might not see any birds let alone get any decent photos. :)

It was quite dark when my alarm rang, and I was halfway to Prince Edward Point before the sun poked it’s bright self up and above the mountainous bank of clouds that lined the eastern horizon.

I pulled into the park around 7:30 with the sun hiding behind a small dark cloud. The bushes were being buffeted by the wind, and there was nary a feathered friend in sight. Still I was undaunted. I drove down to the Traverse woods, armed myself with a small twig to clear away the spiderwebs that crisscrossed the trails, and set off towards the bluff.

Despite the wind and cold, I did begin to notice a number of small birds darting about and feeding in the bushes that lined the trail.
Here was my first capture of the day.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
It’s a “Black-and-white Warbler” (Mniotilta varia). Ironically, a species that I didn’t see during this year’s Spring Migration! :)
(click on the photo to enlarge it, then use the ‘back’ button to return to the blog)

Seeing that Black-and-white Warbler really lightened my mood, and soon afterwards I started to notice others like this Black-throated Blue Warbler.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015

In a thicket of leafless bushes near the bluff I also saw a Nashville Warbler and managed to capture him through a maze of bare branches.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015

What happened next was definitely the highlight of the day – and made all my efforts that morning worthwhile. As I stepped towards the edge of the bluff, a juvenile Bald Eagle flew over, circled and flew back in the direction it came. It was just a brief, wonderful moment that lasted long enough for me to get this shot.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015

All morning flocks of Blue Jays were flying overhead, typical of this time of year. I also saw vireos, kinglets, a female Scarlet Tanager, and a variety of other warblers including Black-throated Green, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped, and Pine. Of course there were also Northern Flickers which I almost always see as they are flying away displaying their prominent white rumps. :) On this morning though I managed to catch a Northern Flicker before he saw me.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
You can tell that it’s a male by it’s black malar (or moustache as I call it).

On the way back home I stopped at Melville Creek where it crosses Highway 62 just south of Ben Gill Road, and I got this shot of a Great Egret.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
It was a great (pun intended) way to end a surprisingly good morning of birding! :)


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2 Responses to A Blustery Morning at Prince Edward Point

  1. Susan says:

    Hi Garry, All wonderful shots, as usual but really excited to see the bald eagles from this post and last. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    • Garry Kirsch says:

      Thanks Susan! Seeing and photographing the eagles is really a thrill. When I first started visiting Prince Edward Point 7 years ago it was extremely rare to see an eagle. I’m happy to report that their numbers in the County are increasing annually and hopefully one day soon seeing one of these magnificent birds will be a common occurrence. :)

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