It was a busy and exciting time for birds during the summary period and lots of Spring migrants stopped over on Pelee from May 11th - 20th en route to their summering grounds. Diversity at the station peaked on May 12th when 78 species were recorded in PIBO's standard 'count' area during six hours of morning coverage, including nineteen warbler species. Warblers were also abundant on May 16th, with twenty-two species noted on the day.
Although rain affected the mist-netting operation, a total of 308 birds were captured from the 11th - 20th including good numbers of Ovenbirds (29 banded), Magnolia Warblers (24), Common Yellowthroats (18), and Northern Waterthrushes (18), along with a nice variety of flycatchers, vireos and thrushes, among others. Diversity at the nets peaked on May 16th when 45 birds of twenty-six species were banded, including fourteen warbler spp.
While there were no dramatic fall-outs, a steady pulse of migrant songbirds moved through the area on a daily basis along with increased numbers of shorebirds and other non-passerines, and staff and volunteers kept busy both on the census and in the mist-netting area. Waterfowl were few and far between, but good numbers of terns were tallied on May 14th when 350+ Common Terns were recorded at the Tip, along with a station-high 44 Caspian Terns on the 18th.
A number of unusual species were observed during the summary period by PIBO staff and volunteers including a singing Western Wood-Pewee on May 18th and a Lark Sparrow noted the following day. Both birds were discovered at Fish Point by Ken Burrell from the University of Waterloo. The pewee is possibly just the third record for the province and likely a first for Southern Ontario. Other noteworthy species included a Louisiana Waterthrush on the 12th, a Golden-winged Warbler banded on the 13th, Yellow-throated Vireo (15th), Summer Tanager (17th), and a Cerulean Warbler and banded Acadian Flycatcher (20th).
PIBO's 2010 Birdathon fundraiser took place on May 14th and thanks to Ken Burrell - our honorary Birdathon leader - a total of 123 species was recorded on the island during a 24-hour period. Highlights from the day included Wilson's Phalarope, White-rumped Sandpiper, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Kentucky and Hooded Warbler, along with a nice variety of other May migrants. The results were particularly impressive given the relatively low number of waterfowl and shorebirds that frequent the island in mid-May. PIBO wishes to thank everyone for all their support and encouragement, along with a special thanks to Ken.
PIBO's next summary will be posted on June 1st
Photo: Claire Sanders
Below is a complete list of the birds recorded on May 14th
PIBO Birdathon Species SummaryHorned Grebe