Sunday, 29 July 2018

Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago: Part 3 (Karanambu Lodge, boat cruise on the Rupununi River)

Introduction
January 25-27, 2018 - Rupununi savannah, Karanambu Lodge
January 27, 2018 - Karanambu Lodge, boat cruise on the Rupununi River
January 28, 2018 - Rupununi savannah, Rock View Lodge
January 29, 2018 - Rock View Lodge and surroundings
January 30, 2018 - Rock View Lodge, drive to Atta Lodge

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Following a hearty breakfast of fruit, bread, porridge, beans and sausages Laura and I prepared to do some exploring in the savannah. Inquiring about which areas were worth checking out, we were informed that we were not allowed to explore far off on our own, due to an incident that happened with a previous guest who ended up being lost in the savannah for several hours. Additionally, as the guides were either dealing with the truck or picking up a new guest, there would be no one to accompany us. Frustrated, we explored some areas close to the lodge itself but still had a great time, enjoying the new sights and sounds. 

Peters' Lava Lizard (Tropidurus hispidis) - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

surroundings at Karanambu Lodge, Guyana (photo by Laura Bond)

Grass Anole (Anolis auratus) - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana (photo by Laura Bond)

Our room - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana (photo by Laura Bond)

Upon our return to the lodge, we were told that the other guide working at the lodge, Primchan, would be back shortly and able to join us on a hike. Laura and I, along with Primchan and the Finn, Juha ventured towards the gallery forest flanking the nearby Rupununi River as a wide trail had been cut through the dry, deciduous forest.

Gallery forest along the Rupununi River, Guyana (photo by Laura Bond)

Even though it was now mid-day and bird song was diminished, we still managed to find quite a few species of birds. Primchan was a relatively new guide and I often had to identify the birds for him, but he was an excellent spotter. In the span of about 30 minutes I picked up seven new birds, including a few that I was really hoping to come across on the trip. 

Spotted Puffbird  - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

Black Nunbird  - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

Golden-green Woodpecker  - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

We returned to the lodge after the productive hike to enjoy lunch. We were talking with Patty about our frustration about not being able to explore on our own; he said that it would be totally fine, as long as we were careful. As we still had some time before we would head off in the boat, Laura and I decided we would return to the forest, this time taking Juha with us as he was interested in exploring some more. The bird activity was a little more reduced during this second visit but we did find a few new species including Golden-spangled Piculet. Laura enjoyed views of the impressive Amazon Kingfishers when the trail approached the river, and we also had fun checking out some of the invertebrates in the area. This thespid mantid had impressive camouflage, appearing just like a twig. 

Thespid mantid  - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

Around 4:00 PM a group of us including Primchan, Patty, Juha, and Laura and I made the short walk down to the Rupununi River for our afternoon evening cruise. The plan was to take the boat upriver, seeing wildlife along the way, and arrive at an oxbow pond full of Victoria Water Lillies, Spectacled Caimans, and a wide variety of aquatic life. We would stay at the pond until dusk before taking the boat back to the lodge. We were pretty excited as there was a chance at seeing Giant River Otters, Jabirus, Sunbitterns and Agami Herons along the river. 

Karanambu Lodge docks - Rupununi River, Guyana

Primchan navigating the Rupununi RIver, Guyana

The water levels in the river was down but it was still navigable in this stretch. We immediately began seeing birds, including several new species - White-winged Swallow and Swallow-winged Puffbird. 

Swallow-winged Puffbird - Rupununi River, Guyana

Rupununi River, Guyana

Several caimans were spotted either resting on the riverbanks and sandbars, or lurking in the water with just their eyes and nostrils visible. Most of the caimans were Spectacled, but a few were the more range-restricted Black Caimans, a species confined to the Amazon River basin. Unfortunately I only managed photos of a few of the Spectacled as both Black Caimans slipped into the water before we were close enough for decent photos. 

Spectacled Caiman - Rupununi River, Guyana

It felt great to be cruising on the calm river, the wind in our hair, while new species appeared around every bend. Kingfishers were a dominant feature of this river and we tallied four species: Amazon and Ringed being the most numerous, along with singles of Green and Green-and-Rufous. 

Amazon Kingfisher - Rupununi River, Guyana

Ringed Kingfisher - Rupununi River, Guyana

Throughout the trip I kept an eye out for Sunbitterns along the muddy bank. This odd, rail-like bird does not have any close relatives in the Neotropics; currently it's closest living relative is thought to be the Kagu from New Zealand. While the Sunbittern has a large geographical range throughout Central America and Amazonia it is one that I had never been lucky enough to cross paths with before. Slowly cruising down rivers seem to be the best way to find this secretive species, as they often come down to the water's edge to forage. One interesting feature of Sunbitterns is that they possess large eyespots, one one each wing, which it uses to startle prey. We saw two Sunbitterns along the boat ride, though both disappeared into the forest as we cruised past. One at least stuck around long enough for us to soak in excellent views.

Sunbittern - Rupununi River, Guyana

We observed seven species of herons along the river as well. Great Egrets, Striated Herons, Little Blue Herons and Cocoi Herons were the most numerous, while we also observed a few Boat-billed Herons roosting in the mangroves, several Black-crowned Night-Herons and a single Rufescent Tiger-Heron. One of my main targets, the Agami Heron which is often seen along the river, remained out of sight for us. 

Cocoi Heron - Rupununi River, Guyana

Rufescent Tiger-Heron - Rupununi River, Guyana

Coming around a bend, a pair of young Jabirus were an imposing presence on a sandbar. It was hard fitting them in my camera frame!

Jabiru - Rupununi River, Guyana

Jabiru - Rupununi River, Guyana

Jabiru - Rupununi River, Guyana

Pied Lapwing is another species restricted to watercourses in the Amazon River Basin. We were able to approach several individuals as they roamed the sandbars. As someone who is rather fond of shorebirds I was thrilled to observe this striking species along a pristine river in Guyana. 

Pied Lapwing - Rupununi River, Guyana

Despite the wide variety of birds we were finding, the highlight was yet to come. I first spotted the Giant River Otter from a distance as we motored up the river and we spent the next 15 minutes watching as it hunted along the river. 

Giant River Otter - Rupununi River, Guyana

The Giant River Otter is found in widely scattered populations throughout Amazonia, though most populations are small and separated from each other.  The species is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List as it is threatened by degradation of its rivering habitats caused by mining, pesticides and loss of riparian habitat, among other factors. The Karanambu Trust and Eco-lodge was setup by the McTurk family, to ensure the sustainability use of the rivers and savannah through conservation, research and education. Diane McTurk for many years conducted research on the otters and other species, and providing education to the local communities about the benefits of conserving these habitats. Unfortunately Diane passed away relatively recently. 
  
Giant River Otter - Rupununi River, Guyana

The Giant River Otter spend some time crunching away on something, but it was hard to obtain a good enough look to identify the prey.

Giant River Otter - Rupununi River, Guyana

 As dusk approached we pulled off to the shore close to where the oxbow pond was found, as the low water levels prevented us from navigating directly into the wetland. We hiked through the dry forest, scaring up a Red-rumped Agouti along the way who took off like a shot in the undergrowth. 

Laura at the oxbow pond off the Rupununi River, Guyana

Victoria amazonica is a species of water lily found throughout the Amazon that is the world's largest water lily. Representing the official flower of Guyana, this water lily exhibits leaves up to three meters in diameter. As we sat by the water's edge, sipping rum punch, Primchan explained that the flowers open at dusk, as they are pollinated by a species of nocturnal beetle. 

Victoria Water Lily (Victoria amazonica) - Oxbow pond off the Rupununi River, Guyana

While we waited for some of the flowers to open, an abundance of life could be seen and heard throughout the pond. A Green Ibis and two Muscovy Dusks flew by, likely returning to their respective roosts for the night. While scanning the pond with my scope dozens of Spectacled Caimans and greater numbers of Purple Gallinules were easily seen among the lillies and other vegetation. Occasionally, an abrupt splash would be heard across the pond; presumably, this was evidence of a caiman making a meal out of a gallinule. 

Victoria Water Lily (Victoria amazonica) - Oxbow pond off the Rupununi River, Guyana

As the sun slipped over the horizon. we watched the lilies open while enjoying the peaceful evening. Several nighthawks took to the skies over the pond, including Least and Band-winged Nighthawks. Soon it was time to leave and our headlights illuminated the trails as we picked our way along the trail back to the boat. 

Always vigilant for eyeshine, we hoped to spot a snake on the trip back. Many caiman eyes could be seen along the edges of the river, and we found a few roosting Band-tailed Nighthawks and Green Iguanas, though the Amazon Tree Boas remained hidden. Occasional our flashlight beams would catch a Lesser Bulldog Bat, fishing along the river. 

Band-tailed Nighthawk - Rupununi River, Guyana

We returned to the lodge and enjoyed a delicious meal, complete with a birthday cake to celebrate Juha's 61st, putting a nice cap on an excellent first full day in Guyana.  

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Thursday, 26 July 2018

Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago: Part 2 (Rupununi Savannah, Karanambu Lodge)

Introduction
January 25-27, 2018 - Rupununi savannah, Karanambu Lodge
January 27, 2018 - Karanambu Lodge, boat cruise on the Rupununi River
January 28, 2018 - Rupununi savannah, Rock View Lodge
January 29, 2018 - Rock View Lodge and surroundings
January 30, 2018 - Rock View Lodge, drive to Atta Lodge

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January 25, 2018

On a cold, wintry evening, Laura and I arrived at Pearson International Airport in Toronto to embark on our honeymoon. As I mentioned in the Introduction, Laura had no idea where in the world we would be heading since I planned the entire trip as a complete surprise. Looking at the departure board, we scanned the list of destinations - Winnipeg, Edmonton, Montreal, Chicago - and one location stood out to Laura. Georgetown. Assuming I would not be so cruel as to plan our honeymoon to a blustery, snowy city in the dead of winter, she figured that we were off to Georgetown. Eventually I informed her which country Georgetown was located in, and then promptly began filling her in with details about the trip. We were more than a little excited!

January 26, 2018

Our overnight flight was uneventful and we both were able to grab a few hours of fitful sleep before our arrival at 4:30 AM in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. We stayed on the plane for our brief layer and as dawn appeared on the horizon, we were off again. This time we were cruising over the lush tropical forests of western Guyana.

forest over northwestern Guyana

We landed at the main international airport in Georgetown, with some Gray-breasted Martins representing our first birds of the trip. Stepping out of the plane a wave of heat and humidity overtook us; our Canadian bodies would need some time to acclimate. Within a few minutes of being in the new environment I started to feel more comfortable, and any slight worries that had been in the back of my mind in the days leading up to the trip quickly began to vanish. We were officially in Guyana and would be at our first lodge later that day!

Customs and baggage collection was a speedy affair in the tiny airport, and we grabbed a taxi to take us across town to the domestic airport. We had tickets booked on a small 20 seater plane which would take us south to the border town of Lethem, located across a river from Brazil. From here we would be meeting our driver, Thomas, who would take us deep into the heart of the Rupununi savannah to our first lodge,  Karanambu (number 2 on the map, below).


We were rather early for our flight and were not able to get on the earlier flight, so while we waited we did some exploring (Laura saw her first Wattled Jacanas and Crested Caracaras). Eventually we loaded onto the little plane and were off.

On our flight to Lethem, Guyana


It was late afternoon by the time we arrived in windy, dusty Lethem. We quickly found Thomas, our driver, and threw our packs into his little sedan. Bumping along a gravel road, Thomas soon turned off onto a dirt track that ran through the savannah, with only three hours of driving seperating us from the lodge. The landscape was beautiful as the sun lowered in the sky. Termite mounds dotted the horizon, while endless grassland and occasional wooded stream valleys passed by, outside our windows. As I had traveled in South America previously, most of the common species were familiar, but I eventually added my first lifers of the trip: Burnished-buff Tanager by the Lethem airport, and a flock of Red-shouldered Macaws flying past in the open savannah. Giant Anteaters unfortunately remained out of site through the duration of the drive.

Several hours later we finally arrived at Karanambu, though Thomas had to stop at a few homesteads along the way to obtain directions. Somehow he managed to avoid any flat tires or other car issues; quite the feat considering the state of the "road"! We said our goodbyes to Thomas and checked in to the lodge. It felt great to be here following a long twenty-four hours of travel. That evening before heading to bed we found a few "friends" including a scorpion in the shower and a Red-snouted Treefrog in the toilet that promptly lept out of the bowl when I turned to flush. It was great to be back in the Neotropics, even if it meant one had to be a little bit more vigilant about where they stepped, and take care to investigate the toilet for any frogs before using it!

January 27

Too excited to sleep, I was up before dawn to listen to the savannah come alive with birdsong. It is always a challenge during the first few days in a new area. While some of the birds were vaguely familiar from previous trips to Neotropics, many were not. Slowly though, I committed the new songs to memory and began to feel a little more comfortable. Among the dawn chorus on our first day, Undulated Tinamou and Variable (Little) Chachalaca were new and exciting.

The previous evening at dinner we met our guide Manny who would be accompanying us during our two days at Karanambu, as well as Patty; a well-traveled Brit around our age, who was working and living at the lodge at the moment. We formulated a plan which involved an early morning drive on one of the pickup trucks through the savannah, to look for a Giant Anteater. The other two guests staying at the lodge - a Brit named Catharine and a Finn named Juha, both solo travelers - joined us for the savannah drive. Later in the day we would also head out to the nearby river to search for caimans, birds, giant river otters and whatever else we could find.

Early morning wildlife drive - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

The early morning drive was fantastic and we stopped frequently whenever one of us spotted something interesting. It felt awesome to be cruising through the savannah at dawn, with the warm air blowing through our hair. The oppressive temperatures and humidity would surely be arriving later in the day, but these first few hours were just magical.

Rupununi savannah - near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

At one point, a small black and white tyrannid drew my attention as we passed near a small creek and so I banged on the roof of the cab to stop the truck. I was thrilled when, after vacating the truck and walking out into the savannah, the bird re-appeared, showing itself as a White-naped Xenopsaris. This species is one of several that has a disjunct population, with most individuals found in the southern Amazon and the Pampas of Argentina and Paraguay, but a much smaller population located in the Rupununi savannah and other open habitats in northern Venezuela.

White-naped Xenopsaris - savannah near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

A few guys had gone ahead of our truck on dirtbikes, scouring the savannah in hopes of spotting a Giant Anteater. We had been driving for well over an hour, stopping periodically, when the call came over the radio that an anteater had been spotted. Off we went!

Watching a Giant Anteater - savannah near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

The Giant Anteater was a fascinating animal to see in person as it slowly ambled through the savannah. With a long thin snout used for sucking up termites, and a long bushy tail, we both remarked that it had the appearance of a household cleaning appliance - vacuum on the front, feather duster on the back.

Giant Anteater - savannah near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

Considered Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List, Giant Anteaters have been extirpated across much of their former range, especially in Central America and southern South America. The reasons behind this are multifaceted, as is usually the case. Habitat loss, dietary specificity, low reproductive rates and deaths caused by fires and roadkills all likely play a significant role. Fortunately the population in the Rupununi seems relatively large and stable, for now.

Giant Anteater - savannah near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

It was a treat to be face to face with such an iconic species, and we soaked in every minute. It was not even 7:00 AM on our first day, and we had already bagged one of the highlight species for the trip!

Giant Anteater - savannah near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

Continuing on, a curious Crab-eating Fox watched us from a short distance away as we cruised past in the pickup, necessitating a stop. Crab-eating Foxes are relatively common in South America but this was my first awesome look at one. Laura was thrilled with the encounter as well!

Crab-eating Fox - savannah near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

Crab-eating Fox - savannah near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

Shortly afterwards some problems with the truck occurred, and it appeared that we would be walking the rest of the way. I felt sorry for the guys having to deal with the truck. We found out later that it was quite an expensive affair to get it fixed.

Broken down truck - savannah near Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

We were only a few kilometers from the lodge and slowly made our way back. Despite the early hour, the sun was up and quickly roasting the savannah. While walking back I paused to watch a White-tailed Goldenthroat, while later we found a little group of Red-capped Cardinals.

Red-capped Cardinals - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

By 7:45 AM we were back at the lodge, having thoroughly enjoyed the morning. Before breakfast, we tried out the hammocks and made a friend with one of the local cats. 

Making friends - Karanambu Lodge, Guyana

In the next installment, I'll detail the rest of our first day at Karanambu.

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Introduction
January 25-27, 2018 - Rupununi savannah, Karanambu Lodge
January 27, 2018 - Karanambu Lodge, boat cruise on the Rupununi River
January 28, 2018 - Rupununi savannah, Rock View Lodge
January 29, 2018 - Rock View Lodge and surroundings
January 30, 2018 - Rock View Lodge, drive to Atta Lodge

Friday, 20 July 2018

Better late than never - Point Pelee: May 18-21, 2018

Spring always seems to fly by much too quickly and this year was no exception. My last weekend of spring birding at Point Pelee spanned the dates of May 18 through May 21 and it was a little bittersweet. The birding and socializing was a blast as usual but it was also starting to feel like summer. Most normal people would appreciate that, but as a birder who's favourite time of year is the rush of spring migration, summer represents the end of something awesome. But I shouldn't be too melancholy - this final weekend at Point Pelee was a good one!

I arrived in the Pelee circle sometime in the late afternoon. After the customary stop at Wheatley harbour and a cruise through the fields I ended up in the park, electing to walk the Pioneer and Sleepy Hollow areas on my own. It felt great to stretch my legs and look at some warblers; a few Black Terns chased each other offshore as well. Eventually I ran into Amanda Guercio, Tim Arthur and Jeremy Bensette. We watched a little pocket of songbirds around the parking lot of Northwest Beach, then decided to bird together along the footpath south of here. The birding was not off-the-hook, but there were definitely things around. Eastern Wood-Pewees were present in numbers; some even were low enough for photos. I finished with around 70 species for the evening despite it feeling like the birds were not super abundant. That's spring for you.

Eastern Wood-Pewee - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Saturday morning dawned moderately warm and sunny and I made my way back into the park. I can't exactly recall everything that happened that day but I'm pretty sure I birded mostly by myself in the morning. Following a few weekends of birding constantly with others (which can be awesome as well!), I was pretty content to get a chance to bird on my own.

Highlights along the west beach footpath included a White-eyed Vireo and a Tufted Titmouse; both were between Pioneer and Sleepy Hollow. For some reason it had been an excellent spring for White-eyed Vireos and I certainly saw more than my share. I think I found around seven or so at Point Pelee this spring and it seemed like others were reporting the species more often than what is typical as well.

White-eyed Vireo - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Below are a few more photos of birds I encountered on Saturday morning. As we were approaching late May female warblers dominated the scene. Males generally migrate earlier in the spring to duke it out with the other males to claim the prime territories on the breeding grounds, while the females arrive a week or two later.

American Redstart - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Canada Warbler - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Common Yellowthroats are a common breeding species at Point Pelee. It is sometimes difficult to determine which birds are residents and which are just passing through.

Common Yellowthroat - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Baltimore Orioles may be common but it is hard to get sick of them, especially when they are down low, posing for the camera!

Baltimore Oriole - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Hormones run high at this time of year. A gaggle of four male Brown-headed Cowbirds were doing their very best to impress the lone female, who looks rather bored with the proceedings.

Brown-headed Cowbirds - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Gray Catbirds often skulk deep in the thickets but they can be surprisingly confiding at times.

Gray Catbird - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Gray Catbird - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

As the day progressed and the warm temperatures began to shut down bird activity, I left the park to explore some other areas. Kopegaron Woods was my destination. This tract contains some beautiful oak and maple swamps and other examples of Carolinian forests. I was focused too much on plants during this visit so unfortunately I don't have any photos of birds or other wildlife to share.

Eventually as the afternoon progressed and the heat began to diminish, I left the lush, shady confines of Kopegaron Woods and headed back into the park. A quick stop at Wheatley harbour produced a single Willet which promptly got up and flew southwest towards Point Pelee.

It was a beautiful evening at Point Pelee and I explored some trails along the west side of the park with a few friends. An Acadian Flycatcher just south of the Northwest Beach parking lot was our main highlight, while this Red-breasted Merganser also tolerated my approach for a few photos.

Red-breasted Merganser - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Sunday was an awesome day of birding and certainly one of the better days I experienced this spring. I began by parking at the West Beach parking lot and walking the footpath south towards the tip and it was evident right away that quite a few new birds had arrived overnight. A Green Heron was perched at the tip of a dead tree as I arrived at the parking lot - likely a new arrival - and promptly flew south and out of site. This Eastern Kingbird did not, and I took some photos I was pleased with despite the low light levels at that early morning hour.

Eastern Kingbird - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Earlier in the week a Black-billed Magpie had been seen sporadically at various locations in the south end of the park. It was found on Wednesday and was also seen on Thursday, but it did not show on Friday or Saturday. I figured it probably had left the area but kept an eye to the sky just in case. As I was walking down the west beach footpath I received a notification that William Konze had relocated the magpie flying over Sparrow Field! That lit a fire under my ass and I speed-walked down the rest of the trail. It was then seen flying over the tram stop, then the tip, then the Tram Loop again...finally, I arrived at Sparrow Field and began my vigil, while talking on the phone to Steve Pike who had just observed the bird at the Tram Loop. Only a minute later and the magpie flew over my head, completely backlit by the sun, but easily identifiable with that distinctive black and white wing pattern and long tail. Awesome!

Other soon joined me at Sparrow Field and the magpie flew over a few more times, allowing us to take some decent enough flight photos.

Black-billed Magpie - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Black-billed Magpie is a bird of the mountains and prairies, though it does reach Ontario in the Rainy River District as well as some portions of Kenora and Thunder Bay Districts in northwestern Ontario. The species does show up out of range from time to time, but this is complicated by the fact that their have been a few known instances of birds escaping from captivity. Ultimately we will never know the provenance of this bird, though given the time of year and the bird's behaviour I would not be surprised if it was a wild bird.

Black-billed Magpie - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

It was exciting to finally catch up on the Black-billed Magpie, and I was thrilled I managed a few photos as well. Thanks to everyone for the frequent updates on the whatsapp group!

A few minutes later several of us were standing around, chatting, near the south end of Sparrow Field along the main park road. Kory and I noticed a warbler flitting around in some nearby trees and we both realized around the same time what species it was. Cerulean Warbler!!

Cerulean Warbler - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Cerulean has declined in southern Ontario due to a number of factors, but mainly due to habitat loss both on the breeding grounds in eastern North America, and on the wintering grounds in South America. It is always a treat to encounter one during migration.

Cerulean Warbler - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

For the rest of the day I continued birding in the south half of the National Park - in fact I stayed south of the Visitor's Centre all day - leaving only after it was too dark to see. The great birding remained steady all day. All six vireos were represented, including a White-eyed that I found at the north end of the Sleepy Hollow parking lot, and a few Yellow-throated including this one which came down low.

Yellow-throated Vireo - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo


Flycatchers had invaded the park as well. I tallied about a dozen Yellow-bellied and two Olive-sided, among many of the more common species.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo


Olive-sided Flycatcher - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo


Given the large influx of birds and time of year it was not surprising that a few Connecticut Warblers were scattered throughout the park. Unfortunately they eluded me, but I did catch up with 22 other species of warblers. Bay-breasted, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided and Blackburnian were around in large numbers.

Bay-breasted Warbler - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Bay-breasted Warbler - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

 Magnolia Warbler - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Magnolia Warbler - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

But Scarlet Tanagers really stole the show. Just along one stretch of the Woodland Nature Trail there were well over a dozen individuals, and many more scattered throughout the rest of the park. . It was just an awesome day, and a great way to close out my time at Point Pelee this spring.

Scarlet Tanager - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo


The following morning I birded a few trails in the north end of the park but soon enough it was time to begin the long drive home. I'll close with a few wildflowers I photographed on that last morning.

Herb-Robert - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo

Wild Blue Phlox - Point Pelee National Park, Ontairo