Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wheatley, May 8-10 2015

Yahoo!! We are out exploring again. It was a wonderful weekend for our first adventure and we had a great time on the southern tip of the province. I was surprised to see that most of the trees in the area are just starting to bud  because the trees at home are all leafing out. That was unusual as they are often ahead of ours. The temperatures were in the high 20's and with the humidity we had low 30's. We set up camp and went for a trip around the park to check out the sights. It was quiet at the marsh except for the Koi fish that were jumping and swimming all around. This was the first time we saw this type of fish at Wheatley. I wonder if someone dumped them in there to get rid of them. On our way back to camp we saw a couple of deer by the road. This is the first time we had seen deer at Wheatley. We enjoyed a bbq'd dinner and a relaxing evening by the campfire.
Saturday we headed to Point Pelee for the day. We were surprised at how few birds there were on the point. We heard that there were large numbers of them on Wednesday after they had had 2 days of heavy rain. I was able to get my first photos of the male Orchard Oriole and a female Scarlet Tanager so that was exciting. We headed to the marsh area but were not there long when a thunderstorm rolled in so we headed back to Wheatley. The rain followed us and we had a heavy rain for about an hour. We enjoyed a wonderful late dinner that had been cooking most of the day in the crock pot. The rest of the evening we spent relaxing.
Sunday morning we headed off to explore some of the park and to see if we could find the pair of baby Great Horned owls that we heard were in the park. I was so excited when I spotted one of them way up in a tree along the path. I was able to take a number of pictures while watching and listening to it. After about half an hour I was able to find the other one and this one was much more active. I watched  it stretch its wings and travel from one tree to another. The wing span was huge compared to it body size. I was lucky and got some photos as it flew from one branch on the tree to a lower branch on another. We were not able to find either of the parents but other visitors to the park had seen them. After brunch we packed up and headed to Rondeau Park for a few hours on our way home. We hiked the Tulip Trail and came across a male Prothonotary Warbler. These birds are very rare in Ontario and nest in swampy habitats that are inaccessible to birders. You can usually only see them when they are foraging for insects if you are at the right place at the right time. This was my lucky day as I was able to get a few photos of it to show that I really did see him. The stop at Rondeau was well worth it this day. At 5:30 we headed out for the final 2 hour journey home. Our first weekend away was exciting and relaxing even though we spent most of Saturday hiking around Point Pelee. Can hardly wait for this weekends trip as it will be a 3 day adventure.

Lake Erie was very calm and hazy

Chipping Sparrow enjoying the morning sun

Yellow beauty of the trout lillies

Gray Catbird protecting its territory

Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk

Red Admiral butterfly at the point

Red Admiral with wings open

Chestnut Sided Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler at Rondeau Park

Prothonotary Warbler in the sunlight

Wild Violets basking in the sun

Baby Great Horned Owl 

Lots of downy feathers

Yellow Warbler drying off after a bath

Last years remains on the oak tree

Downy Woodpecker making wood chips

Koi fish at the marsh

Female Scarlet Tanager at Point Pelee

Red Headed Woodpecker
This bird was scared off by a Barn Swallow

Male Orchard Oriole

Male Baltimore Oriole singing for a lady
This Trillium was very large

Male Common Yellowthroat Warbler at Pelee

Sassafras tree budding

Second baby Great Horned looks like a fur ball
Great Horned stretching its wing
Baby owl showing off its wings feathers
 Getting ready to fly to a lower branch

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