Birding in 

Windsor-essex and chatham-kent

By Erica Spotton

Part 2 to this week is about where to see Birds in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.

Ojibway Park

Just over 240 species have been recorded in Ojibway Park. The Ojibway Nature Centre can be accessed on Matchette Road by Titcombe street. This is one of the largest protected tall-grass prairie and oak savanna habitats in Canada. Its 777 acres of natural parkland attracts numerous species of birds, including Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Indigo Bunting and many migrant warblers. They are looking at getting Ojibway shores this summer to bring it to 810 acres making it as big as central park in New York City.


 

Point Pelee National Park

Point Pelee National Park is known for their birds and often called "The Warbler Capital of North America". Each spring and fall, tons of birds pass through, they have an impressive checklist with 386 species. Point Peele is known for the movement of warblers through the Park with 42 that have been seen at Point Pelee out of 55 species of American wood warblers.The peak of spring migration occurs in mid-May before most trees have leafed out and coincides with their annual Festival of Birds. During the Migration many people flock to the park to see the birds from far and wide.

Holiday Beach Conservation Area. 

This park is located on the North shore of Lake Erie just outside of Amherstburg. Holiday Beach is one of the best places in North America to observe large groups of migrating raptors between mid September and late November.They can see on a daily up to 96,000 hawks, 600 hummingbirds, 250,000 Blue Jays, 4,500 American Goldfinches, 10,000 Cedar Waxwings and 30,000 Americans Crows during this migration.

Rondeau Provincial Park

Throughout the spring, thousands of dedicated birders flock to Rondeau to witness the journey of spring migrants as they pass through our peninsula.  Over 360 species of birds have been seen in the Rondeau area, and at least 130 of those are classified as breeding in the park. Rondeau is a peninsula that extends into Lake Erie. They see a variety of species as they make their journey north in the spring, and back south in the fall. 

Wheatley Provincial Park 

Wheatley Provincial Park is located on a major migratory bird route and therefore provides excellent bird watching opportunities. During spring and fall migrations you can view a variety of warblers, hawks, thrushes and flycatchers. Or watch herons and egrets wade in the shallows of creeks that wind their way through the park.

 

Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary

This world-famous refuge for Canada Geese is just north of Kingsville on Division Road. The 300 acre Sanctuary contains a museum and nature centre which is open year-round from 8am to 5pm, daily. Here one can view the spring and fall migratory flight of Canada Geese. During the spring and summer months, the large open fields provide opportunities to view open meadow birds such as Savannah Sparrows, Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks.

Blenheim Sewage Lagoons

The Blenheim Sewage Lagoons is popular for birders. Access is by permission only, and a permit is available from the local municipal office in Blenheim.Sewage lagoons aren't where people often think to see birds and they are flocked with them. Birds love the areas because during migration they require huge amounts of energy to continue their journey. They are looking for the abundance of food, in the lagoon and it's also bodies of water which they love

 

St. Clair National Wildlife Area

Located in Chatham-Kent County east of Lighthouse Cove on the Shores of Lake St. Clair Herons, egrets, birds of prey, shorebirds and songbirds all pass through the area. Immense flocks of Tundra Swans can be observed in mid March and to a lesser extent in mid November. This is the best location to find Least Bitterns and Yellow-headed Blackbirds in the nesting season. 

 

Hillman Marsh Conservation Area

The 850 acre marsh is located by the eastern shore of Lake Erie. There are five km’s of walking trails located at the northwest corner of the marsh. Wooded patches near the roads bordering it, have some pockets of passerines where you can sometimes see rare warblers and vireos. There’s also dead standing trees that support flocks of Double-crested Cormorants. 

Kopegaron Woods Conservation Area

Located just north of Hillman Marsh, this conservation area provides 47 acres of excellent woodland birding during migration. 

Ruscom Shores Conservation Area

A significant marsh situated on Lake St. Clair just outside of Belle River and attracts shore/marsh birds and songbirds during migration and breeding season.

Big-O Conservation Area

The Big-O Conservation Area adjacent to the sewage lagoons in Comber. They have recorded migrants during spring such as Parula, Prothonotary, Cerulean and Hooded Warblers, Summer Tanager and Henslow's Sparrow.

Wheatley Harbour

The harbour area is an excellent location to look for odd gulls among the Large Groups of Herring and Ring-billed Gulls that loaf on the beach and piers.

O’Neil Nature Preserve (Formerly Paxton’s Bush)

Migrating birds seek out this place as it is a natural area surrounded by either a residential or agricultural landscape both of which are attractive to migrating birds in need of food and rest. The resident pair of Great Horned Owls are always a highlight, especially when they have baby owlets in Spring. 

Information Gathered from

http://www.ojibway.ca/birding.htm

https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/wheatley/activities

http://rondeauprovincialpark.ca/activities/birding/

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g181757-d12484757-Reviews-O_Neil_Nature_Preserve-Chatham_Chatham_Kent_Ontario.html

Photos Taken by Erica Spotton

© 2020 Erica Spotton

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