This is the first of two posts on the Pointe Pelee Bird Count which took place on December 19th, 2016. But let me step back now…
I joined the Western Parks Canada club in October 2016.
In December, I learned that one of the leaders of the club, Cara McGuire, was organizing a field trip to Pointe Pelee National Park. A major bird counting effort was going to take place at the Park.
Five Western students did go and I was one of them. We left London at 6 a.m. and arrived at the Visitors Centre of the Park shortly after 8 a.m. The car trip gave me a chance to get to know my classmates. They were from different faculties and backgrounds, so it was great to chat about international and local activities each of us had undertaken
We met other bird count participants in a dining area that had been set up in the back of the auditorium of the Visitors Centre. There, the director of the bird count welcomed us and later she invited us to get a hot drink before starting on the bird watching hike that would eventually take us to several scenic areas of the park.
There were 9 groups of bird counters altogether – ours was essentially the rookie group, i.e. people on their first bird count.
During the first hike, we traversed the Visitors Centre parking lot diagonally to reach a hiking trail. The open areas of the parking lot gave us the first opportunity to see flocks of starlings in trees, and to discern a few more flying away at our approach, as we started to walk into the woods.
These early sightings gave me a good feeling. “Yes, I too can figure out how to spot birds!”
The featured image shows the beach on the eastern side of the park