O.K, so why did I go to Port Burwell Provincial Park this morning instead of the closer (for me) migrant trap that is Long Point? For one, I was there yesterday and found the park to be rather quiet so I thought I'd try somewhere else. More important however is that I believe Port Burwell could produce some really exciting birds. Take for example this list of birds from the past several years: Black-throated Gray Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Black-throated Sparrow, Great-tailed Grackle, Harris's Sparrow, Spotted Towhee. All these birds were found in fall/winter at either the bird feeder of two local birders, or were found on the Christmas Bird Count. These rare birds were found when you have people looking - imagine that! So we have this incredible list of fall and winter birds, but nothing "crazy" from the spring as far as I know.
I believe this is a direct product of Port Burwell being well under-birded in spring. Sure, there are some great local birders there that regularly bird the park, but it doesn't get near the traffic of Long Point or Point Pelee. And having birded the park just this morning, I can attest that there is a lot of ground to cover for just one person ( I didn't see a soul this morning, not even a dog walker). There really aren't many people that live out that way, and people from larger urban centres are going to travel to well known hotspots instead. Even for myself, it's hard to justify going to Burwell when there are so many great spots in and around Long Point. Having said that, I'm going to force myself to check Port Burwell a bit more this spring to see how it stacks up to the other migrant traps on Lake Erie.
Extensive sand beach.
Flooded Red-Osier Dogwoods - where the Northern Waterthrush was.
Fairly old beech and maple forest.
Thought I better put a critter photo in here somewhere. Brown Thrashers were singing everywhere.