Sunday, May 15, 2011

Migrant traps

I usually head to Point Pelee National Park if I want to see lots of spring migrants but there are other places in the Windsor region that can be very productive for birding. One relatively unknown location is the Big O Conservation Area on the outskirts of Comber. 

Woodlots are few and far between in this part of the county which is devoted to growing corn, soybeans and winter wheat. Woodland birds have very few choices on where to rest and search for food during migration and this small patch of swampy woodland can be full of migrant birds in May. This "migrant trap" was alive with birds last weekend yet I was the only birder present. Here are a few of the birds present that day.

Blue-headed Vireo

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

  Black-throated Blue Warbler


  1. Paul, beautiful photos! I went to the Big-O facility in Comber last year and found that the staff had no idea that it was designated a birding hotspot on a tourism map of Ontario. I found I didn't know where to go as I walked around. As a quick side note Paul, I photographed a Chestnut sided Warbler at Black Oak Heritage Park on June 9th this summer, which might hint at possible breeding evidence. I'm not sure if that sighting would be of interest for your Ontario Atlas work.

  2. The conservation authority has obtained a new access point for this woods which they will be developing as a trail head and parking lot.

  3. Fantastic photos. May I ask what gear you were using to take these photos?

  4. These images were taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 400 f4 lens plus 1.4 teleconverter. Glad you liked the photos.