Birder's Guide

JAN 2019

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 55 of 67

Ontario's Birding Trail 54 Birder's Guide to Travel | January 2019 pride that comes with the positive identifi- cation of what is quickly becoming his new favorite bird shines through. The wind is blowing tall reeds to and fro as we amble along the waterfront, where busy Barn Swallows skim bugs off the wa- ter. There's a Killdeer a short distance away doing its best broken-wing impression. I explain to Finn how the act is a protective measure. "He looks like a deformed pigeon!" Finn says, causing us to laugh loudly. On a boardwalk over a small body of marshy water, Finn gets down on his belly trying to take a creative shot. His golden hair shines in the sun, matching the color of the cattails, and it warms me to see him embrace the moment. We trek through a woody patch follow- ing flitting warblers. Though we haven't been walking long, Finn begins to com- plain again, so I leave him at a bench to rest, and carry on. I pass a few Red-winged Blackbirds bathing in grassy puddles, and a pair of Yellow Warblers flash their sunshine sheens, swaying in harmony on branches. This time, they follow me from bush to bush. Immersed in trills, songs, and squawks, I feel happy and connected. However, it's short lived. "Mommmmmmmm!" Finn shouts from the bench. "Ten more minutes", I respond, frus- trated. I see his hands go up in the air as I con - tinue the other way. He stomps away in true pre-teen fashion as I trek on a bit far- ther before begrudgingly moseying back to the car. A short city break is needed, so we head to Kingsville, a town full of charming Victo- rian homes and delightful bird references. While walking along a quaint Main Street, we spot some chocolate birds in a window. Once inside Dutch Boys, we find precisely sculpted dessert birds and meet the two creative spirits who own the shop. Inspired by the area, Cor Boon, an award-winning wood carver, greets us and shares the pro - cess he and sculptor Henry Noestheden employ to create the decadent sculptures. "This is an amazing part of the country that we live in", exclaims Cor. En route to Point Pelee National Park, we stop for a quick bite at a double-decker "bustaurant" aptly named Birdie's Perch. Point Pelee, which is Canada's second- smallest national park, has been on my wish list for years. It is an Important Bird Area and is on the UNESCO list of Wetlands of International Importance. The first nation- al park in Canada established for conser- vation, it offers more biodiversity than any other national park and sees around 390 migrating bird species each year. As the southernmost point of mainland Canada, it's located at the same latitude as California (and Rome and Barcelona, too). Spirits are high and the sun is shining as we enter the park. Finn beams when he sees the oTENTik—a raised-platform, tented A-frame structure that has every- thing we need to camp. Like he once did when he was small, Finn sets off exploring. Before turning in for the night, he insists on teaching me how to floss—no, not my clockwise from bottom left : n Tree Swallow. n Blackburnian Warbler. n The author's son, Finn, feeds a White-breasted Nuthatch. n Birders at Rondeau Provincial Park. Photos © Jenn Smith Nelson Continued on page 56

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