Saturday, October 22, 2016

Brisk 'n Birdy

It was a good day for birding, but brisk and cold.  I was tempted to go to Sarnia but thought I would get more bang for my buck at Rondeau Park.  Yesterday, a couple of decent birds were at the lakewatch spot at Sarnia on the northerly wind!

I started at Dog Beach in Rondeau Park for a lakewatch.  There were not many gulls, but lots of ducks.  All three scoters were represented today, scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, etc.
woodcock making a beeline for the woods
Steve Charbonneau joined me and we were amused again with the passerines coming in off the lake. A total of 6 American Woodcock, a couple of Hermit Thrushes, several American Robins, Pipits, a junco and even a meadowlark (presumably Eastern) were among the mix.

The only other shorebird today was a Dunlin that I saw before Steve arrived.
While there, we got word of a couple of Cattle Egrets near Shrewsbury, flying inland.  Steve later went off to look for them, but they were not found again to my knowledge.

I continued on to south point trail where there were good pockets of birds.  Most were Yellow-rumped and kinglets of course, but others were mixed in.

Purple Finch

I had one very good spot with 2 Blackpoll Warblers, 3 Palm (one being of the hypochrysea type), a late Eastern Wood Peewee and other birds.

Blackpoll Warbler

The "eastern" Palm co-operated quite nicely. It is the second one I have seen this fall at Rondeau.

As often is the case this time of year, Eastern Bluebirds flock up and one group of about 30 was on south point trail.  I saw a few more later, including 3 at the old Dillon dump.  There I also accumulated 3 Black-legged Ticks!  (I hope that was all).  October is the worst time of year for the critters at Rondeau, although this year they have not been too bad.

Behind maintenance, I found the robins.  There were dozens plus just as many White-throated Sparrows.

On to Blenheim Lagoons....
The 3 Barn Swallows were still present diligently searching for food.

There were several hundred Ruddy Ducks, plus several other species including Blue-winged Teal (there were more than the 8 I reported on eBird, but who was counting?)
Also present was a "farm" duck which looked out of place.

In the sprinkler cells, shorebirds included 3 Lesser Yellowlegs, 4 Greater Yellowlegs, a Dunlin, a Least Sandpiper, a Pectoral Sandpiper and several Killdeer.

The lagoons were full of Bonaparte's Gulls, but as usual, nothing with them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More Late Leps

This morning was quite calm, but balmy and a bit foggy.  I stopped by Roberta Stewart Wetland first thing for a walk.

There were not many birds.  Usually the bulk of birds are blackbirds and I could hear them roosting in the distance.  At dawn, you can get tens of thousands coming off the island this time of year.

At noon, I took a quick look at Brander Park and the 4 Silver-spotted Skippers were still present.
After work, I stopped by Peers Wetland.  There were not many birds, but butterflies seemed more interesting.

Highlight was a Peck's Skipper, the latest I have seen one.

There were about 3 Eastern Tailed-blues.

A Common Buckeye and several Common Checkered-Skippers.