Friday, I decided to check out Fanshawe CA at the NE corner of London. Seeds are always put out at the start of Tamarack trail and that attracts many birds.
A year ago, we had the Evening Grosbeak there as a highlight. Nothing like that this winter, but a Chipping Sparrow decided stick around. I saw it for a FOY (first of year), among other birds as soon as I got out of the car.
A White-crowned Sparrow was also in the mix, along with numerous American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos.
The Black-capped Chickadees are quite used to people and they will even attempt to land on you. So, you better have some sunflower seeds on hand!
I walked around a bit after observing the "feeder" birds, including through the Tamarack tree area. I was reminded of the Black-backed Woodpecker that was somewhere around these parts back in the early 1990's.
|Scene at Fanshawe|
At least the rain held off by this time, but as I headed back west of London, it started up, signalling the start of the weekend.
I had the intention of touring around Skunk's Misery and north of Newbury looking for raptors, especially Golden Eagles, but it was too miserable to do much. I did, however, encounter one eagle in the Misery, FOY.
By this time, fuel was getting low (lol), so I stopped by Thamesville to fill up, then headed towards Rondeau. Some decent wintering birds have been in the area recently, including the annual Wilson's Snipe on Stefina, and a couple of Double-crested Cormorants at the 'Eau.
The snipe was barely visible in the pouring rain. At Erieau, it was downright nasty, but I did see one cormorant on the rocks. Both FOY.
At one point, I caught sight of a White-winged Scoter in the channel, a FOY.
A male Canvasback was looking lonely in the Marina.
Today, the weather was a little better, but it did rain a bit as I headed down to Wheatley and Hillman Marsh.
Five Bonaparte's Gulls were FOY at the harbour.
Hillman Marsh turned out to be fairly interesting. The sun even came out for a while, which was certainly a novelty for a Saturday.
I ended up seeing about six Great Blue Herons, FOY.
More bonies were around, totalling about 25. Lots of Ring-billed Gulls were around today.
As I walked towards the shorebird cell, a Northern Shrike caught my eye...a FOY.
At the boardwalk, I managed to hear the Marsh Wren for a FOY. One seems to be in this area each winter. One cannot get close as the area is too flooded.
The main area of the marsh is totally open to the lake now. There were lots of geese and gulls. I half expected a white-fronted goose, but they were all regular Canadas.
Point Pelee park was open today, for the first time since the deer cull. It was quite busy with people.
I walked Shuster Trail first thing. Over 1000 Common Goldeneye were out on the lake. So that is where they all are!
I did not have a scope on hand, so likely I missed a Barrow's.
While walking back the trail, an Amerian Pipit flew over, a FOY.
At the VC, a Common Grackle flew overhead, not a FOY.
I next headed to the Tip and met up with Jeremy Bensette. There was not much activity, but a couple of White-winged Scoters flew by (SOY...lol). Another single bonie flew by, so I suspect some have come in lately.
We headed to Sparrow Field, and along the way, a flock of kinglets and creepers was seen. A single Ruby was among them, not a FOY,
Sparrow Field had a number of Northern Cardinals, and singing Song Sparrow.
Later, I checked Cactus Field and came across the only three Black-capped Chickadees of the day.
On the way home, I checked out Lighthouse Cove. A number of gulls were way out on the lake. The strange Mallard-type ducks were still around. Some nice colour combinations!
Through Dover Township, there were well over 1000 Tundra Swans.
Mitchell's Bay revealed nothing of note.