Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Morning Sandhill Fix

I was curious yesterday to see if the Sandhill Cranes (~70) were still hanging around.  I stopped at Stewart Wetland, where they usually pass right over, Monday morning.  I did not wait long enough, but as soon as I pulled away in my car, one group of approximately 35 was over Walpole Island.

I then went my usual lookout at Port Lambton before work.  I usually see a White-winged Scoter or two (or four!) each morning, and the last two days did not disappoint.
An old familiar duck soon swam out front.

This hermaphrodite has been around 6 or 7 years, but strangely it was only the third time I have seen it this year.

This morning was a calm morning, so I went for a walk at Stewart Wetland.

Morning Mallards

At 07:27, Sandhill Cranes were in sight over Walpole Island.

Over Walpole Island

There were two main groups that totalled 69 all together.  I thought that was it, but five minutes later four more stragglers went over.  This group has been around for over 3 weeks.
I have not located the exact field they feed in west of Wallaceburg.

I know they come from Michigan since I have seen the flock a couple of times heading over Harsen's Island.

Looking towards Wallaceburg

In other news, a female King Eider has been hanging around with Canvasbacks in Sarnia's Lake Chipican.  Lake Chipican of all places!
M.B. has some nice photos on his eBird list from yesterday.
Eider at Canatara Park

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Summer At Rondeau

It was a clear and crisp morning at Rondeau today.  There was more snow at Wallaceburg than Rondeau! Dressed for the weather, Steve and I did a lakewatch at Beach 'O Dogs first thing as usual. Lots of gulls were moving today and few more Common Loons.

Early on, a Franklin's Gull made an appearance to the east with Ring-billed.  So, some are still around!  This one was too far away from us though for any photo.

Herring Gull feeding on dead fish

South point trail was certainly a little more active than yesterday.  There were more kinglets (inc. 3 Ruby-crowned) and a few Purple Finches.  Fox Sparrows put in a good showing today on south point and at the campground.  Still no warblers though, so we are basically done with those!

More American Tree Sparrows appeared today, with a large group at the end of Lakeshore Road.

The campground was stirred up by a Great-Horned Owl. It was the second one I saw today, as I had one fly over the road just outside the gate first thing.

Campground View

A huge group of juncos was at the traffic circle area again today.

Off beach access 8, an adult Red-throated Loon was swimming. True to form, it suddenly disappeared, never to be seen by us again.
It was calm there and hopes of one last Cave Swallow never came to be.  We did not have a place to sit down and relax though.All the benches along that side are half buried, lol.

Large numbers of Tundra Swans were on the move today.  Massive 'V's' were seen.

After Steve left, I did my usual thing to find something good down Lakeshore Road.  A tanager was on my mind, and just as soon as I pulled up to the spot where I had it yesterday, it was feeding on the lawn!

Garry Sadler arrived at the same time from the other direction, but he could not see it from his vantage point.  I got out of the car and pointed out the Summer Tanager.

I informed Ric and Anne McArthur and they came out to get some good looks.  Steve Charbonneau came shortly afterwards.

At home, I looked at the photos closer and noticed red staining on the bill.  I thought the bill looked reddish in the field and that had me wondering.  It did pick out a worm and some insects while actively feeding beside the shed.

Who knows if this is the same bird we had a month ago. I thought that one had more red on it.

The only other late fall record in the Rondeau birding area is one that came to a feeder in Blenheim 27 December 1993--8 January 1994.  (Thanks to Jim Burk for digging out that info).