Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Post: Rondeau-Blenheim-Ridgetown

Down at Rondeau Park this morning, it was birds a-plenty!  I met up with Jim Burk and we spent almost 3h on south point trail.  As one would expect, most numerous were Yellow-rumped Warblers and kinglets.  We had six species of warblers in total, one vireo, and all the usual sparrows including an American Tree Sparrow.

One of many Ruby-crowned Kinglets

There were several western Palm Warblers and none of the hypochrysea subspecies which would have been nice to see.

At least two Tennessee Warblers were found, several Nashvilles and about ten Orange-crowned.

Eastern Phoebes were numerous, but no other flycatchers much to our dismay.

A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was still hanging out on south point.

Pine Siskins have been increasing in numbers, with several flocks around today.  Purple Finches were plentiful as well.

The lake was somewhat active with lots of Bonaparte's Gulls and Horned Grebes and many flocks of scaup and Red-breasted Mergansers.

After covering the park, I went over to Erieau and noted several thousand ducks on Rondeau Bay. One can only wonder what is out there!

On to Blenheim Lagoons, there were several shorebirds in the sprinklers.  Nothing new from last week species-wise, but the Long-billed Dowitcher was still present along with the Wilson's Snipe, a left-over Stilt Sandpiper and a few Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Both yellowlegs, Dunlin and a Pec were among the group.

Several pipits were there and this photo turned out rather well!

Pipit on a Pipe

I decided to check Ridgetown Lagoons as well.  As always, lots of geese there and I did pick out three of the Cackling variety.  Could have been others there as well, but some were hidden by weeds.
Six Tree Swallows were working the airspace of one pond.

Another weekend has come and gone quickly, so on to another week....

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sarnia Lakewatch--Finally!

Today appeared to be the first decent day for lakewatching at Sarnia this fall.  Although I am sure there were decent birds passing through prior to today, the winds were fairly good on this day.
I arrived way too early ( could not sleep anyway!) and waited for it to get light enough to see birds.
Some ships went through early on.


Not much was seen early on, but things picked up a bit after a while.  Lots of Bonaparte's Gulls were going through.  Several Black Scoters were evident today.  In fact there appeared to be around 3 dozen or so throughout the course of the morning.

A couple of fellows (Scott Jennex, David Stimic) from Michigan joined me for the lakewatch.
At one point I spotted an adult Little Gull in a flock of bonies.  Not that unusual, but a kittiwake would have been better!

A little after ten, a jaeger appeared along the shoreline to the east. It put on a show by chasing gulls near the apartments and over the yacht club.  It flew right in front of us and then went up the Michigan side.  I got some record photos which are highly cropped.

Some time later, I spotted a jaeger way out, and it looked like the same bird.  I think this one was a year old bird.

Although the strong wind continued, things dropped off quite a bit.  Likely something of note appeared later, but one can only stand there for so long!  I left after five hours.

I had not done any birding in Sarnia this fall, so I went over to Wawanosh Wetlands.  Lots of waterfowl present and flying over.  It rained while I was there, so I did not pull out the camera.  Trumpeter Swans appeared there about a week ago and were still present.  They were a bit distant anyway.

The only warblers were a few Yellow-rumped and a single Nashville.  Lots of sparrows and kinglets.  Too bad the weather was horrible or I would have looked around more!

Timid White-crowned Sparrow

Down the road, and still raining off and on, I walked around Perch Creek.  A large number of American Robins were present and a few Rusty Blackbirds.  I flushed up an American Woodcock at one point.

Chickadee at Perch Creek

On the way home, I briefly stopped at Moore WMA and found this Great Horned Owl.  It was facing the other way, unaware of my presence at first.  I made some noise so it would turn around.

Horny Owl