This past Saturday I went down to Rondeau Park. The weather was fairly nice, strange as it may seem. I walked around with Steve Charbonneau to look for early migrants. Lots of Eastern Towhees are around early this year. One along Lakeshore Road was singing a very odd song, which had us intrigued. Although we tried to make it into something else, it was just more-or-less a typical looking bird.
At the visitor centre feeders, some sort of intergrade junco was attending the scene.
Many Fox Sparrows were in throughout the park.
Along Harrison Trail, we found an early Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher which eluded the camera lens.
Highlight was the White-winged Dove back from its winter vacation. Waiting for a girlfriend....
The fields at Keith McLean CA are still quite wet and attracted a number of birds including some early shorebirds. Those were both Yellowlegs, some Pectoral Sandpipers and some Dunlin. No photos!
We will need to check this place for Nelson's and LeConte's Sparrows this spring as I bet they stop there! A Le Conte's was already reported near Toronto today!
Sunday dawned in the more typical weekend mode. It rained or drizzled all day, so I did mostly driving. (And of course I have to mention that the sun was out Monday!).
I headed down to Wheatley Harbour first thing. Surprisingly not much was there.
Mersea Road 21 fields was the place for action as there were thousands of gulls and ducks and some shorebirds. Viewing conditions were extremely difficult, so I have no idea what I may have missed!
I did pick out at least three Glaucous Gulls, hundreds of Bonaparte's Gulls, and many of the the other common gulls.
Shorebirds included a few Pectoral Sandpipers, Dunlin and Greater Yellowlegs.
The onion fields saw little activity, but a single Tundra Swan seemed out of place.
The rain almost stopped so I set out at Two Creeks CA at the north end of Wheatley. I did find at least three Yellow-rumped Warblers, but the highlight came in the form of a White-eyed Vireo. Photos were impossible in the conditions and rain began again during my walk.
|One of Two Creeks!|
Regarding the vireo, it is not the earliest White-eyed I have seen. At Rondeau I have seen one 12 April 1998 and 13 April 2001. The former was record early at the time.
Back in 2001, birds were rather early as I recall. Alan Wormington put out an email of record early dates of some warblers in the province. (I wrote in our record early Northern Waterthrush at Rondeau of a few years previous, which I think still stands to this day as provincial record early.)
I saved that informative note, as seen in the following images.