Monday, August 31, 2015

Another Lambton Crop Tour

Sunday morning I headed up to Wawanosh Wetlands. As many of you know, a Franklin's Gull was seen there in the past week.  To my knowledge, it was not present on Sunday, so it may have left!
However, walking around the property can reveal a good variety of land birds.  One can spend quite a bit of time there.
This Google Earth image shows the place off Blackwell Sideroad.  It was formerly a quarry.

Not far into my walk, I came across a couple of Philadelphia Vireos which are attractive birds to my eye.

A decent selection of warblers were around, amounting to about a dozen species.  One included a Mourning Warbler, several Magnolia, a few Wilson's, etc.


Cooper's hawks must have nested there as I came across three immatures.

In my early birding years, I went to Wawanosh quite often, especially for shorebirds.  The big pond was open with lots of mud/sand and no phragmites like we see today.  It was "the" place to go for shorebirds in the Sarnia area in the late '80's and early '90's.  I got quite a few lifers there!

After that outing, I headed over to Dow Wetlands at the corner of LaSalle Line and highway 40.  I did not see too much there, but came across a group of Eastern Meadowlarks, a Merlin carrying breakfast and a Kestrel.

Next stop was Moore WMA.  I usually do not go there much after mid summer, but it can be good for warblers.  Of course I go there often in the winter as it is an excellent place for wintering birds.  Some prairie plantings there are of interest.


Near the parking lot, I looked for insects, seeing a few butterflies and dragonflies.  Some Purple Coneflower is still out.

At one point I saw a Garter Snake on the coneflower!

Not far from the parking lot I came across a decent flock of warblers.  I stood in one spot for over 20 minutes as they fed in the trees.  There was quite a variety, with over ten species.  I even heard a Solitary Sandpiper along the river.

Last stop for the morning was at McKeough CA. One Flag-tailed Spinyleg was still along the river.

In the floodway, I saw the first Common Painted-Lady in quite some time.

The floodway was loaded with Eastern Tailed-blues and a few Common Ringlets. A new batch of Peck's Skippers has emerged recently.

Lots of fresh Gray and Eastern Commas have been seen lately.

Eastern Comma

Things are picking up and hopefully a good lakewatch is in order soon!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Rondeau Revue August 29

Down at Rondeau this morning, my first stop was Dog Beach.  There were lots of gulls and terns, but not quite as many as last week.

I did not see anything of note and just as I was heading back to the car, a Great Egret came in.  It is not often we see one in the park.

I walked south point trail, but I would have been better off going somewhere else!  There were very few warblers, but millions of mosquitoes.  It was actually almost unbearable at times!  The only warbler I did ID was a a Cape May.
The lake was somewhat active, and I spotted a Common Loon heading east at one point.

After quickly walking back to the car, I made another stop at Dog Beach.  Many gulls and terns were on the beach to the south, so I got a little closer.

I was out there quite some time, as there was a lot of activity.  It took some time, but finally a juvenile Little Gull made an appearance.

Soon, another joined it, and they played around together.

They certainly stand out due to the amount of black on them.

A check of tulip tree trail revealed nothing but a Gray-cheeked/Swainson's Thrush.  I never got a good look.
Next stop was the north end of Harrison Trail.  It was not until I got a bit past the log pond that I came across a very nice pocket of warbler.  There were 14 species here!

As  I walked back to the car, I spotted a young Red-headed Woodpecker.

After lunch I headed over to Blenheim lagoons.  There was a good number of shorebirds in the sprinklers.  I saw 3 Baird's Sandpipers, 4 Stilt Sandpipers, 1 White-rumped Sandpiper, 2 Short-billed Dowitchers, among the other common species.

Very few ducks were around today.  I never saw one on the lake this morning!

frog on wood