Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mid-week Update C-K and Lambton

Wind!!!!  That was certainly one of the stronger sustained winds we have had in a while.  Chatham-Kent experienced some of the strongest winds  with gusts up to 100 km/h.

Yesterday (Monday) it was a mad dash first thing in the morning to get that last big boat out of the water.  We finished blocking it just after 12 noon before the winds really hit.

More Snowy Owls have been reported.  Looks like another good winter for seeing them.  Two were seen near the Sarnia airport yesterday and again today.
Birders in the Sarnia area on Wednesday found up to nine (9)!

one of many from last winter

There were two near Erieau on Sunday, but I only saw the one.  I cannot seem to find any west of Wallaceburg lately.

With the recent mild weather, that early ice is now gone.  I was reading that some places on the Great Lakes have had the earliest ice formation in 40 years.  Not surprising with the cooler temperatures this year.  The water never warmed up like it usually does.

With the recent grebe sightings in Wheatley Harbour, I was curious as to where the county border was.  I found the following on Google Earth which is probably fairly accurate. You can see the line right through the centre of the photo.

It can be a dicey situation there if you want to be precise with your county sightings!

Looks like more strong southerly winds for the is coming weekend.  Not good for Rondeau's shoreline!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rondeau: A Variety of Birds

Rondeau was on the agenda today and it turned out to be a good day for birds.  Not so good for weather, but with the birds seen today it made up for it.

I met Jim Burk at Rondeau's campground just before 8 a.m.  Just after we started walking, the characteristic call of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker caught our attention.  We knew right where to look and sure enough it was on a tree that sapsuckers seem to like.  This one was a bit bashful though.

For some reason, they are attracted to this particular tree from fall to spring. One or two sapsuckers always winter in Rondeau's campground and there is little doubt this individual will likely stay.

last winter

Yesterday Jim had 2 Orange-crowned and a Nashville Warbler in the campground but we could not find those ones today.
At the north corner and out towards the park gate area were a number of birds.  Included was an Eastern Phoebe (one of 2 today), some Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Yellow-rumped Warbler or two.

By this time it started to rain, so we made a brief stop beside maintenance where right away we found the long-staying Northern Mockingbird.  Another Yellow-rumped here as well.

(photo from a month ago)

We headed down Lakeshore Road and found lots of birds along the way.  Included were two Orange-crowned Warblers together, more Ruby-crowned Kinglets, another phoebe (spotted by Jim) and so on. Ruby-crowned seemed to be in exceptional numbers today for the date. One can only wonder how many were really in the whole park.

Pipits were everywhere in Rondeau as well!  (I had at least 60 including a single flock of about 40 on the lawn at the yacht club).

By the time we got down to south point trail, it had stopped raining, so a walk was in order.  Just in from the parking lot were many birds including a group of 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, some Yellow-rumped Warblers, etc.  Back in along the old Dillon were more birds.

Lots of White-throated Sparrows are still in the park.  I had at least 40 today.

Farther down the trail we flushed up a couple of American Woodcocks, saw more Ruby Kinglets, a flock of five (or was it four?) Eastern Bluebirds, etc.

Rondeau Park is still shrinking!  I did not have the small lens so no photos of the severe erosion. There is now no trail of any sort past the 'washout' point.

After south point, it was back onto Lakeshore Road.  It took quite a while to get to the north end of the park as there were lots of birds along the road.

Several Fox Sparrows, dozens of Pine Siskins, lots of White-throated and a few Chipping Sparrows were in the mix.

Road Siskin

As well, I spotted another Orange-crowned Warbler.  Pretty sure it was a third bird as it was in a different locale with a different mix of birds.

Other birds included a single young Turkey Vulture at the north end and while in the campground, a Cackling Goose flew over with Canada Geese.

Later I headed over to Erieau and walked the marsh trail (R/R trail).  Lots of sparrows there including several Fox and a Savannah.

A Snowy Owl was back in from the corner of Bisnett and Erieau Roads today. A second one was seen later farther south by Jim Burk.

Another pipit