Friday, October 18, 2019

Fall Fling at Rondeau

Today looked like a good day for birding, so I headed down to Rondeau Park.  Yesterday strong NW winds definitely pushed birds down from the north.  It was certainly a good day along lower Lake Huron on Thursday with many jaegers and other waterbirds seen.  It was bound to happen as it was the first really good wind this fall.  Naturally it was a weekday--we rarely get those kinds of days on weekends!  And, for those who headed up today, it never works the day after!

At Rondeau, I started with a lakewatch at dog beach with Steve Charbonneau.  It was not an ideal wind, but lots of ducks have finally come through.  Very few gulls though.  We saw several songbirds some in off the lake, as we often do.  Luckily, with few gulls, they made it to land!
South point trail was good for birds with lots to sort through.
Many were showing their butts though.




A couple of tardy Red-eyed Vireos were in the mix.


At one point we came across a very tame Eastern Phoebe.  Actually, a fellow coming off the trail when we started, said it landed on him!



There was a slight NW breeze, so it was a good day for hawks.  A Red-shouldered was nice to see, and several Red-tailed were on the move.




We next stopped by maintenance where we found lots of birds including another Red-eyed Vireo, and several Blue-headed.



A Northern Parula was nice to see.



After Steve left, I poked around and found a couple of Orange-crowned Warblers and a Tennesee Warbler among others.



A very drab Pine Warbler was not much to look at.



A male Black-throated Blue Warbler briefly posed for a photo.



At one point, I spotted a Yellow-billed Cuckoo.  For some reason, we often see late ones along this stretch of Harrison.  I could not get the camera to co-operate though!


I ended up with a decent total of 11 species of warblers and 78 species overall today.

This past week, there were few birds for me to see as the days are getting much too short.

Last Sunday, I once again headed down to Point Pelee on a very strong SW wind.  Perhaps it was too strong!  We did see a couple of distant jaegers and one adult Parasitic came close enough to be identified by those present.  It was moving too fast for a photo though.  No desirable gulls though!

I checked out De Laurier before leaving.  The back corner was good out of the winds, but nothing much of note.

Northern Harrier


Holiday Monday I headed to north Lambton County, starting at Forest Lagoons.  I looked hard for Nelson's Sparrow, but could only come up with numerous Song and Swamp Sparrows.

Ruddy ducks


I also stopped by Dow Wetlands on the way back.  There was a good selection of birds there including lots of sparrows.



This is a fun time of year to be out birding, so I look forward to more outings!

American Painted-Lady


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Early Thanksgiving Weekend Birding

Friday morning I headed down to Point Pelee as a brisk SE wind was blowing.  It was not overly strong, but the possibilities were there for a good Tip watch.  I much prefer doing lake watches this time of year!
I was the first to arrive at the Tip and noticed a good number of bonies moving south on the west side.  I was soon joined be Richard Carr (aka The Afternoon Shift) and we had a good time watching the lake.

Algoma Enterprise


At one point, Richard spotted a jaeger coming down the east side, somewhat distant.  As often is the case it was fast moving.



There were actually two jaegers and both chased a gull when they were directly SSW of the Tip.  We had good scope views, but trying to get any photos was difficult.  The two interacting with the gull would have been a good photo, but I could not get on them!




I was pretty sure the one was Parasitic, but left it as jaeger sp.  The other, after some analysis of photo at home, I put down a Pomarine.  When looking at jaegers, one should get a good look at the central tail feather (or retricies) which help in identifying the species.  They certainly were not Long-tailed Jaegers in any case.

All three scoter species were seen during this watch.  Black Scoters have put on a good showing so far this fall.

Surf Scoter at bottom


Things died out after a while so we headed back to the VC.

I then checked west beach trail for butterflies. There was quite a bit of overcast this day (even though the forecast said otherwise....), so butterfly activity was minimal.
I did however, come across my first and only Grey Hairstreak of the year.



I checked some other areas of the park for birds, but "land" birds were very scarce.  Winter Wrens were plentiful though.  Practically no warblers!

Blackpoll Warbler


Today, I headed down to Rondeau on a cold NW wind.  The lake was dead once again, so we moved on to south point trail.  Some warblers were hiding among the shrubs, including a late Black-and-white and Magnolia.
A Palm Warbler was in the mix as well.



A check of maintenance area revealed a few more birds.  Ruby-crowned Kinglets were certainly plentiful, as they often are this time of year.



A stop at McLean Conservation Lands added some more birds for the day's list.  A couple of Nelson's Sparrows were fun to watch.






The mudflat had some Semipalmated Plovers and a Greater Yellowlegs for shorebirds.  One has to wonder why we have not had a Hudsonian Godwit there yet this year!

This afternoon, I just wanted to go for a couple of walks north of Wallaceburg.  McKeough was first, then Reid CA.  Walking through the woods was nice today.


I came home along the Sydenham River.  Some shorebirds at the end of Charlemont Line included Long-billed Dowitchers and Lesser Yellowlegs.


Sunday calls for a strong SW wind, so you know what direction I am heading!