Monday, October 12, 2015

Rondeau Report: Going Cuckoo

Back to Rondeau on this Thanksgiving Monday.  It was very windy and difficult to find many birds. Certainly far fewer than Saturday, and less variety.  I birded with Steve and we basically did the same route.

Trail washout area

No, I am not going cuckoo even though some of you think I am already, but Steve and I did find another cuckoo.  This time, a Yellow-billed.  The bizarre thing about it was that it was in the exact-same spot we found the Black-billed on Saturday.  No kidding!  I first spotted the bird and said that the cuckoo is still present.  However, this one had a yellow bill.  I only got one quick photo.

For the most part, Yellow-billed Cuckoos depart earlier than their counterpart, so this was a decent record.  However, others have been seen later in the month, including my sighting of one at Rondeau 20 October 2002 way out south beach of all places.

Most of the warblers were Yellow-rumped today save for a Pine on south point.  After Steve departed, I lingered on and found a Black-throated Blue and a couple of Black-throated Green.

There were still a number of Blue-headed Vireos plus one Red-eyed that I found.

Blue-headed Vireo

There was not much on the lake today despite the strong SW wind.  Except for last Saturday, lake watching has been disappointing this fall.

I checked out Ridgetown lagoons for the first time this fall.  Lots of geese including a few Cackling. Also a few Tundra Swans were there.

At Blenheim lagoons, there were only a few shorebirds including the long-staying Red-necked Phalarope.  No sign of that Willet, at least when I was there.  The most numerous shorebird, you guessed it, was White-rumped.
Lots of Ruddy ducks as usual.

Most of the Tree Swallows from Saturday were still present.  The same Bronze Copper was still hanging on.

Congratulations are in order for Wallaceburg naturalist Tom Chatterton and his daughter Jennifer for finding Algonquin Park's first Townsend's Solitaire.  Jenn was visiting from her home in Oregon and taking a vacation in Algonquin with her father.  Tom and Jenn were hiking Track and Tower Trail and stopped to eat lunch at the lookout. While there, the solitaire alighted atop a spruce tree!
Tom mentioned the sighting at the Wednesday meeting with Mike Burrell and I told him it was a fairly significant sighting.
Here is a photo taken by Jennifer.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Notes

A trip to Point Pelee was in order this day.  I attempted another Tip watch without anything of note. Seems I cannot get the right day!  Perhaps the wind was too much west today.

I met up with Jeremy Hatt and we spent quite a bit of time at the Tip.  Once again, most gulls were too far out, which seems to be my luck this fall.
A few Common Loons and Horned Grebes went by, as well as a number of Surf Scoters.  I saw three distant shorebirds, but no idea what they were!

A Palm Warbler and a trio of Yellow-rumped Warblers seemed to be stuck at the very Tip for a while.

After the watch, I walked up west beach trail in hopes of finding some butterflies.  That was virtually a bust as well!  A few Buckeyes and a single Painted Lady were along the trail.

I met Bob and Karen Yukich just south of west beach parking lot, so I hope they had better luck than me on the trail.

Some Pine Siskins were at De Laurier, and nothing of note on the trail.

After lunch, I decided to walk a bit of Hillman Marsh.  A Solitary Sandpiper flushed up from beside the pumphouse near the shorebird cell viewing platform.  It is starting to get late for seeing that species.

Lots of gulls were at the C-K side of Wheatley Harbour, but I could not pick out anything of note.

This evening I took a short walk at McKeough CA in hopes of seeing something in the floodway.

Duthill Bridge

Barrel of Bees

In other notes, my post Post OFO Convention Post has produced a huge number of hits for some reason.  Well over 200!
This morning I met Lynne Freeman, OFO President at the Tip of Point Pelee.  She is quite enthusiastic about the OFO.
Next year's convention is at Kingston.  I hope to make it as I have never birded Kingston area.  The following year may be Long Point, and of course 2018 it will be back at Point Pelee for the Pelee's 100th.

Winterberry at Rondeau