Thursday, October 11, 2007

Change in Weather

Well, I think we now have more seasonable weather! Birding was not very good in that uncomfortable hot weather we had previously. Not many birds were around for the most part.
Wednesday evening I checked out some of my local birding spots. One was MacDonald Park along the Snye near Walpole Island. I found a couple of Orange-crowned Warblers. They must be moving through in bigger numbers now as I also found a couple at Brander Park, Port Lambton. The Orange-crowned tends to hide in the underbrush, hence sometimes hard to find. Therefore they are always nice to see.
This morning I checked out Brander Park, Port Lambton as I always do. It is right near my place of work, so I can check it first thing in the morning or after work. Many birds dropped in overnight, as there were a few warblers including Orange-crowned, Nashville, Black-throated Green and Yellow-rumped. There were also Hermit Thrushes, both kinglets and White-throated Sparrows.
This spot at the south edge of the village of Port Lambton is a migrant trap. I have been birding there for twenty years and have accumulated an impressive list. There is a variety of habitat, including the open area of the park, a large pond, the woodlot, the St. Clair River, and the sewage lagoons in behind. My list includes everything on the property or what I have seen flying over or adjacent to it. It presently stands at 194 species.
I have seen some excellent birds there. Those include the White-winged Tern in May 1991 that showed up at the lagoons. It was a first record for Ontario. The best bird that I have found was a Virginia's Warbler in May 2003. As usual, I was all alone and nobody else saw it. It was accepted by the OBRC (Ontario Bird Records Committee) as Ontario's 5th record.
Northern Bobwhite used to found behind the woodlot. When I first started birding, they could be heard along the railroad tracks near the sewage lagoons. One day I flushed one in the woodlot. They have not been seen there in many, many years. The Bobwhite it still on Walpole Island though, which can be seen from Brander Park.
This change in weather should finally bring some northern birds in. I will be checking out Point Edward on Lake Huron since there is a good NW wind to bring in seabirds.
This weekend is the 25th anniversary of the Ontario Field Ornithologists at Point Pelee. I will be attending that, and will be leading a field trip at Rondeau Park on Sunday. It should make for some good birding!


  1. I've been getting small numbers of Orange-crowned Warblers quite reliably at High Park, Toronto as well. Definitely a movement happening.

    Did anyone else get the White-winged Tern or was that a bird you saw alone as well?

  2. The White-winged Tern was actually found by Rob Tymstra of Sarnia, I believe. It was there a couple of days before moving on. I was told about it by a friend and I went to see it on my lunch hour!