Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Birds At Rondeau on Sunday

I'm a bit late in reporting birds from Sunday, but nothing too earth-shattering was seen. Some decent species and some impressive numbers were observed.

The weather was not all that great on Sunday, and later in the afternoon it rained. It was quite windy from the south. The results could have been better with nicer weather.

The main event was to do a waterfowl count in the afternoon, but in the morning we looked around the park. There were still a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets around. In the campground a large number of Cedar Waxwings were eating Red Cedar berries. Alas, no Bohemians! Too bad, as there as not been a recorded observation of that species in the fall at Rondeau.

Just before noon, we checked ducks off Terrace Beach, south of Morpeth. Mostly scaup and scoters hang out there. We noted all three species of scoters. Quite a number of Black Scoters have been there recently. The Black is the least common of the three.

At lunch time, I checked the lake off McGeachy Pond. That is where the gulls were! Hundreds of Bonaparte's Gulls were feeding in the strong winds. The wind was almost unbearable, so I didn't stay long. Before I left, I did note a first basic Little Gull, several Horned Grebes, and a couple of Common Loons with hundreds of Red-breasted Mergansers. I'm sure I would have seen a kittiwake or jaeger if I had stayed longer.

After lunch, Jim Burk and I attempted to count waterfowl in Rondeau Bay. We started at Erieau. As an aside, The Franklin's Gull was still in the harbour. The accompanying photo is the best I could do with my equipment.

Going around the Bay, we noted thousands of ducks. Gadwall and American Wigeon seemed to be the most dominant of the puddle ducks. There were also a few thousand Canvasback. Almost all the usual duck species one could find at this time of year were noted. Scoters and other sea ducks were not noted in the Bay, but that is normal. Until final numbers are in, I would say over 20,000 ducks were in all of Rondeau Bay.

While in Rondeau Bay Estates, we noted a cold and lonely Barn Swallow on a wire. Highly unusual to have one this late. Perhaps it was the same one I saw last Wednesday with the Cave Swallow at Erieau. The photo shows the Cave Swallow with the Barn Swallow then.

Here are some numbers, thanks to Jim Burk:
Canada Goose - 1159Mute Swan - 20Tundra Swan - 75Gadwall - 8015Am. Wigeon - 6995Black Duck - 41Mallard - 1306Northern Shoveler - 141Pintail - 58Canvasback - 6157Redhead - 2944Ring-necked Duck - 417Greater Scaup - 5703Lesser Scaup - 2056Surf Scoter - 145White-winged Scoter - 10Black Scoter - 221Long-tailed Duck - 2Bufflehead - 332Common Goldeneye - 5Hooded Merganser - 64RB Merg - 566Common Merg. - 167Ruddy Duck - 869PB Grebe - 65Horned Grebe - 12American Coot - 4000.

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