Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cave Swallow Invasion

Sand in your Eyes!
(Rondeau south beach)

The brutal winds of this week continued today.

The biggest Cave Swallow invasion ever to hit Ontario tallied more birds today.  Erieau in south Chatham-Kent seems to be a reliable spot to see them this time of year, so that is where I started this morning.

Seven birds in this photo!

I arrived too early again, so I waited.  I saw the first ones on the Bay near the Government Dock.  Soon others appeared and I was up to about 15.  The flock moved over to the gravel/sand piles so Jim Burk and I went over there amongst them.  We tried to get some photos, and some turned out reasonably well.  We estimated up to 30.  Later reports put the total at 40+ in the Erieau area.

We first saw Cave Swallows here in 1999 when the first notable invasion occurred.
After my fill of Cave Swallows, I headed over to Rondeau Park.  The SW wind was very strong everywhere.
The most abundant bird on south point trail seemed to be Cedar Waxwings.  No Bohemians.  There are only two or three Bohemian records for the park ever.

Cedar Waxwings

Chickadees were abundant, of course.

Lots of sparrows along Lakeshore Rd, especially Chipping.  At the south end of the campground, I found a massive flock of Chipping Sparrows with other types mixed in.  Over 100 birds, but I could find nothing unusual.
East of the park, south of Morpeth, lots of ducks were on the lake.  A good number of scoters, especially Surf, were out there.  Several flocks of Dunlin were heading west.

Heading back to CK Rd. 15, I saw two Cave Swallows over the road.

At Keith McLean's field, geese were feeding in the corn field.  The only thing different were three Snow Geese and three Tundra Swans.  Those are the first Tundras I have seen this fall.

Also at Erieau this morning was an immature Black-crowned Night-heron.

It was slim pickings the rest of the way home.....
Ruby-crowned Kinglet


  1. Nice pictures! So far this fall I have seen one Cave Swallow. So what do you think, should it be taken off the OBRC review list? I'm thinking so. With so many reports, I don't think it is worth having it anymore on it.

  2. I'm sure it will be taken off this time. There has been talk of doing it, but no action!