Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day of the Vireo

Erieau Pier

It was a fine birding day!  With the wind subsiding a bit and changing direction and the clear skies, birds were out and about.  So were birders.
There were several options for birding today, but I chose to check out Rondeau Park. It was a good choice as there were lots of birds.  No spectacular rarity, as usual (this is not Long Point!), but some good birds were seen.
I find autumn as the most exciting and interesting time of year for birding.  There are so many options and possibilities.
Jim Burk and I looked at lots of birds on South Point Trail.  Sparrows were abundant--just the usual types.
Warblers were few and far between.  Only a handful of Yellow-rumped Warblers were still around.  Other warbler types included singletons of Common Yellowthroat, Orange-crowned, and Nashville.

Common Yellowthroat 

The most notable bird was a Warbling Vireo.  Undoubtedly it was record late for the area by over two weeks.  It was busily working the dogwood berries, so it did not come out for a good view.  There is talk of it being a "Western" subspecies which makes even more sense after these brutal winds.
There were also several Blue-headed Vireos, and later I found a White-eyed over at McGeachy Pond in Erieau.  Where is that Red-eyed Vireo we saw last week?

White-eyed Vireo

Several bluebirds were around but not that overdue Mountain Bluebird.  Rondeau has never recorded such a species!  Highly overdue, but there have not been many in Ontario in recent years.
An immature Red-headed Woodpecker was a good find, as its bretheren left weeks ago.
Cedar Waxwings were busily working the remaining dogwood berries, as were Hermit Thrushes.  There a notably a large number of Hermit Thrushes around today.

A very young Cedar Waxwing? 

Cedar Waxwing in early morning sun

What has become a dirt bird recently, some eight Cave Swallows were leisurely working their way south along the east beach of South Point Trail.  There were a few (~55?) at Erieau early this morning, but later in the morning they were nowhere to be seen.
Rondeau Bay is loaded with ducks--tens of thousands. I am sure there is a Eurasian Wigeon out there amongst them, but try and get a good vantage point to scan them!
I made a quick stop at Blenheim Lagoons and came across a Wilson's Phalarope.  So far it is record late, as the last one (which I found) was 21 October 2006.
Wilson's Phalarope

1 comment:

  1. Great posting Blake! I think I'm the only birder in Ontario that hasn't seen a southbound Blue headed Vireo. I wasn't able to really get out this weekend.