Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend Wanderings

Sunrise this morning over Dresden

Finally one was able to get out and do some considerable walking.  There was too much snow all winter and walking was very limited.  Saturday I went to Point Pelee, then Sunday I checked out the usual spots in Rondeau and area.

Yellow-rumped Warbler near cemetery

There were not many birds to look at other than the most common stuff, but some new-for-the-year birds popped up.  Lots of ducks are around as usual, but the swans are not staying any length of time.  Fields are drying up already!  Water levels are not rising despite all the snow and ice we had this winter.  That probably attests to how dry it was last year.

More Tundra Swans near Wallaceburg

At Pelee, I checked out the Tip area, walked Woodland Trail, De Laurier area and NW Beach.  De Laurier had some birds including an Eastern Phoebe, Fox Sparrow and flyover Sandhill Cranes.  Also flying over was at least one Common Redpoll.  We also had a couple of flyover redpolls at Rondeau this morning as well.  Given the scarcity this winter, it was not one species I thought I would come across this weekend but they must head back north!

Another Brown Creeper (with same no. of Chickadees as last week!)

High-flying Sandhill Cranes

A large group of Turkey Vultures also soared over Point Pelee.  I didn't see them all, but at least 30 were there.  A good time for Black Vulture, so we always have to look closely.

At Rondeau this morning, I met up with Jim Burk in the cold east wind. Seems par for the course every spring as east winds kick in for the weekends!  It will warm up tonight as the weekend ends.  We walked half way out Marsh Trail and saw lots of Song Sparrows, a trio of TV's and the flyover redpolls.  Also the first Woodcock of the season.

Pair of Hooded Mergansers near Wallaceburg (lots around now!)

Ducks are building up on the Bay as it just opened up (half) in the last couple of days.
Blenheim Lagoons are now all open with lots of ducks.  Water is very high of course.  It didn't seem right to not see a Wilson's Phalarope swimming around there.  That would really be bizarre if there was!
Lots of Bonaparte's Gulls are now showing up. Look for Black-headed!

While out Marsh Trail, I found a large leg band.  Given the size I knew it was probably off a Canada Goose.  I sent in the number and the info came back instantaneously.  The Canada Goose was banded last June somewhere in Ontario!  Specific place not given.
A number of years ago I came across a dead Herring Gull with a leg band on the east beach of Rondeau.  The bird had been banded in Ohio about a year and half earlier. 
You can send band numbers to:


  1. Blake, great inclusion of photos to an excellent post. I still have not seen a redpoll! I am going to try to lifer an A. Woodcock in the upcoming weeks. Wish me luck with my point-and-shoot camera!

  2. Oh Blake, every weekend you have been coming down to Pelee I am working. :(