Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Gander at Some Geese

Birding in the Rondeau area was on the agenda today.  I headed straight to Erieau to start things off.  It is still quite frozen everywhere, so limited open water.  On the way, I caught sight of the Red-headed Woodpecker (today on pole #3) north of the village.  Its head it getting quite red as one would expect!

Next stop was over to Shrewsbury where I met Steve Charbonneau.  Geese were already coming off the Bay and heading to the fields.  South of the mushroom plant we found the bulk of the flock.  In it were a number of Snow Geese (+one blue morph), Ross's Geese and lots of Canada Geese.  One was expecting White-fronted, but no dice.

It was difficult to discern the numbers, as there was a dip in the landscape.  At one point, the Snow Geese got up and with it was one Ross's.  This particular one has been around since February 12, and recently hanging out with the snows.  Another nine Ross's got up on their own, but I did not have the camera ready.  They moved one property south.

I then started working my way to Rondeau when Steve called saying there was a Eurasian Wigeon in the open water off Shrewsbury.  Back I went and we scanned for almost an hour.  It was probably there and I did not look at it directly.  However, there were lots of other ducks there but due to the distance and lighting it was difficult to sort things out. Almost every time one scanned, something different was visible.  I picked out a male Green-winged Teal among other things.

Then more geese came in and with them were the snows and Ross's.  I am pretty sure I counted 11 Ross's at that point, as there were already two Ross's when I arrived.
At least 15 species of ducks were in this small open area!

The sun was out by this time and it was quite nice.  I went for a walk in Rondeau's campground.  Nothing new, but good looks at kinglets and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

I checked out the visitor centre too.

Towards the lake I came across a flock of sparrows which was mostly Field!  Actually these were the first Field Sparrows I have seen this calendar year since they seemed to be scarce this year.  They were on the move, but I counted at least 8 and I suspect there were more.  A few American Tree Sparrows were with them though.

On McKinley Line at the gas plant, I found some nice birds including a few American Robins, 3 Eastern Bluebirds, a flock of ~10 Purple Finches and others.  The robins and bluebirds may be new arrivals as they were not in the vicinity previously.

Ridgetown was all frozen up still.

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