Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Birding and Note-Taking

I went down to Rondeau yesterday again.  Weather was perfect (forecast was totally wrong yet again!) as it did not rain and was twice as warm as predicted.  The warm south wind brought in some birds for sure.
Most notably were American Robins, not to mention blackbirds.
Rondeau campground and other spots were littered with robins.

Nothing much of note as I did not come across any Yellow-rumped Warblers (wintering ones), but did hear a Purple Finch.
The visitor centre is open this week for March Break, so I stopped in and had a chat with one one of the girls.  A new aquarium is set up and a softshell turtle resides within. Interesting to watch it!
I also bought my new year pass (at least it is the same price as last year!) in anticipation of the spring rush.

Rondeau Bay is opening up nicely and waterfowl are arriving.  I looked for a Eurasian Wigeon, but to no avail!  (not that I need to see one for this year!).

At Erieau, American Coots are still all over the place.  At one point I had to avoid hitting one with my car.

I scoped the Bay from the government dock and noted lots of scaup among other ducks. Still thousands of gulls, but not as many as yesterday.
As I left the dock, a swallow flew over.  I only got a fleeting glimpse, but obviously a Tree.  Some have arrived already in Ontario! 
I think my previous earliest was March 17, 1990 at St. Clair NWA.  Ironically, that was the day Tom Hince et al. saw a Ferruginous Hawk there.  Interestingly, Josh V. mentioned this bird on his blog yesterday and it got me to thinking!
The next day (18 March 1990), Steve Charbonneau and I headed to Point Pelee for some birding.  Birds were rather early that year, we looked at some newly-arrived Fox Sparrows among others.  When we arrived back at Blenheim, there was a phone message indicating a Ferruginous Hawk at St. Clair NWA.  We immediately headed out there.
I had always thought the hawk was seen on the 18th, until last night!  But that was a long time ago.  Obviously word do not really get out until the next morning.  I recall the day quite well though.  Pete Read and his son Rob were on the viewing tower when we arrived, but of course the hawk was long gone.
I checked my notebook to recall some of the information.  A serious birder always takes notes!  I have always made notes since I started birding.  Nobody told me to do so, but I have done that sort of thing all my life.  It is interesting to go back and look at the details.  At other times, it is useful for information about a particular bird(s) or for a perspective on something.

That's a Twist!

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