Last Thursday I got off work after lunch and headed down to Rondeau. It started off with a bang. First stop was the visitor centre to see what was happening. I met Reuven Martin who is this year's bird hike leader. Just after heading out the VC door, I was shocked to see a flash of blue at my feet. No, I did not get hit by lightning, but it was the tell-tale sign of a White-M Hairstreak!
I did not have my camera in hand, but I ran to the car and came back to take several photos of what was likely a recently-emerged White-M Hairstreak.
I co-operated nicely as it rested on a post, then it went to the ground upon a leaf.
Since it is very early in the season, and this species was present for the first time last summer, and there have been virtually no immigrants this spring, I surmise the larva overwintered. Quite a record.
Birding was rather slow the whole few days. The volume of songbirds is just not there for whatever reason, but there certainly have been some good birds around the province.
The Friday morning was fairly decent on south point trail where a number of warbler species (a lot of ones and twos!) were flitting about. I did see Golden-winged Warbler as well as Blue-winged and Hooded. Turns out that was the first of three Hooded for the day. It is a desirable species for many birders, but I do find quite a few each year.
Hooded Warbler in flight!
Some other first of year species were seen this day.
I also saw one of the Yellow-throated Warblers. Quite some distance up the road later in the morning I heard one singing. I assume it was one of the two present ones as they wander widely.
Saturday was slow, but a very nice bird made up for it. Steve Charbonneau and I were walking along the eroded shoreline when a bird came gliding by from our right. It was perhaps no more than 20m distance and not very high. We both looked at it and soon as it went by we virtually said "kite" at the same time! It was an adult male, but it was cruising east. This was about 7 a.m.
I think this is only the second record for Rondeau, as we had the first 25 May 2003 when we saw a sub-adult from the marsh trail.
Steve walked along the edge of the woods, while I walked the trail in case it perched somewhere. But, it was never seen again. Apparently one was seen late in the day at Pelee, but I would consider it a different bird.
Soon after the sighting, I ran into Mike Burrell who had camped the night in the park. I mentioned the Mississippi Kite to him, but that was bizarre because later in the morning on his way to Pelee he spotted the Swallow-tailed Kite! You know the rest of the story.
However, I left Rondeau before noon on my way to Pelee. I stopped at Sinclair's Bush as Steve had just found a fine male Cerulean Warbler at eye level. I got to see it, but it did not co-operate for a good photo.
Just as I was heading out of Blenheim, I got the message that a Swallow-tailed Kite was heading into Point Pelee. I rushed over, in hopes it would stick around, but.....no. I was aiming for a two-kite day!
Sunday at Pelee saw a few more Hooded Warblers, and talk of the town was the number being seen this year. I saw some more first-of-the-year birds including Wilson's Warbler.
Around 3:30 I got the message of Black-necked Stilts at Hillman. I rushed over there as did others, and we did not find them in the cell. However, two were found as seen from the Hillman bridge. We ran over there, some risking heart attacks, to see the two in the distance. A fine way to top off a slow day of birding.
(there is a Black-necked Stilt there!)
Today I started at the Tip and was one of the first ones there. Lots of gulls were milling about including a couple of young Little Gulls, a young Glaucous and a Lesser Black-backed. Soon after I spotted an immaculate Laughing Gull fly in. Many got to see this beautiful bird. I think it is one of the nicer-looking gulls.
lots of White-crowned Sparrows around