Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday OFO Outing-Rondeau

I lead a hike at Rondeau Park this morning as part of the OFO Convention. There was a big turnout of people.  It is popular as an alternative for those heading east to home.  Amongst them was Greg Miller (From the 'real' Big Year).  It was a privilege to have him along.
(photo off my phone, so quality low, but high quality people)

Birds were somewhat scarce today and those present were skittish due to the hawks and wind.  A brisk south wind was blowing--excellent for Pelee Tip.  Just as we were about to get started, word came in that a Brown Pelican was sitting at Pelee's Tip!  Also a Parasitic Jaeger was seen.  It had some birders at Rondeau wonder if they had made the right choice!

The subject pelican later went over to Wheatley and is there as I write.

I arrived at the park early to scout around.  The east side was quite active first thing.  A few birds were along the woods.
Just before I met the group, Jim Burk sent a message saying that a Ross's, 3 Snow and some Cackling Geese were along Fargo Road!  Oh well, it is fall....

My group started with a decent pocket of birds near the VC.  One always takes a gamble leading tours and hopes that there are birds!
We found a couple of decent pockets along south point trail.  There were birds in the trees and shrubs, but hiding. A Peregrine (probably the same one from Friday), a pair of Kestrels and later a Merlin rounded out the falcon department.
The only vireo was a Red-eyed.
We checked pony barn area and birds were scarce, however we did pick up a Red-headed Woodpecker--new for the weekend convention.  (A woodcock was added earlier by some).
After lunch, we headed over to Blenheim Lagoons.  Looks like the work is completed so hopefully it will stay open.  We had 10 species of ducks plus a Horned Grebe.
Shorebirds habitat is virtually non-existent now with high water and concrete now around the first pond.  We did pick up Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper working the chunks of concrete.

Today my group ended up with about 80 species as a collective total.  Thanks to Ron Tozer for keeping the lists for the convention and Adam who will submit an eBird report.

Another OFO convention is over.  As always, it was a great time had by all and a good social time of comradery.
Next year's convention is in Ottawa.  Hmmm, rather far to travel for us here in the banana belt. (I did go to the one in 2006 though).

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