Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lakewatch at Rondeau!

I was a bit unsure what to do today, but headed down to Rondeau.  I knew it was the weekend since it was threatening rain and did rain a better part of the day!  However, turned out I spent many hours watching the lake on the east side of Rondeau.
I started on south point trail as usual, and took a look of the lake off the light beacon.  Before I reached the beach, I noticed a large raptor-like bird coming in from way out on the lake. As it got closer, I said to myself it looks much like an owl. Sure enough it was a Short-eared Owl!

They often fly over the lake this time of year when migrating.  We have seen them up at Sarnia come in off the lake in the past.  Off to a good start!

As I watched birds moving over the lake, I realized it was a day for a big movement of loons, grebes, ducks and gulls.  The first large flock of bonies I looked at had two adult Little Gulls.  But Common Loons and Horned Grebes were constantly moving by.  As well, hundreds of scaup and other ducks were moving.
I really needed a scope!  So I went back to the car taking a short cut along the forest edge. In the process, I inadvertently flushed the Short-eared Owl.

I decide to go to Dog Beach just up the road for a better vantage point.  By then things were toning down, but still lots to see.  By the time I was done there, I had at least 150 Common Loons and 135 Horned Grebes.  That was a conservative estimate.  A Peregrine stirred things up at one point.
Gulls and ducks were numerous too but nothing stuck out.  Surf and Black Scoters were moving as well.
I went back to south point for a walk.  Sort of the same deal as last week, but fewer species.  Besides Palm and Yellow-rumped there was one Nashville Warbler.

On the way back it rained, but I watched the lake again at the light beacon.  One Red-throated Loon was added here.
I noticed today there was a big movement of Tree Swallows.

With constant rain, I decided to head out of the park and watch from the car where Rose Beach Line hits the lake.  Wow....hundreds more birds on the lake!
At the little park I took watch and there was a group of 100+ Common Loons and 50+ Horned Grebes right there.  I also picked out a Red-necked.  Things were constantly moving and there were hundreds of Bonaparte's Gulls and other common gulls.
Along this stretch of road I added an additional 75 Common Loons and 50+ Horned Grebes.  Lots of ducks including Ruddy too.
I checked Erieau as well, but nothing of note there. (A Black-legged Kittiwake was observed on Thursday). **The end of the road at the pier is blocked off due to breakwall repair, so you cannot get close.
Despite the wet weather, it was interesting to watch the lake for a change.

By the way, I went out to Mitchell's Bay last evening.  I did not see the godwits, so perhaps they have finally left?
Sunset off Mitchell's Bay

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