I had intentions of starting at Sarnia this Saturday morning as a good NW wind was forecast. I got up and
the wind was light out of the SW! Somehow I was not surprised, so I went to Rondeau instead.
It was a clear morning and I started on south point trail. By this time of year, birds are fairly scarce down there but I did see a few. A single Ruby-crowned Kinglet was quite obliging.
At least seven Eastern Bluebirds were flying around. Here are two high in a tree.
A few things were on the lake. It was much calmer than last week and more shoreline was visible!
After that walk, the campground is always a must this time of year. Fewer birds than last week, but there were some highlights. I came across a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Not unusual for one or two of these to hang around the campground all winter. This one will likely stay.
At the same time I was chasing around a large flock of juncos. I heard a robin or two and saw three birds flying by. The trailing bird was a bit different--a tad smaller and different look. It stopped to perch very briefly in a tree while the other two continued on. A female Varied Thrush! I saw it only briefly, but I had little doubt. It continued in the direction of the other two birds into Bate's Subdivision. I headed that way, but could not locate it again.
There was no time to get a camera on it plus the fact I was not too close to it. Hope it is still around.
The last Varied Thrush in the park (first park record, but second for Rondeau area) was one I found on south point trail in early October 2002.
Also in the campground was a Fox Sparrow and a few Yellow-rumped Warblers.
I took a brief look at ducks on the Bay then headed out. By this time the wind was switching and picking up. I headed over to Ridgetown and saw two Snow Geese among the many Canada's. I really wanted to sit at Sarnia and watch the lake, so I continued on up to Sarnia!
Just south of Florence, I encountered a large flock of Lapland Longspur. Some Horned Larks were mixed in, but I estimated about 75 birds.
When I arrived, a good brisk NW wind was blowing and there was quite a bit of action. There are still large numbers of Bonaparte's Gulls on the US side. I could not find anything with them...not even a shearwater (lol).
At one point I did see a first cycle Little Gull fly out over the lake.
A first cycle Glaucous Gull was making big circles as I saw it three times in the 3.5h I was there. Paul Carter joined me for some time and even Sarah Rupert stopped in to her old stomping grounds. Lots of activity...
I eventually left even though the wind was picking up.
Next stop was Perch Creek. Got a nice look at a Northern Shrike. The first look revealed that it had a mouse. Later on I saw it again and got a half decent photo.
I checked for owls and only got one Long-eared in the pines. Not much else around.