Sunday, January 12, 2014

Rondeau Red-shouldered, Blenheim Buteo

Today I headed south--to Rondeau Park that is.  I met up with Steve and Jim and we first stopped at the visitor centre.  The Eastern Towhee was nearby making some noise but we did not see it. Very few birds around, par for the course this winter.
We had not been to south point trail for a while, so we walked that.  Highlight there was an adult Red-shouldered Hawk. Always nice to see in the dead of winter.  At the same time we heard a flicker call as well.

The east side of the park is clear of ice once you get a few hundred metres past the shoreline, but the south side is mostly ice.  A few ducks and gulls were moving around and one Mute Swan was heading to parts unknown. (Hope it never stopped!)

The campground was the next walk, but it was rather quiet compared to last weekend.  Perhaps the weather of the past week did some birds in!
Lots of American Tree Sparrows and Juncos were around plus a Fox Sparrow or two.  (Two other Fox Sparrows were south of the VC as well).  While separated from the others, I caught sight of one of the sapsuckers as well as the usual Great Horned Owl taking off.

This was on a tree sapsuckers like.  Even in May!

We separated after that walk and I headed towards Erieau.  Only one small patch of open water with a few ducks including a Canvasback.
As I headed north from Erieau, Jim sent a message about a dark Red-tailed Hawk near the landfill.  I got there, but it flew some distance to a tree.  It was dark, but too far away for a determination.
We then headed to Blenheim lagoons just to see what was going on.  We flushed up two Short-eared Owls!
Some crows were around and harassed them.

(difficult in C-K to get a photo without a wind turbine getting in the way!)

A number of hawks were around today.  I headed towards home up Erieau Road in hopes of seeing that dark hawk again.  It was there and I managed a few good shots as it fed on some carrion.  It eventually tried to carry it away!
This hawk was quite dark and is perhaps a juvenile light morph Western Red-tailed.

Several dark morph Rough-legged Hawks are around this winter.

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