Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Birding at Pointe aux Pins May 12-13

The last two days of my time off were once again spent at Rondeau, once known as Pointe aux Pins.  I just enjoy being there as I know the park so well and can avoid the throngs of people at times.  Rondeau does not turn up a lot of rarities, but it is not for lack of trying.
Monday started out cool, then a bit of rain.  Eventually the sun came out, but late in the day yet another heavy storm blew in.  (high winds again!).
There were not a lot of migrants in the park on Monday.  One could walk long distances and find mostly resident birds.  However, there were some warblers and other birds to look for.  Oddly, Yellow-rumped Warblers were more abundant than other warbler species.

Best spot for birds seemed to be in the middle of the park around group campground.  This spot off Harrison Trail can often make for some good birding.  Late in the afternoon I came across a pocket of 14 species of warblers there.  Earlier Hooded and Mourning were seen at that location.

Lots of these lately!

Just before the storm rolled in early evening, there was a feeding frenzy of gulls and Red-breasted Mergansers off the NE part of the park.  Unfortunately, the lake was foggy and the skies dark with rain, so I could not get a decent look.  I estimated about 800 mergansers and over 200 Bonaparte's.  Who knows what else was with them!

It cleared a bit at dusk, and I listened for nightjars at the VC.  I heard 3 Whip-poor-wills. I was hoping for a Chuck, but maybe one will show soon.  Woodcocks were displaying, and I managed to get a photo in the dark

Today, Tuesday, was a fabulous day.  Best weather day we have had.  It was actually very warm--something we have not been used to.  Steve Charbonneau and I spent the morning looking around and noted that a good number of birds had dropped in overnight.  Warblers, vireos (especially Red-eyed), thrushes and some flycatchers (eg. Yellow-bellied) were present unlike the previous day.

We checked Tulip Tree Trail first, and were entertained by a singing Prothonotary.  Little did we know that as we were leaving the area, a female Prothonotary Warbler  was on the front deck of the VC!  It had apparently hit a window, but was later deemed OK.

We decided to make a big loop walking from Bennett and Rondeau Roads, down Harrison, across Gardiner and back up to Bennett.  Birding was steady all the way.  Lots of tanagers, including a female Summer.  This bird was obviously different than the one Josh Vandermeulen photographed a couple days earlier farther north.
Although the number of migrants was not high, we got all the regular vireos, about 20 species of warblers, and other types of birds.

Great-crested Flycatcher

My last walk (before I was too tired!) was down Harrison Trail south the VC.  I saw at least three more Yellow-bellied Flycatchers.

Stopping along Rondeau Road is a common practice.  Pockets of birds on that long stretch of road make birders curious.

Rondeau Road birders

Early this evening I took a quick trip out the Brander Park, Port Lambton and was delighted to find quite a few migrants.  I saw 14 species of warblers plus some vireos, thrushes and a Scarlet Tanager.  The first thing I heard was a male Cerulean singing atop a tree!  Only the second time I have had one at that location.
Black Terns have finally come back in number and about 80 were flying around, mostly over the sewage lagoons.

Spotted Sandpiper

Looking forward to the holiday weekend when more flycatchers should be in, as well as some later warblers.


  1. License IMABRDR2May 13, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Well--I didn't expect to find my picture on your Birding Blog !!
    Stopped on the roadside--we were actually looking at the Pileated Woodpecker's nesting hole ! Birders have seen that species
    coming and going there !
    Also today we watched a Wood Thrush come and go from it's nest
    near bridge C on TTT.

  2. I noticed that the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker you had a photo of four posts back is one of the "black-crowned" variants.