Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday in South Chatham-Kent

Dawn at Rondeau

Rondeau and area was Sunday's destination.  I arrived in the park early and took a quick look at the ducks near the boat ramp in the park.  A couple days previous, Steve Charbonneau found a Eurasian Wigeon in the vicinity.  It is an annual thing to find one (and sometimes two) in this area.  Rondeau Bay is currently littered with ducks, so likely there are multiples!
Needless to say, I could not find it in the dull dawn light.

I headed down to south point trail to meet up with Jim Burk as we usually do on most Sunday's. Fewer and fewer birds are seen each week but we always hope for something of note such as a rarity or a late date for something.

A few Yellow-rumped Warblers were encountered and we did find two Orange-crowned Warblers not far apart.  That was it for warblers on that trail.  Even Orange-crowned is fairly decent at this date, although I have seen them a couple of times on a Christmas Bird Count.

A rather late Blue-headed Vireo was high in a tree.

We walked along the shoreline a bit.  As I mentioned before there has been extreme erosion along this section.

The trail used to be paved all the way around, but in the last 40 years or so much of it has washed away to perhaps several hundred metres back.

The White-throated Sparrows have thinned out but quite a few Fox Sparrows were in the park on Sunday.  Chipping Sparrows were scattered in a few locations throughout the park as well.

American Tree Sparrow vs. Chipping Sparrow

Our next walk was the campground.  The south end was rather quiet, but the north end was active with a variety of birds.  That is usually the case this time of year and into the winter.  There were several species of sparrows, several Brown Creepers and kinglets.  Ruby-crowned seemed to outnumber Golden-crowned on this day.

I came across an odd Cedar Waxwing. I first saw it in a Red Cedar feeding on the berries, then it flew down into some shrubbery to feed on berries.  It was noticeably pale.

Further analysis revealed it had some kind of lump on the chest.  Although it was actively feeding on various berries, no doubt it was unhealthy.

After the campground check, we split up.  I went to look at ducks off marsh trail, while Jim encountered a flock of birds at maintenance.  He found a White-eyed Vireo.  By the time I got over there, we could not re-locate it even though it was undoubtedly in the area.  I did not pursue it either.  That is one species that is overdue for the Rondeau CBC!

Another check of the ducks off the ramp finally turned up the Eurasian Wigeon. It was certainly far from the brightest individual I have seen, so perhaps that it why I missed it before.

The rest of the day was somewhat uneventful for finding birds.  Lots of Bonaparte's Gulls were feeding in fields.  I had Franklin's Gull on my mind, but never came across one!

I decided to go over to Wheatley Harbour since it was crawling with gulls.  Not a Franklin's there either!  Or Black-headed for that matter.
Lots of Grebes including one Eared.  As well, quite a few Common Loons were just offshore (I counted up to 40 close ones).

Ass-end of a Horned Grebe

I also saw that same Bonaparte's Gull again!


This morning there was good light early so I headed out the door before 7 a.m.  I watched the river till I had to go to work.  Of note, 15 Sandhill Cranes flew over from Michigan to feed in the corn fields.  Various ducks headed downriver, but no Harlequin (!).

Tecumseh downbound Port Lambton

1 comment:

  1. Yes a White-eyed Vireo is long overdue....maybe this year if the winter weather doesn't get too entrenched in the next month. And congrats on the Eurasian Wigeon. I've looked a couple of times but haven't picked it out yet.