Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day Birding


I checked out Rondeau this morning after an absence of almost two weeks.  It was actually tough finding any number of birds.  I started with the campground and the only bird of note was a Pine Siskin flying over.  Been a while since I had one even though they were so plentiful in November.  It was somewhat disappointing on that first walk, so I went to other parts of the park.

I guess one could say it was a nice day for a walk!  I did not find much under the cloudless skies.
Later, I decided to give the campground another go, and it was more successful.  Near the south end I found a mixed group of birds consisting of both kinglet types, creepers, both nuthatches and some chickadees.  I soon heard the familiar chip notes of an Orange-crowned Warbler.

I stayed in this general spot for 25 minutes as the birds were not going anywhere.  I only got two very brief looks at a dull Orange-crowned Warbler, but never did get an opportunity to photograph it.
There were two Ruby-crowned Kinglets in this flock.

After a while I headed to the north end and found a similar, but certainly different group of birds.  I heard the chip notes of an Orange-crowned again, and spotted the bird.  It was a decidedly brighter bird than the earlier one farther south.
Once again it was tough getting a good look, never mind a good photo.

It was moving northward as I followed it.  While trying to watch this bird, I heard another chip to my left and it was yet another Orange-crowned.  It too, quickly headed northward into the cottage area.

These are obviously the birds that have been around all month.  One wonders how many there actually are in the area.  Yesterday Jim Burk had two in the campground and another in Bate's subdivision.
There seems to be a number around southern Ontario this winter with the ones in Oakville, some that Reuven Martin has seen and more recently one with a Nashville Warbler at the Wheatley Cemetery as reported by Karl Overman and James Fox. Five were recorded on the Blenheim/Rondeau CBC.
But then, Yellow-rumped Warblers are hard to come by this winter!

Not shortage of geese these days, and there were a lot by the boat ramp. However, I could not pick out anything different.

I headed out of the park along Rose Beach Line.  About 200 Ruddy Ducks were along the shoreline, but not much else.  Apparently more yesterday.
Up at Ridgetown lagoons, lots of Canada Geese were in as usual plus at least 8 Cackling Geese.  They were tightly packed in the far cell, so it was difficult to pick things out.
At least 7 Northern Pintail were with the 100+ Mallards.

Blenheim did not have much of note, but at least I checked!

Yesterday I took some time to drive around Dover Township.  I came up with 12 Snowy Owls, all way out in the fields.  It is not feasible to drive every road and check every nook and cranny, so I would not be surprised if double that number is out there and along the Lake St. Clair shoreline.

Lots of Tundra Swans are still around.

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