Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rondeau: Rubies to Snowies

Today I decided to go to Rondeau Park and area.  I arrived quite early and drove around a bit first thing.
Not much in the way of photos was just one of those days birds did not co-operate.

The campground seems to be the best area right now, so I started there.  Jim Burk had already arrived, so we walked around the usual circuit.  Right near the entrance we came across a few birds including a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  As I mentioned several times before, they seem to be numerous this fall.  Difficult to say how many we came across today but at least five in or near the campground.

Golden-crowned Kinglets are very plentiful this winter as we have been finding them all over.

We checked the north end first where most of the birds seem to be.  Nothing of note actually, but there were many birds.  Near the south end we came across an Orange-crowned Warbler.  We never got a superb look, but there was no question as to what it was.

As we headed down Lakeshore Road, there were a number of birds, but no Fox Sparrows today. I have no doubt some are still around though.  A couple of robins were seen, plus a flock of 5 or 6 Eastern Bluebirds, many juncos and American Tree Sparrows.  A large flock of House Sparrows was south of the VC as well.  Hopefully one of these days, a Eurasian Tree Sparrow will pop up!

On south point trail, a couple of Hermit Thrushes and another robin were seen among the more common things.
Common Grackles must have been on the move today as we saw several, some being on the ground.
At the end of the trail, aka the washout, we heard some interesting chip notes.  Another Orange-crowned Warbler!  We only got a brief look before it also quickly disappeared.

trail used to be way out from here!

A male Purple Finch was seen nearby in a rose bush--the only one of the day.

Looks like siskins have left in bulk.  Only a few were around today.

After a check of the maintenance area, Jim went up north of the campground and found an Eastern Phoebe.
After I arrived, we found yet another Orange-crowned Warbler in the cottage area.  It too was unco-operative for photos.  After some discussion we concluded it was different than the one we saw earlier farther south.  Hopefully at least one of these will be around next Sunday...
Strangely, no Yellow-rumped Warbler today, but as I said before they are scarce this year.

Brown Creepers are plentiful right now besides the Golden-crowned Kinglets.

I decided to check out Ridgetown next, but it was a bust.  Very few geese, and only three Snow Geese that circled several times.  Four White-fronted were still present on Thursday, I believe.

Over at Blenheim Lagoons, not a single goose!  Many gulls though, but only the three common species.

I decided to check Erieau and drove straight down Lagoon Road.  Today I only came across two Snowy Owls, where at least 9 were present in the area yesterday or so.  As often is the case, all the owls I saw today were way out.

The marina and harbour still had lots of Horned Grebes (~40+), but nothing else of note.
The marsh trail was rather dead.  I only saw one rail.

With lots of time left in the day, I worked my way NW and checked out Dover Twp.  I only drove Jacob Road and up Mallard Line and came across six Snowy Owls.  Up to 14 were seen earlier this week and those are probably still out there.
The first three I saw today were within close proximity to each other.  Two of them are seen below, but again, waaay out!
owl spots!

Near the end of Mallard Line I saw a group of 5 or 6 Bald Eagles.  They nest in the area so that could have something to do with it.

Still lots of Tundra Swans out there (3000+).

Tomorrow....who knows!!


  1. I expect that rail will still be around on the CBC....who gets to count it?

    1. That one is usually guaranteed at least!