As usual, I started in the campground. I found two groups of birds, each in a familiar spot. The northerly group contained an Orange-crowned of which I got fleeting glimpses. Several Golden-crowned Kinglets, creepers and nuthatches were the others.
I decided to move on, and on my way to south point, I noticed a flock of Am. Tree Sparrows/Juncos at the churches. I thought I saw a different bird amongst them, and sure enough a Field Sparrow revealed itself. They are often regular at Rondeau in winter with Tree Sparrows, but this year they are certainly scarce. I do not think one was found on the CBC!
Down at south point trail, it is pretty bleak for birds this time of year, but I came across more nuthatches, creepers and kinglets as well as chickadees.
Brown Creepers are in no shortage this winter which blend in well with the tree bark.
I took a look at the east beach area off the light beacon and spotted 5 White-winged Scoters right away. Not too much was moving in this brisk westerly wind.
I decided to give the campground another go on my way out. It turned out to be rather fruitful. I found the southerly group of birds easily and watched them for a while. A couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets were sticking together as they did a few days ago here.
I soon heard the familiar chip of an Orange-crowned Warbler and it took some time to locate it. As usual, it was rapidly moving from tree to tree and difficult to follow. It is certainly a more difficult bird to photograph! I managed a few record shots.
It is likely a different bird that earlier as there have been 2 or 3 Orange-crowned in the campground this winter.
After watching these birds for some time in the biting cold, I headed back to the car.....almost. As I approached the gate area, some bird flitted to my right. Uncertain as to what it was, I had to pursue it. I soon saw some bright yellow, but I thought, could this be a Nashville Warbler?
The pursuit was on. Like the Orange-crowned Warblers, it moved quickly from conifer to conifer, but I soon got a decent look to reveal a Nashville Warbler.
It also was difficult to photograph, but I got some diagnostic shots.
These birds are attempting to winter, so the Nashville was likely around somewhere all this time. This is not the latest I have seen one in Rondeau. On January 11, 1998 I found one at the start of south point trail. It stuck around for at least ten days. That one suggested the ridgwayi subspecies, but that may never be proven.
With the recent cold weather all still water has frozen, and a good portion of Rondeau Bay has refrozen. It is more seasonable!
|Dark-eyed Junco in leaf litter|