Saturday, April 25, 2015

Today's Trickle of Migrants

Early to rise, I headed down to Rondeau Park and met up with Steve Charbonneau to do some birding.  The usual cold easterly weekend wind put a nasty chill in the air.

On south point trail, a few Yellow-rumped Warblers were scattered about and at the Anne McArthur bench, three Pine Warblers were working some Pine trees.  The only Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of the day was also here.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on TTT

Along the lake, it was evident that a good loon migration was happening. Common Loons were continually going by.
We also caught sight of a Glaucous Gull heading east, but it was very far out.

Fruitless Photo Attempt!

The trail continues to get shorter as more erosion has occurred since last week!  By next year, the Woodliffe bench on spicebush may have to be re-located.
The White-eyed Vireo of yesterday was nowhere to be found.

Tulip Tree Trail was dead (except for a heard-only Blue-headed Vireo), as was Spicebush Trail.  It is certainly looking like one of the slowest springs in recent years.  One day soon there will be a big influx!

After a check of Harrison Trail near maintenance (a Blue-winged Warbler was there yesterday), we decided to head over to marsh trail since it would be somewhat out of the wind.
There were a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, but the first Yellow Warbler of the year made an appearance.

Soon we will be tired of them!

We walked well past the tower and noted hundreds of ducks still on the Bay.  Most were scaup, but others mixed in.
On the way back, we spotted an early Orange-crowned Warbler, but tagging along with it was a Yellow Warbler.  Likely the same Yellow we saw earlier.

Record early Orange-crowned for Rondeau is April 13, 2001 during that 'early' year.  (Steve and I had that one as well).

The only Fox Sparrow of the day was at the same location.

We parted ways and I decided to check out the ever-windy Blenheim Lagoons.  A Horned Grebe was on one pond, but alas, no Eared yet.  In the back pond, a lone Tundra Swan was swimming around.
A single Pectoral Sandpiper was on the grass near the back.

To get out of the wind, I walked down in the ditch around pond 3, and on the north side I was startled by flushing up a Short-eared Owl.

Certainly one of the later ones I have seen.

In the sprinkler cells, some nervous Dunlin (100+) were swirling around, and the only other shorebird was a Spotted Sandpiper.

With lots of time left in the day, I decided to take a chance over at Hillman Marsh.  Lots of Dunlin there and about ten Greater Yellowlegs plus one Lesser among the ducks.  Beats sitting around the house anyway!

Windsor Birder at Hillman


  1. Congrats on the Yellow and Orange-crowned!

    I guess if the Woodliffe bench is at risk of being washed away, we better find another place to go birding!

  2. Hi Blake!
    Beautiful blog- thanks for the great work you're doing!
    I'm a bird-lover looking for ways to connect the Birding communities of Ontario with an amazing Bird Language Leaders learning opportunity. As a keen and active Birder yourself, I hope you might be interested in this initiative (described below), and/or potentially offer some insight as to how I can put out a “thread of connection” in a good way. I believe the Birding community has a lot to gain from becoming involved.
    I'm reaching out on behalf of Sticks & Stones Wilderness School, in collaboration with several other Ontario and international organizations (including The 8 Shields Institute, Nature Connection Mentoring Foundation, and Earth Tracks Outdoor School).
    The international Bird Language Leaders project will soon be starting up in Ontario. Themed around birds being the eyes and ears of the natural world, keen emphasis is placed on learning to observe and listen deeply to the birds around us, and that in doing this, we can begin to experience increased awareness and participate in nature in a new and dynamic way. To do so has been a key adaptive survival strategy for many non-avian species throughout evolution– including humans. By tuning in, we also inevitably learn to decrease our personal ecological footprints, which has benefits for present and future generations alike.
    World-renowned expert Jon Young (author of What the Robin Knows and co-founder of the 8 Shields Institute) is a leading mentor in the field of Bird Language and Deep Nature Connection, and he’ll be coming up to co-facilitate the workshop, along with a team of Ontario experts. Our event will mark the "kicking off" of this incredible international movement here in Ontario.
    Far from being a one-off event, the workshop is where people can come to get a sense of what this opportunity for a supported learning journey is about by starting things off with a bang. Learning objectives for the weekend include:
    • The Five Voices of the Birds
    • Interpreting Shapes of Alarm
    • Mapping Bird Language
    • Sensory Awareness, Natural Movement & Invisibility routines
    • Storytelling and Dynamic Sensory Memory Skills
    • Baseline Symphony and Concentric Rings
    • Ways to integrate the skills after the workshop
    • How to continue your training and get certified in BLL

    This project implements specific cultural mentoring techniques proven to be effective in building personal and community resilience. There is a lot of background and history to this initiative, and the benefits of the community-supported model extend much deeper than Bird Language alone.
    I’d be happy to set up a phone meeting with our Program and Project Director Skeet Sutherland, if you'd like to learn more about this project, and about how your Birding networks can benefit from this opportunity.
    I can be reached at or by phone at 705.994.3666
    Or, if you'd like to view the webpage and/or register for the event yourself, please visit

    I appreciate the time you’ve taken to read and consider this.
    Thank you, and take care,

    Kate Sutherland
    Deep Nature Connection Mentor
    Sticks & Stones Wilderness School