I headed down to Rondeau Park early this morning in the rain. Of course the weather was nice all week and then went down the drain late Friday. (Are we starting this nonsense again?! lol). There were birds to see today, but it was rather miserable trying to bird in the rain, and it was not a day to carry the camera!
As is the custom lately, Steve Charbonneau and I started with a lakewatch at Dog Beach. Waterbirds were sparse, but we did have a good variety of ducks including all three scoters. Several puddle-type ducks went by such as Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, and of course Mallard.
We started the lakewatch just when the rain stopped for a while, but later it got fairly heavy. It was time to go to south point trail, at least out of the wind.
Lots of birds were at the start of the trail. However they were as wet as we were, as the rain came down. We trudged on anyway and found a couple of pockets of birds to sort through.
We headed up to the pony barn area next. Lately, it has been decent birding there. Just after I got out of the car, I spotted a tanager. A Scarlet would be decent at this date, but this one seemed a little different, as the colour was not correct for Scarlet for one thing. It was fairly close at first and facing directly towards me. It eventually moved back and fed high on Virginia Creeper berries. A number of American Robins were also present as it moved around, so difficult to keep track of it. We had lots of views and it appeared to be an adult female with a uniform orange tone. I never really thought of Hepatic Tanager at the time, but of course this one did not have a dark bill.
I went back to the car for the camera, but the bird moved further back. It would have been difficult to get a photo anyway with the rain coming down, raincoat on, horrible lighting, etc.
We were going to walk the campground, but it started raining once again. Screw it!
Steve left and I went back to the tanager spot. There were other birds there including a Nashville Warbler. Another bird caught my eye high in a tangle. At first I could not get a handle on it, but I knew it was different. Eventually it revealed itself as a Philadelphia Vireo--one of the latest I have seen in the fall. I watched it for over ten minutes.
By now, the rain essentially stopped, so I went back down to south point trail. I found a nice pocket of birds a ways before Anne's bench. I added several species for the day, including Orange-crowned Warbler (2).
On my way out I briefly talked to Jarmo Jalava near the store (we met him on south point in the rain earlier), then I headed over to Blenheim lagoons. Jeremy Bensette and Emma Buck were just finishing there, but did not have much to report. The only shorebirds I saw was a flock of 3 White-rumped Sandpipers flying over.
|Not a Nelson's Sparrow|
Sunday looks like a great day, so stay tuned....