Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rondeau Area Birding October 10

I was up bright and early this morning to head down to Rondeau Park.  I met up with Steve Charbonneau to check out the sights.

It turned out to be a productive day for the first day of Thanksgiving weekend.  As I mentioned before, this weekend tends to produce some good birding.

I took a quick look at Dog Beach before starting on south point trail.  With last week's storm, tons of sand has been moved around!  The little pond there that formed after a storm a few years ago has nearly filled in.

Out on the lake were a few early Tundra Swans.  Seems that many have shown up rather early this fall, as several have been reported already.

On south point trail, we ended up with about 11 species of warblers including some Pine, Yellow-rumped, Tennessee, Black-throated Blue, among others.

Northern Parula

Several Blue-headed Vireos were scattered around, but that turned out to be the only vireo type of the day.

Only a few sparrows, including Chipping.

Along the shoreline where massive erosion has occurred over the last year or so, the beach has grown immensely.

Last week's winds and waves have moved in a lot of sand!  The shoreline now has a reprieve.

We checked the visitor centre area and the only things of interest were a couple of park employees dressed for Halloween.  Dorothy, of the Wizard of Oz had a beard which was pretty scary.  A good witch (Pilar) paid us a visit.

Out next stop was at maintenance and a walk down Harrison Trail.  It was a productive area as well.  A couple of American Redstarts were actively working the fence line.

Down the trail, the highlight was a late Black-billed Cuckoo, probably the latest I have seen one.

We saw the first Fox Sparrows of the fall here.

After this, we headed towards Blenheim Lagoons.  At New Scotland, a hummingbird crossed my path--probably a Black-chinned.

The lagoons were also quite productive and it was evident hundreds of swallows were present.  I estimated around 500 Tree Swallows.  At least one Barn Swallow was among them.

At the sprinkler cells, a number of shorebirds were present. Needless to say, Willie the Willet was still in fine form.

Lots of White-rumped Sandpipers were feeding--we estimated 70.  There has been an incredible invasion of them into southern Ontario in the last week or so.  They must have been blown off course somehow since we do not usually see this many.

A single Long-billed Dowitcher was present as well as a single Least Sandpiper.
We also saw the Red-necked Phalarope in one of the ponds.

Lots of butterflies are still around including several worn Bronze Coppers.

After the lagoon visit, I almost went home, but decided to take one more quick walk down at Erieau's marsh trail.  There were not too many birds, unless you could count the 10,000 ducks on the Bay!

Just before I finished my walk, I spotted a skipper!  This time of year there is not much choice of skippers, but I recognized this as an Ocola Skipper.

Recently, a few have been reported in southern Ontario.  We see these only every few years.  I have only seen one other, that at Point Pelee a few years ago in October.

More stuff tomorrow....


  1. An Ocola Skipper would be a new one for me.....I'll have to check out this trail soon!

    1. Allen, I do believe it is a new species for the Rondeau area. The Ocola was first found in Ontario in 1991 at Hamilton by Bob Curry.
      McGeachy dike is another good spot to check, but I was a bit tired by the time I checked out the marsh trail.

  2. Blake, a great day... Congrats on the Ocola skipper! Have a great thanksgiving!