Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rondeau: Birding in the Slush

Not surprisingly, the weather forecast did not look good for Saturday.  I headed down to Rondeau early this morning, leaving the house in calm, 5 degree weather.  By the time I got to Rondeau, it was 0 degrees and heavy wet snow!

View along Rondeau Ave towards Bay

Steve and I attempted a lakewatch from Dog Beach anyway, but it was downright miserable.  Typical weekend.  The snow changed to mostly rain, so at least the visibility was better.  Nothing much of note though.
We then moved to south point trail per usual.  I guess the warblers have finally left or perished as we did not have a single one.  There are some Yellow-rumped still around though. Somewhere.
After meeting Jim Burk, we abandoned the trail and moved up to the campground.  A number of sparrows and juncos were at the south end, but still no warblers.  Just a few Golden-crowned Kinglets and a singing Purple Finch.

I went off on my own afterwards and stopped at the visitor centre.  A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was the only different bird of the day at that point.
The weather was better, so I did another walk of south point trail.  I flushed up an American Woodcock at one point which is getting to be a decent bird at this date.
I came across a number of Black-capped Chickadees, but still no warblers.

Lagoon Road hawk!

After the second south point experience, I headed up Lakeshore Road and briefly stopped in front of McArthur's to look at juncos and tree sparrows beside the road. Most were on the lake side, but a few on the edge of the road to the other side.  I turned to look at those, and....ooops!  Not a junco, but a tanager.  A Summer Tanager no less.  It appeared to be an adult female, but I have never seen one this time of year.
I had a decent look at it and raised the camera, but of course it flew.  I saw it again, but it flew back right past me and disappeared.  I could not find it again.
Could it be the same bird Steve and I had a month ago?  Same plumage anyway.

After that high, I walked the campground again.  Some Eastern Bluebirds were at the south end.

Also a huge flock of juncos/Tree Sparrows which moved to the traffic circle and beyond.

I checked out Erieau as well, but nothing of note.  I did not locate the gnatcatcher at the marsh trail, but it was there yesterday.  The Eurasian Wigeon was still in the corner yesterday, and likely today once again.  Too lazy to scope.

The Blenheim lagoons had 9 Snow Geese among many Canada.  Lots of ducks too.  Tundra Swans were in, including our injured bird.  I counted 12 Dunlin at the back pond where there is now mud.

The Cave Swallows from yesterday were long gone.  They would not be happy today anyway.
There was quite a showing yesterday in the Rondeau area. It first started with the 3 Jim Burk had at the farm, then Brett Fried reported 5 at Rondeau Park.  Another was at Erieau harbour, and yet another single along McKinlay Line.
In the afternoon, several were reported near Rondeau Ave and out along the beach beyond the traffic circle.
Who knows how many were really around.  All told, I think at least 13 were at Rondeau Park for sure, then the others outside the park.

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