Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rondeau Produces Again

I have been sticking with Rondeau for the most part each weekend as it seems to be the place to go (without going far!).  It seems to produce each time with some decent birds.
I started the usual routine at Dog Beach along with Steve Charbonneau.  A variety of ducks went by, including all three scoter types.  Horned Grebes outnumbered loons 4:1.

At one point, I got on a darker grebe swimming in the distance to the north.  It sure looked like an Eared Grebe with the colour and shape of head.  It was an Eared!  Eventually it swam right out in front of us (at a distance) and joined a couple of Horned Grebes for comparison.  I just raised the camera, and they took off!

A couple of sparrow types came in off the lake, including a White-throated Sparrow that landed right near us.  It looked quite tired.  It is always interesting to see these small birds come off the lake and try to guess what species.

After an hour, it was time to warm up on south point trail.  It was rather quiet at first, but farther down we encountered some birds.  There were several Ruby-crowned Kinglets and only a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers among other birds.

White-crowned Sparrow

At one point we heard Common Redpoll fly over, which was the first I heard this fall.

Later, after looking at quite a few Cedar Waxwings and some American Robins along Lakeshore Road, we headed to the campground.  Quite a few birds were at the north end into the cottage area.  A good number of Fox Sparrows was here.

Craig's List Birds

We also encountered a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker which will likely winter here.  We always get one if not three in the area each winter.
At the north washroom there was a good flock of birds including 5 Yellow-rumped Warblers and another Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

After the campground experience, Steve left the park and I thought it would be worthwhile to check out south point trail again since the sun was out.

There were more birds than first thing in the morning!  I found a couple more Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  While looking at them, a yellowish warbler popped up in front of me--a Wilson's!  I guess I looked at it too long and never got a photo before it disappeared.  I tried to refind it, but could not.  There were quite a few birds in this general area.
It was not the only Wilson's Warbler found in the province today. Reuven Martin had one at the famous Arkendo Park along Lake Ontario in Oakville!
I am sure the Rondeau bird is record late, but I do not have the date handy.  My previous late date is 20 October 2002.

Rusty Blackbird

After a late lunch in Blenheim, I headed down to Erieau.  I passed the flock of gulls on Erie Shore Road (Dike Road) and there were several Franklin's Gulls.  Earlier, Mike Bouman counted 35 (same number as yesterday!).  They are constantly changing, so no doubt there are more than the 35.
**Just in:  At least 55 were in that field late today.  Not surprising!

I walked the Marsh Trail (R/R). Not too many birds there.  The usual Marsh Wren at the platform and on the way back I heard a familiar sound.  The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was still present!

I took a look at the pier area where Sean Jenniskens was waiting for a Cave Swallow.  Mike and Josh Bouman were also checking out the area.  Allen Woodliffe also came along and soon I decided to leave after a long day.

Unidentified heron type


  1. The latest date I am aware of according to the park's database was Oct 31, 1963, by R. D Ussher. I had one on Oct 28, 1977. So it looks like there is a new late date for Rondeau!

    1. Thanks for this info. That is going back a while! I will see if Keith has anything to add.