Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Visit to South Chatham-Kent

Today I headed down to Blenheim and Erieau.  With the cold weather the last couple of days, ice is starting to form, however there is still lots of open water at Blenheim Sewage Lagoons.  Lingering ducks included many Northern Shoveler, some Ruddy and Gadwall.

Shy Shovelers

For the last couple of days, some Dunlin were at Blenheim, but despite searching this morning, I could not find one.  The latest I have ever seen a Dunlin (along with a Purple Sandpiper) was at Erieau on December 31 some years back.

With the mild weather this December, there is little ice and many ducks and waterbirds are hanging around Erieau.  Lots of Bonaparte's Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls were working the channel this morning.

Three Double-crested Cormorants are still at Erieau as of today.

While at the government dock, I heard the sound of a Killdeer, and immediately spotted it coming from the Rondeau side.  I snapped a quick photo as it flew by.

Most of the ducks are hanging out behind the firehall and were fairly close this morning.  There is a nice public access behind the firehall--really the only good one on the Bay side, but there are some road allowances though.  I only scanned with binoculars, making some rough estimates.

A good percentage of the "mob" is American Coots.  At least 4000 are still sticking around!

The majority of the other ducks are Redhead, and directly out from the viewing point I spotted this leucistic Redhead. Rather weird-looking!  Highly cropped photo:

That was basically it for my birding efforts today.
I am rather glad I did the Wallaceburg area yesterday as there were some decent birds.  It was kind of fun meeting other birders.
The Vermilion Flycatcher was not seen today and may have met its demise, but we will see.  There was a report of ice on its feet in the afternoon, but that was not evident in the morning.  I noticed the bird seemed to have some erratic behaviour yesterday and perhaps it was saying "I need to get out of here!".

The weather was nicer today and even the sun came out for the first time in over a week, this afternoon.  It does wonders for one's mood!

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