Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekend Winter Wanderings

Anxious to get out after a work-week, I was up early on Saturday and headed down to Rondeau Park. The sun was out for a change--probably the first time in six weeks on a Saturday (I have forgotten!).
The VC feeders were busy and at least one of the Fox Sparrows was present.  Some Pine Siskins were around, and obviously they replaced Purple Finches from last weekend.

Down on south point trail, there was a good pocket of birds by Anne's bench, including these two species.

On the lake, lots of Red-breasted Mergansers were moving as well as a few Herring Gulls.

Shoreline at the Washout

The campground was quiet again except for a small pocket of the usual wintering birds.

Lots of Red-tailed Hawks around

I briefly checked Shrewsbury, but did not bother to get the scope out.  Perhaps the Trumpeter Swans were still present.

The mythical Brown Thrasher certainly was not seen along Peel Street!

After lunch hour, I decided to head into Middlesex County.  I walked Wardsville Woods which was pleasant even though there were very few birds. This is a good area for butterflies in the summer, but is nice in the winter too.

I drove through Skunk's Misery area (Centreville Road), but came up rather empty.  Usually one would see a wintering Golden Eagle, but I only saw a young Bald.

Today, Sunday, I started at Erieau for a change.  There was a cold wind coming in off the lake, so land birds were absent along McGeachy dike.  Lots of gulls were moving by and a few ducks were on the lake.

At Erieau waterfront, there were a number of gulls and ducks.  Lots of ice was built up along the pier area making it impossible to get a good look at ducks farther out.

There was a variety, including 3 Ruddy and the Harlequin Duck.  They were right against the seawall and I could not get close to get a photo from my distance.  They often went out of sight.  The ice was too treacherous!

Ice boat on the Bay

Rondeau Park was somewhat quiet today.  Quite a few Pine Siskins were around, so they have suddenly moved in.
This Golden-crowned Kinglet on south point was desperately trying to find some morsels on the ground.

I was just finishing up in the campground when I got a text from Jim Burk about a Yellow-rumped Warbler just outside the park.  I eventually found it--the first one in quite some time.  They are certainly absent in these parts this year.

I checked the gas plant area on McKinlay, and a few birds were present.

I checked for the elusive Wilson's Snipe along Stefina, but instead I found a Great Blue Heron!

That is another bird type that left early this winter.  This one was first of year for me. The snipe will be back out tomorrow.

Another stop today was Craford Cemetery west of Cedar Springs.  It seems to be a good trap for birds, and today there were a number of species.  Highlight was a Great Horned Owl that flushed out of one of the spruces.

At home, it was nice to see a flicker at the feeder.  Photo was taken through the window.

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