Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016 Birding

Today, Sunday was the nicest day of the year, finally!  Lots of early spring migrants showed up.  There was a good push of Tree Swallows, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creepers etc.  Some butterflies were also out and I finally saw a couple today.
A Red Admiral went through my yard this afternoon (Jim Burk had 3 today) and I saw an Easter(n) Comma at Peers Wetland.

Yesterday I ventured down to Hillman Marsh first thing to look for some early shorebirds.

While it is not unusual to have Dunlin and Pectoral Sandpipers this time of year, I saw both species for the first time this year.  They had showed up recently.  The Dunlin (7) were seen in the morning.

3 Distant Dunlin

On to Point Pelee, I saw a nice male Ring-necked Pheasant in a usual spot.  They are certainly difficult to find anymore.  I don't know where to find them around Rondeau these days!

I started walking at the Tip where it was uncomfortably cold.  Some recently-arrived Golden-crowned Kinglets were in the woods, but not much else.

I walked up west beach trail to the "serengeti tree" and while looking at the ducks on the lake, I heard the call note of a Yellow-rumped Warbler behind me.  It seemed to be a bit different, but I turned around to look for it.  I only got a brief look at first, but then managed a better look.  It turned out to be an "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped!  A female no doubt with the pale yellow throat and plain face.  It was, unfortunately on the move and I could not get a photo.  At least I saw it well-enough to ID.

A female was found earlier in the winter by Jeremy Bensette farther north in the park on February 5. I looked for that one the next day to no avail.  It was found again March 12 by Jeremy Hatt at the Tip parking lot. The bird is well-travelled.

Some are found each year somewhere in the province, but not all are documented.  I know there are a couple for Rondeau undocumented and I am guilty of not documenting one I saw 21 years (!) ago north of Wallaceburg.

2015 Sarnia bird found by C.B.

After a couple hours in the park, I went back to Hillman Marsh shorebird cell and ticked off some Pectoral Sandpipers.  Too distant for any sort of a photograph in the poor weekend light.
Lots of Northern Shovelers (200+) were present.

Looking in an easterly direction at the viewing hut, there were lots of ducks.  Most were Gadwall and one was leucistic.  It may have been a Redhead though.  I had one identical bird at Erieau in early January.

On the way home, I checked the old Dover Township and St. Clair NWA environs.  There were still a few groups of Tundra Swans.  Lots of wet spots, but no shorebirds.  Greater Yellowlegs were seen the previous day.

Today, Sunday, I went down to Rondeau Park for a while.  It was a nice day for a change but nothing spectacular was seen.  However, I heard there was a Caspian Tern, which would be record early by 8 days.

I did have a FOS Common Loon fly by south point.
More Easter(n) Phoebes were in among the dozens of kinglets and a few Easter(n) Towhees.

Bald Eagles are nesting in the area and this one always seems to be perched along the south point shoreline.

I quick check of Erieau revealed lots of ducks, but not the Harlequins.  They can be elusive at times, so possibly still present.  It is quite unusual to have a pair there.

The next week should see more new migrants as spring is in the air.


  1. Lovely series of photos. Warm greetings from Montreal. :)

    1. Thanks, Linda. Nice to hear from those farther afield.