Saturday, March 5, 2016

Today's Swans and Geese

It was another day of much travelling to see what was around.  I started out at Rondeau Park which was rather quiet today.  I did not really see anything of note despite spending over two hours there.
Along New Scotland Line, were lots of geese, but only Canada Geese that I could find.  That mass of Snow Geese may have left there area as there have been no reports for some time.
Rondeau Bay refroze this week as winter returned.  We never really have much of a winter, but why did it return now? lol!
There were a couple of "puddles" with waterfowl at Shrewsbury dock.  Included were lots of Gadwall, but nothing of note.
At Erieau, most of the ducks flushed over to a puddle at the Rondeau marsh.  There were many ducks in the Bay near the government dock, but just as I raised my binoculars, they flushed due to an incoming fish tug.  Typical luck!  Perhaps the Harlequin Duck was among them as it was still see earlier this week.
It was not even noon, so I just continued on west and after a quick look at Wheatley Harbour, I went over to Hillman Marsh for a walk.  It was a good choice.
As I walked up the laneway towards the shorebird cell, I could see two rather large swans.  They were  a bit distant, but I sure thought of Trumpeter.

Sure enough, as I got closer, they were indeed Trumpeter Swans!  Three of them.

They called often and the characteristic sound was evident.
I went over to the viewing stand and waited.  They swam right up to it for close views!

They were constantly calling.

I knew they were rare for the Pelee circle, but I did not realize how rare.  There is only one other valid record for the Pelee circle which was some years ago on a CBC as seen by Josh Vandermeulen.

I continued on, and when I was at the boardwalk area, the three amigos flew over in an easterly direction.  Not to be seen again, apparently.

Hundreds of blackbirds were around today.

Ducks in the shorebird cell included Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal and Mallard.

After the Hillman event, I went over to Road 1 where I could see many geese.  Some white ones of various sizes were present.  Along Road 19, two scope-toting birders turned out to be none other than Josh Vandermeulen and Steve Pike.  They actually picked out several Ross's Geese, Snow Geese, Cackling Geese and even 6 Greater White-fronted Geese.  I did not see the white-fronts, but the Ross's were more interesting to me.

We went over to the dead-end road (Rd.. 1) at Hillman Marsh in hopes of finding the Trumpeter Swans.  No luck.  Even the "Afternoon Shift" made an appearance before he went to his work shift.

On the way home I saw lots of geese and swans.

5 Snow Geese along Maple Line

Along Meadowvale Line south of Wallaceburg


  1. I wonder if those TRUS were the ones that spent so long at Shrewsbury this winter, as those haven't been reported for a few days now. Of course there are still swans scattered around on Rondeau Bay, many of which are too far for easy ID, so they might still be around.

    1. I would consider these different birds as there were 3 and they stuck together.
      Just got word there were up to 5 TRUS just outside Pelee Park late this afternoon! There were also multiple sightings in Essex Co. this winter, so they are certainly increasing in numbers.