Sunday, October 16, 2016

Quality Birds at Rondeau and Weekend Activities

It is an interesting time of year as you never know what will show up.  Most of the warblers and vireos and other passerines have moved through, but some decent birds will show up. As well we look for "late" birds.
I headed down to Rondeau Park early this morning and was the first birder to arrive.  I set up shop at Dog Beach as usual for a lakewatch.  There was a very stiff SW wind--not the best for the location, but it was evident there would be lots of birds going by. Dog Beach is the best spot for a lakewatch at the park.

Soon after arrival, I caught sight of an interesting bird.  It was quite distant and lighting was not the best due to the early hour, but I determined it to be a juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake.  The black carpal bar and size was evident.
I was wondering where the other "regular" birders were, but just as the kittiwake was going out of sight, they had arrived at the parking lot.  Too late!

We stood vigil for some time and at one point a dark-mantled gull appeared.  Size was apparent and we concluded Laughing Gull.  It actually appeared several times.  I can best describe it as a second-winter plumaged gull.  There was not really a good opportunity to photograph the bird due to distance.

Then the loons started coming.  In bunches. Perhaps over 150 went by or were swimming at Dog Beach.  (A large number were swimming at the north end of the park as well bringing a total to over 200 birds).  And no Red-throated.  We have almost given up on Pacific as there is no record for Rondeau!

We walked south point trail, but not much was seen there except Yellow-rumped Warblers and one Blackpoll.
A good number of birds were along Harrison Trail north.  I added a Nashville Warbler to the list.
I found some Closed Gentian, past its prime, in a known location.

While I was near the pony barn, I received a message about a Franklin's Gull at the north end of the park.  Interesting that showed up as well.  Steve Charbonneau found the bird and I soon arrived to see a first cycle bird.

A few days ago, Steve found a Eurasian Wigeon at Erieau behind the fire hall.  (It is nice to be retired!). That was my next stop.  I found it after less than ten minutes of searching.  There are thousands of ducks on the Bay right now, so who know what all is out there.  Most are distant.

There is also a weed mat out from the fire hall which shorebirds and gulls are taking advantage.  There were 20 Caspian Terns on it today--a good number for this date.

Blenheim Lagoons had no shorebirds except for some flyby Killdeer.  Some swallows were present including 2 Barn.

Yesterday we had nice weather and many of us were at Point Pelee for a special day. I arrived early for a Tip watch.
There was a decent SW wind, but nothing of note showed up!

Sunrise at Point Pelee Tip

It was a day to remember and share stories about the legendary Alan Wormington.
We had a nice walk through the woods as well.

While we were all having a fabulous lunch at Blue Heron, a Cloudless Sulphur flew through, much to the delight of Bob Curry.  Bob had never seen one before!

Bob looking for the Cloudless Sulphur
Here is a photo courtesy Kit McCann.

After lunch I headed over to Hillman shorebird cell to look at the reported Hudsonian Godwit and Cattle Egret.  The egret was a "year-bird" of course.

Just after I left, a Fish Crow showed up...............cannot get 'em all!


  1. Jeez...Why does everything show up at Point Point Pelee after I go! This always seems to happen with birds such as Kirtland's Warbler (showed up a day after I went for the last two years), Worm-eating Warbler, Willet, Mississippi Kite, and White Pelican. Anyway, glad you and many others got to see them. Hopefully those birds plus more will head up to Point Edward and Kettle Point at the end of the month when I do a lake/river watch. Good birding, and I'm sure I'll come across you soon!

    1. Welcome to the club! Have had that many time before. For example, I have missed Pacific Loon at Pelee by one day....four times! (I have yet to get one for my Pelee list).

  2. It was good seeing you at Point Pelee yesterday, Blake. It looks like you had quite the morning at Rondeau!

    1. It was a fitting day for everyone to get together at Pelee. Good to see everyone.
      And, it was a good weekend for birds!

  3. Obviously a very productive weekend for you, Blake, for both birds and butterflies. I haven't been able to get out as much lately due to family visiting and Marie and my 40th anniversary. This week, however.......thank goodness for retirement!

    1. Indeed there were some good birds around this weekend. Makes working all week worth the wait!

  4. What a weekend! I was watching the Ontbird posts for that area with jealousy!