Sunday, December 4, 2016

McGeachy Strikes Again!

Today, December 4, turned out to be a fine day for birding.  As usual the weather forecast was wrong, and it turned out to be nice! There was no wind which was great for scanning the lake or hearing birds.

I started at Rondeau's Dog Beach for a brief lakewatch.  Scaup were moving in big numbers today as over 1000 went by.

However I only saw 4 Red-breasted Mergansers there while they are usually the big number. (Later I saw ~800 off south point trail moving west).
A Red-throated Loon was swimming far off shore, likely the same bird as yesterday.

I then moved down to south point trail where one could hear for a long distance.  There was not much to be seen on the way out, but on the way back I did have some birds to look through. The only warbler was a single Yellow-rumped--probably a bird that is attempting to winter at this point.

I found a "flock" of birds at one point that included the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  This bird is assumed to be the one that has been hanging around for several weeks.

Also in that flock were 3 Fox Sparrows, several Chickadees and kinglets (no ruby!).


After a brief check of the VC feeders, I moved up to the campground.  It was quiet again today.  I did come across a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at the south end.  I heard one at the north end, so perhaps there are a couple which is not unusual for this location in winter.

With the calm and clear day, I took advantage and scanned the ducks from the old pier area.  There were lots to sort through.  I was almost giving up on finding the Eurasian Wigeon when I found one in the distance.

Soon after I found another male Eurasian Wigeon a bit closer!

Perhaps one of these is the one that was at Erieau the past few weeks, as it was not located this weekend.  No reason a third could be around though!

Mindful of yesterday's events at McGeachy Pond dike, I headed over there next.  Not long after walking west, I caught sight of a yellow bird.  What was it?  It was very actively down in the tangles.  I soon got a look and determined it was a male Wilson's Warbler!


It was very difficult to try and photograph as it was down in and very active.  Earlier I had thoughts of finding the Palm Warbler that Garry Sadler photographed yesterday, but a Wilson's is just as good.  (by the way, the Palm Warbler was a "Yellow" eastern type, much more rare in Ontario).
There was something with the Wilson's today that I never got a proper look at.  It could very well have been the Palm.

Needless to say, the Wilson's Warbler is record late for the Rondeau birding area.  Coincidentally I found a record late one at Rondeau Park last year 14 November 2015. It was record late by 15 days, so do the math!

I also finally got a look at the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that has been hanging around the dike.

Not record late for the area.  Actually my latest is 7 December 2003 at the park.

What will show up at McGeachy pond next?


  1. Nice work Blake! Thats a pretty good haul for early December!

    1. Thanks Nate. It is always nice to come across some good "winter" birds, especially the Bohemian Waxwing which we rarely see in these parts.