Saturday, December 3, 2016

"Winter" Birding Rondeau Area December 3

This morning I met up with Steve Charbonneau and we checked out Rondeau Park.  It was a day with dull skies even though the forecast, as usual, said partly sunny (lol).  A lakewatch at Dog Beach revealed some action including a couple of Red-throated Loons, up to 8 Common Loons and 3 Horned Grebes.  A few gulls and ducks were on the move while a single American Pipit flew over.

South Point trail was  a bit quiet, but we did find one decent group of non-warbler type  birds.  A single Ruby-crowned Kinglet was among the Golden-crowned, Brown Creepers, and a couple of Tufted Titmice.

The campground was rather quiet for this time of year, but the birds do roam around.  Not a single Cedar Waxwing!

We then scooted over to Erieau to check out the Marsh Trail (aka rail trail).  We had hoped to find the Blue-headed Vireo, but a thorough search left that one unchecked.  We met Keith Burk who earlier had several Marsh Wrens, not unusual for this trail at this time.

Just before getting back to the cars, we met up with Garry Sadler who had photos of a mystery bird.  It was a *Palm Warbler*!  He had it near the west end of McGeachy Pond dike.  It appears to be a "Yellow" Palm Warbler which would make more sense this time of year.  Obviously that was out next stop!

Photo by Garry T. Sadler

A few birds were along the trail, until we came to a multitude of Cedar Waxwings.

With well over 100, there had to be a Bohemian or two.  Keith was the first to spot none other than a Bohemian Waxwing.  We soon had good looks.

The flock roamed around quite a bit, and we even had it at the west end parking lot as we were leaving.

Bohemian Waxwings are very rare in the Rondeau area.  In fact this may be only about the sixth record.  The first time I saw any in the area was 30 January 2000 when I found 12 birds on south point trail (highest count). The same day Steve and Jim had some at the gas plant.

We spent almost two hours along the dike and needless to say, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher remained unseen even though others saw it earlier (and later!).  It hides well in the shrubbery and tangles!

I walked the rail trail again and came up vireo-less, but did see more birds than the first walk.

I made another quick check of the McGeachy dike and had good views of the Bohemian Waxwing, as did Allen Woodliffe and John Lamey.

Final stop was Blenheim Lagoons where the Western Sandpiper is in company with 6 Dunlin.  It took a while to spot them, but soon they came fairly close.

The Western Sandpiper has been present an incredible 3 weeks now.

Certainly there were some quality birds around today!


  1. Replies
    1. Indeed! Would have much preferred to have seen that Palm Warbler. Never had one in December!