Saturday, January 7, 2017

January Jaunt

Headed down to Rondeau Park first thing this morning.  Although very cold, it was a pleasant day for birding.  Starting at the campground, I came across a few birds.  The single Yellow-rumped Warbler was still making its rounds, but remained rather elusive.
In the same vicinity, while looking at 3 Fox Sparrows, I heard a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  I did not pursue it, but instead tried to get a photo of one of the Fox Sparrows.

Next stop was the visitor centre where the usual feeder birds were busy.

A walk along south point trail was nice in the morning sun.

Not too many birds were present, but a Hermit Thrush and an American Robin were in the same neighbourhood (see above).

I stopped by the VC again, and finally got a brief glimpse of the Eastern Towhee.  It would not show well!

I soon headed out of the park and went on to Erieau.  A walk along the rail trail was rather uncomfortable in the cold wind but the Orange-crowned Warbler that Steve saw yesterday was not present.  There are several Song Sparrows along this trail.

I checked out Erieau where some open water attracted hundreds of waterfowl.  Of note, 2 Pied-billed Grebes were in the channel.  Some other ducks were close by.

The long-staying Harlequin Duck has not been reported in many days.  Is it still around?

On the way out, I stopped at McGeachy Pond, just in case!  There was hardly a bird to be seen, but luckily I did get a brief look at the Orange-crowned Warbler.  First one I have seen in January!  This bird refuses to have its photo taken.

While there, I kept hearing Sandhill Cranes and wondered where they were.  Soon, a flock of 44 flew over heading west.

Obviously these were bailing out of the province!  This year (fall migration) has been exceptional for the number of Sandhill Cranes seen.

On the way back to Wallaceburg, I headed down Meadowvale Line to check on a Snowy Owl or two.  Actually there were three!  All were rather far out in the fields.

I continued on along the Snye (Chenal Ecarte) and noted one of the Pied-billed Grebes at Bluewater Conference.
Along the north part of Walpole Island, some ducks (as well as 2 American Coots) have been hanging out around the the spot we affectionately call the "Black-necked Stilt Spot".  The coots were present as well as several Mallards and two male Northern Pintail.  The pintails appeared yesterday.  Quite a few pintails have been reported in the province of late.  I think they came in with that warm day we had in the holiday week.

Lots of Redhead Ducks were moving on the St. Clair River today.  Most ducks have been down on Lake St. Clair, but with the freezing weather lately, they will be moving around.

James R. Barker

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