Monday, March 13, 2017

Rondeau Report and Ridgetown Revue

Sunday was sunny and cold and I spent a bit of time at Rondeau Park.  It was rather quiet for birds though.  Even the the bulk of the ducks were farther afield on Rondeau Bay.  The Eurasian Wigeon are likely still out there.

Frigid Wigeon

A walk through the campground revealed the wintering Yellow-rumped Warbler.  It was moving around quite a bit, probably looking for food.  I saw it eating Red Cedar berries, which is probably all that was available!

Some Golden-crowned Kinglets were doing the same thing.

South Point Trail had few birds.  I did find a Fox Sparrow near the washout.  I had not seen one in that vicinity since December.  It hid well in the shrubs!

I was not in the mood for doing much travelling, so I swung by Ridgetown Lagoons on the way home.  With the topsy-turvy weather recently, most ponds were frozen.  However, there was some open water at the lagoons and the north cell was packed like sardines with Tundra Swans.  I looked them over thinking about a "Bewick's" Tundra Swan, but one did not reveal itself.  It was here a few years ago that one was discovered.
A lone American Coot was in the one cell.

Coot on Ice

I did not think there would be much in the cells south of the road, but there actually was.  Many more Tundra Swans and a variety of ducks including almost 300 Redhead.
The small pond to the SE was mostly frozen, but here was some open water along the close edge. However, there was not too much visible because of the berm.  Suddenly I saw a couple of Greater White-fronted Geese!  They were barely visible though.

I waited, then I managed to count ten before they disappeared behind the berm.

On February 22, eight were reported there.

The white-fronted geese are not much of big deal anymore as they have been quite regular.  Even up Thunder Bay way, there have been multiple reports in the last week.
If you recall, there was that big influx last fall as well into southern Ontario.

My first encounter of the species was back on January 2, 1993 when two were near St. Clair NWA. They were quite rare then and were even worthy of an OBRC report.

The Ridgetown Lagoons have been productive over the years.  It is quite attractive to geese for some reason, and you almost always find Cackling Geese among the regular Canada Geese.  Snow Geese are regular and the occasional Ross's Goose is sometimes found.  Greater White-fronted are fairly regular visitors as well.

There have been some good shorebird sightings there over the years too. In November of 2004 a Black-necked Stilt spent a few days there.

So, Ridgetown is quite often worth a stop on your birding rounds!


  1. I think one of the reasons the Ridgetown lagoons are good for attracting geese compared to some other lagoons is due to the predominance of sandy soils in the Ridgetown area. That means less fall plowing and therefore more corn stubble out in the fields to protect the soil from the winter winds, which provides the food source for the geese.

    1. Indeed there seems to be more corn stubble in that area.