Saturday, November 11, 2017

Another One at Rondeau

As I often do on weekends, I headed down to Rondeau Park early this morning.  It was one of the coldest days of the year so far, but I joined Steve and Aaron Charbonneau for a lakewatch at the famous dog beach.

Sunrise at Rondeau November 11

It was not a day for gulls, but lots of ducks were moving.  Included were some White-winged Scoters.

We did see a representative of all three scoter species today.
Duck of the day was Red-breasted Merganser.  There were a few thousand moving around, and they continuously went by all morning.  A single Common Merganser was mixed in with one flock.

Some Dunlin were seen as well as a few Sanderlings.  Of course, no Purple Sandpiper or Red Phalarope!

Loons were on the move today, with many Red-throated.  Perhaps a dozen or so were seen in 1.5h at dog beach.  More of these pass by here than one would think!  Where the heck is that Pacific Loon??

Being chilled to the bone after 1.5h, I moved on to south point trail to warm up.  Not many birds were there.  I did hear one Yellow-rumped Warbler, and near the "washout", about five Eastern Bluebirds were moving around.

Jim Burk came along and we walked back to the parking lot.  We talked about some good warblers that might be around, including Townsend's.  Jim found a late Wilson's Warbler in the campground earlier.

We met up again in the campground, and while I was looking at some Fox Sparrows, the Wilson's Warbler popped up!

I really did not think I would find it, but there it was.
Two years ago, November 14, I found one on south point trail which was record late by 15 days then.  Last year, I found one December 4, 2016 at McGeachy Pond dike.

Wilson's ass-end

There were no other warblers in the campground.

We parted ways and while I was at maintenance, Jim phoned me about a Townsend's Warbler he had just found in Bate's Subdivision!  I rushed out of the park to Second Avenue and found Jim looking for the warbler.  He had lost sight of it, but then we soon found it.

Townsend's ass-end

We had good looks at the bird as it worked the cedars.  It chipped a few times.

Rondeau seems to be the destination for many Townsend's Warblers.  Although today's bird was just outside the park, there have been five other park records.  I have seen two previous Townsend's Warblers in the park.

It was a nice surprise for today's outing, and thanks goes to Jim Burk for getting the word out quickly!



  1. Hi Blake--enjoyed your Blog , as usual. Nice Sunset. Great bird pics.
    I thought your younger readers might be interested in the first "recorded"
    Townsends Warbler for Rondeau. It was May 12 in 1984. I was lucky to get it
    along with many others [ probably ]. No doubt many others had passed through
    in earlier years, before records were kept. I wonder too, how many "bird
    collectors" in earlier years had that bird in their collection.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Irene. 1984 was a bit before I started birding. May 1994 was the second record, at Spicebush Trail. I think I was the very last one to see it!