Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Some Recollections

With the recent presence of the Townsend's Warbler at Rondeau (still present today!), today I had recollections of the past on this boring evening.  Nine years ago, a Black-throated Gray Warbler was found working the cedars at the north end of Rondeau Park.
To be specific, it was November 23, 2008 when Jim Burk and I were checking out the campground.  We heard a chip note in a Red Cedar which sounded interesting.  Jim soon spotted the bird, a first record for Rondeau!  It stayed around for a few days for many to see.

Below is my original blog post on the subject bird:

A new bird species for the Rondeau list was found today. Jim Burk and I came across a Black-throated Gray Warbler at the north end of Rondeau Provincial Park feeding in the Red Cedars.

Black-throated Gray Warbler at Rondeau

Just before Jim spotted it at the top a Red Cedar, I had heard a chip note that sounded something like a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Something did not seem right about it being a Yellow-rumped, but I passed it off because the Yellow-rumped frequently winters in this particular spot. After finding the bird, we heard it chip several times.

The warbler worked the cedar trees exclusively, moving from one to another. We watched it for over an hour. At one point we lost it for a long period of time, but then I refound it where we first spotted it.

Reading through blog posts of late fall 2008 through winter 2009, it was an excellent birding year.  There were some good lake watches at both Point Pelee and Sarnia.  Jaegers were seen at Lake Huron, among other birds.
Even Erieau had some good birds such as Franklin's Gull, Cave Swallows, Black-legged Kittiwake and Purple Sandpiper.
I found this Purple Sandpiper on Erieau's pier earlier that November.  They are quite often approachable.

Here is the kittiwake:

A good Tip watch on November 8, 2008 with Alan Wormington and Kevin McLaughlin produced some Cave Swallows, Little Gull and a flock of 22 Franklin's Gulls.  I never took photos that day due to weather conditions and the fast moving birds!
Tip watches were and always are fun at times.  I have this photo in my archives, but I do not remember who took it.  (Thanks goes to whoever did!).

Alan Wormington, Steve Pike, Blake Mann, Marianne Balkwill

There was a long-staying Spotted Towhee at the Tip of Point Pelee that winter.  I never got any really good photos though.

The winter of 2008-2009 was known for the big invasion of White-winged Crossbills.  They were everywhere all winter.  I had several sightings in my own yard here in Wallaceburg.

Just thought I'd make some recollections of the past on this dark, damp evening!


  1. That must have been quite the thrill to spot the Black-throated Gray with Jim, Blake! Thanks for the recollections...maybe I will see you at Point Pelee this weekend for a tip watch?

    1. Good to hear from you, Josh. Yes, it is a thrill to find a rare bird...something that does not happen often enough for me!
      I may get to Pelee on Saturday...will see.