Saturday, November 3, 2018

Some Early November Birding Rondeau Area

With anticipation of decent weather (for a change), I headed down to Rondeau Park early this morning as a finch invasion is underway.  Sure seemed strange to not be dodging rain!  The weather was bad all week ( with way too much rain), opposite to what it has been all year.

I birded throughout the morning with Steve Charbonneau, starting with a bit of a lakewatch at dog beach first thing.
Not much was moving today, as the lake was calm.  We did see a few loons and at least one Red-throated Loon among the ducks and a few Horned Grebes.
A couple of Common Redpolls flew over as we were leaving the beach, starting our finch list for the day.
Along south point trail, a few Pine Siskins were moving as well as several Purple Finches.
Yellow-rumped Warblers have thinned out considerably, making it easier to spot some other late warblers.

At one spot, Steve noticed a tardy Cape May Warbler.

This same spot held a Northern Parula, which was very active but never posed for a photo.
At one point I thought I saw a Nashville as well (it may well have been).

Now that it is November, the campground is closed for camping, and birders have free reign. Late fall is the best time for checking this locale and many good birds can be found.  It is a must stop on each visit this time of year.
Early on, we heard the first Evening Grosbeak of the day.  Although Steve was one lane over, I managed to get a good look at the bird as it flew northward.  I never got a photo of one today, so an old photo will have to suffice. Target bird of the day achieved!

There were a few Yellow-rumped Warblers in the area, but the best warbler of the day was a Bay-breasted.  It was very active, so no decent photo was obtained.

It was near the north end, and in the very tree I found the Townsend's Warbler last year--the only day it was seen WITHIN the park.
The Bay-breasted may be record late for Rondeau, but I have no other information at this time.

Lots of Cedar Waxwings were around, but their cousin that sports a cinnamon butt was nowhere to be found.  I have faith that one will be seen soon!

Three Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were together in the campground which was interesting to see.

A couple always spend the winter here, so perhaps these may stay.

We then moved to Water Street near marsh trail where a number of birds were actively feeding.  A lingering Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was still present.  Also, another three Evening Grosbeaks briefly made their presence known.

The Great Kiskadee was looking good near the curve in Water Street.  There are still many birdwatchers seeking this rarity.

Later, I headed over to Erieau and checked out McGeachy Pond dike.  This is another good spot at this time of year, for whatever reason.
A number of birds were present, but at one point I was going to stand on one of the docks, when I flushed an interesting bird.
It was only a brief view, but I instantly knew it was a nightjar!  It gave a sound when flushed and my initial impression was Whip-poor-will.
I alerted Steve and he came over within a half hour.  We checked the same area, and luck was with us, as the bird flushed again.  We got a fairly decent view to confirm it as a Whip-poor-will!

Strangely, back on 4 November 2012 (the last good finch year!) we saw one at Rondeau park which was record late.

I checked out Blenheim Lagoons before heading home.  Shorebirds have thinned out considerably since last weekend.  About 20 Greater Yellowlegs and one Lesser were present among Dunlin.  At least one White-rumped and a possible Semipalmated Sandpiper (never got a decent look) were still hanging around.
The two Trumpeter Swans were still in the area as well.

Sunday I will be heading in the opposite direction which should prove interesting.

Sunset at Mitchell's Bay this past week

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