Sunday, December 2, 2018

Early December Wanderings

As many headed down to Niagara Falls this weekend, I stayed fairly local.  I used to do the Niagara thing each year, and it was always nice, but it seems it is uneventful anymore.  As well, birds are appearing later and later.  We used to go a week earlier as I recall, and found lots of gulls (many species), a Purple Sandpiper or two, etc.

On Saturday I decided to head up to north Lambton County.  As usual, it was a dreary day, but at least the rain held off until late day.  I first stopped at Perch Creek Habitat east of Sarnia.  I walked most of the circuit.  Some Common Redpolls flew over while I was in the woods, but once I got out beside the old landfill, there were dozens!  They never seemed to settle down for any length of time though.

I had expected them, as the old landfill seems to be a good spot to find them when they are around.  There were around 100 this day.

One of my target birds of the day was Long-eared Owl.  I never came across one last winter for whatever reason.  I did find one roosting in a Red Cedar--the very tree I saw whitewash the week before.  I did not get much of a photo after it flew (not that I meant to flush it).

For my next walk, I took another crack at Ipperwash Forested Dunes and Swales.  I did the Dunes trail and the trail to the big MNR parking lot.  Yet again it was very quiet, so that may be my last time this year!  The birds are not staying.

Next walk was the Ausable River Cut CA.  There, I could hear an Evening Grosbeak calling across the river cut.

The area has quite a history, and this cut was certainly an engineering feat.

On my way out, I heard an Eastern Phoebe chipping in the trailer park across the road.  Perhaps it was the same one I had a couple of weeks ago since it was the same spot.

As I left the parking lot, the power steering went out in my car, so I thought my day was over!  I drove for a while then stopped at C. J. McEwen CA close to Camlachie.  There I found out that if one shuts off the car, then restarts, the steering may return.  It did.  Computers......

I took a look at the lake there and among a few ducks, a Horned Grebe was far offshore.

Yes it is

A Common Redpoll flew over here as well.

On the way home, I took back roads and came across a large flock of redpolls on Waubuno Road.  Perhaps 80 in that group.  They never settled down to any degree either!
Appears that lots of redpolls were on the move Saturday, as Sean Jenniskens had hundreds in north Lambton as well.

Last stop was Peers Wetland near home.  More redpolls flying over, numbering about 20.

Today, I headed down to Rondeau.  Turned out to be an unusually nice day, and eventually temps reached 16 degrees inland.
It was actually too nice, as not many birds were seen.  I did have an Eastern Phoebe at south point.
After searching the usual spots, I left the park.  (Too soon since that Great Kiskadee revealed itself again!).

I headed east for a change, into Elgin County.  I walked around John E. Pearce P.P.  There were lots of chickadees, nuthatches and some kinglets (1 Ruby included), and an Eastern Phoebe.

On the Spicer Trail, I came across an Eastern Comma, the first butterfly I have seen in many weeks!

I was actually expecting to see one with the balmy weather.

Just as I was leaving, a flock of 16 Sandhill Cranes flew over.
I had hoped to come across a Barred Owl, since one was seen there a week ago.  It was probably roosting somewhere!

My last walk was at Wardsville Woods, a place I do not usually get to in winter.  Another Eastern Comma was along the trail, not unexpected.  I flushed it before I could get a photo.

There were lots of fall cankerworm moths out today.

Looks like more stable weather later this week!

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