Monday, May 13, 2019

More May Birding and Rondeau Red

It was down to Rondeau Park again on Thursday. With the up and down weather (mostly down), one does not know what to expect.  Some FOY birds included Mourning Warbler and Canada Warbler.
The Glossy Ibis was seen again at Keith McLean CA, and I searched high and low for it with Peter Simons and Henrique Pacheco.  We could not find it.  Had it finally gone?  We wondered.
Not a huge number of birds around this day.  A good feeling was anticipated for Friday though.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Friday morning dawned sunny a bit warmer and Steve Charbonneau and I spent some time roaming around.

It was time to go down to south point trail and slosh around.  This trail has been avoided much this year due to the deep water and prevailing east winds.
However, I found lots of birds.  There were some high counts of birds this day, including Scarlet Tanagers.  They were everywhere!

During the day I counted 58 of these throughout the park--the most I have seen in one day.

Another bird that was all over was Blackburnian Warbler.  I counted 61 throughout the day and Cape May was up there with 37.

Magnolia Warblers were plentiful (38) and we came across seven Orange-crowned Warblers.

The first Blackpoll Warblers had arrived, but I only came across two.  Some Tennessee Warblers had come in as well.

I had heard that the Glossy Ibis was still at Keith McLean CA, so I made a detour to catch a glimpse of the very elusive creature.  It hid very well but I finally did see the beast.  I thought I would never see this bird!

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are scarce by this date, but I came across one.

Red-breasted Nuthatches were in big numbers the past week.  All those that went south last fall were heading back north to their stomping grounds.

With all the birds around, not a single rarity was found!  It was just nice to see lots of birds though.

Saturday, there were not a lot of birds around and one had to work hard to see a good variety of species.  I decided to use this day for my Great Canadian Birdathon in support of Bird Studies Canada.

I even left the park for an hour to go to Blenheim for supplies!
At one point I came across an attractive hybrid.  This Brewster's Warbler co-operated nicely along Harrison trail.

I had already tallied Blue-winged Warbler, but later I came across a Golden-winged Warbler at the north end.

Too bad I did not see a Lawrence's Warbler (saw one a week ago) to make a quadruple crown!

The birds from the previous day had left and even Scarlet Tanagers were scarce.

In the evening, I walked out marsh trail with Steve Charbonneau and Mac McAlpine who were doing the Rondeau Big Day.  Mac remarked that this was the 17th year.  I remember doing these big days from the beginning and it was difficult to believe how time has flown.  It is a tradition each year at this time that we do this marsh trail walk.

We did very well this time.  Highlight was a King Rail (Big Red) in which we happened to be in the right place at the right time.  We even saw the bird!  These uncommon rails are out there and one just has to be in the right place at the right time it seems.  Being a sensitive species, it will not appear on eBird lists.

We did get Virginia Rails and Sora, as well as several Least and American Bitterns.  A Great Egret was a nice addition, and a bonus bird was a Clay-colored Sparrow way out.

As we ended the walk, American Woodcocks and Eastern Whip-poor-wills were tallied.

At the end of the day, I ended up with 126 species in the park.  I found that was a good number considering the low number of birds and the fact I left the park for an hour!

Northern Parula

Sunday was started with the usual brisk east wind so we worked mostly the west part of the park.  At least the rain had stopped before dawn.  Frist thing, we checked out the start of marsh trail where birds traditionally stream north on a brisk NE wind.  Jeff Skevington joined us, but we did not see much.

Nashville Warbler

The sun finally did come out for a while, so I looked around.  I was down by Gardiner deer exclosure when I heard some musical finch notes farther down south point trail in the distance.  I could not place it, so I moved on.
Soon, there was an alert that Jeff had found an Evening Grosbeak!  Many of us went down the trail to look, but the bird had moved on.  I truly believe I heard the Evening Grosbeak, as it was about the same time Jeff saw it.  Not a bird we often expect this time of year!

I ended my birding time on tulip tree trail.  I added Pine Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler to the day list.  Steve and Mac came along and strangely, they needed those for their 24h list!  They ended up with 131 species from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, a respectable score.
Reuven Martin and Todd Hagedorn did the 24h thing as well, and ended up with 117 species.

I was reasonably satisfied with my week off despite the weather.  This coming week there is always more variety, but one is anxious to take time off as soon as possible.  Flycatchers had not yet come in to any degree, but this coming holiday weekend should be decent.

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