Saturday, November 9, 2019

Some Erie Shore Birding

The past couple of days I have headed down to Rondeau and Pelee areas.  Friday morning started with a very cold lakewatch!  Once again the wind was not ideal, but one has little choice and must try.  And, yet again, nothing of note showed!
We did see up to six American Woodcocks migrate in off the lake.  It is always neat to them come in and dive into the woods!

A pipit or two briefly landed on the beach.



To warm up a bit, we walked south point trail.  Not a single warbler was seen and rather few passerines.  A few Eastern Bluebirds were around though, always nice to see.



Some Eastern Phoebes were busily looking for food.




Later, a highlight was a Red-headed Woodpecker behind a cottage along Lakeshore Road.



A Baltimore Oriole was also here, but did not show while we were present.

A walk through the campground revealed a good number of Chipping Sparrows among others. 
Here we found several Yellow-rumped Warblers as well.  An Orange-crowned Warbler was also added to the warbler list, but I was unable to get on it with the camera.

Steve and I then met up at the Blenheim Lagoons were a good number of ducks and some shorebirds were present.
Shorebirds included over 30 Dunlin, 4 Greater Yellowlegs, a number of Wilson's Snipe, Killdeer, a late Least Sandpiper and a one-legged White-rumped Sandpiper called 'stumpy'.







The previous day, Steve had a record-late Stilt Sandpiper, but of course we could not find it this day.

Today, Saturday, I thought it would be a better day for a lakewatch at Rondeau.  Nope, the park was close for a deer cull.  News to us!  Usually we have some sort of notice when this will happen.  Also, they usually do not do it on a weekend to accomodate visitors, but obviously there was no consideration to that.
FYI, dates include the mornings of November 9,12,13,14,19,20,21,30 and all day December 7.  Note there are a couple of Saturdays, unfortunately.

Instead, Steve and I set up scopes on the beach just inside Bate's Subdivision.  There was a lot to look at but once again, nothing of note!  Where are the rarities around here?

Tundra Swans



There was over 7000 Red-breasted Mergansers, and various other ducks.  Ring-billed Gulls were too numerous to get an accurate count.  Yet again, nothing of note among them!

After that, I decided to head west for lack of anything else to do. I had a feeling some Tree Swallows would be around today.  At the corner of Stevenson and Talbot Trail, I saw the first few.

I went straight to Point Pelee first stopping at Sanctuary lookout.  A Tree Swallow went by during my brief stop there.
I ended up walking Shuster Trail and De Laurier. 

Beach at end of Shuster Trail


There was not too much to see, but a few sparrows, phoebes, Hermit Thrushes and Yellow-rumped Warblers were around.



Several flocks of Chipping Sparrows are still around.

I stopped by Sanctuary Pond lookout on the way out and I ended up spending over an hour there as there was lots to see.  Some birds were moving along the edge out of the wind, which had me interested.  The highlight was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  For the longest time, it was some distance away, but eventually it came much closer.  I was able to get full-frame photos.




Next stop was Wheatley Harbour were there were countless gulls, most of which were Ring-billed as expected.  Yet again, nothing of note!  One would think with several thousand gulls, one would stand out.




The only stand-out was an adult Glaucous Gull on the rocks.



One could have taken a seat to study the gulls, but it was a bit too cold.



While here, I noted some Tree Swallows moving west, totalling at least 18.

Nearer home, about 2500 Tundra Swans were in a field between Heron Line and Belle Rose Line.


Thursday, November 7, 2019

November Notes

Winter certainly has arrived early this year compared to what we have been used to in recent times.  I do not care for it yet!
Birding activities for me are mostly limited to days off or weekends now that the days are way too short.  There is still a bit of time in the mornings to look around Port Lambton before I head into work.
Some Yellow-rumped Warblers are hanging around Brander Park but I expect them to head out soon.
Sandhill Cranes are here and there of course making use of the corn fields in the area.
The big river is getting busier with ducks and gulls.

At the end of the month, many will be checking out Niagara Falls.  I used to go every year, but have not in the last few years.  It was always fun looking for gulls and other birds.

Uncle Paul at Queenston


Recently there was some news from above the Falls.  That iconic rusty barge had shifted and moved after over 100 years!  There was not much left of it and the side we did not see was mostly gone.



It was back in 1918 that this work barge broke away with two workers aboard.  Luckily it grounded where it did.  The men had to be rescued by breeches buoy secured to the roof of the nearby power house.



We always stood in along the shore in this area looking for Purple Sandpipers and various gulls and ducks.

Paul Carter, Maris Apse, Ron Tozer, Mike Nelson


This time of year we on the lookout for late birds. The cold weather will certainly help concentrate birds in various location.
Today, Steve Charbonneau found a late Stilt Sandpiper at Blenheim--the first November record for Rondeau.

Rare warblers such as Townsend's and Black-throated Gray are some hopefulls for this time of year!

November 23, 2008, Rondeau Park
Hopefully something will be of interest this weekend!