Saturday, September 8, 2018

Return to Rondeau and Another Snowy Egret

I headed down to Rondeau Park again early this morning.  By 06:30 the parking area at marsh trail was littered with cars, as expected.  Happily, the Great Kiskadee stayed overnight to delight hundreds of birders from near and far.
I bypassed the crowd and went down to Dog Beach for a lakewatch.  That was my original plan for Saturday.  A strong NE wind was blowing so there was some activity on the lake.  However, nothing of note showed during my watch.  But, one has to try!

At arrival, I noticed a lake freighter not far offshore.  We do not often see them from Rondeau, but obviously this was hugging the shore due to the strong wind.  I could not hold the camera still for a good photo in the poor light!

Ojibway off Rondeau

I did see a couple of Surf Scoters, first for the fall.  Numerous gulls and terns went by, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I checked south point trail afterwards, but it was rather quiet, save for a few warblers.

I then went back up to marsh trail to join the crowd.  These events are a great social time and nice to see so many familiar faces and strike up conversations.

The Great Kiskadee made sporadic appearances throughout the day for the hundreds of birders that came to see this spectacle.

Blake Mann, Rick Mayos, Dwayne Murphy, Allen Woodliffe
(photo courtesy Dwayne Murphy)

This bird is of course a first for Canada so everyone had to go and see it.  It certainly is not one I ever dreamed of getting on my Rondeau list (let alone Ontario), but indeed a real treat.  It is remarkable for a bird that is somewhat non-migratory and probably the neatest flycatcher ever to get into Ontario.

After a short snooze at home, I headed out to check Stewart Wetland.  Since the water was finally drawn down a couple of weeks ago (too high all summer due to excessive rain!), there was bound to be something of note at some point.
Upon arrival, I saw the usual birds, including a Wilson's Snipe.

At the far side of the wetland, I kept noticing a white spot which I thought perhaps was trash.  I looked a little harder, and it moved!
Turns out it was a Snowy Egret!

I got a little closer to make sure it was not something rarer, but it looked very similar to the individual at Keith McLean's (which is still present today).

It later flew to a closer spot and hunted for food.

With the recent rash of heron types in the province, I always though something of note would soon show up here.
I have found Cattle Egrets on two different occasions here, but this is the first Snowy Egret in the Wallaceburg area. (Although, I found one just up the road at Port Lambton back in May 1995).

No doubt more rarities are to be found in the province, so let us go find more!

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