Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Some Long Walks and This and That

 Not really much to report recently, but things are coming along.  Did not have much to photograph the last few days!

Friday I spent time at Rondeau, but it was terribly quiet for birds, and the weather was not very nice.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

I did see my first Blue-headed Vireo of the year, but like most birds I encountered, it was not photogenic!

Saturday, I had the urge to head down into Essex County.  I did the long walk at Hillman Marsh.  Just the usual stuff, but one is always hopeful for something of interest.

I also visited Kopegaron Woods west of Wheatley.  I seldom go there, but it is sometimes a hotspot for birds.  Also good for forest wildflowers, although I did not take time to photograph much.  It was quite gloomy at the time!

Wood Anemone

I then spent an hour sitting at Wheatley Harbour, where there was quite a bit of action.  Only thing of note was an immature Little Gull that flew east with some Bonaparte's.

It was cloudy all morning, but by the time I got up to Mitchell's Bay, the sun was out and it was quite warm.  I walked the south shore nature trail.  A Bald Eagle was motionless in a tree the whole time, allowing a photo op.

Monday, was a calm sunny day, so I had to take advantage of it at Rondeau Park.  It was still very quiet for birds, but some first-of-years were tallied.  I walked about 6 km out marsh trail.  Rails are in, including Virginia and Sora.

I had hoped to come across a Least Bittern, but it was not to be!  Certainly some are out there.

Common Gallinules are in, and I encountered three.

One of the White-throated Sparrows posed quite nicely at one point.

Lots of American Painted-Lady were fluttering by.  This one appeared a bit faded though.

It was a day of long walks!  I figured I walked about 22 km in the park.  

I ended up going out south point trail west, and out the south beach as well.  A Piping Plover had been discovered out south beach, so I had to go take a look.  We kept our distance though, as always.

Yes, this bird was favouring its left leg.  Apparently that was noted in Florida, and it healed to some degree.  The bird seems to get around OK.

Most Piping Plovers we see are banded, so their origin can be traced.  This one apparently nested at North Manitou Island, Michigan (Sleeping Bear Dunes) last year.  It spent the winter in Florida.

They nested on the Rondeau beaches historically, and too bad that could not happen again.  There are too many threats out there in this day and age (mainly human).

As with many of these, they are given names.  Our current plover is a female, named LeVel.  Hopefully she makes it safely to a nesting site!

Today was uneventful for the most part, depending where one was situated.  So, nothing to report at my end!

While out south beach, I noted a number of freshwater mussels, as always.  The specimens here are quiet worn and bleached due to wave action.

Most were Fatmucket, which I alluded to before as the most common there.

I noted another, which is Wabash Pigtoe.  Not much of it left, but enough to determine ID.

Wabash Pigtoe is a considered a vulnerable species in Ontario.

Also, I might mention, that a few years ago I picked up a fossilized mussel.  I do not remember where now, but it was obvious at the time as to what it was.

Once we get through this current weather, things should really pick up by this weekend!

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