Friday 18 November 2016

Rondeau Rarites and Some Other Birds

Today I took advantage of my Friday off  and went down to the Rondeau are to see what was around. The temperature reached over 20 degrees Celsius, which broke the record high temperature for November 18th, which was 17.8 degrees Celsius which was set back over 70 years ago in 1941!

I arrived at Rondeau with my birding partner (aka my father) around 8 this morning, and we were treated to the sight of hundreds of ducks out in the bay. It was peaceful until shotguns started going off further south.

I heard the Eurasian Wigeon that has been hanging around, but I didn't find it. Quite a few of the American variety were around.

There were a of couple Tundra Swans flying around.

Gulls consisted of Ring-billed, Herring, Bonaparte's, and Great Black-backed.

We went to the dog beach first, but all we found was a group of Red-breasted Mergansers and six Snow Buntings.

We walked down the South Point trail a couple kilometers where we saw Downy Woodpeckers, Snow Buntings, a Common Loon, and a group of scoters.

I find the relationship between gulls and grebes/loons interesting. The grebe or loon will bring up food, and the gull will swoop in to grab the morsel from the bird! There was a Bonaparte's Gull following two Horned Grebes today.

There are a few odes still flying around, such as this White-faced (?) Meadowhawk.

After Rondeau, we headed to Blenheim Sewage Lagoons. There were a lot of gulls when I first walked in.

I was walking along the main berm, thinking about how it would be neat to find the Cattle Egret that had been gone for a week, when I looked up and saw a small white heron standing in the middle of the road 150 meters in front of me!

I managed to get quite a bit closer before it spooked.

I wonder if I can say that I "found" it? :-)

Another birder, who is in the top three on eBird for Chatham-Kent, came about 10 minutes later, and he was treated to it having fly directly over him! He also helped me find the continuing Semipalmated Sandpiper (Update: later identified as a Western Sandpiper).

I found that the Bonaparte's Gulls really enjoy the back "bubbler" cell.

The birder pointed us in the direction of the 5 Greater White-fronted Geese he found yesterday, so that is where we went next. When we arrived, it was a little hard to find them a first, but we eventually located them at the back of the pond with a group of Canada Geese.

We drove down Erieau Road, and made a stop at McGeachy Pond CA, where we discovered that we have totally underestimated the Cerulean Warbler population in Ontario, and actually tens of thousands migrate overhead each fall.

A very late Monarch was flying around. It should be in Mexico by now!

There wasn't much on the pier, however I managed to find the adult male Harlequin Duck first spotted on the sixteenth. It was much more brightly coloured than the one in London earlier this year.

A few gulls and cormorants were in the area as well.

The last stop of the day was the Erieau Rail/Marsh Trail.

I heard a late Blue-gray Gnatcatcher here, no doubt the same one that has been hanging around for the past few weeks. A number of Buffleheads could be seen from here as well.

It was a amazing day, and I met a few new birders along the way. I hope to be back soon!


  1. Sounds like a fantastic day of birding! I would love to see half of those species up here in Ottawa.

    1. Thank-you, and I must say I wish that I could see some of the species in Ottawa down here!

  2. You did well yesterday in finding some of the rarities reported locally. Difficult to say if that Cattle Egret is the same one given all that have been around SW Ontario. It was there again today.
    We call that dragonfly an Autumn Meadowhawk. Very common, and lots were out yesterday!

    1. Thank-you Blake! It looks like I still have much to learn about Dragonfly ID. I'm glad to see you caught up with a few of the birds.