Saturday 5 January 2019

A hOWLing Good Time at Rondeau

I went on a little bit of an impromptu trip to Rondeau today. My target? Barred Owl. The Barred has apparently been around since December 1st, but went unnoticed to most birders until the Christmas Bird Count in December 16th, which is where I narrowly missed seeing it by leaving the park too early. Thankfully, it has been seen numerous times since then, so I was hoping to luck out today.

I arrived in the late morning, where I quickly met up with others scouring the area. The news they gave me was not good: They'd spent the last three hours looking at every tree with no luck. Not wanting to give up, we continued to search a part of the campground which hadn't been checked too thoroughly. An Eastern Phoebe made an appearance. One wonders what it is eating, but with this weather I'm sure it is finding something.

Basically as soon as I snapped the above photo, I heard Blake yell he had found the owl! I had been in the park for 15 minutes, what luck!

It was perched not too far away in a pine.

Eventually it got up and flew away, however we were able to relocate it, although much further away and much more obstructed. Most birders that were in the area were able to see it.

I was expecting to spend hours looking for the owl, so I was truly at a loss of what to do afterwards! I decided to check the north part of the campground, despite others saying it had been quiet. It was somewhat productive, no Baltimore Oriole (one has been seen for several weeks), but there was a nice group of chickadees, kinglets (Golden-crowned and one Ruby-crowned), Brown Creepers, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler, one of two on this day.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

I went out to the lake, where there was a large raft of Ruddy Ducks.

I walked down the beach a bit afterwards. There were quite a few Canada Geese.

Of interest was this odd looking fellow. I believe it is a Greylag x Canada Goose hybrid. Not entirely sure.

I spent the next little while wandering the campground. It finally paid off with the female Baltimore Oriole flying overhead and landing briefly in a tree.

After wandering a bit more (and missing an Orange-crowned Warbler by the sounds of it!), I finally decided to go quickly check a couple other areas of the park before heading home. First stop was the Visitor Centre, where I scoped a group of four Red-throated Loons out on the lake.

Next up was Maintenance and Pony Barn. Both were quiet bird wise. No White-eyed Vireo today!

Common Script Lichen (not a bird)

Red-tailed Hawk

Finally, I took a quick look at the bay. A few ducks such as Redhead, scaups, and Canvasback.

A successful day!