Saturday 23 May 2020

Rondeau Rounds 2.0

This past Wednesday I went back to Rondeau Park. I arrived early, right at 5:00, in hopes of hearing some Whip-poor-wills. It took a bit, and several woodcocks (out of a total of 28) later, we found the first one! One of four total, all singing along Lakeshore Road. A new park bird for me. Seems I never spend as much time as I want down there! You can hear a recording I took here.

I went to the Marsh Trail parking lot, where I noticed a bunch of swallows going by, I estimated about 15,000 total. The majority seemed to actually be Bank Swallow, from what I saw and heard, but there were some Tree and Barn mixed in as well. I caught a glimpse of a couple Northern Rough-wingeds, and thought I saw a Cliff, but other than that, not too much variety!

As per usual, I started out in the campground. Easily one of my favourite places in the park! It was vastly different than last Friday, very few birds around! I spied Barb Charlton and her group (which included the MacNeals, the Rileys, Charmaine Anderson, and Isabel Apkarian), so I went and joined them. Nice to see some familiar faces again! Nothing crazy, but we turned up Yellow-throated Vireo and a female Cerulean Warbler. I saw the White-eyed Vireo that they had found just before I met up with them. I had all six vireos this day!

I bid farewell to the others, and joined Tim Arthur on a walk around maintenance and down Harrison. Pretty quiet! A few warblers here and there, but nothing really of note (as shown by my lack of photographs).

Tim and I parted ways at the VC. My dad and I made a quick loop of Tulip Tree Trail, picking up the day's first Red-eyed Vireo and Prothonotary Warbler. I drove down Lakeshore Road a bit, no White-winged Dove (I'm used to that by now). I stopped in at Dog Beach, where I found a nice assortment of shorebirds, including Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Dunlin, and Least Sandpiper.

I next went to the west part of the South Point Trail, somewhere I have actually not been! They usually have Rondeau Road blocked off at Bennett Ave, so I don't venture down that way!

Dad looking at something, probably a Yellow Warbler

If you wanted Yellow Warbler, this would be the place! Very few other warblers. I looked for plants mostly.

Hairy Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum pubescens)

White Bear Sedge (Carex albursina)

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Licorice Bedstraw (Gallium circaezans

Bulbous Cress (Cardamine bulbosa)

Rattlesnake Fern (Botrypus virginianus)

Round-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana)

One of my main targets was Showy Orchis (Galearis spectabilis), which I saw a couple plants of. None in flower though. This is a pretty uncommon orchid.

I had this sedge near the end, which stumped me for a bit. I'm pretty sure it is just Awl-fruited Sedge (Carex stipata) with immature spikelets, something I don't recall seeing before. I was hoping it'd be something new, but alas, not.

You can see why they split South Point Trail in half...

An odd tree.

Near the end of the trail, I was hunched over some plant, when I heard the telltale song of a Prothonotary Warbler! We quickly located it in a slough. It disappeared into a cavity in a tree at one point.

After the hike back, we ate some lunch, then went to Spicebush Trail. Not many birds, so again, it was time for some good ole botany.

Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Twoleaf Mitrewort (Mitella diphylla)

Goose Egg Moss (Arrhenopterum heterostichum)

Well, there was one bird. A very cooperative Canada Warbler (hi Allen!).

I made a stop along Bennett before leaving the park. Finally saw that Eastern Screech-owl that everyone has been seeing! Also had my first and only Bay-breasted Warbler!

Just before I embarked for home, I stopped into Keith McLean CA. Even more flooded than last time. Still a few shorebirds.

Least Sandpiper

I think this may look good for a the griseus subspecies of Short-billed Dowitcher.

Finally saw some Black-bellied Plovers! They have evaded me in Chatham-Kent for awhile now. They were in the company of some Dunlin and a turnstone.

Slow day full of some quality birds! I managed to hit 110 species in the park, and added about 10 more at McLeans, so I am happy with that!


  1. A good day at Rondeau! Today was awesome as well. I saw that Prothonotary today near the end of the SPT. That is where we used to see them regularly in the "old" days!

    1. It sure was a nice day! Looks like the rail trail was on fire today!

  2. Hi Quinten! That Canada Warbler certainly was cooperative, wasn't it. And it was nice to see your mix of botanical subjects on your blog. If the birds are quiet, there is always a bunch of other things to be distracted by!