22 May 2012

Rondeau Update – May 21

At Rondeau this afternoon, 6 Whimbrel were seen at the Dog Beach at
noon. At 1:15 pm, a flock of 7 (perhaps the same birds plus 1?) were
seen nearby, flying back and forth along the shoreline until they
finally headed south along the peninsula.

In addition to the Whimbrel, a pair of Black-billed Cuckoos courting
and otherwise making themselves obvious on South Point Trail enlivened
my final afternoon hike today.

And that wraps up the spring birding program at Rondeau for another season!

I look forward to seeing our Rondeau birders again next May.

22 May 2012

Rondeau Migration Report – May 21

Rondeau’s Yellow-throated Warbler continues to entertain flocks of
birders at the Visitor Centre. It was seen there yesterday evening in
the garden up to 5:30 pm, and then again this morning up to at least
9:00 am.

In the confused warblers department, there was a Prothonotary singing
at the dog beach at 7:10 this morning. It apparently decided that
sand was not its habitat of choice, and hastily moved inland in search
of sloughs.

Other good warblers included Blackburnian on Spicebush Trail;
Blackpoll at the Visitor Centre and South Point Trail; Mourning on
South Point Trail; and Wilson’s on South Point Trail and at the
Visitor Centre. We received a report of a Hooded on South Point
Trail. Yesterday, a Connecticut was seen on the Marsh Trail.

Flycatchers were well-represented this morning. Olive-sided were
found on the Maintenance Loop and on South Point Trail. Quite unusual
here in migration was an Alder, singing at the Maintenance Loop. A
singing Acadian was reported on Spicebush Trail.

A number of Gray-cheeked Thrushes have been seen in the park,
including one bathing in the pond in the Visitor Centre garden.

As for non-passerines, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo was heard singing on
Spicebush Trail.

And for non-vertebrates, an American Snout butterfly was photographed
on Spicebush Trail on May 19.

Outside the park but nearby, good numbers of shorebirds were seen
yesterday in the fields in the McGeachy’s Pond area, just north of
Erieau. There were 156 Ruddy Turnstones as well “large numbers” of
Black-bellied Plovers and Semipalmated Plovers.

Birders and photographers are reminded that they are NOT to use
electronic playback devices to attract birds in the park. We
appreciate your cooperation. If visitors encounter problems in this
regard, please contact park staff, and wardens will be notified
promptly.

Good birding!

21 May 2012

Rondeau Migration Report – May 19

Birders at Rondeau have reported a good variety of warblers on our
trails this morning. Highlights include Northern Parula on
Maintenance Loop and South Point Trail; Blackburnian on Maintenance
Loop and South Point Trail; Blackpoll on Maintenance Loop and South
Point Trail; Northern Waterthrush on South Point Trail; Mourning on
South Point Trail and at Pony Barn; Wilson’s at Maintenance Loop and
on South Point Trail; and Canada on Maintenance Loop and South Point
Trail.

As for other passerines, our first Olive-sided Flycatcher of the
season was observed at the deer exclosure off Gardiner Avenue. An
Orchard Oriole was found on South Point Trail. A Yellow-throated
Vireo was seen at the Pony Barn. Two Willow flycatchers were calling
persistently on the Marsh Trail yesterday evening.

Among raptors, a Merlin was seen on the Maintenance Loop. An adult
Bald Eagle was photographed on South Point Trail this morning.

Yesterday evening, we saw American Woodcock performing display flights
and heard several Whip-poor-will calling.

Despite searches by land and sea (well – Honda Civic and pontoon boat,
actually) park birders could not relocate the Piping Plover seen at
Erieau beach on Thursday afternoon. On and offshore of the south
shoreline of the park yesterday afternoon were a range of waterfowl,
including a pair of Ring-necked Duck, 3 Redhead, 1 Ruddy Duck, and a
pair Long-tailed Ducks (in the channel at the breakwater). Birds seen
on the extreme south beach of the park (viewed from the Erieau docks)
included 2 Ruddy Turnstones and a flock of over 200 Bonaparte’s Gulls.

On Erieau beach, I saw a flock of 125 Black-bellied Plovers, 7 Ruddy
Turnstones and 1 well-scrutinized Semipalmated Plover. Nearby, the
fields northeast of McGeachy’s Pond were covered with shorebirds: 400+
Black-bellied Plovers, 100 Dunlin, 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper and
several Ruddy Turnstones.

Our appreciation to all of those who have taken the time to provide
sightings for this report.

Good birding

21 May 2012

Rondeau Report – Piping Plover, etc.

In the Rondeau area, a PIPING PLOVER was found yesterday at Erieau by
Drew Monkman. It was seen at 5:00 pm about 1000 feet from the
breakwater. The bird was with 3 Semipalmated Plovers.

DIRECTIONS:
From Hwy 401, take exit #90, go southeast on Chatham-Kent Regional
Road #11 about 10 km to hwy #3, turn right (west) and go 5 km to
Erieau Road, turn left (southeast) and go about 10 km to Erieau,
continue through town, bearing right until you reach the breakwater.

In the park itself, what birders are looking for is a few good
warblers. One of these was a Brewster’s in a very interesting plumage
on South Point Trail. Other noteworthy birds included Northern Parula
at Pony Barn and on South Point Trail; Blackpoll on Maintenance Loop,
at Pony Barn and on South Point Trail; Northern Waterthrush on South
Point Trail; Mourning on South Point and Tulip Tree Trails; Wilson’s
on South Point Trail; and Canada on Maintenance Loop, at Pony Barn and
on South Point Trail.

Among the non-warbler passerines, there was a molting male Summer
Tanager on South Point Trail. An adult male Orchard Oriole was
singing at the South Point Trail parking lot.

A Red-headed Woodpecker has been seen regularly entering a cavity in
the general vicinity of the Visitor Centre.

Thank you to everyone who has supplied Rondeau birding information for
this report.

Good birding

17 May 2012

Rondeau – Blue Grosbeak, etc.

It’s Always an adventure at Rondeau! A Blue Grosbeak female was
discovered on South Point Trail today near km post #5 at 3:00 pm.
This is a short distance south of the South Point Trail parking lot
(the lot at the end of Lakeshore Road). Sorry for the late posting –
I just returned from Blenheim Lagoons.

Afternoon additions to our passerine list included a Yellow-throated
Vireo on South Point Trail and Scarlet Tanagers on 4 trails.

Yesterday evening on our Marsh Trail Hike, we observed the Bald Eagle
nest, saw American Woodcock display flights, and heard several
American Bitterns and Whip-poor-wills calling. Sandhill Cranes were
also heard calling yesterday from South Point Trail.

Birders and photographers are reminded that they are NOT to use
electronic playback devices to attract birds in the park. We
appreciate your cooperation. If birders encounter problems in this
regard, please contact park staff, and wardens will be notified
promptly.

Outside the park, my group saw a variety of shorebirds at Blenheim
this afternoon, despite near gale-force winds and whitecaps on the
Lagoons! An incomplete survey yielded about 50 Dunlin, 4 Semipalmated
Sandpipers, 1 Least Sandpiper, and 2 Lesser Yellowlegs. Five Ruddy
Ducks were seen riding the waves. Cliff Swallows were present in good
numbers.

Our appreciation goes to those many birders who help us out by
providing sightings information for this report!

Good birding.

17 May 2012

Rondeau Migration Report – May 16

Despite the early showers, birding at Rondeau was busy this morning on
South Point Trail and on the Maintenance Loop.

Our warbler tally was 24 species for this morning. Highlights
included the Yellow-throated, Orange-crowned, Northern Parula,
Cerulean, Mourning, Hooded, Wilson’s and Canada.

A Great Egret and 2 Bald Eagles flew over South Point Trail at 8:30 am.

A adult male Summer Tanager was observed on Tulip Tree Trail near the
Visitor Centre parking lot at 10:30 am.

An Acadian Flycatcher was seen and heard well yesterday on South Point
Trail, about 2 km south of the parking lot on GARDINER Rd. (NOTE –
this is not the parking lot on Lakeshore Road).

Little Gull was noted offshore of the light beacon yesterday on South
Point Trail.

Birders and photographers are reminded that they are NOT to use
electronic playback devices to attract birds in the park. We
appeciate your cooperation. If birders encounter problems in this
regard, please contact park staff, and wardens will be notified
promptly.

Outside the park, approximately 100 Black-bellied Plovers were
observed yesterday off Erieau Road about 1 km north of McGeachy’s
Pond.

Merci beaucoup to all those who have provided sightings information
for this report!

Today at 1:00 pm, I will lead an outing at the Blenheim Lagoons. I
will report on sightings there in an upcoming posting.

Good birding

14 May 2012

Rondeau Report May 14 – Laughing Gull

A Laughing Gull at Rondeau’s South Point yesterday at 7:15 pm is our
rarity of the moment. The bird was found by Blake Mann, and was in
alternate plumage. It was found on the beach near the light beacon
trail, and was last seen flying south along the beach. Also rather
unusual for this date was a Long-tailed Duck offshore at South Point
Trail.

Our morning warbler tally was 26 species. The ‘best’ of these was a
Connecticut on Spicebush Trail.

Additional warblers of note included Blue-winged on South Point Trail;
Golden-winged on South Point Trail; Northern Parula on Maintenance
Loop, Spicebush and South Point Trails; Blackpoll on Maintenance Loop
and South Point Trail; Northern Waterthrush on South Point Trail and
Maintenance Loop; Mourning on Maintenance Loop, at Pony Barn and on
South Point Trail; Wilson’s on South Point Trail; and Canada in the
Campground, on Maintenance Loop and South Point Trail.

Also attracting considerable attention was the Yellow-throated seen at
a cottage on lakeshore near the Visitor Centre. Birders looking for
the Yellow-throated are asked NOT to visit the site before 8:00 am,
are reminded to show proper respect for property and privacy, and to
park at the Visitor Centre NOT along the road. Groups visiting the
site should be of small size – NO large groups, please.

Other noteworthy songbirds this morning included a Summer Tanager
female at Pony Barn and a Yellow-throated Vireo on the Maintenance
Loop. A new arrival was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at the Visitor
Centre parking lot.

Birders and photographers are reminded that they are NOT to use
electronic playback devices to attract birds in the park. We
appeciate your cooperation. If birders encounter problems in this
regard, please contact park staff, and wardens will be notified.

Outside the park, over 300 Short-billed Dowitchers were seen yesterday
in the area near McGeachy’s Pond and Erieau – this is very likely a
record-high count.

My sincere thanks to all of the birders who have supplied Rondeau
birding information for
this report.

Good birding!

14 May 2012

Rondeau Migration Report – May 12

For this morning, Rondeau has had reports of 23 species of warblers.
The highlight was a Connecticut at Pony Barn at 9:00 to 9:30 am.

Other good warblers include Blue-winged, Golden-winged, Northern
Parula, Blackpoll, Wilson’s and Canada. Most of these were seen on
South Point Trail, which has been our hot spot for the last few days.
This trail had impressive flocks of warblers, with birds almost
“dripping from the trees” at peak locations.

Also of note was a Yellow-throated Vireo singing at the South Point
Trail parking lot.

Yesterday evening on the Marsh trail hike we found a Sora, 2 American
Bitterns, as well as calling Whip-poor-wills and American Woodcock
doing display flights. We also saw the Bald Eagle on its nest.

Thank you to everyone who has supplied Rondeau birding information for
this report.

Good birding

14 May 2012

Rondeau Migration Report – May 11

Rondeau has had reports of 25 species of warblers today. The rarest
of these was a Yellow-throated, still visiting a site on Lakeshore
Road near the Visitor Centre.

Birders looking for the Yellow-throated are asked NOT to visit the
site before 8:00 am, are reminded to show proper respect for property
and privacy, and to park at the Visitor Centre NOT along the road.
Groups visiting the site should be of small size – NO large groups,
please. The Yellow-throated has also visited the feeders at the
Visitor Centre.

Good warblers today included Golden-winged and Blue-winged, both on
South Point Trail.

Other warblers of interest included Orange-crowned, Blackpoll,
Northern Waterthrush, Northern Parula, Wilson’s and Canada, all on
South Point Trail. Blackburnians were in good numbers. These and
many other songbirds must have moved in overnight on the south winds
blowing across Lake Erie.

Our best birding trail continues to be South Point. The treetops were
abuzz with warblers and other songbirds this morning in a mini feeding
frenzy of activity. There were 2 Yellow-throated Vireos along the
trail, as well as one on Lakeshore Road just south of Gardiner. A
Bobolink at South Point was also a good bird for the park.

In the raptor department, an adult Golden Eagle flew over the Pony
Barn area at 10:30 am, headed east to west.

Thank you to everyone who has supplied Rondeau birding information for
this report.

Good birding

14 May 2012

Rondeau Migration Report May 10

Our daily warbler roundup yielded 26 species. The Yellow-throated
continues to visit feeders regularly (if erratically) at a site on
Lakeshore near the Visitor Centre. It was seen between at least 9:30
am and 5:15 pm. The bird only goes to the suet feeder very briefly on
each visit. This fact, combined with the known presence of two
individuals, suggests that perhaps there might be a nest somewhere???
We have also received reports of a bird being seen on South Point
Trail. Speculations abound!

Birders searching for Tuesday’s Le Conte’s Sparrow on South Point
Trail turned up a singing Prairie Warbler. Also in the same vicinity
was a very cooperative Blue-winged.

Other warblers of note included Orange-crowned on Spicebush, South
Point and Tulip Tree Trails; Northern Parula on at Pony Barn and on
South Point Trail; Blackpoll on Spicebush and South Point Trails;
Wilson’s at the Visitor Centre garden / feeders and on South Point
Trail; and Canada on 5 trails. The best warbler trail – indeed the
best birding trail overall – was most certainly South Point.

As for other passerines, Yellow-throated Vireo was observed on Tulip
Tree and South Point Trails. Scarlet Tanagers were present in good
number on many trails.

Two Common Ravens circling over South Point Trail were of great
interest here in the deep south. Also soaring overhead were an adult
and two immature Bald Eagles (perhaps second year birds).

There were at least three Red-headed Woodpeckers seen on South Point
Trail, in addition to the one attending the Visitor Centre feeders.

Outside the park, but still in the general Rondeau area, my afternoon
bird hike yesterday visited the Blenheim Lagoons. We saw a good
variety of waterfowl, including 1 Northern Pintail, 2 American Wigeon,
1 Blue-winged Teal, 1 pair of Redhead, about 25 Ruddy Ducks, and about
15 each of Lesser Scaup and Bufflehead. A number of shorebirds were
also present, including 2 Short-billed Dowitchers, 6 Least Sandpipers,
2 Ruddy Turnstones, about 125 Dunlin, and 6 Lesser Yellowlegs. Other
waterbirds included 1 Pied-billed Grebe and 2 American Coots. In the
non-aquatic category, there were about 15 Bobolinks, 2 Cliff Swallows
and 2 Chimney Swifts.

Just east of the park, 2 Cattle Egrets were seen briefly south of
Morpeth, near Wildwood Park, at 9:30 am. Later searches of the local
area failed to turn up any sign of the birds. At Erieau harbour,
sightings included a Black Tern. On the rocks across the channel,
there were at least 100 each of Common Terns and Dunlin, as well as 3
Ruddy Turnstones. The south beach shoreline of the park, also visible
from Erieau harbour, hosted over 100 Dunlin and about 50 Black-bellied
Plovers.

I owe much appreciation to all of the birders who have taken the time
to send me messages, report their sightings at the Visitor Centre, and
even (gasp!) – to write their observations in the Dreaded B.i.r.d
S.i.g.h.t.i.n.g.s B.o.o.k! My thanks to everyone last one of you!

Good birding