02 May 2012

Seventeen Species of Warbler

Seventeen species of warbler in the Park today

Tulip Tree Trail

Nashville Chestnut sided


Black throated green


Oven bird

Common yellow throat

Black and white



Yellow rump



Northern Parula

Cape May

Black throated green



Black and white

Northern waterthrush


South Point



black throated green


Black and white



Catbird Pine Siskin Rusty blackbirds Possible Brewers Orioles, hummingbirds, rose breasted grosbeaks, Hermit and Wood thrushes and the standard sparrow etc.

The yellow throated warbler was seen yesterday at the visitor centre. No sightings for today.

08 Nov 2011


The winners of the 2011 Friends or Rondeau Raffle are:

The Prisner Family of Chatham – 16 foot Echo Canoe

Arnie Tyson of Union – Reclaimed ash picnic table





Brian Patterson of Pain Court – Annual pass to Ontario Parks.

Thanks to every one who purchased tickets. We appreciate your support.

08 Aug 2011

A Tribute to a Friend

I can’t believe the first week of August has come and gone already. The nice weather, cold ice cream and the great people I get to talk to and work with is making the summer fly by. Last week I expounded upon the stars above so I thought that this week I would introduce you to one of our local stars right here in Rondeau!

It takes a lot of people to make everything run smoothly at the Visitor Centre. Everyone sees all the naturalist staff that spend their days running programs, interacting with people at our festivals, and talking with everyone who comes into the Visitor Centre. What you don’t see is all the people that we need behind the scenes that are invaluable to us. These include all of the park staff from the administration at the main office to the gate attendants, maintenance, park store and warden staff who have all helped us out at festivals or special programs. We also couldn’t hold a lot of our special programs without the aid of the Friends of Rondeau. Through their tireless work and support we raise money and have the volunteers to run our Monarch Migration Festival, the Wings of Spring Festival and the Festival of Flight, not to mention all the guest speakers they have brought in throughout the years. And finally we have our other volunteers who come out and lend their enthusiasm and expertise for the betterment of the park. One of the foremost among them is Dale Wurker.

Friends of Rondeau volunteer Jim Ondrovcik barbequing at our Monarch Count day.

Dale has been volunteering his time at Rondeau for the last 18 years. His contributions have ranged from helping out with our Wings of Spring festival to recording scientific data. One of the most important things that Dale has done over the years is to take new and old staff out into the part and share his knowledge and expertise on different aspects of the park. Personally, Dale has taken me out on a number of occasions and helped me to identify bird songs and taught me many things about butterfly migration. Monarch migration is where Dale’s help is truly invaluable. Dale has dedicated hundreds of hours to the Monarch tagging program since it started here in 2002. Dale has tagged butterflies, recorded data, enlisted new volunteers, and collected recapture results. Through his tireless efforts we have strong, valuable data about the migration of Monarchs through Rondeau. Out of the 63 tagged Monarch Butterflies that have been recovered in Mexico 46 of them were tagged by Dale’s own hand. The best part is that he is still going strong. As I write this update Dale is out in the park with two of our naturalists monitoring the Monarch hotspots within the park and getting ready for the fast approaching tagging season. All of the naturalist staff at Rondeau would like to thank Dale for his willingness to share his knowledge, the amazing work he has done, and good times we’ve had with him here at the Visitor Centre.

Dale Wurker and Laura Penner

Yellowly Yours

22 Jun 2011

Proposed new By-Laws Friends of Rondeau

The Friends of Rondeau is updating its by laws to reflect current legislative requirements and to adjust certain language to properly reflect new terminology.


The by laws have been reviewed by the Board of Directors and will be presented to the membership for ratification at the Annual General Meeting being held August 14, 2011 at 10.00 A.M.

The meeting will be held at the visitor centre in Rondeau Park.


The following are the proposed by laws:





The Friends of Rondeau Park




Article I




The name of this organization shall be “The Friends of Rondeau Park”, and hereafter in these By-laws shall be referred to as “The Friends”.

The Head Office of the Friends shall be at 18050 Rondeau Park Road, R.R. 1, Morpeth, Ontario, N0P 1X0.



Article II




1.  The Friends purpose is to encourage and support programs for interpretive, educational, scientific, historical, protection and preservation purposes related to the natural and historical resources of Rondeau Provincial Park and other Ontario Provincial Parks by


a) undertaking specific projects and initiatives such as providing educational/interpretive             publications, maps, audio-visual materials and other appropriate items related to Rondeau            Provincial Park;


b) encouraging and supporting public-spirited research of Rondeau Provincial Park’s natural, historical, and cultural resources with a view to disseminating such research findings to the public;


c) supplementing and enhancing existing Park educational/interpretive and recreational programs             by offering periodic special events and activities for the benefit of the public; and


d) stimulating community interest and understanding of Rondeau Provincial Park to help             ensure the protection of its natural and cultural resources.


2. The Friends organization shall be carried on without purpose of gain for its members and any profits or other accretions to The Friends shall be used in promoting its objectives and for no other purpose.



Article III




1. Membership shall be open to any person subscribing to the purpose and objectives of The Friends. There shall be four classes of memberships: individual, family, and group/corporate.


2. Application to any of these above classes of membership shall be in writing, and shall be accompanied by such fee as may be determined from time to time by the Annual General Meeting.


3. Each membership in good standing shall be entitled to one vote at general meetings.

Membership shall be for 12 months from the time of application and payment.








Article IV




1.     The Friends shall hold at least one general meeting annually. Notice of such meetings shall be sent electronically and posted on The Friends’ website at least 30 days prior to the meeting.

2.     At every annual meeting, in addition to any other business that may be transacted, the report of the Directors the financial statement and the report of the accountant shall be presented and a Board of Directors elected and accountants appointed for the ensuing year and the remuneration of the accountants be fixed.


2. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chair, or on the request of three or more directors, or on the request of ten or more memberships in good standing.


3.  A quorum at the Annual General Meeting shall consist of a majority of the members on attendance. The memberships shall be in good standing.


4. At all meetings of members every question put to a vote shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the                       memberships present.


Article V


Board of Directors:


1. The Board of Directors of The Friends shall manage The Friends and shall call at least four meetings yearly.


2 a) The Board of Directors shall consist of at least three (3) directors elected for a term of two years by vote at the AGM. Directors may be nominated by the Board or from the floor of the AGM.  Directors must be a member in good standing for a minimum of 24 months prior to his election.

b) The election may be by a show of hands unless a ballot is demanded by any member.


3. A vacancy on the Board of Directors may be filled at the discretion of the directors. This member must be ratified at the next AGM.


4. A quorum of the Board shall consist of a majority of the directors present. In case of a tie vote, the President shall have a vote.


5. i) Ontario Parks employees may serve as Directors of The Friends, but must never comprise a majority of its members. Ontario Parks’ employees shall not act as Officers, nor shall they negotiate or execute contracts, sign cheques or hire or dismiss Friends’ employees.

ii) Ontario Parks’ employees shall not represent The Friends in any matter between The Friends and Ontario Parks.

iii) The Park Superintendent and/or Park Liaison Officer may be appointed ex officio to the Board of Directors of The Friends, but shall not exercise a vote or hold office.


6. The directors shall serve without remuneration, and directors shall not receive directly or indirectly any profit from their position as such. Directors may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.


7. The members of the Friends may, by resolution passed by at least two-thirds of the votes cast at a general meeting of which notice specifying the intention to pass such resolution has been given, remove any director before the expiration of his term of office, and may, by a majority of the votes cast at that meeting, elect any person in his stead for the remainder of his term.







Article VI




1. The officers of the Board of Directors shall consist of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. They shall be selected by the Board from among its members at its first meeting following the AGM.


2. The President shall call and preside at all meetings of The Friends, shall authorize special meetings, and shall be an ex officio member of all committees.


3. The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President if absent.


4. The Secretary shall record the minutes of the AGM and any other regular or special meetings of The Friends, and shall be responsible for correspondence.


5. The Treasurer shall keep such records as may be necessary and shall present annual statements to the Board, and shall submit the records for examination by an Auditor if required, or upon request to the Board.


6. Signing authority shall rest with two of the three of the Vice-President, Treasurer, and one other director. Where a conflict of interest in signing authorities occurs another director shall be appointed to sign.


7. The directors-at-large shall chair committees as required.


Article VII




The Board of Directors may appoint such committees from time to time as they deem advisable, including appointments who are not members of The Friends, and may delegate such authority as they deem appropriate, provided such that actions taken or recommended by such committees are subject to approval by the Board.


Article VIII


Protection of the Board of Directors:


The Friends shall hold a general liability policy for bodily injury and property damage which will include coverage for the Directors. The Friends shall not protect any Director for acts of fraud, dishonesty, bad faith, or criminal acts.


Article IX




These By-Laws may be added to or amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at an Annual General Meeting of The Friends, provided that due notice of the proposed amendments shall have been given at least thirty days prior to the date of such meeting by communicating a copy of such proposals to each membership.


Article X




In the event of dissolution of The Friends, all its physical assets and educational materials shall be transferred to Ontario Parks. Its cash assets, after payments of liabilities, are required by law to be distributed to charities having purposes similar to the Friends, which carry on their work solely in Ontario.



Article XI



The directors may a) borrow money on the credit of the Corporation

b) Issue, sell or pledge securities of the Corporation to secure any debt or obligation of the Corporation.



NOTE: These proposed by-laws were adopted at the AGM of August 14, 2001



29 May 2011

Fish crow

A fish crow was seen and heard along South Point Trail Sunday morning.

Later in the afternoon it was seen and heard near beach access 10 which is across from the visitors centre.

There were no further reports of the western tanager being seen.

20 May 2011

Swainson’s Hawk at Rondeau


Shortly before 12:00 noon, birders at Rondeau saw a SWAINSON’S HAWK.

It was found by Jeff Skevington, Richard Skevington and Brian Pfrimmer. Photographs were taken by Jillian Ross. A report, along with photos, will be submitted to the OBRC.

The bird was first seen in a kettle of Broad-winged Hawks flying over South Point Trail parking lot. The Swainson’s was seen again a short time later, in the same vicinity. It was flying north when last seen.

Yesterday evening, John Lamey saw a FRANKLIN’S GULL on the extreme south beach of Rondeau. The beach can be viewed from the dock in Erieau.

Steve LaForest
Friends of Rondeau Bird Guide


19 May 2011

Western Tanager at Rondeau

Good afternoon birders,

A WESTERN TANAGER  male was seen at Rondeau Provincial Park this afternoon.
The bird was found and photographed by Kyle Holloway.  The photographs show
the diagnostic field marks.  It was first seen for a fairly brief period (?
less than half and hour ?) near the South Point Trail Parking lot.  The bird
was last seen at ~2:40 pm.  It was last seen where the paved trail leaves
the parking lot.

Note that recent rains have flooded this small portion of the trail, and you
will need rubber boots if you want to access this immediate area.  You can
easily bypass the ‘water hazard’ by detouring around via the north exit to
the parking lot, and circling back to the paved trail.  The bird was first
found just southeast of the parking lot on an unmarked trail that leads
roughly towards the beach, between the parking lot and the first house on
Lakeshore Road.  The bird has only been seen within small, limited radius.

Note that there are 2 parking lots for South Point Trail.  The bird was seen
near the southern parking lot, NOT the one to the west of the Visitor Centre
on Gardiner Avenue.

Good luck!

Steve LaForest
Friends of Rondeau Bird Guide

Western Tanager
photo by Kyle Halloway

18 May 2011

Bird Sightings May 18, 2011

Hello birders.

The Rondeau Visitor Centre now has a flock of interesting warblers … well,
actually a small flock … to be precise, two … Yellow-throated Warblers
are now visiting the suet feeder.  The two were seen at  the bird garden /
feeders from 8:15 to 8:30 am, and sightings continued to 12:00 noon.

The warbler of the day was a Connecticut, seen well at the Pony Barn at 9
am, and up to at least 10:40 am.   It was in the wood pile / compost pile
there.  A Kentucky was on the Tulip Tree Trail, in exactly the same spot as
last year’s.  On my bird hike, we saw a Mourning Warbler on Harrison Trail
100 m south of Bennett Road.  Another highlight was a Hooded Warbler seen on
Spicebush Trail.  One of our experienced birders (of a certain vintage –
yes, about my age) noted that there were so many Yellow Warblers yesterday
that “you could throw a hula hoop around 7 of them” on Bennett Road.

Other good warblers included Northern Parula at Pony Barn; Northern
Waterthrush on Spicebush Trail; Wilson’s at Pony Barn; and Canada on
Spicebush Trail.

Aside from warblers, other songbirds of interest included Eastern Bluebird
and Indigo Bunting at the Pony Barn; and a Lincoln’s Sparrow at the Group
Campground.  A great many thrushes have arrived, and are being seen along
all roads and trails.  The majority are Swainson’s, es expected, with good
numbers of Veerys and a few Gray-cheeked, including one at the Group

Yesterday evening on the Marsh Trail hike, we observed Sora, Sandhill Crane,
4 Great Blue Herons, displaying American Woodcock, and calling
Whip-poor-will.  The highlight was a pack of coyotes in full chorus.

Note that our trees aren’t leafed out yet, so the warblers and other birds
remain much more visible here than at locations farther inland.

We have not yet received any further reports of the Cattle Egret seen here
for the last 2 days.

On this afternoon’s hike, I will visit the Blenheim Sewage Lagoons, and I
will post our results afterwards.

I would like to thank all of the birders who have taken the time to report
their sightings to us, helping to make these Ontbirds reports as
comprehensive as possible!