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!