Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rondeau to Hillman, 25 February

Early this morning I headed down to Rondeau Park.  I met up with Jim Burk and we checked out south point trail and the campground.  There was not much to be seen on south point, but some waterfowl was on the move.
Of note, a Surf Scoter was seen and up to 18 White-winged Scoters.  It continues to be a decent winter for scoters in the area.
The campground had a decent flock of birds at the south end, but it was fast-moving and we never got a look at all of the birds.  At one point I heard a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, so that one has made it through the winter!
A couple of Purple Finches, scarce this winter, were also on the move.
At the north end, I caught sight of the Yellow-rumped Warbler.  There were two at one point in the winter.
On the Bay, a number of Canvasback were at the north end.



After leaving the park, I decided to keep going all the way to Hillman Marsh.  The last few days there has been a good number of waterfowl at the shorebird cell.  Today was no exception!



Three Ross's and five Snow geese were among the Canada Geese.  (three Ross's were present yesterday as well).


I checked the gulls for a Mew.  It is a good time for one!  The last one was at this time of year in 2002.
There was an exceptional number of Gadwall in the cell.  I estimated at least 250.





A good number of American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, and Green-winged Teal were also around.



Even the 50 Ring-necked Ducks was a good number for the cell.
A Pied-billed Grebe was the only member of that family present.

It was very windy and cold there, so after well over an hour there, I headed out.
On the way home I drove by St. Clair NWA.  This croaker was on the road!



As I headed up Heron Line, I came aross a large flock of gulls.  Among the Herring was a Glaucous, Lesser Black-backed and 8 Great Black-backed.




Towards Mitchell's Bay, in the Mallard/Marsh/Winter Lines area, I counted 7 Snowy Owls.  So, many are still around!

The wind picked up and the temperature dropped as the day worn on, so I guess we are back to more seasonal weather!


Friday, February 24, 2017

Late March errr...February Arrivals

What a week!  With the exceptionally warm weather, spring birds have arrived like there was no tomorrow. Waterfowl, Killdeer, American Robins, blackbirds have arrived in big numbers.  Although not unusual to see these this time of year, the sheer numbers were amazing.



I was at work all week and not able to get out much to look around, but reports have indicated some record early arrivals.  How about Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs?  Indeed the Greater at Long Point and the Lesser at Hillman Marsh were a month early.
In the lep department, some Eastern Commas have also been reported.



Today, we received a heavy thunderstorm before 4 p.m.  Lightning was all over the place, while the rain came down in buckets.
I left work a bit early and headed up the St. Clair River not seeing much due to the torrential downpour.  Wintering ducks have certainly thinned out while dabbling ducks have arrived in good numbers. Too many Mute Swans were at Cathcart Park, but there were several Tundra Swans as well.





I have been checking Stewart Wetland each morning.  Large flocks of blackbirds stream north off Walpole Island.  I have yet to see a Sandhill Crane though.
This morning I got a nice surprise in the form of a Snowy Owl flying off the island and heading towards Stewart Line.

not today's bird!


Late this afternoon I went as far north as Seager Park, one of my favourite stops.  When I was little, we had many picnics there in the summer, so there are many memories.

Yes, I remember the South American!


I took a slight detour inland and at Bickford and Greenfield Roads, there was a huge flock of blackbirds.  Since Lambton eBird is somewhat out of whack, they are still rare there!  The several hundred blackbirds certainly made for a lot of rare birds!

So long till tomorrow....