Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rondeau Songs/Pelee Beaver Tails

It was a fairly good weekend for birding despite the usual crappy weekend weather.  On Saturday I checked out Rondeau Park where there was Song Sparrow galore.  About this time of year, the first big push of Song Sparrows occurs, but I am not sure if I have seen this many at once.  I saw well over 300.


Lots of juncos and American Tree Sparrows had come in as well.

The Song Sparrows were everywhere, and certainly there had to be close to 1000 in the park alone.
Along south point trail, I saw a good number of Eastern Phoebes for the first time this year.



Several Tree Swallows were moving along the lake.  Also a Common Loon or two was sighted.
Some Fox Sparrows and Eastern Towhees were new arrivals as well.

I only saw one Horned Grebe at Rondeau!



A check of Ridgetown Sewage Lagoons was later, but it was too late to see the swans.  Earlier, a Trumpeter Swan was among many Tundras.  I met John Lamey there and he indicated that a Trumpeter was present earlier in the day.

Bluebird at Rondeau


Today, Sunday, I headed down to Point Pelee knowing there would likely be a good movement of birds.  As I walked to the Tip, a fat rodent caught my eye.  It was a beaver!



It was there several hours, so I am not sure if something was wrong with it.



Upon arrival at the Tip, it was evident that Horned Grebes and Common Loons were on the move.



I estimated around 120 Horned Grebes while I was there.  Some were swimming while others were on the move.  At one point I thought I had an Eared Grebe, and I am still not certain that it was not one.

Horny Grebe



Common Loons numbered at least two dozen, all heading east.  One was swimming off the west side for some time though.


Lots of ducks (mainly scaup) were off the west side out of the east wind.  Some Surf and White-winged Scoters were among them.

Greater Scaup


There were blackbirds, Tree Swallows, American Robins and meadowlarks on the move.

I met up with Jeremy Bensette and we walked around for a bit talking about bird related stuff!

The park had very few sparrows, as compared to Rondeau the previous day.

Around noon, I headed over to Hillman Marsh shorebird cell.  I was there quite some time as there was lots of waterfowl. I had hopes of seeing some early shorebirds, and eventually some Dunlin came into view.  At first I had 13, but before I left, the number rose to 17.
I was more expecting Pectoral Sandpipers, some early Dunlin can be expected this time of year.

Green-winged Teal was the dominant duck, and I counted over 700!  There was probably a Eurasian Teal among them, but I was not going to try and pick it out!

Eventually I spotted two Greater White-fronted Geese in the distance.  Not surprising really.



Some Horned Grebes were in the cell as well, and one came in quite close.


After over an hour there, it was pouring rain, so it was time to leave.

On the way home, at least 3 Snowy Owls were still seen from Winter Line, between Mallard and Marsh.  They have been there most of the winter.

Things will be happening quickly from now on!



Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Report March 24

After a cold week, we finally got some more spring-like weather this afternoon.  However, around 7 p.m. this evening the wind switched to the NE dropping the temperature, and the clouds rolled in signalling the arrival of the weekend.  It must be that time of year!

After work today, I went for a walk at Reid CA.  It was nice going through the woods without a coat on for a change.  I saw a few Eastern Comma butterflies, first for the season here.



Reid CA is a real treasure in my opinion with the variety of trees and of course butterflies in the warm season.  I was looking for Blue Ash (for example) and found some smaller trees still alive, but of course the larger ones had finally succumbed to that dreadful insect.  I only walked one section though.



My last stop was Peers Wetland where I saw the first few Tree Swallows of the year.  The warm front today brought in quite a few birds including Song Sparrows.  Chipping Sparrows and Eastern Phoebes were finally reported today.

This morning was crisp but I took a walk at Stewart Wetland as the sun rose.



Several different ducks were around, and lots of gulls.  There are still a crazy number of gulls along the St. Clair River and Walpole Island area.



Yesterday evening I checked out Mitchell's Bay where there are thousands of ducks.  I did not have a scope,  but just enjoyed a walk along the shoreline.