All that aside, I don't think many people would complain about the weather from Monday-Thursday of this week, other than those who will go unnamed but who have lamented nice weather during the week only to have crappy weather on the weekend :-). However the weekend weather doesn't look all that bad, so we shall see....
I've been able to be out and about several times these last few days, fortunately, and most often to locations in southern Chatham-Kent. I went looking for the Townsend's Solitaire one day, but it turns out that it was a single 'solitairy' occurrence on Nov 1, at least for now. But it is still likely somewhere in the park. The one that showed up back in April of 2011 showed up for one day at the parking lot of the South Point Trail, and then disappeared for about a week when one, and presumably the same one, showed up just a bit north of the Visitor Centre for a day.
There were lots of Cedar Waxwings feeding in the tree where the solitaire had been seen...probably at least 40.....and by the middle of the week, almost all of the berries that had been abundant on the cedar tree were now gone.
|Eastern Garter Snake|
|Northern Brown Snake|
There was a fair bit of Asparagus along the trail, quite obvious with its pale green and feathery leaves and bright red fruit.
Beaver don't normally chow down on conifers, but since there aren't many of their choicest items around, including poplar, willow, birch and the like, I guess this animal tried to make do. I'm not sure what his plans were for it, as there wasn't any evidence that it attempted to drag it away to its lodge for consuming.
I also came across this undesirable species of wildlife along the trail. Feral cats, which are not native, of course, have huge impacts on wildlife, especially in natural areas.
I also spent a bit of time along the Erieau Rail Trail and the waterfront. As expected, there is a huge number of waterfowl, especially ducks, in what is locally known for very good reason as Duck Bay. At least 10-15,000 birds are spread out from this southwest corner of the bay all the way to Shrewsbury, and there are still shorebirds using the mudflats and vegetation mats, but one needs a high-powered scope to see them well.
On occasion a few ducks were in the air, and did a reasonably close fly by such as these Gadwall did.
I didn't see the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that has been seen by others, but I did catch up to the Northern Parula that has been hanging out for several days. It was seen again on Nov 5, which makes it one day later than the previous late date for this species in the Rondeau checklist circle. The bird was in the shade against a bright sky, so it wasn't the easiest to photograph. I had to do more than the usual tweaking on the computer to get it at least recognizable.
So all in all, an excellent few days to be out. I wonder what the change in weather will bring? More northern birds, maybe even a few more Snowy Owls (one was seen from the Erieau trail earlier this week)?
This is the time of year when White-tailed Deer have mating in mind, so be careful when driving the roads!