I wanted to get out to the south end of the Marsh Trail at Rondeau to see what the eagles were up to. I had suspected that the nest that the one pair had been using for the last few years was no longer there. This is the very distinctive nest tree within about 200 metres of the Marsh Trail.
|photo of 2014|
But for the eagles, it presented a problem. Fortunately they decided to move to a nearby White Pine tree that they deemed suitable and built the nest....perhaps this tree is not quite as sturdy as the previous one, but it may work. At least it doesn't have as much foliage at the top to catch the wind, so maybe it will last. Yesterday, one adult eagle was on it for awhile, with the other adult perched in a dead tree not far away.
|photo of new nest, 2016|
A couple of Sandhill Cranes emerged from the marsh, giving their trumpet tremolo.
Land birds were beginning to build. There were several hundred Red-winged Blackbirds, not surprisingly, and all males.
Much to my surprise, I came across a third pair! I saw an adult perched in a tree at the Rondeau marsh/bay edge, where the cormorants have recently taken up nesting. While watching the one adult, another adult flew into view, went to the water's edge, then to the edge of the marsh where it picked up a stick, and flew up to a small tree and proceeded to work away with it in the largest nest structure of that tree cluster!
It was during the first half of the previous century that there were typically two pairs of Bald Eagles nesting at Rondeau. That dropped to one pair by mid-century, and didn't increase back to two pairs again until likely 2014. Now it seems that a third pair is trying to get in on using this large marsh/bay complex, which would be precedent setting as far as I am aware. It certainly seems that with the increase in the area's Bald Eagle population which I described a couple of posts ago, it may not be all that surprising that a third pair is around. It would seem that there is adequate territory, as the nests are all at least two kilometres from each other. All of the pairs stuck pretty much to their nest area during the entire 4+ hours I was out there.
It is also interesting that a 7th eagle, a sub-adult, was around yesterday, too, but well away from any of the three nesting pairs.
Another reason I wanted to get to the south end of the trail was to see how the controlled burn for Phragmites turned out. I mentioned this event a couple of posts ago.
After leaving the park, I decided to swing around by the Ridgetown Sewage Lagoon. There was a good variety of ducks, and several hundred Canada Geese, but only a couple of dozen Tundra Swans. However at least 5 Greater White-fronted Geese were still around.