Great Egret

Great Egret

Monday, 2 May 2016

White-winged Dove....again!

White-winged Doves are a southwestern bird, common in southern Texas and Arizona. So what is one doing at Rondeau Provincial Park in May, again?

Earlier today, Steve Charbonneau and Reuven Martin had a White-winged Dove along Lakeshore Road, south of the Visitor Centre. This is the third record for the park. The first one was back in late January, 2013, when one showed up at the Visitor Centre feeder area, and stayed almost a week. We think it succumbed to the wintry elements, or the talons of a local Cooper's Hawk.
WWDO 2013

The second record was in 2015, when one showed up briefly for a couple of days in late May. It was also in the vicinity of the Visitor Centre and roamed up to a half kilometre north. In spite of searches, it seemed to have disappeared. But on June 24 of that year, while I was photographing a plant along Lakeshore Road near the Visitor Centre, I heard the distinctive call of a White-winged Dove, and tracked it down to a grove of White Pine trees just north of the Visitor Centre. It was a one day least no one else reported it in the following days.
WWDO 2015

For a bird to show up in the same general vicinity almost a year later makes one wonder if it is the same bird, which is again confused and is subject to a peculiar migration route. Given that the species doesn't usually migrate long distances in the first place makes it even more peculiar, although there are quite a few records well north and east of their normal range.

At any rate, one showed up at Rondeau this morning, in the vicinity of cottage lot 17266. I came by a bit later, and by then it had disappeared. There were several cars of birders parked along the road watching and listening, but without success. Apparently the most recent bit of information they had was that the bird had headed into the forest in a somewhat southwestern direction.

I decided to park at the Visitor Centre and walk south along Harrison Trail, hoping to hear or see it. I walked south to the end, with no success, so I headed back along Lakeshore Road. Just a bit north of the Dog Beach Access, I heard its distinct call off towards Harrison Trail! Since at that point, Harrison Trail was only a couple of hundred metres in from where I was, I ventured in that direction to get a look. Fortunately it kept calling, and in just a few minutes, was seen heading my way.

I got a few shots, but the light was horrible, and there were branches in the way.
WWDO, May 2, 2016
 It was active, never staying in one spot for more than a minute before moving elsewhere. It did land on the roof of a cottage a time or two, and I got a few unobstructed, but distant pics. At this point it was in the vicinity of Lot 17134 and 17140.
WWDO, May 2, 2016
It took off, heading north through the cottage lots and I followed it with my binoculars for about half a kilometre north before it disappeared from view. So I kept walking north along Lakeshore Road.

I came across several other birders who were looking for it, and while I was showing them some pics on my camera, I heard the dove call in the distance. And it came closer. And then it flew right into a willow tree where it had been first spotted earlier in the day, at Lot 17266. There was a feeder beside the cottage, and the bird briefly looked for food underneath it, before returning to the willow tree where it stayed for at least half an hour, giving a dozen or so birders who had arrived fairly decent views in spite of the poor light and bright white sky background.
WWDO, May 2, 2016
WWDO, May 2, 2016
May is getting off to a good start!


  1. Hopefully it will stick around for a while for many to see.
    Perhaps we will see a Eurasian Collared-Dove this month as well!

    1. It looks like the WWDO is sticking around for awhile. I'm glad you got it. Yes a Eurasian Collared-Dove would be very nice!