Great Egret

Great Egret

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Waterbirds, etc after the weekend

These past few weeks have been a little more hectic than usual. Family things going on, my sister from BC visiting for a couple of weeks, and also it was Marie's and my 40th anniversary! (Congratulations to Marie for putting up with me for so long.....and sharing some of my fascination with natural history as well!)

As a result of these commitments, I missed out on the Black-legged Kittiwake, Laughing Gull and Franklin's Gull seen along the east beaches of Rondeau on Sunday. So when Monday morning arrived, I had time to see what I could find there.

Dog Beach access seems to be the best vantage point to see waterbirds flying through, so that is where I headed first. Not surprisingly, a couple of intrepid birders were already there.
Steve and Reuven scanning the gulls
There was a steady stream of waterbirds passing by: Bonaparte's Gulls, Herring Gulls, Common Loons, Horned Grebes, Greater Scaup, etc. Alas, none of the aforementioned 'good' birds that showed up on Sunday were noted. But as usual, there are often other interesting sightings, which included White-winged Scoter, Surf Scoter, Little Gull and Peregrine Falcon. All of these were too far out to attempt a photo, especially given the light conditions. Shorebirds were on shore, as expected, and included Sanderling and Dunlin, while a couple of Greater Yellowlegs flew briefly overhead.
Dunlin waving to the camera
As these shorebirds were searching for something edible on the sand, I noted several little dark winged things taking a brief flight before finding another sheltered place to settle in. They were moths, a species which I have yet to determine. Update: I believe this is a Velvet Bean Caterpillar moth.

Half an hour after Steve and Reuven left for other birdy parts of the park, I noted a small loon flying by. Its shorter feet, smaller size, white face and neck all added up to a likely Red-throated Loon!

Eventually I left the Dog Beach access as well, looking for a different array of avifauna. There were both Kinglets, numerous blackbirds and a few warblers, mostly Yellow-rumped and Palm.
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler

As has been the case in the last few days, the sunny warm conditions have encouraged basking by snakes.

The warmth has been good for some lingering butterflies as well. I noted 6 species of butterfly, including at least 10 Eastern Commas. Monarchs and Red Admirals were also noted.

Turkey Tail, a type of bracket fungus, is commonly seen on rotting hardwood logs in the forest.

But the sunny and excessively warm conditions will be gone soon, probably by the time most readers will see this post. And autumn colours are becoming more prevalent even here in the banana belt.
Autumn maple along Bennett Ave
Virginia Creeper is typically loaded with berries at this time of year, and are great places to find berry eating birds such as American Robins, various other thrushes and warblers.
Virginia Creeper


  1. Your interesting blog was much enjoyed as always.
    Congratulations on your 40th anniversary Allen and Marie.
    love and blessings, Paula and your cousin Ian.

    1. Hi Paula and Ian: thanks so much for the anniversary congrats! Hope you are enjoying the arrival of spring in your part of the world.