For this count, Rondeau Provincial Park and Erieau are two of the hotspots known to catch the attention of late migrants. A male Eurasian Wigeon has been fairly reliable at the north end of Rondeau, although not often seen close to shore (although I got a text today from Garry Sadler that it was at the edge of the bay under the willow tree closest to the normal viewing point.....a day when I had other commitments and couldn't get out). This first photo, greatly cropped, is one of my more successful attempts.
|Eurasian Wigeon on the right|
There has been a handful of less common birds scattered in various place in Rondeau, but they are not always easy to catch up to. One place I often check is the north end of Harrison Trail and also the adjacent campground, which is closed, but has easy access and lots of shrubbery for birds. Yesterday I went for a hike in this area. It was much quieter than I expected. I saw nine Gray Squirrels...
....a feral cat....
I know there was a Golden-crowned Kinglet on the branch in this next photo when I pressed the shutter....honest! They never seem to sit still, so in the ensuing millisecond of time, it was gone. (Over the years I have collected a few shots of empty branches.....😏)
There have been some strong winds from the southeast recently, and I wanted to check on the state of erosion along the south and southeast beach areas of the park. The wave action so far didn't seem to do too much damage.
The Erieau pier and channel has received the brunt of such wave action as well.
These gulls in the next image would normally be out on the pier, but as you can see from the third photo above, it wasn't a popular place to hang out on this day. The birds in this next photo were about to get a shower.
The Rail Trail and the McGeachy Pond trail are two good spots to check out. There has been an interesting assortment of song birds in the last few days, including Wilson's Warbler, Palm Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Blue-headed Vireo, Gray Catbird, American Robin and Bohemian Waxwing, among other more expected species. The density of the shrubbery adjacent to the phragmites as well as the abundance of non-native rose hips makes it attractive to such lingering migrants, but sometimes very challenging for birders! I haven't spent as much time combing the bushes as some others, and so haven't caught up with all of the above. In fact of those listed, I have only seen the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin and the Bohemian Waxwing. The latter species was probably the most surprising, as they are rarely seen in Chatham-Kent in any year. In fact I have only seen them in C-K about three times in the past four decades. This individual shown below was with a flock of about 125 of the much more common Cedar Waxwings.
|American Robin feasting on rose-hips|
|Blue-gray Gnatcatcher from a different day|
|Cedar Waxwing enjoying fruit of Red Cedar|
|Front to back: Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Fox Sparrow|
With the imminent arrival of colder weather, it will be especially interesting to see how many of these species are recorded on the upcoming CBC!