Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Hump Day Happenings

Yesterday was Hump Day. With rain and wind before and after this day and the weather being beautiful, it was a perfect day to spend at my favourite birding location: Rondeau.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets continue to be one of the most abundant songbirds anywhere you go. On occasion, they will sit still long enough, without too many branches in the way, and allow for a recognizable photo.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are relatively abundant. I had at least 15 that day.

Warblers, those brightly coloured feathered jewels most birders look forward to seeing in large numbers during May, are arriving as they should be. Not like birders hope they might, dripping off the trees, but at least with enough around that a solid effort will result in 10 or more species on the day's list.

Black-throated Green Warblers are scattered about.

I finally saw my first Black-and-white Warbler of the spring. It is usually an early one, but they have not been plentiful yet in this area it seems.
One warbler highlight was this male Hooded Warbler. They used to be quite scarce in Ontario, and one didn't even see them every year, but they have been doing relatively well in the last couple of decades. They aren't quite the novelty they used to be, but are always a treat to see. Another warbler highlight, although it did not result in any photos, was a brief glimpse of a Yellow-breasted Chat as it skulked through the shrubbery along the South Point Trail. It is entirely possible given the amount of habitat there, and with the regularity of spaced out sightings, there may be two or more chats. Hopefully if that is the case, they will stick around and nest as they have done in the past. Other new for the year (to me) warblers included Ovenbird and Northern Waterthrush.
Hooded Warbler
Vireos are becoming more common. Blue-headed (formerly Solitary) Vireos are probably the most common at the moment, although none of this species has been known to nest in Rondeau.
I heard a Yellow-throated Vireo as I was driving slowly along Rondeau Road, but never saw it. I got a glimpse of the much rarer White-eyed Vireo as it flitted about some dense shrubbery along the South Point Trail, but this is the only photo I got!




The very south end of the South Point Trail continues to change due to the relentless wave action. This first image was taken from about where a bench overlooking the lake used to be, but got undercut by wave action a few years ago. Now the waves are throwing up sand over the road and obliterating it.
 At the very southwest corner of the South Point Trail, a bit of water is over the road due to the waves coming in over the sand beach and emptying into the adjacent slough. At the moment, there are only about 8-10 cm of water over the road. This does happen periodically. On more than one occasion, however, I have seen up to half a metre over this section. On one occasion, at least half of the South Point Trail between Lakeshore Road and this corner was under water!

On a final note, the 'resident' White-winged Dove continues to deposit nesting material to the top of the sloped stove pipe at cottage lot 17168. It will be interesting to see how long this behaviour continues this year.









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