Great Egret

Great Egret

Monday, 11 September 2017

Recent Rondeau and Erieau foray

It is amazing how time flies, and I hadn't been to either Rondeau or Erieau for awhile. A recent trip to both made up for that.

At Rondeau, I headed for the South Point Trail, where there is often a buildup of warblers and other passerines at this time of year. That was a good choice. The bushes were loaded. Unfortunately the bright sunlight, caused many shadows in the dense shrub growth, and hawks in the vicinity kept the birds low and partially hidden. So photos weren't all that rewarding. Blackpoll Warblers were by far the most common.
 I got about 15 species in all, including the occasional Black-and-white Warbler. They aren't usually this green, but being in the shade of the greenery will do that.
There were also sightings of things such as Northern Parula and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, but no photos. No Connecticut Warbler either that I could find, although one or more has been seen by others along this trail in recent days. Seven Bald Eagles were noted overhead, including five of which were flying much higher and drifting with the winds in a southwest direction, so presumably migrants.

It wasn't that many years ago when seeing a Bald Eagle was a real highlight, but due to their rebounding population in the last couple of decades, is an expected sight.

I always keep an eye out for other things of interest, and came across a variety of pollinators on goldenrod. One that particularly caught my attention is this Feather-legged Fly (Trichopoda sp.), named because of the feathery appearance of the lower part of its hind legs. It is a little more obvious in the second photo.

I got lots of photos of other pollinators, but as yet are still working on their identification. Maybe it will be fodder for a future post.

What used to be a rare orchid but is now just considered uncommon with a restricted range, is this Great Plain's Ladies'-tresses.
A later trip to Erieau proved worthwhile. Nothing really unexpected was seen, but it is always nice to see what is around.

There was a flock of at least 50 Sanderling feeding and resting on the beach.

A Ruddy Turnstone was feeding on the pier and area.
Not a Rock Sandpiper
At the west end of McGeachy Pond is a butterfly bush next to the parking area. On this day, it was very busy, with more than a couple of dozen caught up in a feeding frenzy. There were at least 15 Monarchs and 7 Painted Ladies as well as Question Mark, Red Admiral, Silver-spotted Skipper and the usual Orange Sulphur and Cabbage White butterflies, all seen in about 20 minutes.

Orange Sulphur

Painted Lady

Question Mark

Question Mark

Silver-spotted Skipper
A brief stop at the Campbell Line pasture on the way home did not have much bird life. Aside from the typical Turkey Vultures passing by overhead, there was a family of Eastern Kingbirds on the fence by the road.
 This immature Brown-headed Cowbird, below, was hanging out with the kingbirds, so I assume it thought it was part of the family due to it likely being raised by them. No doubt it will not make the southward migration with its 'family', but hook up with other cowbirds before long.


  1. I consider myself lucky to see one Monarch on our Butterfly Bush!

    1. Most, if not all, of the Monarchs would be migrants.....being on the migratory pathway certainly helps!