Birding Throughout Southwestern Ontario (16-19 April)

Burke Korol bkorol at vianet.ca
Sat Apr 20 00:01:44 EDT 2002


Hello Ontbirders,

This week I decided to take advantage of the time off afforded to me through
the the 'generosity' of the Ontario Public Service.  I just returned this
evening, so some of my sightings are a bit dated.

Tuesday (April 16th) afternoon I saw the EARED GREBE at Ashbridges Bay in
Toronto, about 100 m from shore.  I could not find the Harlequin Duck.  This
spot was reached by exiting south off Lakeshore Ave. at the base of Coxwell
Ave. Drive into the park, following right, along the road to the boat launch
parking area.  Park at the far southeast corner and walk south along the
path straight to the end of the park to the outer lake side.

Tuesday evening I made it to Big Creek Marsh (NWA) at Long Point.  To get
here travel southwest from Port Rowan on Road 42 and then turn south on Road
59 to about half way across the causeway.  The marsh and parking area are on
the west side of the road.  In the marsh were 6 SANDHILL CRANES, 1 adult
BALD EAGLE, 2 or 3 AMERICAN BITTERNS, 1 OSPREY and I heard a VIRGINIA RAIL.

At Lee Brown's (return to Road 42 and go west approximately 10 km, looking
for it on the south side of Road 42) there was a good variety and large
numbers of ducks including 4 WOOD DUCKS, 1 CANVASBACK and 2 BUFFLEHEADS.
SANDHILL CRANES and an AMERICAN BITTERN were also heard here.  Further west
on Road 42 (south side), at the Hahn Marsh section of the NWA I found 4
RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, several COMMON SNIPE and a partial albino DARK-EYED JUNCO
(with white head).

Wednesday (17 April) I birded Rondeau PP.  I had to use by bicycle for this
because visitors are discouraged from entering the park in a vehicle while
the OPSEU strike is on.  Rondeau PP is found by exiting Hwy. 401 at Exit 101
and following Road 15 southeast for about 20 km.  In the park, I could not
relocate the Louisiana Waterthrush on the Spicebush Trail reported earlier
by Blake and Steve, but I did find a WOOD THRUSH on the South Point Trail.
There were still plenty of ducks on Rondeau Bay, but I had to bike to the
far end of the Marsh Trail to see a NORTHERN PINTAIL, 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS
and a YELLOW WARBLER.

Later on Wednesday (after renewing my entry permit in Blenheim) I birded the
Blenheim Sewage Lagoons where the highlights were 3 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, 1
CANVASBACK, 1 SAVANNAH SPARROW, 1 HORNED GREBE and 1 NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED
SWALLOW.  These lagoons are reached by going south of Blenheim on Road 3 to
the car wash on the edge of town and turning northwest on Lagoon Road.  They
are about 2 km from Road 3, on the right side of the road (Entry Permit
Required).

Next it was off to the Pelee Checklist area.  A brief stop at Muddy Creek,
100 m west of Road 1, 4 km south of Wheatley turned up 20 GREAT EGRETS.

Hillman Marsh was quite full of water and ducks, but despite searching for
the Tufted Duck that had been around earlier I did not find it.  However
there were plenty of RUDDY DUCKS, over 1000 LESSER SCAUP and a few GREATER
SCAUP and a RING-NECKED PHEASANT called from the fields south of the marsh.
The marsh was viewed from the dyke on it's south side, which is 9 km east of
Leamington on Road 20.

I then went to Point Pelee NP (14 km SE of Leamington on Road 33) and found
a NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW over the marsh between the entry gate and
the marsh boardwalk.  On the marsh boardwalk at dusk there was a MARSH WREN
singing, 3 NORTHERN HARRIERS and some REDHEADS.

Thursday (18 April) in Pelee NP, at the tip was a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD,
several FIELD SPARROWS, 3 PINE WARBLERS, an EASTERN TOWHEE, a BLUE-GRAY
GNATCATCHER, 1 SAVANNAH SPARROW, 1 HOUSE WREN and a male HOODED WARBLER.  No
sign of the Henslow's Sparrow near the solar panels though.  I could not
find the Louisiana Waterthrush on the Woodland Trail (seen the day before by
Fred Urie) today, but there was a BLUE-HEADED VIREO.  The best bird in
Tilden's Woods was a single WINTER WREN.

The next stop was the observation deck and nature trail at St. Clair NWA,
which is 14 km west of Chatham, on a difficult-to-navigate set of back roads
(e-mail me for details).  I could not find any Yellow-headed Blackbirds, but
there was a nice assortment of ducks and a few SORAS (a few heard and one
actually flushed).

I then headed northeast to Pinery Provincial Park, which is in northern
Lambton County on Lake Huron, northwest of Road 21 and northeast of Port
Franks.  Again, a bicycle is required to get very far in this currently
closed park.  An OSPREY and 2 EASTERN TOWHEES were found along the Ausable
Channel, northeast of the entry gate.

Today (19 April) I hiked around Bruce Peninsula National Park from the
Cyprus Lake Campground Trail head, around Horse and Mar lakes and along the
Georgian Bay cliffs and shoreline.  Best birds here were RUSTY BLACKBIRD,
AMERICAN COOT (in Georgian Bay!), a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and 6 GREEN-WINGED
TEAL.

Upon my return home (2269 Hwy. 60, 10 km east of Huntsville, District of
Muskoka) I had 4 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS and a calling AMERICAN WOODCOCK in my yard
this evening.  Tomorrow its off to Algonquin for the OFO trip!!

**********

Burke Korol
Huntsville, ON
bkorol at vianet.ca

"Burke Korol" <bkorol at vianet.ca>



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