[Ontbirds] Bobwhite & Kite @Waplole Is & Chuck-will's Widow @ Rondeau

Norm Murr NORMURR at SYMPATICO.CA
Sun Jun 20 21:11:49 EDT 2004


Good evening fellow birders.

 Yesterday Sat., June 19, 2004 Stan Bajurny and I started out on a tiring
weekend of late Spring birding and we were not disappointed but we did get
tired out.
The Morning (midnight) started out fine as we left Toronto but by the time
we reached London it was pouring rain (not forecast as usual) and this was
depressing as it only got heavier as we went further down the 401. The
thought of turning back is not in our makeup so on we went (it ended before
we exited to go north to Wallaceburg) and we arrived on Walpole Island at
6:10 am in beautiful, but cool (almost cold) partly cloudy weather and by
6:15 am along Chiefs Rd we had our first of seven (yes 7) Northern Bobwhite.
After the 1st 2 we drove along another road and by 6:30 am we were up to 5
Bobwhite. (All our Bobwhite were seen and heard without tapes, only our
whistling so tapes are really not required, at least not at this time of
year and very sparingly at other times as this is a threatened species in
Canada)
 We now proceeded to do some island birding as the Bobwhite was our target
bird. We found a total of 67 species of birds by 10 am during a relaxed type
of birding including A. Bitterns in courting flight, 2 Pied-billed juveniles
up close being fed and spoiled by their mother, about a million House Wrens,
3 Forster's Terns, and the second last bird on the island a singing Tufted
Titmouse (the Island has many Titmice). The third last birds we saw were 2
more N. Bobwhite on the road at the very end of Chiefs Rd (the end of the
pavement).
 As we stood on the road at the Titmouse location Stan looked up to see a
sharp winged raptor being harassed by blackbirds and this bird was sort of
identified as a Mississippi Kite and I was disappointed as all I saw was a
falcon like bird as it turned away from it's antagonists and disappeared
behind the trees.
We now decided to leave the island, get a coffee, warm up a bit and head
south so we headed out and as we crossed the bridge to the mainland we
spotted a kind of canal/slew on our left and stopped to look it over and as
we stood there a raptor passed over our head and flew up this canal/slew and
it was then that we had close and great looks at an adult Mississippi Kite.
A great end to a visit to Walpole. Now it was off to Blenheim and Rondeau
Provincial Park

 We arrived in Rondeau, checked the sightings book and talked to the very
nice employees and decided to kill time by birding some of the trails (what
else ?).
 Along these trails we found all 6 of the regularly expected Woodpeckers
with a close up of a loudly calling Pileated. as well as Pine Warbler and
again a bunch of House Wrens and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo above our head
calling and complaining. After killing what seemed like 50 hours until it
was dark in the woods we went to listen for our other target bird an we were
again in luck as at 9:40pm within about 30 feet of us a Chuck-will's Widow
started calling loudly and without letup. We listened and enjoyed the bird
for about 5 minutes and then headed out to get a Motel for the night as it
had been a long day.

 Note: There in my opinion should be no way that tapes are needed for this
rare Ontario bird and in fact if you stay by your auto in the Visitor Centre
parking area you can clearly hear the bird. As for any photographers that
just perked up their ears it would be advisable not to bother with this bird
as it only calls when it is dark, in heavy underbrush and you would have to
be Superman to see it. Lights, no, this bird would leave in a blink of an
eye if approached or lite up. It is a rare bird, not seen or heard often and
deserving of a chance to be in peace. No one knows but it also may be a
breeding bird on territory so that alone should be a deterrent (it didn't
work with the Stilts) to anyone that has any thoughts about disturbing the
bird. Again as I said above - You can hear the bird from the parking lot.
 I would not even have mentioned this bird but many birders would like to
know about it and I know that I get angry when birds (some not at risk at
all) are kept secret and only told to a select few, why I do not know as in
my experience a lot of the secret bird(s) would not be harmed or disturbed
by others enjoying them or adding them to their lists. Enough said I hope.

 Off we went for a rare Pizza (for me) and then to bed in Blenheim.

 This morning, Sunday, June 20, 2004 we headed on down to Wilson's Tract in
the Long Point area and further to Jean Iron's earlier posting we added
Blue-winged Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Vesper Sparrow, many Indigo
Buntings, several singing and scolding Scarlet Tanagers, Cooper's Hawk, and
my first newly fledged Veerys with the female scolding and approaching us
with noises I have never heard from a Veery, 1 singing Hermit Thrush and 2
juvenile Ruffed Grouse.
 Time to head home so we did.

Norm Murr
Richmond Hill, ON
NORMURR at SYMPATICO.CA


DIRECTIONS

WALPOLE ISLAND

>From Wallaceburg drive west on Hwy 40 (Dufferin Ave.). At Arnold Rd Hwy 40
makes a 90 degree turn north. Do not turn but continue straight ahead (west)
on County Rd 32 (still Dufferin Ave) until you see the bridge to the island
(just past County Rd 33).

After crossing the bridge you may find that the best birding (including
Bobwhite) is down the left (Southern) roads.

NOTE:- This island is a the Walpole Island Indian Reservation of the Ojibway
First Nation and ALL the land is private. In my experience there is no need
to leave any of the roads to find good birding. At times some back roads can
become very muddy and impossible for most autos so be prepared to do some
backing up. Also - DO NOT block any road, drive forward to a wider spot if
you choose to park and of course lock you vehicle.

 RONDEAU PROVINCIAL PARK (FEE)

Rondeau is directly south of Hwy 401 exit number 101. Drive south on County
Rd 15 (Kent Bridge Rd) and you will bump right into the entrance gate.
WILSON TRACT NORTHWEST OF LONG POINT

The Wilson Tract near Long Point is southwest of Hamilton, northwest of Port
Rowan. To reach it you can drive south on Hwy 6 from Hamilton, passing
through Hagersville and turning right (west) in Jarvis onto Hwy 3, drive to
Simcoe and turn left (south) on Hwy 24 and follow this to Hwy 59. Drive
directly across Hwy 59 onto H-N Regional Road 60 and continue driving west.
You will cross a concrete bridge just pass Hazen Road, continue on to West
1/4 Line Road (approx. 3 ½ km beyond Hwy 59). Turn left (south) on 1/4 Line
and drive straight south to the first road. This is 4th Concession and is a
packed sand road that may be soft in wet weather. Turn right (west) here and
drive along 4th and you are in the Wilson Tract.

About 500 metres from 1/4 Line on 4th is a trail on your left (south) side
that goes down to a creek and an ancient bridge.

About 900 metres from 1/4 Line on 4th is a gated trail (red metal) on your
right. This trail goes up to a creek and beyond to Regional Road 60. After
the creek and after the trail turns right towards Regional road 60 you will
see a trail going off to your left. This leads to several fallow fields.

This is a very buggy area in season, so be sure to take insect repellant
also be sure to lock your automobile door, etc.






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