[Ontbirds]Rondeau birds May 3-6

friends at rondeauprovincialpark.ca friends at rondeauprovincialpark.ca
Sat May 7 14:41:16 EDT 2005

May 3, 2005
Bird migration has been halted by the cold front, north winds and the periodic 
sleet and rain for the past three days. Despite that dismal picture, several 
brave migrants have been trickling into the Rondeau Provincial Park Birding 

On May 1st, during a short burst of morning sunlight, 1 water pipit flew 
overhead towards the base of the point at Beach Access # 10, while more than 
2000 double-crested cormorants herded the baitfish along the Lake Erie 
shoreline. Bonaparte's gulls, great black-backed gulls and Forster's terns 
could seen competing for the fishing frenzy.

A walk along the marsh walk to the new two-storey viewing tower produced a 
singing Virginia rail, 1 fox sparrow and 1 vesper sparrow while the resident 
bald eagle adult and the immature from last year can be seen patrolling the 
shorelines of the bay and the lake.

The drive to Erieau later in the day was rewarded by a great egret seen in 
McGeachy's Pond along with a nesting pair of mute swans.

On May 2nd, a visit to the Blenhheim Sewage Lagoons produced 15 ruddy ducks, 20 
Bonaparte's gulls, 10 American wigeon and singing horned larks.

Today, May 3rd, another visit to McGeachy's Ponds near Erieau, produced over 
400 American golden plover, 36 pectoral sandpiper and 50 dunlin. At the South 
Point Trail in the park, a small flock of 15 black-bellied plover flew by 
heading northwest. As for all three days during this reporting period, yellow-
rumped warbler, Nashville warbler and black and white warblers are being 
reported each day trickling in. It is expected that as soon as the weather 
breaks with good warm southerly flows, many more species will be found 
throughout the Rondeau Provincial Park birding area.

May 6, 2005

Migration has continued slowly. Finding birds was taking a lot of effort until 
this morning. But on Wednesday May 4th, a walk along the Marsh Trail produced a 
King Rail calling and ten minutes later it made a 2 minute appearance for one 
lucky birder. A little further along the trail 2 marsh wrens were heard and 
seen displaying, one common yellowthroat, 1 great egret, 5 American bittern, 2 
Virginia rail, and 5 sora were tallied.

The next day, May 5th, a small migration began with the first common terns 
reported at South Point Trail. One wood thrush, 1 palm warbler, were seen and 
heard at South point Trail. At the Visitor's Centre, 3 male rose-breasted 
grosbeaks were seen., while 1 Lincoln's sparrow was reported on the Tulip Tree 

Today,, May 6th, with warmer weather moving in, came a larger migration that 
most birders have been waiting for.  Many of the early migrants mentioned 
previously moved in large numbers with several new species. The orioles have 
arrived with several Baltimore orioles seen and heard throughout the park and 1 
orchard oriole was seen and heard singing his lively song at the south end of 
the campground. The first empidonax flycatchers arrive today with one least 
flycatcher singing along the South Point Trail. Four sandhill cranes were heard 
then seen during the guided bird hike along the Marsh Trail with 1 Virginia 
rail heard and many soras heard.

Hundreds of swallows were reported seen migrating at first light this morning 
travelling north along the Rondeau Bay shore. Most were bank swallows.

With the good migration observed today, it appears as if it will certainly pick 
up for the weekend with the weather forecasting a southerly flow. Birding in 
Rondeau should be excellent.

Bob Knudsen
Bird Hike Leader
Friends of Rondeau

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