[Ontbirds]Rondeau - Worm-eating & Kentucky Wa., Chat

Steve LaForest stevelaforest at hotmail.com
Thu May 8 23:02:41 EDT 2008

Rondeau Bird Report – Thursday May 8, 2008 - evening

Good evening birders.

An abundance of fish off South Point Trail today apparently attracted a large flock of Red-breasted Mergansers, numbering about 1,000 birds.  Also drawn in were many cormorants and gulls, including at least 60 Bonaparte’s Gulls.  The fish and/or the feeding frenzy also attracted an American White Pelican, seen at 9:15 am.

Warbler listers tallied 26 species in the park today.  Highlights included Worm-eating, Yellow-breasted Chat (in 2 locations), Kentucky, Golden-winged, Prothonotary (in 2 locations) and Blue-winged (in 4 locations).  Tulip Tree Trail, Spicebush Trail, South Point Trail and Bennett Road were all highly productive.

As noted previously, we have had no additional reports concerning the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher seen here on May 5 or the Harris’s Sparrow, present at the Visitor Centre feeder from May 2 – 6.

Our evening marsh tour featured a good selection of night birds calling, including Whip-poor-will, American Woodcock, Sora, American Bittern and Sandhill Crane.  The sound of a pack of coyotes howling at the moon was rather reminiscent of the famous Algonquin wolf howls – but with a Carolinian flavour.  This hike wrapped up with a Virginia Opossum scurrying across the path!

Good birding.

Steve LaForest
Friends of Rondeau Bird Guide
c/o Rondeau Visitor Centre (519) 674-1768

I will lead a guided bird hike twice daily May 3 to 19 (fee $5), as follows: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 7:30 am & 1 pm; Tuesday & Thursday 7:30 am & 7 pm; Friday 7:30 am.  All of the 7:30 am and 1 pm hikes listed above will meet at the Visitor Centre.  The 7 pm hikes will meet at the entrance to the Marsh Trail.  A second hike on Friday at 1 pm will meet at the Blenheim Sewage Lagoons.  The Friends of Rondeau will provide a birders' brunch for a small donation (coffee, tea, bagels, soups & treats) daily from 7 - 11 am.  There will also be a special program, on Saturday May 10 at 7 pm - an evening presentation about the spring migration at Rondeau entitled “An Evening in the forest with Laforest” (contact the Visitor Centre re tickets).

Directions: Take exit 101 from Highway 401 and drive South 16 km on Chatham Kent Road 15. Follow the signs to the park. The Bird Sightings Book, Bird Sightings Board and other relevant information are located at the Visitor Centre (open 7 am to 5 pm from May 3 - 19).  To reach the Centre from the park gate, travel 6 km South on Rondeau Road to Gardiner Ave. and follow it around the bend to the parking lot.

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