Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Return to Rondeau

It was a gorgeous day to be out exploring and fortunately I had arranged time off today to explore Rondeau and area.  It's been a year since my last park visit and the park did not disappoint  that time.  I was hoping for the same results today.

Arriving in the park a bit before noon, first stop was the visitor centre and Tulip Tree Trail.  The main target was Prothonetary Warbler, a species that I've narrowly missed on past visits here.  It wasn't hard to figure out where to go as there was a crowd of birders intently scanning a patch of swamp.  The birds had been showing, but were not around when we arrived. Fortunately it wasn't long before we heard and then saw a couple individuals. 

They didn't seem at all concerned with all the birders and this guy spent some time foraging quite close to the boardwalk.

This was a promising start to the day and I hoped the trend would continue on the next stop at the marsh trail.  A Yellow-throated Vireo was the first bird encountered there.
Most likely because of our late arrival at the park, warbler variety wasn't as great as had been reported in the morning.  Yellow warblers seemed to ignore that trend and were one of the most numerous birds encountered.
A Sora was heard calling along the trail. 

I happened upon this struggle of life and death as this toad was preparing to meet its end.
A couple more trails were walked, but nothing unusual was found.  I wanted to head back to Tulip Tree Trail on last time before leaving the park.  This time, I was able to observe the Prothonotary Warblers again, but without such a big crowd.
I attempted a final drive down Lakeshore Road in search of the White-Winged Dove, but it did not show.  I did at least manage to see it last year so it wasn't a big loss.

After leaving the park, I checked into the nearby Keith McLean CA where American Avocets and Willets had been seen.  Both appeared to have moved on but just when preparing to leave, another birder pulled in to tell us that a Yellow-Headed Blackbird was being seen on the causeway outside the park.  This would be a lifer for me and fortunately within a couple minutes was watching this gorgeous bird sitting on a nest in the marsh.

It was a great day in Chatham-Kent.  Enjoy spring migration while you can, it will be over before we know it.


  1. It looks like you had a pretty successful trip to the Rondeau area....congrats!

    1. Thanks Allen, I sure did. Thanks again for the tips on the Prothonotarys.

  2. Too bad we did not come across each other. Would have been nice to chat.

    1. It sure would have. I hope to meet up with you again sometime out and about somewhere.