Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

Text only


Day 5 (Monday, 11th May)

     Rondeau

Click for Rondeau map


Rondeau reception American Goldfinch Black-capped Chickadee
Rondeau reception American Goldfinch Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay Chipping Sparrow Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay Chipping Sparrow Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Chipmunk Eastern Gopher Snake Grey Catbird
Eastern Chipmunk Eastern Gopher Snake Grey Catbird
Northern Cardinal Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Northern Cardinal Ruby-throated Hummingbird

After a couple of hugely enjoyable days starting at Pelee, we decided to mix locations and spend the day at Rondeau. Partially poor weather was expected, and the 1 hour 10 minute journey passed through some low lying mist, but the day turned up yet more fine and hot temperatures. This certainly didn't stop the visit from being productive and satisfying, turning in over a dozen warblers and other birds of interest. The park office opened at 7am, and entrance was by automatic ticket machine at $17 per car. We came a little later than at Pelee since we estimated fewer crowds, and were happily more than correct with this assumption. The whole day turned up very few people -always a benefit. We had decided to walk the Tulip Tree Trail first, to try and catch up with the park speciality, Prothonotory Warbler, but the mixed feeders to the rear of the visitor centre proved an early temptation. A short stay here produced Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, American Goldfinch, and White-breasted Nuthatch, all common by local standards, but with excellent views.

We then obtained the exact location of the Prothonotory Warblers from reception - boardwalk F - which by strange coincidence also had a plaque in front of the expected nesting area to help even more! We had hoped to be first there, and almost were. The pair of watchers present moved on, but then by some chance the male started to sing a couple of times, albeit in the canopy. Being greedy, we wanted better views, so were prepared to sit this one out. Wood Duck and Eastern Phoebes cameoed in the interim, until after an hour plus of waiting patiently paid its rewards. Not one but two males were singing, when one obliged by dropping down to the tree stump right below us for food and drink. Crippling views! Even the female decided to get in on the action shortly after. We then meandered back along the trail, taking in Scarlet Tanagers on the way, to begin the hike proper.

Tulip Tree Trail Tulip Tree trail Tulip tree trail
Tulip Tree Trail - Boardwalk F (all 3 images)    
Prothonotory Warbler Eastern Phoebe Scarlet Tanager
Prothonotory Warbler Eastern Phoebe Scarlet Tanager

The whole park is quite an area to cover on foot, especially if this is done slowly and methodically, so we decided to walk the Harrison Trail half way up and cross to the Spice Bush Trail. The presence of migrants was apparently low by Rondeau standards, but we notched up a fair few, and this seemed even better being from the UK. The first walk up the Harrison Trail is a well made track which passes through woodland and occasional muddy pools on both sides. We ticked off a fair few common species, our highlights being mating Red-bellied Woodpeckers and an Eastern Garter Snake to whet our other interest. Turning on to Bennett road, which crosses the peninsular, the trees seemed to become taller and more spaced out, with larger pools either side. It was at this junction that we came across an impressive Pileated Woodpecker, which gave equally impressive views. There are two benches half way along Bennett Road, both situated between ponds, which made an ideal lunch stop. So it was that we munched on our sandwiches taking in Yellow-throated Vireo, Downy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Magnolia & Palm Warbler between bites.

Harrison Trail Bennet Road Hairy Woodpecker
Harrison Trail Bennett Road Hairy Woodepcker
Pileated Woodepcker Red-headed Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker Red-headed Woodpecker
Swainson's Thrush White-breasted Nuthatch Yellow-throated Vireo
Swainson's Thrush White-breasted Nuthatch Yellow-throated Vireo

The Spice Bush trail grew in stature as we covered the circular track clockwise. Initial Eastern Phoebe and an unexpected Savannah Sparrow underneath a log in the woodland opened up the floodgates a touch. Magnolia & Palm Warblers were again regular, but we had also hoped for some Thrushes, which had generally been in low numbers until now. Enter a Veery, and at the apex of the walk a Wood Thrush (or two, not sure!). We also hit a few new Warblers. I missed Hooded Warbler which was with a pair of Red-eyed Vireos, but made up with Black-throated Blue Warbler and American Redstart. Woodpeckers also totted up, adding Hairy, Red-bellied and Northern Flicker.

A Kirtland's Warbler had been reported along the Harrison Trail - which turned out to be true but was seen on the northern part we discovered later - so a return along here was in order. This was again a good decision, since we added three new Warblers for the day as we ambled along - Black-throated Green, Nashville, and Ovenbird. The Red-headed Woodpecker we saw is seemingly also one of the more difficult Woodpeckers to see at this park. Back at the visitor centre, our snake searching was rewarded by a second Garter Snake, first seen when it popped its head out from between the decking of the visitor centre!

Spice Bush Trail Spice Bush Trail Spice Bush Trail
Spice Bush Trail (all 3 images)    
Black-throated Blue Warbler Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler Magnolia Warbler

Before setting off for Leamington again, we planned to look for Upland Sandpipers at a location just West out of Charing Cross. There was word that a tornado warning was in place for early evening, which was exciting in a strange way - we're not exactly storm chasers, but the thought of seeing a twister . . . ! We did find the fields where the birds were located easily, but much has changed over the years, and they were now arable land, and not in the least bit suitable as habitat for the Sandpipers. The rain was also coming down heavily, even though it was in the right direction so as not to soak us with wound down windows, so we hoped that this weather may have an avian benefit for us the following day.

 

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

Text only