Thursday, 31 January 2013

White-winged Dove, Red-headed Woodpecker and Hermit Thrush - just another January day

First some good news: I have ordered a new camera! It is a used Nikon DSLR - an older model that is basic, inexpensive, but will get me through the next couple of months until I can afford a "real" camera again. The bad news: It won't arrive for a week or two so I am stuck taking photos with my phone through my scope! Hopefully it won't be long until I can take half-decent photos again.

This morning I was going to meet up with Barb Charlton and we had plans on heading down to Haldimand Region to do some surveying for some particularly rare species, but with the heavy winds and blowing snow forecasted, we decided it just wasn't worth our effort. What to do then, since we were up early and ready to go birding? Well, a twitch was in order.

This time it was down to Rondeau where a White-winged Dove, originally found by Jim Burk on January 26th, was still attending the bird feeders at the Visitor's Center regularly. Barb and I had each only seen 2 White-winged Doves ever in Ontario so it was nice to be able to look for another. More importantly though, I had to keep my lead on the Top 100 Ebirders for Chatham-Kent, and this would be a new addition for me! Hopefully none of the "old-time" Rondeau birders add in their data so that I can stay in the lead ;)

We arrived at the VC around 9:00 AM, and just as we were getting ready to get out of the vehicle, the White-winged Dove landed on the feeder. That was easy! However by the time we made our way over to where it was, it had vanished. Finally, half an hour later, it showed and we were both able to take a few photos. Here is the best I could manage through my binoculars.

White-winged Dove - Rondeau Provincial Park (January 31, 2013)

Several other interesting birds nearby including a bunch of Common Redpolls, a Tufted Titmouse (always a treat to see), and a Hermit Thrush in Ric McArthur`s yard.

From here we headed down to the Erieau pier to check out the action. On the way however, a nice 1st year Red-headed Woodpecker was working some telephone poles. Cool! This was a new "winter" bird for me.

Red-headed Woodpecker - north of Erieau

Down at the piers we saw lots and lots of ice and I`m pretty sure I smelled an Ivory Gull at some point. Should I count it? There were a few interesting ducks (lots of Redhead, a Gadwall, etc) but the "rarest" birds were the coots, of which there were about 90. Pretty good for this late date, I guess.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful as we checked a number of locations. It is tough to find birds in snow squalls and high winds! But it was still a successful day. Red-headed Woodpecker, White-winged Dove, and Hermit Thrush - just another late January day in Canada!


  1. That woodpecker's head is getting redder!
    BTW, I don't think you have to worry about us "oldtimers" here in C-K putting our life list on eBird! (at least yet).

  2. Your lead is toast once I get all my old records into eBird!