|My first look at Common Redpolls!|
Well, for the last three weeks, I've really made an effort to seek out Common Redpolls on my brief weekend birding outings... but I've had no luck! Even the hawkwatcher reports would hint that flocks were easily seen during the afternoons, but when I visited the tower... Nothing! So today (Saturday), I woke up early and headed to Rondeau and while heading into the park, I noticed a large Birch tree with bird activity in it. I pulled over to the side of the road and amazingly... Redpolls!
A funny thing happened though, it was generally dark and cloudy and the sun came out as I was lifering these amazing birds, I found myself fumbling for gloves, and trying to get my camera to stop giving me an error message. A dog-walker then came by to ask me what I was looking at, and I told him they were Common Redpolls. He then proceeded to tell me about how he gets Cardinals and Deer in his back yard but I was like, OK, great meeting you... Have you ever been deep into a birding moment, then only to have it interupted by someone going on and on about Cardinals in their back yard?? Anyway, I realize everyone is at a different place in their birding so I politely finished the conversation, and went back to photographing these Arctic beauties, the clouds rolled back in. Actually a few Bald Eagles went overhead while this guy was talking to me!
Just a side note. Everyone knows Rondeau (along with Point Pelee and Long Point) are major migration stops along Lake Erie, but its been noted by various birders that the road leading into Rondeau from the mainland is a bit of migration funnel in itself! The *asterisks on the google map screenshot shows how narrow that part of the park is. It might only be as wide a 2 city blocks between the Bay and the Lake. This is where I found these flocks of Redpolls. There you have it, a migration funnel within a migration trap!
Before visiting the park, I attempted to visit Erieau and Blehneim SL. I didn't see much of note, but enjoyed the geography of this amazing area. At the end of this pier, a nice flock of Bonapartes Gulls were playing in the fierce westerly wind that was blowing. It was nice to get a nice close look of some Greater black-backed Gulls.
|Greater black backed Gulls... Have pink legs!|
|Would have been nice to have a Little Gull at Erieau (Nov 2012)|
|The blue line in this image is a nice drive between Rondeau and Point Pelee|
|Twelve or more windmills in this almost random photo along the lake erie shoreline|
I have some exams coming up between now and Dec 10th, so I probably will take a small hiatus for about two weeks. Wish me luck!
Read more about Common Redpolls here:
|Hooded Mergansers at Sanctuary Pond (taken from my car)|
Wind Energy Development in Prince Edward Island February 2010, WEB, Nov 2012, http://www.employmentjourney.com/industry_profiles/RenewableEnergy.pdf