Monday, March 9, 2015

Rondeau Redpoll Run

The last two months have been really busy, but amazingly, I've still birded quite a bit. I just haven't seen much that was noteworthy! On top of work and night school, I decided a few months ago that it would be a good idea to do the electrical installation for the new house that my wife and I are having built. I haven't posted a blog posting in 6 weeks, but today's Redpoll citing along with an a generous gift from a reader prompted me get back into the swing of things. Its funny but readers who are birders in Ontario might not realize that the Common Redpoll just does not show up in Windsor. It seems to not be seen much south of Rondeau (see range map). I've only seen this bird twice before today and those looks were fleeting. So this is my third look at a Common Redpoll in my five years of birding!

Late January - went to Rondeau to see Redpolls that were report, I missed them but did get a chance to bird the park a little with Blake. I did see some Pine Siskens at the feeder.

February -Seeing a Belted Kingfisher around Feb 8th was pretty exciting. Considering how cold it got, I hope this little fella made it through the Winter. I guess an Eastern Phoebe was seen at Ojibway Park in Mid February...  It was so cold... I cant even imagine how it was surviving. It must have been a Frozen Phoebe! I saw a Long-tailed Duck, - a rarity at the Detroit River but common an hour north in the Sarnia River. Unfortunately, my car was so full of electrical equipment, I didn't have my camera.

A few weeks ago, Blake mentioned to me in an email that a birder in the Chatham area who enjoys reading my blog wanted to give me some of her old field guides and books related to birding. He mentioned that he would just keep the donated books in his trunk till the next time we meet. So I couldn't resist the opportunity to see Redpolls and obtain these donated books today. On the way to Rondeau I noticed about 10 hawks, 8 were Redtails but I think I saw one or two Rough legged Hawks. My first for the year!

Seeing a Rough legged Hawk is always fun. The plumage details found in its dark "mittens" and belly band are diagnostic. But what caught my attention was how it perches on the tips of the thinnest outer branches of the tree that it perches in. Something a Red-tailed hawk does not do. How many people stop along the highway to see this stuff?

First of Season White Crowned Sparrow

I've had several friends, family and co-workers just give me books about birding! One co-worker gave me both the "Golden" field guide (1966) and the Audubon bird Guide - Eastern Land Birds (1946) as well as Audubon Prints! Today I obtained two boxes of birding books, botany field guides, OFO Journals, "Birding Point Pelee" by Henrietta Oneil, the complete Audubon Collection of birds and Mammals. My birding library is growing!! Thanks to Irene for the kind and thoughtful gift. I'm going to read every book you sent!

Good birding!



  1. Your redpoll shots are AMAZING Dwayne!! I'm very jealous too that you've seen so many Pine Siskins...I have not been able to track one down yet! Good luck on your house work!

  2. Glad you enjoyed the boxes of items that needed a good home ! Perhaps someone added the field guide
    [ with the Bald Eagle ? ] I still have mine.
    Come on Spring ! Irene

  3. Tianna, great to hear from you. Thanks for the compliments on the photos. Irene, thanks again for the books. I've been skimming through all of the books and they are all awesome. I think Blake generously threw in the Nat Geo guide!

  4. Hello! Beautiful blog.
    I'm a bird-lover looking for ways to connect the Birding communities of Ontario with an amazing Bird Language learning opportunity. As a keen and active Birder yourself, I hope you might offer some insight as to how I can put out a “thread of connection” in a good way. I believe the Birding community has a lot to gain from becoming involved with this initiative (described below), especially from its onset.
    I'm reaching out on behalf of Sticks & Stones Wilderness School, in collaboration with several other Ontario and international organizations (including The 8 Shields Institute, Nature Connection Mentoring Foundation, and Earth Tracks Outdoor School). The international Bird Language Leaders project will soon be starting up in Ontario.
    Themed around birds being the eyes and ears of the natural world, keen emphasis is placed on learning to observe and listen deeply to the birds around us, and that in doing this, we can begin to experience increased awareness and participate in nature in a new and dynamic way. To do so has been a key adaptive survival strategy for many non-avian species throughout evolution– including humans. By tuning in, we also inevitably learn to decrease our personal ecological footprints, which has benefits for present and future generations alike.
    World-renowned expert Jon Young (author of What the Robin Knows and co-founder of the 8 Shields Institute) is a leading mentor in the field of Bird Language and Deep Nature Connection, and he’ll be coming up to co-facilitate the workshop, along with a team of Ontario experts. Our event will mark the "kicking off" of this incredible international movement here in Ontario.
    Far from being a one-off event, the workshop is where people can come to get a sense of what this opportunity for a supported learning journey is about by starting things off with a bang. Learning objectives for the weekend include:
    • The Five Voices of the Birds
    • Interpreting Shapes of Alarm
    • Mapping Bird Language
    • Sensory Awareness, Natural Movement & Invisibility routines
    • Storytelling and Dynamic Sensory Memory Skills
    • Baseline Symphony and Concentric Rings
    • Ways to integrate the skills after the workshop
    • How to continue your training and get certified in BLL

    This project implements specific cultural mentoring techniques proven to be effective in building personal and community resilience. There is a lot of background and history to this initiative, and the benefits of the community-supported model extend much deeper than Bird Language alone.
    I’d be happy to set up a phone meeting with our Program and Project Director Skeet Sutherland, if you'd like to learn more about this project, and about how your Birding networks can benefit from this opportunity.
    I can be reached at or by phone at 705.994.3666
    Or, if you'd like to view the webpage and/or register for the event yourself, please click here.
    I appreciate the time you’ve taken to read and consider this.
    Thank you, and take care,

    Kate Sutherland
    Deep Nature Connection Mentor
    Sticks & Stones Wilderness School



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