Rondeau Provincial Park – April 26, 2024

We continue to have warmer than usual weather for late April and early May with an abundance of rain. There is already a green haze of new leaves in the tree canopy.

We took advantage of a sunny day to make an early spring visit to Rondeau Provincial Park with some friends. All four of us contributed photos to this post.

The temperature was comfortable in the mid-teens, but only when we were out of the wind. Lake Erie had whitecaps, but the inner harbour was calm and hosted rafts of migrating waterfowl.

Most of the birds were far away and could only be identified using the spotting scope. A few Red-breasted Mergansers and a Greater Scaup were closer and put on more of a show.

Near the shore Purple Martins chattered constantly as they flew in and out of the nesting boxes provided in the park.

The chatter of the martins was interrupted by the loud drumming of a Pileated Woodpecker that was drilling large holes in the fencing around a garbage disposal area. What a sight!

Pileated Woodpecker – male

We walked through the nearly deserted campground and then along the Tulip Tree Trail. The campground has many low bushes that provide more cover for birds than the open wooded trails.

We counted 36 species for the day. Here are a few of the birds we managed to photograph.

Early spring wildflowers were in bud or in bloom. A Red Admiral butterfly occasionally sailed along sampling flowers.

Below: Cut-leaved Toothwort, Common Blue Violet, Redstem Stork’s-Bill, Forsythia, Early Buttercup, Common Blue Violet, Red Columbine, Downy Yellow Violet, Large White Trillium (2), Red Deadnettle, Canadian Lousewort, Goose Egg Moss.

Orchids and Parrot Tulips

Our orchids continue their prolonged bloom. Tulips come and go. Parrot tulips are aptly named. As they open, they look as if they have feathers and could take flight.

Osprey Update

Our Osprey pair have settled into the 36- to 42-day incubation period. We will look for signs of hatching near the end of May. The nest continues to grow as the pair adds sticks to it from time to time. When the male delivers fish to the nest, the female usually takes it off to the low platform. While she devours the fish, the male replaces her, lowering himself gently into the nest. When not on the nest or away fishing, the male is usually perched close by and quickly responds to the female’s cries when intruders approach. Twice we have watched the male pursue two Ospreys, chasing them high over the nest and along the river.

Music Videos

Some readers had trouble with recent videos. To reduce the size of our reports, I will provide YouTube playlists instead of several YouTube links. If you do not like a song, you can skip to the next one.

Here is the playlist for rain videos.

My new playlist features songs from the 60s and 70s by MonaLisa twins. They first caught my attention with covers of early songs by The Beatles. They were invited to perform at Beatles fan conferences.

Just because it is the weekend: three blue men, three guitars, three drummers and an amazing singer.