Sunday, 1 January 2017

Day 1: An ideal start!

I'll be keeping this update brief, as I am away from home and only have my cell phone. 

Today went as well as I had hoped it would!! After a bit of a plan change that was out of the hands of anyone involved, I ended up sleeping at home last night and left before sunrise, tallying about a dozen species on the drive to Norfolk County in the morning, including a Pileated Woodpecker and a handful of Eastern Bluebirds. I had little trouble seeing the Smith's Longspur (mega rarity in Southern Ontario) by late morning, and also enjoyed about 700 Sandhill Cranes and a couple of Rough-legged Hawks in the process. 

I then headed to Toronto to look for the Lark Sparrow (not as rare as Smith's Longspur but still a great bird for Ontario), where I met up with Josh Vandermeulen and Henrique Pacheco and only had to search for about 15 minutes before getting super views and photos of it in the sun! The three of us made a quick stop at the Burlington Lift Bridge to see a female (Queen?) King Eider before heading to Niagara-on-the-lake. 

We hoped to turn up a Black-headed Gull among the Bonaparte's Gulls flying along the river to Lake Ontario to roost for the night, but the exceptional weather conditions likely had most of the gulls feeding further up the river right until dark, as we saw very few Bonaparte's fly by! No problem - the three of us will be spending some time birding Niagara this week! 

I ended up identifying 36 bird species today, which is about what I expected. It was a great day with great company and great birds!

Good birding!

Jeremy

9 comments:

  1. I saw the Smith's Longspur as well today, must have just missed you. Good luck!

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    1. Yeah I guess we must have just missed each other. I'm sure we'll cross paths at Point Pelee in May, if not sooner

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  2. Sounds great! I will be following your efforts closely, and hopefully I'll find one or two new birds for your list!

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    1. Thanks Reuven! It means a lot to hear about all the support I have pushing me along, but especially from some of the province's sharpest birders like yourself!

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    1. Thanks Denis! Good luck to you too this year with birding, photos, and whatever else you're into!

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  4. Sounds like Niagara has some good gull action as of late!!! Hopefully you can see the Slaty-backed Gull and more! Good luck on your BIG YEAR!!!

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    1. Thanks Brandon, the first week could not have gone better! By the time you posted this comment we had already seen the Slaty-backed on the Ontario side of the river :D
      Good luck to you in your birding and other endeavours this year too!

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