Saturday, August 27, 2011

My top finds EVER (part two of two)

Ross's Gull - December 8, 2007 Niagara Falls
I found this bird flying around the base of the falls with a huge group of Bonaparte's Gull's. Initially I thought this bird was a weird Little Gull, but crazily not! Beware of how dark the underwing of Ross's can be! A few weeks later (late January), the same bird (likely) was found at the falls and spent a few days.

Say's Phoebe - April 29, 2006 - Long Point Tip
This bird was technically found by someone else....and the day before. While not technically countable as a bird found by myself I've included it. This bird was found the day before I 'found' it. I was arriving at the Tip April 28th and looked for it for several hours, only to run out of daylight. Assuming it was gone, I continued birding as per usual, only to find it about a kilometre west of where it was last seen on the afternoon of the 28th. I got some nice looks, and thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of 'finding' it again. 
Say's Phoebe - Copyright Mike Boyd

Spotted Towhee - May 4, 2005 Breakwater, Long Point
While not the most spectacular find, this bird was special for 2 reason's; 1) it was a new bird for Long Point and 2) it was another great bird found in 2005. I was spending the spring volunteering. Myself and two other volunteers (Benoit and Matt) and I were walking when we found this bird along Courtright Ridge. We got some great looks. Last year 2 separate Spotted Towhee's showed up at Long Point.

Painted Bunting - May 19, 2003 Breakwater, Long Point
In high school my parents would let me take 1-2 weeks off in May, just so I could go down to Long Point and volunteer at the bird observatory. In 2003, I was able to get to one of the remote banding stations at Long Point - Breakwater. Breakwater is alittle rustic to say the least, but awesome in its own right. During the night of 18th/19th the fridge in the cabin had a propane leak, waking us up to burning eyes and needing to be taken out of the cabin in case of a fire. So basically at around 3am two of us had to lug this old fridge out of the cabin. Luckily the next morning we were lucky enough to have this first-alternate male Painted Bunting show up, only to oblige us further and fly into one of the mist nets!

Loggerhead Shrike -  April 9-13, 2005 Hawkesville, Waterloo Region
This isn't the most crazy find, but special in a few senses. Mainly because it was so close to where I'm from and with a breeding population well below 100 individual adults in Ontario, this is pretty rare. This bird was the 1st record in Waterloo region since 1984(!), giving you a sense of how rare it has become.

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