Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My best twitches....

Ok, so I know everyone has been waiting, literally on the edge of their seat for me to post this....I've listed my top twitches of all time in Ontario. While some of the birds may not seem all that 'great', but to me for various reason's they've made it in SportsCentre Top whatever...

Mottled Duck (May 3, 2008) - Dean Ware found this guy about a week after our discovery of the Burrowing Owl. Luckily I had a rental Mike and I booked it down quickly before I had to return it.

Smew (December 27, 2011) - I pretty much crapped my pants when I saw this post....luckily it was during Xmas holidays, so I was free to chase it first thing on the 27th, though I had a pretty crappy cold.

Willow Ptarmigan (June 12, 2011) - what a bizarre bird!!! This was a pretty lucky twitch, especially that I had a day off in June.Even more interesting was the SWAT/Commando style guards making sure we didn't go where we weren't allowed to.

Crazy birders....
Magnificent Frigatebird (July 2, 2012) - I was working up near Shelburne, when I saw the post on Ontbirds. I was pretty fortunate that I worked my whole day, was able to drive down to the 401 and meet up with brando and make our way down. Fortunately I was speeding a fair bit, and we arrived at Erieau, literally at the right time - we got out of my car, saw the bird, and literally within 5 minutes the bird had disappeared. I have a pretty shitty shot of this bird below....

Neotropic Cormorant (April 24, 2011) - On Sunday Brando found this guy at Wheatley. I had gone out the night before, getting home in the early hours, and needless to say feeling no pain....I guess Brandon had called our place about his find, only I wasn't sober. Mike was going for it, since he wouldn't have any chance to get it, and I decided to accompany him. The thing was though, we had to be back that afternoon to go to our extended family Easter dinner, so we had to be 'quick'.

As we were driving down we remarked that we just needed to find a 'gopher' - someone to follow who was driving fast. Our gopher appeared in London, when a car with an Illinois license plate blew by us. Mike floored it, trying to catch up - the only thing was we started to hit speeds which in my opinion you have to be reallllly careful going...150km/hr creeped up, we kept going, 160km/hr, ummm nope, the Illinois car is pulling away, 165 nope, 170, ahh....we should probably just not risk it. Anyways we ended up getting to Wheatley, seeing the bird, and back in time so that we didn't miss out on any of the family fun!

Check Brando's account of his find, here.

Anhinga (August 1, 2000) - even though this guy was around for pretty much the entire summer, Mike and I had trouble getting there, since our parents didn't want to go for the drive (this was before Mike and I had wheels). We actually convinced them to go in July and missed it! However our persistence paid off and we went a 2nd time, luckily getting it!

Brown Pelican (October 3, 2002) - Mike and I saw the post on Ontbirds as soon as we got home from school. We quickly acted and hopped in the car, getting to the Hammer in time to find the bird! Hasn't been a 'twitchable' BRPE since!

Mississippi Kite (May 12, 2001) - all I remember about this guy is doing some insane speed in the 'TreeSwallow mobile'....for those of you who don't know this beast, picture an old Honda Civic that should not go 100+km/hr. Haven't seen any other MIKI's since!

Mew Gull (December 6, 2003) - My Dad and I were at Niagara, hoping to see the Northern Gannets patrolling the control gates. My Dad and I started walking away from the control gates, when I saw Colin Jone and Peter Burke waving to us. We quickly ran over, thinking they had the Gannet, and instead a nice looking Mew Gull! Needless to say I was pretty happy - though we never did see the Gannets.

Slaty-backed Gull (December 2, 2006) - Another time on Niagara....we were leading our annual Niagara gull trip, when we met up with birders who told us of the SBGU at the pumphouse. We quickly drove over and were able to get on the bird, before it disappeared. Jean has a some decent shots of this bird here.

Tropical Kingbird (October 29, 2002) - Mike and I skipped school, deciding that chasing a first for Ontario would be more beneficial. We got there first thing, and were able to get the bird. However up to this point, it wasn't confirmed to be a Tropical. Mike and I were able to hear the bird quite easily, helping to confirm the ID.

Thick-billed Kingbird (August 27, 2012) - I didn't know whether it was some sick joke being played by Doug Gilmour when he reported this CMF, but soon enough others were reporting it, so it must be real, right? Brando, Joshie and myself quickly got out butts in gear, meeting at 9:30, driving to Mikey's for midnight, and being up and at Presqu'ile in time to get the bird at first light! Check!!!


  1. Fun stuff. Not sure I'd admit to the abuse of the Highway Act though! :-)

  2. I remember you texting me that you were leaving Waterloo to look for the Neotrop, and then an hour and a half later you showed up!!