Sunday, November 17, 2013

Long Point November 1-5

As mentioned in my latest blog post, I spent about 10 days at the tip of Long Point, courtesy of Stu Mackenzie and LPBO. Having spent the last days of October at the tip, I was stationed there until the 5th, when I was luckily able to boat back to the mainland.

November 1st:
This day was again incredibly windy, with winds out of the west, diminishing in strength throughout the day. Nonetheless Ed (another volunteer) and I were lucky to have the Brown Booby fly past us around 11:30am, heading east out towards the lake and the town of Lowbanks....This day had lots of Little Gulls far offshore, with a minimum of 10 seen, as well as 2 first-basic Lesser Black-backed Gulls also at the very tip.

November 2nd:
The 2nd was pretty dead, the weather had quieted down a fair bit and the only things of note that I had was a late Marsh Wren and 2 Peregrine's, including one carrying a Bonaparte's Gull in off the flock, all the while being mobbed by a flock of his (or hers) victims counterparts.

November 3rd:
Today was pretty good! Overnight on the 2nd things cleared up and the winds shifted to the north, hence a change in birds and pretty cool out (around minus 3 C first thing). There was a decent movement of raptors, and I managed to grab 2 Golden Eagles and 5 Red-shouldered Hawks. While checking out the lake, I had a Red-throated Loon flyover, while the best bird by far was a swanky looking Purple Sandpiper hanging around at the tip.

Both shots were digi-scoped with my phone..
Everyone out there managed to get it, so that was kind of cool! Later that night, while owl banding, we were treated to another Long-eared Owl and 20 N. Saw-whet Owls!

This was an old male.

November 4th:
Another nice day out, things were relatively slowish. We had what I thought was a different Purple Sandpiper at the tip, moving with a flock of Sanderling and Dunlin, but that's about it.

This bird was putting on a nice show, so I got around to getting my camera out.

November 5th:
Well today was abit of a mix-mash, I didn't bird too much, as we were waiting anxiously to see if we were going to head out. The PUSA from the previous day was still hanging out with the mixed DUNL and SAND flock.

On our boat ride back 3 adult Little Gulls flew within 10 feet of the boat.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Long Point - October 28th - October 31st

From October 28th (Monday) until November 5th (Tuesday), I was at the tip of Long Point, helping out with the Long Point Bird Observatory's migration monitoring program; banding and censusing birds. I really appreciate Stu Mackenzie for getting me out there (as well as back!) and to the volunteers out there for making it an enjoyable trip!

Tip Lighthouse.

October 28th:

Ron Ridout, Stu, and I boated out to the tip in the late morning. Things were pretty quiet, so I mainly just got my room and everything sorted out. Watched the Red Sox's with Ron...

October 29th:
The 29th was pretty good(!), with decent winds from the E-NE, and temps that were pretty chilly (<5 degrees C in the AM, rising to about 8 in the PM).
Highlights included: first-basic California Gull found at the tip by Ron, a probable female-type King Eider flyby, and a dark Parasitic Jaeger off the tip.

October 30th:
The 30th was fairly quiet, weather was super calm and warm. Highlights: banding a Long-eared Owl, a late Pectoral Sandpiper, and semi-good birds, like Red-throated Loon

Mr. Leo...and My. Saw...

October 31st:
This was THE day to be there, and I'm sure as hell was glad I was there...(sorry guys - you know who you are!). A pretty crazy strong storm was coming in from the SW and the forecasters were calling for sustained 70km/hr winds, with gusts up to 100km/hr! Needless to say I was getting ready to spend a fair bit of time in the shanty (the wind shelter at the tip). I got to the shanty for first light, and stayed there most of the day. Around 11am Dan (one of the volunteers who was with me), pointed to a bird about 30 feet away flying away from us. Getting the binoculars on it, I just about fell over...!!! A few expletives later, and we're looking at Long Point's first Brown Booby record, undoubtedly the same bird that was present for 2/3 weeks at near-ish-by Fort Erie. See the ebird checklist link below for some tasty shots as well as a link to my other sightings throughout the day!

Other notable birds: 2 dark Parasitic Jaegers giving nice looks and 1 Little Gull.

Annndd I couldn't are some shots from the day!

All tuckered out, riding out the wind-storm and all the sand in her eyes..
Oh shit she's up.....and headed my way...!!
Hot-damn....she's getting even closer...!!!

She flew within 20-30 feet of me....GAWD-DAM!!

Stay-tuned for the rest of the trip - I'll have them up in a few days.