Sunday, January 10, 2016

Rambling's for 2016 and some birding news

Well, we're already 10 days in, but I've got several updates for 2016. First one up, we're buying a house!! The house we're renting (and the other side) to be's a semi-detached, close to downtown Waterloo.

We're also doing some traveling: in February, we're heading to Myrtle Beach, S.C., staying with my parents for a week. I'm hoping to get a few obtainable lifers: Wilson's Plover, Bachman's Sparrow, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and Black Rail. I think I have decent shots at the first 3; the 4th might be a bit harder.

We've got some other cool travel/birding plans. In May, I'm renting a cottage down at Pelee for the first two weeks; again, I'm hopeful for another great spring and in July, we're heading to Alberta and B.C. for two weeks, partly for Lill's family reunion. I should also have some work out in Alberta as well, so that should be good for some western species, which there's up to 35 species that I could see which would be new.

Baird's Sparrow during my last work trip out west, in June 2010

I'm also planning on going up to Netit in late October and the first half of November; it'll have been 5 years since our trip in 2011, so hopefully I'll get some great stuff up there!! Here's hoping to a CMF!

I also just recently ordered a phone adapter for my scope from Phone Skope (, so am really looking forward to getting some usage out of it, when it arrives.

In other news, I've been working on a few papers, with which a few are ready to be published: we're (Jeff Skevington, Scott Kelso, Mike Burrell, Dayna LeClair, Stu Mackenzie, and I) are publishing a paper in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology on a Chestnut-sided x Magnolia Warbler hybrid! I'm pretty excited about this, I just sent in the revised paper on Saturday, but I'll have more to come on this in a little while.

Da'hybrid: May 2014 at Old Cut
As well, Lill and I are publishing a paper in the Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, on the status of the Eastern Phoebe in Cuba (we found the 7th record in February 2015)!

And back to real birding news...I'm taking Friday's off in January and February, so this past Friday was my first, so I decided to head down to Haldimand County (one of my favourite places to check in the winter). I had lots of great stuff...

I started off in Dunnville, checking below the dam, getting Common Loon, Belted Kingfisher, and Cormorant. After Dunnville, I headed along the lakeshore to Nanticoke. Along the lake, I had 51 species, including a Surf Scoter, Cackling Goose, Horned Grebe, Pileated Woodpecker, and N. Mockingbird. The main highlight though was coming across 4 Greater White-fronted Geese, opposite 1351 Lakeshore Road. The birds were in a large CANG flock.

I think that's about it...this coming Friday, I'm hoping to make it down to the Rondeau/Pelee area, but we'll see (and let you know how it goes).