Sunday, January 8, 2017

LP + Haldimand

I had grand ideas of heading down to the north shore of Erie to see some sparrows, driving along the lake in Haldimand County, then heading to the Niagara River, however, things were not to be.

Getting up this am, I realized we had gotten 10-15cm of snow overnight and there was serious lake effect (Lake Huron) snow still coming down at 6:30am. Anyways, I made my way down to Simcoe and realized there was pretty strong lake effect occurring even in Haldimand, so I made a detour to Long Point and checked out a few spots before heading east.

First up, I picked up the long-staying Smith's Longspur - so long, in fact that it is no longer a flagged species in eBird for Norfolk...!

Continuing, I checked Front Road in Port Royal, as the bridge area would likely be sheltered from the strong NW winds. Managed a few WTSP, and my year Sandhill Cranes and Brown Creeper. After this I headed to Old Cut, to check the feeders, and managed to get Tufted Titmouse, Red-winged Blackbird, a few Cowbirds, and more WTSPs, but missed the good stuff (Northern Goshawk, Fox Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Gray Catbird) seen later by Adam and Taylor -- oh well!

After this I started heading back east, as the lake effect snow was now dissipating on the radar. Best highlights were a single Double-crested Cormorant near Selkirk and a Pied-billed Grebe below the dam in Dunnville (a great winter spot). I also checked out the conifer plantations at Selkirk hoping for some owls...but no dice. It was interesting to see the left-over banding operations from John Miles. 

With the wind being pretty persistent, and few birds, I decided to head straight to Vineland, where I had to drop some things off at an acquaintance and headed home. I always like checking out Haldimand County, especially in winter -- John Miles was on to something with his banding at Selkirk. All in all, managed to up my year list to 76, but who's counting.

On a different, tomorrow I'm off to the Cornwall for work and am really hoping for some Gray Partridge. That got me onto thinking...has anyone checked out the Brantford airport in recent years for them? I checked eBird and they were last there in January 2013 (15!) ....I don't see why they wouldn't be around -- who's going to check???

Way back in '04...I've seen GRPA as recently as 2011, which was also the last time I checked for the species.