Sunday, September 18, 2011

OFO convention

Just got back from a weekend of some fun, and birding! It was the annual OFO (Ontario Field Ornitholigist's) general meeting, so my Dad, my brother Mike and his wife Erica and I trekked down to Point Pelee, to do some birding. I'll give a break-down of each day and what we saw, and where.

I had to work (doing some bird surveys!) down near Selkirk. It was a pretty early morning, as we had to be on-site for sunrise (7am). It was really cool, with some very light North winds, so there was some activity.

Tufted Titmouse -2
Philadelphia Vireo - 1
10 species of warblers - Nasvhille (2), Chestnut-sided (1), Blackpoll (4), Blackburnian (1), Black-throated Green (3), Black-and-white (1), Palm (1), Yellow-rumped (1), A. Redstart (3), and C Yellowthroat (2).

After gettting back from work, we headed straight down (sorta) to Point Pelee. Stopping first at Mitchell, we had some interesting shorebirds;
American Golden-Plover - 312!!!
Black-bellied Plover - 4
White-rumped -10
Stilt - 2 
Merlin - 1

After hitting up Mitchell, we booked 'er over to the Port Stanley lagoons, and had some decent birds.
Red-necked Phalarope - 2 juvs.
Stilt -1
White-rumped - 2

Saturday - Point Pelee NP, Seacliffe and Holiday Beach
Baird's Sandpiper - 1 Onion Fields
12 species of warblers - new species from Friday (Tennessee, Magnolia, Wilson's, Black-throated Blue and Bay-breasted)
Red-headed Woodpecker - 1 at the Pelee Days Inn
Peregrine Falcon - 1 at Seacliffe
Common Nighthawk - 3 at Holiday Beach

Sunday - Tilbury, Prairie Siding
SNOWY EGRET - 1, this was a longish overdue Ontario bird for me!!!
Snowy Egret - near Prairie Siding, September 18, 2011

This bird was found the previous day, by one of the OFO field trips. We thought we might as well try for it, since its not too far from Tilbury (and Hwy, 401). As we were driving along the river, we saw 2 egrets flying alongside us, and as luck would have it, one was the Snowy!

Buff-breasted Sandpiper - 7(!) in a large field with other shorebirds on Richardson Sideroad
American Golden-Plover - 56 - in the same field as the BBSA's
White-rumped Sandpiper - 14 at Tilbury Sewage Lagoons

Overall a pretty sweet weekend (110 species), we had great weather and even better company!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Van Wagner's

With some fairly good N/NE winds starting last night and continuing into today, I decided to book it over to Van Wagner's this morning. I arrived around 8:30am, staying until 1pm. Pretty good activity. As soon as I arrived a Jaeger flew by as well as a Whimbrel. Jaeger's put in appearances throughout the day. Shorebirds were also zipping past, overall a pretty enjoyable morning.

Here the rundown of what I saw;

Parasitic Jaeger - 6 - (3 dark juv., 2 intermediate juv. and 1 light adult)
Long-tailed Jaeger - 1 light/intermediate
Unidentified Jaeger spp. - 10 (all were juvenals, 2 of which I think were likely Long-tail's)

Whimbrel - 1
Sanderling - 167!! - all fly-by's
Ruddy Turnstone - 2
White-winged Scoter - 3
Merlin - 1

Some good diversity of ducks flew by as well. I even managed to get a pic. of a juvenal Parasitic!

juvenal Parasitic Jaeger - Van Wagner's September 10, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Port Stanley-Townsend

Brandon Holden and I birded the north shore of Erie today, from Port Stanley to Port Dover/Townsend. We stopped first at Port Stanley, where we saw the following;

Hudsonian Godwit - 1
Red-necked Phalarope - 10
Stilt Sandpiper - 3

Hudsonian Godwit - distant record shot - September 4, 2011

Next we proceeded east along the lake, where we stopped at Port Burwell. Walking through the park, to the beach, netted a few songbirds (Philadelphia Vireo, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll and Wilson's Warblers). Thousands of gulls were either on the beach, or close to shore. Most notable were at least 17 Little Gull's a few hundred metres offshore. There is likely many more, though this was a minimum count.

Heading east, the last main stop, which yielded 'results' was the Townsend lagoons, where we had the following;

Red-necked Phalarope - 1
Stilt Sandpiper - 2
Baird's Sandpiper - 4
Merlin - 1

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eastern Ontario

This past week I was working just south-west of Cornwall, I've been doing some pretty sweet birding around this area of Ontario. I haven't done any birding in this area, but it was really productive.

Tuesday and Wednesday led me to bird some good areas. First up, I headed over to Osgoode, where I picked up a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, found earlier in the day. I managed a VERY poor shot of it poking its head out of the grasses.
worst pic of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper - EVER

Next stop was the Casselman lagoons. I had gone here the previous night (Monday). I had pretty much the exact same stuff, minus Red-necked Phalarope, but managed a few pics of the Red Knots, which were still present.
Red Knot - Casselman sewage lagoons
This lagoon is pretty sweet. Tuesday evening I also had a Stilt Sandpiper.

Wednesday evening I headed up to Alfred, to try for a Hudsonian Godwit, seen two nights previously, by Jacques Bouvier. These lagoons are AWESOME! Its a shame they're so far from Waterloo! No sign of the HUGO, but shorebird numbers were impressive, nonetheless. I had the following shorebirds;
Semipalmated Plover - 30+
Killdeer - 70+
Spotted - 1
Solitary - 2
Greater Yellowlegs - 10
Lesser Yellowlegs - 120
Semipalmated Sand - 140
Least - 25
Baird's - 8!
Pectoral - 8
Stilt - 1

Just down the road at one of the sod farms, while hoping for another Buff-breasted Sandpiper, I stumbled across this 'getting late' Upland Sandpiper in one of the fields.
Upland Sandpiper - Alfred Bog
Anyways, I just got back, was a pretty interesting few days!