On Thursday, Josh Vandermeulen (another birder at Guelph) took me birding along the south shore of Lake Ontario from Hamilton to St. Catharine's and back. The highlight of our 47-species day was most definitely a BARN OWL that popped out of a tree in front of us and gave us a half-second view. I immediately called Barn Owl, but the rarity of this bird in Canada made us have doubts - we consulted 2 different field guides and agreed that was all it could have been. We told Cheryl Edgecombe (the coordinator of rare bird sightings in Hamilton), who told some other people. Sandra Horvath from the Owl Foundation was called the next day as someone found the owl injured, and she went and picked it up - good confirmation of our sighting but unfortunate that it had to happen that way. The owl is expected to make a full recovery and be released soon. Here's a picture that I was sent:
The owl was a lifer, and my 800th world bird! The other highlights of the day were Red-throated Loon in St. Catharine's (new for my Ontario and Canada lists), and finally seeing a Northern Saw-whet Owl (I found 2 at Fifty Point C.A. and had only heard this species before).
Yesterday Chris agreed to take me to Brampton to see the Phainopepla that was found last Monday, we got sweet looks at this second Canadian record (last one was in 1974 apparently), but unfortunately could not stay long enough to get any good photos as Chris had to work and my brother was visiting so we had to get back after only a few minutes of observation. Here are two record shots.