Since my last update I haven't been out birding all that much, although I did get over to Niagara twice this fall - once with John Ralston from the Sault on November 22 and once with the Guelph Wildlife Club the weekend after. My gull totals for the two weekends were 9 and 10 species respectively, most of which were year birds and which included my first California Gull in Ontario (seen both weekends). I also got my lifer Brant at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington and my first Tufted Titmouse (3 of them) for Ontario on the 22nd.
I then spent quite a bit of time studying for exams (and procrastinating the studying with many distractions), and did fairly well on them, more than passing every class I was in this semester.
I got home (to the Sault) late on Dec. 18th, and got up at 7am the next morning to lead a Christmas Bird Count route for the Sault CBC. We ended up with 24 species for the day, not bad considering most of the feeder birds weren't around, and duck numbers on the river were slightly lower than average. The highlight of the day was a Brown Thrasher that has been coming to a feeder since late November, and which is one of the few ever found on the count. That bird brings my SSM winter list up to 89, along with the Belted Kingfisher I got 2 days later.
Then it was off to Sudbury for Christmas with my grandparents, which was very enjoyable, playing pool, other games, winter walking, and many great meals.
Now I am back home for a few days, visiting friends and whatnot, and am off to Colorado tomorrow to go birding with Jacob Cooper! (See his blog on the sidebar) I'm hoping for Ptarmigan, grouse, and Rosy-finches galore, along with a few other lifers that are possible. I'll post pics from all the aforementioned events upon my return.