Alright, so I decided it's been far too long since my last post, and I have quite a bit to catch up on so here goes.
May 15 I led my now annual Sault Naturalists outing to the Locks for a pretty good morning of birding. We managed almost 70 species in the few hours, compared to around 50 in the past 2 years. The highlights were my first American Coot for the Locks, and a Clay-colored Sparrow along with 15 species of warblers and a few other year birds. Gray Catbird finally showed up, only 3 weeks later than usual. Afterwards I went down to Bellevue and found a pair of Forster's Terns.
May 18 I did my 10th annual Big Day, ended up with 139 species (9 less than last year) due mostly to a lack of migration. My alarm clock managed to break, so I ended up starting at 4am instead of the planned 2. Out the door and the first bird of the day was a Robin in full song. I got in some owling despite the late start, managing to get Barred and Saw-whet Owl, along with several Whip-poor-wills. Then I ran my usual route around town, ending up with over 100 species by noon, almost all on breeding territory. Out east of town I filled in some spots, but missed out on a few ducks, shorebirds and hawks that I was counting on. Then it was back for a quick look around the waterfront and then home, and for the first time I made it past 10pm, probably because it wasn't raining and I'd had a bit of a sleep-in. So, I decided to sit out on the back deck until my day was up, adding Long-tailed Duck to the list as the last bird of the day. Some other highlights of the day were Forster's Tern, Eastern Towhee, Northern Goshawk and House Finch, along with 20 species of warblers and quite a few year birds.
May 21 I started the journey south, to start work doing Forest Bird Monitoring plots for the CFS, stopping in Sudbury and Guelph before doing my first plot on the 24th. This job took me from Watford - Rondeau area - Newbury area - Port Stanley, and everywhere in between. Lots of cool birds, and lots of pictures, I'll put up a more detailed post in a bit.
June 6th I did my Kirtland's Warbler survey in Chippewa County, after getting home on the 4th from Southern Ontario. Evan Timusk, another birder in the area, came with me and we had a pretty good day despite a lot of rain at the start, managing to get killer views of a Kirtland's at around 4 feet away! Unfortunately no pics due to rain. Also got Olive-sided Flycatcher, Connecticut Warbler, Red Crossbill, Piping Plover, LeConte's Sparrow, and several other good birds. Kirtland's was #275 for my SSM area list!
Now I am just working on photos, blog, my website, and visiting with friends before I have to head back to southern Ontario for the second part of my job on the 11th. My next post will contain a more detailed summary of my southern excursion along with pics from late April until now.
#ABArare – White Wagtail – Arizona
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