Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas Break... now over as I am headed back to school tomorrow. As you can probably tell from the lack of posts, it was quite busy so I'll sum it up here! Photos to be added soon (once I get them all uploaded and edited...).

I got home on the 16th and did the annual Christmas Bird Count, as mentioned in a previous post. I then managed to get out birding a few times (one trip to WPBO, highlight: Chipping Sparrow) before my grandparents came over on the 23, and the next 4-5 days were mostly spent with the family. On the 26, a female Varied Thrush turned up at a feeder on the outskirts of town, so on the morning of the 27th I went out to see it. I did manage to get some decent views of it skulking around the bottom of a spruce tree, but unfortunately it didn't stick around so I didn't get any pics of it! On the 31 my girlfriend came up to spend a week in the Sault, and we managed to get out birding a fair amount in between exploring the Sault, skiing, and visiting with friends and family. Then on the 6th it was pack up and go, as my brother joined us on the long drive back to Southern Ontario, where we spent the night in Oakville before heading to Toronto for the day on the 7th. As expected, there wasn't much in the way of bird life in the big city but it was a pretty good day nonetheless. Then, just this morning, I finally got out to see the Mountain Bluebird that was reported from south of Guelph while I was up in the Sault. A very nice bird and my first new ON bird of the year!

Rare birds for winter in the Sault that I saw/found (total of 65 species while I was home!!!):
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Trumpeter Swan
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Long-tailed Duck
Red-breasted Merganser
Common Loon
Great Horned Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
American Robin
Varied Thrush
Lapland Longspur (new for my winter list)
Chipping Sparrow (new for my winter list)
White-throated Sparrow (new for my winter list)
Red-winged Blackbird (new for my winter list)
House Sparrow

As you can tell it's been a good winter for lingering birds!

Other highlights:
Sharp-tailed Grouse
Thayer's Gull (nice adult)
Snowy Owl
Bohemian Waxwing
almost all the winter finches including Hoary Redpoll

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