Saturday, March 10, 2012

No smew for you

Yesterday the Guelph crew and I headed down to the Long Point area to look for the Smew reported the evening before (and skipped a few classes in doing so). We were apparently very close to Stu when he had the Smew flying out of the bay, which was frustrating in itself but we then spent the entire rest of the day sorting through thousands of ducks with no luck which was even worse! Nonetheless, a good day was had and I added 11 year birds (all early-spring migrants that haven't made it to Guelph yet) and Barb Charlton met up with us and did her best to keep spirits high! We also ran into a few other birders through the day who also hadn't had any luck - Ken Burrell, Andrew Keaveney and his group, Diane Salter and a few others... I guess we'll just have to wait and see if this bird is re-found and becomes more reliable.

Some highlights:
- 23 species of waterfowl including an early Blue-winged Teal and a massive flock of 9500+ Redhead (with almost nothing else mixed in!)
- Early migrants like Eastern Phoebe, Sandhill Crane, Rusty Blackbird, Pied-billed and Horned Grebe, Killdeer, Song and Swamp Sparrows
- around a dozen Little Gulls foraging over the marsh
- 61 species total on the day, a good start to my Norfolk year list (which I am trying to get higher than last year's total of 200)

Part of the huge Redhead flock

Don't forget to try the quiz below! I'd like to see a few more opinions on this bird. 

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