Monday, March 12, 2012

Yardbirding, etc

Yesterday Reuven Martin, Brett Fried and I made another attempt at the Long Point Smew. Despite being there as Josh was watching it, we failed to find it. Around noon we gave up and headed back to Guelph. All was not lost, however, as I added 2 new Norfolk birds (Snowy Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk) and 4 year birds (those two as well as Eastern Towhee and Eastern Meadowlark). On the way back, Reuven and I spent a couple hours cruising the good waterbird spots in southern Wellington county, with some interesting sightings - 500+ Tundra Swans, both scaup sp. (rare in Wellington, apparently), 100+ Redhead (also rare in Wellington), good numbers of dabbling ducks, 7 species of gulls, Pine Siskins and some singing Eastern Bluebirds.

Afterwards, since it was such a nice day (17 degrees!), my roommates and I had a barbecue on the deck. Since I didn't have much homework to get done, I decided to sit out there for about 3 hours total and had a few highlights - 62 Tundra Swans, 1 American Black Duck, 1 Red-shouldered Hawk, 1 Turkey Vulture and a Killdeer along with a bunch of blackbirds. This morning I woke up to Tundra Swans flying over and making a racket, so I sat out on the deck for another 45 minutes and managed to see 12 Snow Geese, 157 Tundra Swans, a Common Raven and 2 Rusty Blackbirds. Migration is definitely well under way!

My Guelph yard list is now up to 54 - a fairly pitiful total but I have not spent a whole lot of time on it! I plan on changing that this spring and hopefully kicking it up past 100 by the end of the summer. I also just bought a bike and am going to see if I can get to 200 for the Bigby list by the end of the year. Seeing as I will be living at Long Point for most of the spring/summer this is definitely within the realm of possibility (ended up at 187 last year). Of course, it isn't an 'official' bigby as I will be counting all 3 of my homes (Sault Ste. Marie, Guelph, Old Cut), giving me a bit of an advantage!

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