Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hamilton Count, EUWI...

On Sunday I joined Brandon Holden for the annual Hamilton Fall Bird Count, our area was LaSalle Marina - Windemere Basin. We had a pretty good morning of mostly counting ducks, with some good finds being Eastern Towhee and a juv. female American Redstart! We ended up at 76 species for our route (Brandon forgot a few on his post!). Partway through the day we decided to head down to the lake to see what was around, and were quickly called away to chase a Western Tanager that Cheryl Edgecombe and Rob Dobos had found. Brett, Erika and I had a very brief view of it flying across the path almost immediately upon our arrival, but unfortunately it did not show for anyone else (or better views)! To my knowledge it hasn't been seen since. While we were looking, we managed to turn up a few more good birds with an American Woodcock, a very confiding Winter Wren which I wish I had my camera out for and a few flocks of White-winged Crossbills. After a while we kind of lost interest in looking and headed back to the lake for a bit of a quiet watch until it started getting dark. After that it was time for Chilifest at Cheryl's (which was awesome) to meet some of the other participants, eat a great dinner and tally up the day's species total. I ended up with a little over 80 species for the day, not too bad for November! I don't know what the total for the count was yet, but it was probably somewhere around 140.

On Tuesday I heard about a Eurasian Wigeon that had been found at Mountsberg on the count, so Reuven, Mark and I headed down there on lunch break to see it. We eventually managed to pick it out of the giant duck flock in the middle of the reservoir, and had it drifting around both counties! It looked like a young male to me as it was rather drab compared to the one I had back in early October, but I think closer looks are needed to call it! Lots of other waterfowl present including a few Long-tailed Ducks and Red-necked Grebes, rare migrants in the county. We proceeded to check a few other spots but didn't turn up anything too great other than a few more Long-tails and Red-necks.

Winds are switching to strong south/southwest this weekend so I'm hoping for something good to turn up! Painted Bunting in Toronto not too long ago (which wasn't reported until over a week later) and a Hepatic Tanager in Saskatchewan bode well for the upcoming week.

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