Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's January, right?

Brett, Erika, Jesse, Reuven and I headed out of Guelph this morning around 630 with one main goal - Townsend's Solitaire. We arrived on site near Kendal at 820, and promptly waited an hour and a bit in the extremely thick fog along with a crowd of other birders. Eventually the bird showed up and everyone had decent looks, although the light left something to be desired! Luckily we had some Evening Grosbeaks and a multitude of strange noises (including a calling Saw-whet Owl?!?!) to keep us entertained while we waited.

Some record shots:
A very cropped shot through the fog

 Digiscoped with my lens at 70mm through Mark Field's scope!

Since it was still fairly early in the morning, we planned a few stops on the way back to Guelph! Some highlights:

Whitby - continuing Eurasian Wigeon, a pair of Harlequin Ducks, Common Loon, Great Horned and Short-eared Owls and I found the remains of a Long-eared Owl (likely a meal of the Great Horned).

Pickering - well, just north of - no highlights really as we missed the apparently reliable Red-headed Woodpecker.

Oakville - Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers - the other ones (Cape May, Bay-breasted, Nashville) may have succumbed to the cold temps leading up to today or may have moved to a different territory now that all the snow is gone!

 There were up to 3 Orange-crowned Warblers here in late December

Burlington part 1 - 2 Barn Swallows at Beachway Park along with 2 more Yellow-rumped Warblers!

Burlington part 2 - a stop at LaSalle marina beefed up our waterfowl list for the day with most of the regulars and a Double-crested Cormorant.

Overall it was a pretty productive (and long) day, birding sunrise to sunset and picking up 62 species! Not everyday that you get warblers, Barn Swallows and Common Redpolls within hours of one another! Oh, and it got up to a high of 15C - what is with this weather? Not that I'm complaining, maybe some birds will think it's spring and lend themselves to my winter list!

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