Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's been a while...

Ok, so I know I haven't posted anything birding-related for a while, so here it is, a summary of my month and a week since the last post. First off, I've added 55 species to the year list, bringing it up to 122 - a reasonable total for this time of year although I'm still missing a ton of birds that are around. There hasn't been much out of the ordinary - last ski day was April 4, on which I found my FOS Red-shouldered Hawk - always a nice bird up here. I went to Sudbury for Easter, and on the way there managed to find 2 Ross's Geese and a Cackling Goose, both of which used to be super rare in the area but are annual now. The day after my return I went out and found another Ross's Goose, along with a lot of waterfowl. The first shorebirds have returned, with Greater Yellowlegs and Woodcock on the list. I managed to shatter my record numbers of Pintails and Green-winged Teal in a field, with 120+ and 60+, respectively. On April 19, saw 11 breeding-plumaged male Lapland Longspurs, something you don't see too often. Yesterday I went to Whitefish Point for the first time this year, and we had a good day despite the rain and constant NW wind - basically the worst conditions for spring birding. We managed 76 species by the end, with 16 year birds and 2 new for my SSM list! The new ones were American Avocet (2nd point record) and Spruce Grouse (FINALLY!!!!). I also added Short-eared Owl to my WPBO list, one that has been missing for too long. Went out today to look for a yellow-throated warbler, with no success. It probably took off with the cold front yesterday. Managed to add Brewer's Blackbird though. That's it for now - we should be seeing a massive influx of migrants over the next week if the weather cooperates, there are a ton of new species coming in to southern ontario!

Ross's Goose - Desbarats

Mallard - Sudbury

Trumpeter Swan - Sudbury

Hoary Redpoll - Sudbury

Common Redpoll - Sudbury

Short-eared Owl - WPBO

American Avocet - WPBO

Spruce Grouse - Vermillion Rd.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quiz 5

Congrats to Brendan Fogarty for being the only one to get all 5 birds right on the last one. John Garrett, Tim Hajda, Andrew Spencer, Jason Bojczyk got 4/5, and a few others got 3/5. The correct answer was: top - Purple Finch, Black-capped Chickadee, American Tree Sparrow, mid - Fox Sparrow, bottom - Piping Plover.

This new quiz is a couple of pretty old shots of mine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quiz 4 - Hide n' Go Seek

Congrats to Tim Hajda, John Garrett, and Jason T for getting the last quiz. The answer is - Least Sandpiper (top) and Semipalmated Plover (bottom).

This new quiz shouldn't be too hard - if you can find the birds that is! Birds often like to hide in dense brush or camouflage themselves in their habitat - it's good to be able to ID them when you can only see bits and pieces! Also having a sharp eye helps.

Bonus points if you can ID all 5 species present. Yes, there really are 5 different species between the 3 photos!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quiz 3

First of all, congrats to Andrew Spencer and Tim Hajda for acing the last quiz, and to Chris West for getting 5/8 on the species. Answer: Top Photo: Common Goldeneye (m), Hooded Merganser (m), Common Goldeneye (f), Canvasback (m), Canvasback (f), 3 Common Mergansers (m). Bottom photo: Red-breasted Merganser (m), Lesser Scaup (f), Tufted Duck (m), 2 Lesser Scaup (m), and 4 Bufflehead in the background. The Tufted Duck was a bit of a curveball, I'll admit, but you have to keep on your toes in the field! You never know what might show up.

This week should be a little easier. Good luck! And post those answers if you have them, even if you aren't 100% sure! I've only gotten 2 for each of the last two quizzes.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Photo of the Week

Ok, this is a day late, but I was pretty busy last night with homework and such. I was messing around in Photoshop today trying out some new things, and liked this one. It's a random field in Chippewa County, Michigan. Good spot for Short-eared Owls but they weren't there that night.

I need more answers for that quiz!