Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's been a while

For those of you wondering, yes, I am still alive! Just haven't gotten around to posting anything on this for quite some time. I was pretty busy in June, what with prom, exams, graduation, and starting work again - I'm now working full time at the golf course. This spring turned out to be fairly decent, not quite as good as last spring for rarities, but if they showed up every year, they wouldn't be as exciting! Here are some highlights from the spring (since my last post).

Piping Plover at WPBO

May 10 - found a strange-looking Palm Warbler while bigbying, got some pics and reviewed them, turned out to be a Yellow Palm Warbler! A really rare bird in Ontario.

"Yellow" Palm Warbler

May 11 - went and saw the Pelican that was hanging out on the river - stayed from May 10-13.

May 13 - found a Northern Mockingbird down at Bellevue.

Northern Mockingbird

May 16 - went down to the Locks in a huge storm, turned out to be one of my better ideas this spring, had 81 species in a little over an hour, including 19 warbler sp. and my first-ever breeding male Scarlet Tanager for SSM - I've only seen them in fall before.

May 18 - did my Big Day for 2009 - ended with 148 species, smashing my last year's total of 135 and setting yet another record for Algoma District. Drove 343km and walked 21km for that total. Highlights were Boreal Owl (heard-only), Forster's Tern (my first here in several years), and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (first record for Algoma!), as well as 2000+ Chimney Swifts going in to roost. Also ended with 21 warbler sp. The starting temp for the day was -4C, by the afternoon it was up to 18C.

Short-billed Dowitchers at the Locks

May 19 - got a tip on some Bonaparte's Gulls on the river (missed these on the Big Day), so went down, and counted 128 individuals! A good total for in town.

May 24 - went to WPBO and then cruised Chippewa Co. to fill some holes in the list. Highlights were Green Heron, Whimbrel, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Olive-sided Flycatcher. These last two were new for my SSM list. Another interesting sighting was a flock of 6 Chaffinches visiting the feeders - probably escaped birds so they don't count though.

Green Heron at WPBO

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Semipalmated Plovers
Gray CatbirdSpruce Grouse nest on FR 3344 in Chippewa

June 6-7 - started work and added Great Crested Flycatcher and Black-billed Cuckoo to the year list

June 14 - did a survey in Chippewa Co. for Kirtland's Warblers - didn't find any, but added Field Sparrow to my SSM list at one of the sites. Also added Vesper Sparrow and Common Nighthawk to the year list on the sites. Cruised around afterwards and added Connecticut Warbler and Great Egret to the year list.

June 25 - went out east of town for a couple hours and added Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Black Tern to the year list - also found a new colony of Black Terns, they seem to be doing very well this year. Had my high school Graduation this night as well! Only a few more months and I'm off to Guelph!

So, I'm at 219 sp. (up from 152) for the SSM yearlist (as well as ABA since I haven't gone anywhere this year), and 272 (up from 268) for the SSM life.