Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Break

Well, I'm officially done first semester, and have been for a few days - here's my summary for the past couple weeks.

November 21 I went over to Hamilton to look for jaegers and gannets with no luck. Even LaSalle park was devoid of interesting birds to photograph. I did however have an interesting experience when a Mink ran by, almost touching my leg! He continued on his way along the shore without even giving me a second glance, and I got a couple shots.

November 27 I decided to check out Guelph lake after reading some reports of Ross's Gulls in the central US - no luck there but did have 350+ Common Mergansers and some American Coots.

November 28 I joined the wildlife club's trip to Niagara Falls, where we got 9 species of Gulls including California, as well as a day-roosting red-morph Eastern Screech-Owl, a Northern Mockingbird and a Tufted Titmouse.

December 3 I decided to procrastinate on the studying (my first exam was the 6th) by joining Josh Vandermeulen for a bit of a twitch - Guelph-Long Point-Port Stanley-Woodstock-Guelph was our route, and we had a few interesting birds with Spotted Towhee, Snow Goose, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Northern Shrike and many thousands of ducks, geese, and swans at Long Point.

Then it was into exams, and I didn't get out of the house much! The only birding I did was watching the juncos, cardinals, and crows out my window...

December 17 I made the long drive home, to get here in time for the Christmas Bird Count on the 18th. I did the same route as last year with Chris Street, Anthony Miller and two locals: Cindy and Wendy. We ended up with 34 species for the day including Sharp-tailed Grouse, Northern Cardinal, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Tundra Swan, Red-breasted Merganser, and 11 Hooded Mergansers. Keep in mind this is in the middle of town when you read the first bird in that list!

Now I'm officially in relaxation mode, working on all the things that school gets in the way of! I should have my website updated by the second week in January - lots of new photos from the past 6 months or so!

Mink at LaSalle Park
Horned Grebe at Niagara
A Little Gull with some Bonaparte's, Niagara
Red-morph Screech-Owl, Whirlpool
A Northern Mockingbird at Adam Beck