Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hawks, Owls and Lights

That pretty much sums up the last few days in the Sault! First, some highlights... Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hoary Redpoll, Boreal Chickadee, Bohemian Waxwing and an early Orange-crowned Warbler, all on the bigby list! Hoary Redpoll is an extremely late bird. Warblers haven't quite shown up yet - there have only been 4 species reported so far which isn't all that surprising given it isn't May.

Now, on to the hawks. Did some hawkwatching from my deck and roof yesterday and today, with quite a bit of success! Totals were:

Broad-winged Hawk - 240
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 8
Turkey Vulture - 6
Red-tailed Hawk - 3
Bald Eagle - 3
Merlin - 2
Singles of Osprey, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Northern Goshawk, and Peregrine Falcon. The majority of these were today, ahead of a storm that's moving into the area now. Peregrine and Goshawk were both new for the yard list! Some other yard birds I got while hawkwatching were: Double-crested Cormorant, Bohemian Waxwing, Cliff Swallow and Northern Rough-winged Swallow.

Ken and I did one of his owl routes last night, with some success: 6 Barred, 2 Long-eared, 1 Northern Saw-whet, 1 Short-eared and 1 Boreal Owl were on the route, and part way through we were treated to a display of the Aurora Borealis (northern lights)!!! They were pretty faint with not much colour, but still cool to see. We also had decent numbers of ducks and some Brewer's Blackbirds on the drive out, along with 24 Greater Yellowlegs.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I still have a blog?

It would seem so, yes. I suppose I have a lot to catch up on, so look out for some posts in the near future (with pics! how exciting).

I'll put the less interesting stuff in this post...

March, after my return from a great trip (to be detailed later) was spent catching up on work and trying not to fail midterms that I'd missed a few classes for (due to said trip). Most new birds for me were seen through my window or on my way to/from school. A few highlights of this were Red-bellied Woodpecker, Common Raven (rare in Guelph) and a Cooper's Hawk that regularly hung out in the tree outside my window. A few trips in late March to find owls were unsuccessful, but we did find quite a few displaying woodcocks, including one in the field near my house. March 20 I took a short trip to Hamilton to try to find a Mountain Bluebird that was hanging out at a winery - no luck with this but did get some decent shots of a Horned Grebe coming into alternate plumage. April was exam time, so didn't really get out much... Made a trip up to Guelph Lake on April 20 after my last exam but was pretty windy and cold! April 22 I left Guelph and headed to Sudbury for Easter, had a good weekend visiting family. Now I'm back in the Sault and the birds are arriving! We've had system after system after system in the past few days, with a LOT of rain, but no rarities so far. Guess I'll have to keep looking.