Things I am Thinking About Right Now...

  • 1. Finally Updated; A busy ( and not-so-birdy fall ) fall
  • 2. A smew in Ontario ??? And I got to see it !
  • 3. Thinking about summer vacation...
  • 4. And Sping trips too !
  • 5. Quite a few Winter rarities around. May try to add a few more to the list
  • 6. Still no snow on the ground...
  • 7. Project FeederWatch is going strong. Two eports submitted...
  • 8. I think I have convinced my wife to visit Cape May next summer !
  • 9. The Elephant Pepper Development Trust ( Check out their site ! )
  • 10. Tying to decide how to spend my remaining gift certificates !

Friday, 29 April 2011

On Bugs and "Butterbutts"...

The opportunity for some after-work birding finally came to pass this week. Combined with some favourable weather, it looked like I would also get my first warbler of the year. Today, I also decided to pick up my daughter and when I told her of my warbler ambitions, she looked at me and asked "Do you think we'll see some butterbutts ?". My daughter is awesome...

Monday, 25 April 2011

Father/Daughter Review: The Crossley ID Guide

The Crossley ID Guide was released to a lot of fanfare this spring. Birdwatchers certainly have never seen anything anything like this guide before. Does it live up to the hype ? My daughter and I will attempt to answer this question.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Thickson's Woods and Lake Ontario

I've finally had the chance to do some afterwork birding this week. Yesterday, it was Cranberry Marsh. Today, Thickson's Woods.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Falcon Romance...

A nice story about the trials and tribulations of two Peregrine falcons nesting at the headquarters of Harlequin Publishing...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Emergency Scope Repair

My poor, poor scope

New Behaviours...

So far, the dabbling ducks are not showing up at Cranberry Marsh. On Wedensday, the only migrants I spotted were a small group of RING-NECKED DUCKS and a single, lonely ( I presume ) PIED-BILLED GREBE.
However, Lake Ontario was much more active. RED-NECKED GREBES were out in decent numbers ( 30-50 ) with 4 HORNED GREBES mixed into the loose flock. COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, LONG-TAILED DUCKS and BUFFLEHEADS made up most of the other water birds. Most interesting, a group of about 50 TREE SWALLOWS were buzzing back and forth, far offshore. I've seen swallows in groups before, even over water but never as far from the shoreline as I witnessed Wedensday.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Little Gulls are back at Second Marsh !

A sure sign of spring for GTA birders...LITTLE GULLS are back at Second Marsh in Oshawa. The gulls are migrating from their winter locales off the East Coast of the U.S. to their nesting grounds in the "Far North". Second Marsh provides one of the most consistent places to see these little guys. However, the window of opportunity for gull viewing is short...they are generally gone by the first week of May. There will be special Little Gull viewing days on Apr. 30th and May 1st, hosted by staff and volunteers of the Canadian Wildlife Service ( Dawn - 10:00 am ). However, you can try The little gulls intermingle with the very similar and far more numerous BONAPARTE'S GULLS, so brush up on your IDs ( look for black under the wings ! ). Second Marsh is great for waterfowl viewing, with 22 species reported Apr. 11th.

To get to Second Marsh, exit the 401 at the Harmony Rd. in Oshawa. Turn south onto Farewell St. and drive until you reach Colenol Sam Drive. Turn East onto Colonel Sam Drive and follow the road to the GM Headquarters. Park in the west parking lot close to the marsh. The viewing platform can be seen from the lot. Make sure you bring a scope ! If you have time, you should also check out the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. For more information, check the Friends of Second Marsh website.
Good Luck !

Monday, 4 April 2011

Hawk vs Man...Hawk wins !

Is it wrong for me to cheer for the hawk  ?

Lynde Shores coming to life ( slowly )...

For anyone in the eastern portion of the GTA, Lynde Shores Conservation Area offers a lot of birdwatching opportunities. I had the kids out on the Chickadee Trail ( named for the abundance of fearless and apparently hungry little birds ) on Saturday, as the mercury finally climbed into double digits. Lots of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES ( of course ), RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, COMMON GRACKLES and a nice looking pair of TRUMPETER SWANS who seem to be nesting in the marsh by the parking lot. It's always a fun walk but Saturday was particulairly noisy with lots of blackbird bravado. The only interruption came from a brief COOPER'S HAWK flyover; a pair of these hawks may be setting up a nest in the north-west corner of the trail loop. Look for it in the hemlocks...

On Sunday, my wife joined myself and the kids for a long walk at Lynde Shores. The east side of Cranberry Marsh can be reached by taking the long trail loop that traverses the entire conservation area. I even convinced my wife that I should take my scope. She seemed a little dubious when I said that it would only get a few minutes of use. Alas, that's all it recieved. Waterfowl numbers in Cranberry Marsh are still low, with RING-NECKED DUCKS being the only noticeable migrant. Nice to see this bird, as I feel they are one of the nicest looking ducks around. Songbird numbers are still generally low, although the sight and sound of SONG SPARROWS is great to hear.

Of course, two wonderful walks are ruined by the fact that there was snow in the air on Sunday night *sigh* Here's hoping for a warming trend this week and some more walks next weekend !

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