Saturday 28 October 2017

Netitishi Point - Coming Soon!

On the evening of Thursday November 2, I will making my first ever trip to Netitishi Point on James Bay.  I will be going with some good birding friends: Ken, Todd and Kathryn, with the purpose of seeing as many rare birds as we possibly can over a two week period, before leaving on November 16th.  Netitishi Point is an amazing spot to see rare ocean going birds and rare birds in general, with incredible potential for finding new birds that have never before been recorded in Ontario!

Below are a couple of maps showing where exactly Netitishi Point is:

We will be staying in a small cabin, and peering out on the coast every day, hoping for some north or northeast winds that will push birds towards us from out in James Bay.

This will be my last post for a while until I return, hopefully with some great shots of the far north!

Wednesday 11 October 2017

A Great Lake Watch - Van Wagner's Beach

I was down at Van Wagner's Beach this morning for about an hour and a half after Ken tipped me off about the excellent conditions for a lake watch.  The highlights included as many as 7 Parasitic Jaegers, 1 Long-tailed Jaeger, Red-throated Loon, Pacific Loon!, and a crazy Short-eared Owl trying to travel across wind tossed Lake Ontario.  I also went to Windermere and saw the continuing Hudsonian Godwit.  All of these were year birds for me.  As always, photographing jaegers is next to impossible most of the time with the gear I have, but I managed to get a few record shots.

Adult Parasitic Jaeger

Adult Parasitic Jaeger

Juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger

Juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger

Hudsonian Godwit

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Haldimund County Birds

This morning I was down in Haldimund County near Port Maitland for sunrise to do some bird surveys for work.  It was one of those great mornings where I was happy to work as a biologist!  Despite the heavy fog, the woodlot I was surveying was dripping with birds.  Hordes of sparrows were all over the place including dozens of White-throated, Swamp, Song, White-crowned as well as smaller numbers of Lincoln's and Field Sparrows.  There were also 9 species of warbler present, many of which are considered late for this time of year.  The highlight of the morning was a nice Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo playing peek-a-boo

Tennessee Warbler

Tennessee Warbler in the Sumac

Palm Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Lincoln's Sparrow

House Wren

Monday 9 October 2017

It's Thanksgiving!

Well, I was down in Stevensville near Fort Erie for Thanksgiving again this year, and we had a great time as usual!  On Saturday afternoon we spent a few hours hiking trails at Marcy's Woods (Point Abino area), which is a wonderful chunk of private land showing some really high-quality Carolinian forest.

This Eastern Towhee posed nicely for me on the trail.
Eastern Towhee

Yellow-rumped Warbler
On Sunday morning I decided to do a lake watch at Waverly Beach since they were forecasting strong southwest winds up to 80kph.  Although there were lots of gulls and waterfowl, I wasn't able to pick out anything too unusual, although I still had fun!

Gadwall and American Wigeon
 Wave action at the beach

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Algonquin Park - Sunbeam Lake

This past weekend I was up in Algonquin for a brief fall canoe trip with my dad and brother to Sunbeam Lake, my favourite lake in the park.  The fall colours were certainly greatly subdued this year compared to what they normally are at this time of the year, but we still enjoyed the cool fall mornings and bright sunny afternoons.  It was warm enough to swim the one day, although the water was so cold I cut my knee trying to frantically get out!  Wildlife were quiet and well hidden on this trip, although I did enjoy hearing flocks of White-winged Crossbills and other finches fly over.

Water levels were much higher than 4 years ago when we were last in Vanishing Creek, which made it much easier to navigate!

We got the best site on the lake, the coveted island site!

Cool mornings made for misty photography!