Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Nemesis Defeated

Ticking birds off a list is not the reason I go birding (or so I tell myself). On the other hand, I have to admit I get a sense of satisfaction from the tick. When the tick is overdue, other emotions come into play. I suppose it is a subtle variety of anxiety or shame, and some must feel it stronger than others because it motivates some birders to go to extremes.

So it is more with a feeling of relief than of victory that I report my first Ontario Worm-eating Warbler at Point Pelee on May 14. I don't know who the original finder of the bird was, but it hung around on the Woodland Trail at Point Pelee where it was intermittently seen during most of last week.

My last Worm-eating Warbler was May 16, 2007 at Cape May, NJ.

Last week I also put to rest this Ontario nemesis:

Yellow-headed Blackbird

I have searched for this bird on numerous occasions in the known spots in southern Ontario, and chased a couple of them in unusual spots but have always come up empty until now. Thanks to Andrew Don who provided some key information that enabled me to finally track this one down for Ontario.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Week Off

I was at Rondeau P.P./Pelee N.P. from last Saturday until today which was a nice stretch of birding.

Yellow Warbler

The weather was unseasonably cold from Saturday night until Tuesday with three chilly nights in the tent, but it sure warmed up today.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

There were no big pushes of migrants during that time, which was a bit of a let down, but quality made up for quantity in certain respects. No life birds, but I did see three (!) new Ontario birds, defeating a nemesis in the process.

Blackburnian Warbler

It was really great to be at Pelee with lots of familiar faces, even if the trails did get a bit crowded at times. It's great fun to be around others who share the same love of nature.

What's this one called again?

Frank Morley did a great job of reserving a group campsite in Point Pelee N.P. From what I understand, he has to phone in the reservation in the middle of the night in early January to confirm the booking.

Piping Plover

It won't be long now before breeding bird season starts in earnest.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

National Geographic

Cover Story: Luckiest Man Alive Contest Winner Declared

Friday, May 3, 2013

Warbler Therapy

This winter was painfully long. Last Sunday afternoon was the first time I felt like winter was finally over. This week was pretty nice, but I was stuck in the office.

The weather forecast for tonight is for the winds to shift to the south and clear skies. Not what you would call "fallout" conditions. Too bad its not calling for a little rain shower first thing in the morning to slow those migrants down.

I'll bet there will still be plenty of recent arrivals tomorrow. Seeing those first warblers of spring is always good for a boost after a long winter.