Saturday, 5 May 2012

May Means Migration

Another month and another new bird.  A second try, earlier on the morning of May 1st, at Oshawa Second Marsh resulted in the Little Gulls that I had missed the day before.  However, there was no sign of the Brant, so as it turned out two trips were better than one.  Once again, the spotting scope proved its worth, as I was able to get good looks at both the Bonapart's and the Little Gulls, for size and wing colour comparison.  Who knew that there was an annual Little Gull viewing weekend behind the GM plant?  I missed the actual event this year, but will be sure to attend in 2013.  Sounds like a good time was had by all in attendance.

May 2 was not for the birds, as I had a full day of work, but managed to get out in the evening with Sue and as often happens, you never know what you might see.  In this case it was Wood Ducks in a tree.  Very cool and my first really good look at Wood Ducks this year.

May 3rd was a bountiful harvest of Warblers and Sparrows and birds of all types.  Local birders on the OntBirds e-mails were referring to it as fallout.  It was pretty good birding, but not really a fallout.  More of a great migratory day, as I saw at a large number of birds of every description.  Since I had been present in Florida the fallout at Fort DeSoto, the only new warbler I was able to count was a Nashville, pointed out to me by a birder in Colonel Sam Smith park that evening.  Still there are plenty of Sparrows and Warblers out there that I have not yet seen, and that is the point of going to Point Pelee next week.

I started out the day on Thursday  at Tommy Thompson Park, moved on to Humber Bay East and then on to Colonel Sam, where I was finally able to find a Rusty Blackbird.  All day long there were e-mails about the large numbers of fal warblers and I wanted Sue to see a few too, so we both went back to Colonel Sam this evening, before the rain.  By then, though there were not as many birds and it was quite chilly.

Yesterday I went out again to Mount Pleasant Cemetery and ran into a nice guy name Dave who was playing hooky from work for a few minutes of birding.  With his help I was able to see a Chestnut-sided Warbler.  Later I went to Rattray Conservation Area and ran into him again.  We birded for a while and watched more than a dozen Common Tern fly by, spotted Green and Blue-winged Teal and a Spotted Sandpiper before had to leave, this time he really was going to work.

Not long after I ran into a nice lady named Linda and we birded together for the next hour or so.  She was trying to help me find the Blue-winged Warbler, that she and others had seen, but it was too quiet and too hidden to be spotted this time around.  We did finally find a Blackburnian Warbler before it was time to go, so I still added two new Year Birds and added about a dozen birds to my Ontario list for the year.

I finished the day in my own back yard, which leads into a cemetery and while walking there found 8 species including a Chipping Sparrow and a returning Sharp-shinned Hawk that Sue had found last summer.

It hit me how many birds I've seen this year,(345), when I could only add 5 new birds in 5 great days of Birding.  It looks to be a great week or two of birding with the influx of migratory birds, and 3 days out at Point Pelee.  Is it wishful thinking to think I can get 55 new species and reach 400 by the end of May  Perhaps it's not out of the question, though I'd be happy with hitting 400 in June when I go to Alaska for a week.

Photos from the last few days:

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