Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It was a bit bonkers today as far as loons were concerned - 435 in total (273 Common, 43 Red Throated and 119 un ID'd) being by far the biggest count of the Spring so far. Interestingly, the loons were still going strong when i had to call it a day after my 8 hours were up - darn! Wish i coulda stayed til dark... The other interesting sighting was 4 first summer swans which flew by. I got a good look at one side-on through my scope and it was a definite Trumpeter, even better views than the one a couple of weeks ago that had Tom "Big Sit" Bartlett cursing that he hadn't got a shot. In comparison to the Tundra Swan which i saw near the start of the count, this was much larger, heavier and had the jizz of a Mute Swan with which i'm very familiar, but had a large all-black bill lacking any orange or yellow. The head was also large and triangular and reminded me of a Whooper. I was kept company today by a flock of 46 American Pipits, another bird whose call i'm trying to commit to memory for that Fall encounter on my side of the pond! 124 Red Necked Grebes were nice to see too, though unfortunately no sign of the reported Le Contes Sparrow this morning which was apparently seen yesterday evening near the path to the shack. I did however connect with the Lark Sparrow which Chris found in our back garden - another first for me.
A big thank you to our newest member of the team, resident volunteer Jason who stood in for me on what turned out to be quite a quiet day yesterday - a particular thanks for not seeing anything too rare! That would really have spoilt my day off! It was nice to get my fix of Buffalo down at the Yukon and a couple of brewskis.

5 comments:

marcbuzzard said...

Keep up the good work Mikey. Enjoying reading your blog each day. You're seeing some cracking birds there. I hope I'm with you when that American Pipit flies over our heads in North Wales next year. Continuous northerlies here in north Wales blocking all migration. Wish I was there .......

jules said...

Hi Mike, like Marc I'm enjoying reading your blog from the otherside of the pond, keep up the good work. You've not missed much this side, well except for the first ever bearded tits at your former workplace at Conwy! Well you can't have everything!
Cheers Baycityroller

WPBO said...

Hi guys great to hear from you! Nice one on the Beardies and the Corncrake, mega!
Talking about American Pipits and the Orme... remember that photo of the very buffish bird up there earlier this Spring....!
http://tonybeck.ca/saska2007/gallery/AmericanPipit004.jpg

marcbuzzard said...

Mmmmmm! I wonder. I've written an article about the orme bird here Mike - I don't even mention the possibility of American Pipit - perhaps I should have. www.greatormebirds.blogspot.com
Keep up the good work!

WPBO said...

The article looks good. Will post a comment on there saying how great it is. The link i posted shows a bird superficially similar, but i think the mantle on AP's are a lot plainer. The interesting thing to me is the call - absolutely nothing like Water whatsoever. People tend to relate the call to Water (& sometimes Meadow) in terms of it's subtle differences, but that's not a good place to start. It's a double note for starters, "pip-it" and has a slightly Yellow Wag tone to it, which i guess ecologically is the niche it occupies here. Wish i could remember what the Fair Isle one sounded like, wonder if Baby Robert can.