Monday, June 7, 2010

Toodle Pip

Well it's time to bid you a very fond farewell. I've had a thoroughly smashing time and am hoping to return at some point next year so will hopefully see some of you then.
Thanks to everyone who's helped make my stay so enjoyable, whether keeping me company at the shack, having me round for dinner and drinks, taking me birding, or just generally being an
all-round good egg.

The 2010 Spring waterbird count at Whitefish Point totalled 19,395 individual birds. The five most abundant species were: Common Loon (3542), Long Tailed Duck (2996), Canada Goose (2645), Red Breasted Merganser (2688), Sandhill Crane (1316), and White-winged Scoter (1215). You can get the full write up in the WPBO newsletter The Migrant - please continue to support the observatory in whatever way you can.

Tata for now,

Both photos by K. Mettie Jr. - click on them to enlarge

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's a bit like buses...

... you wait for ages then two turn up at the same time.
On Tuesday i was back at the shack having a busmans holiday, when i was approached by a couple who asked for directions to a site for Red Crossbills. Jerry told them of a good spot, and they went off to check it out. A bit later they stopped by the accomodation building and told Chris they'd just found a Kirtlands Warbler! A mad dash ensued (always lots of fun) and within 15 minutes we were watching the bird. It gave a great performance, singing away and approached to within about 10 feet at one point - a real stunner. The photo above is "digibinned"!

Great views were also obtained of the crossbills, then we had a team visit to Seney NWR where Chris was able to lure a calling Yellow Rail a little closer by tapping 2 pebbles together. We then finished the evening with a lovely dinner at the Ole Forest Inn, where the waitress reminded us of the actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. Some cocktails were imbibed before it was time to head back to the HQ - all in all a great day. Waterbird count totals to follow soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sunday May 31st - Finishing with a bang

Well the last day of the count was a good one, fog at the start hampered the count but may have grounded a few migrants. 2 Franklins Gulls were swimming on the lake while feeding on floating insects, then a Saw Whet was seen flying in off the lake and landing on a log on the beach. Shortly after, a Pacific Loon went through. So not a bad way to end the season! Loons and Canada Geese were still going through in good numbers in fact. I'll be posting the season totals fairly soon, so stay tuned for a bit longer - i've got a feeling most species were below average, but we'll see.
Thanks to everyone who came to see me at the shack, it was always nice to have visitors. Thanks to Jason for standing in for me a couple of days and allowing me to have some time off, and a big thanks to Phil for helping out with the count for the last two weeks, it was nice to be able to dash off if a good bird was found nearby!

5/30/10 - Bird-a-thon

Here's a view from the beach in the evening (it's zoomed in quite a bit).

Sunday was Bird-a-Thon day so we were up well before first light and down to Vermilion where Bittern, Sedge Wren and Olive Sided Flycatcher were all nailed on call. Crossbills showed well after sun up, with a Field Sparrow heard by Chris being a rare bird for the area. Next we tried a trail for Spruce Grouse, no joy but a Ruffed was photographed by Libby. Then out to the waterbird shack where Phil had been counting. A Yellow Rail had just been found by Tim Bearwald - 10 minutes later and i would have been on the spot as it ran by! No further sign despite extensive searching. A nice scattering of shorebirds along the beach included a Willet. Nice to see the Piping Plovers have started to lay a clutch of eggs. Finally tally around the 120 mark i believe - not bad on what was a fairly quiet day birdwise.