Monday, 12 November 2012

Tip of Long Point during Sandy

I ventured out to the Tip of Long Point on October 27th to observe birds and help out with banding duties out there - but mainly to look for rarities during superstorm Sandy. Bad weather kept me out there longer than planned but I'm not complaining about that! I made it back to the mainland on November 8th. While we didn't get any mega-rarities we still had many good birds and I was happy to have spent the time out there. Much of my birding time was spent scanning the lake from the Tip, sometimes spending 8 hours a day within a very small area. It was wet at times, windy and cold, but it's what you gotta do. Thankfully, there's a small shelter out there referred to as "The Shanty". Without it, long periods of birding would be close to impossible at such an exposed location.
 The Shanty provides great shelter from rain and wind (Max. occupancy 2-3)
View from the Shanty

Highlights were Jaegers, Little Gulls, and two Black-legged Kittiwakes. It was tough to pick out rare gulls when we had almost 10,000 Bonaparte's Gulls, and 1200+ Common Terns during Sandy.

Over 200 Brant, 17 Snow Geese, numerous Long-tailed Ducks and all three Scoter species were waterfowl highlights.

Purple Sandpiper was the best shorebird, Cave Swallows were seen several times, and flocks of Evening Grosbeaks were a nice treat.

My first Bohemian Waxwing for Long Point I found on November 3rd with a group of Cedar Waxwings.

The banders were extremely busy banding flocks of Chickadees, Siskins, and all sorts of migrants. Owl banding at night was great with hundreds of Saw-whet's getting banded and several Long-eared Owls. The Boreal Owl got banded the night I left!

To read about all the birds we saw check out the Long Point Bird Observatory Sightings board:

 These 2 Peregrine Falcons made a brief visit to the tip. Several thousand raptors moved through the Tip following Sandy.

I watched several Merlin's snag passerines that ventured to far from cover. This one is munching a kinglet.
 One of the Cave Swallows got banded giving us a chance to study it a bit closer.

 Evening Grosbeaks look bad-ass and give a good bite from what I hear.
Flock of waxwings - that's a Bohemian at the top of the tree. You will have to take my word for it, although you can see that it is a bit larger.
Below are some photos of a few Horned Larks. The one individual looked really buffy on the throat and lores so I snagged a few photos of it. I know there are many subspecies, some more identifiable than others. Any thoughts on this guy/gal? Is it perhaps just a younger bird?


No comments:

Post a Comment