Monday, 14 January 2013

Twitching some birds...

Driving to Presqu'ile Provincial Park was a no-brainer for the Thick-billed Kingbird last fall. It was a once in a lifetime kind of bird, so distance was no object to add it to my Ontario list. 

 I kind of have a mental rule of anything east of Toronto has to be pretty special to go and chase. So when the Townsend's Solitaire turned up east of Toronto near Kendal I was like - darn, that's a bit too far for me, and not crazy enough of a bird. But, TOSO is a bit of a nemesis bird for me. I never chased one, but I've missed at least 2 that were in Norfolk. The worst was years ago when several people in our group during the Long Point CBC saw and heard one, but my brother and I missed it!

When it became clear that this "Kendal" Townsend Solitaire was being seen easily, and daily, I started thinking about going, but really wanted another reason to go. This reason came in the form of a Barrow's Goldeneye at Presqu'ile P.P. (been around a while, but I didn't know). Again, not a mega-rarity but still a good bird and one of my nemesis birds. I've never saw one off Burlington, never went to Ottawa in the winter, and just never saw one. Like the Solitaire, it's an annual bird in the province but hard to get unless you go and twitch them. 

So Saturday I spent the rainy/foggy day driving up to Kendal, missing the TOSO by 2 minutes, waiting around 45 minutes, finding it, enjoying it, showing it to other people that came. Off to P.P.P., enjoying the waterfowl, barely finding the BAGO, enjoying the BAGO, working my way home stopping at a few other spots. Sure am glad I was able to twitch both birds and can now rest easy that they are now checked off of my Ontario list. Such is the rule in birding, I will now see hordes of these birds in the future. The BAGO was not a lifer, but TOSO might have been...can't recall. 

Now for the photo quiz: Which photo is the worse?

These were two of the most obvious misses from my Ontario bird list. I think the next most obvious misses are Western Kingbird, Sharp-tailed Grouse, and American Three-toed Woodpecker. When birds breed in your province, and you still haven't seen them..that's getting embarrassing. 

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