Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Greater White-fronted Geese

Haven't posted for a while so I thought I'd throw up some photos of the GWFG that have been hanging around Lee Brown's for a while down at Long Point. They seemed to have disappeared for a week before showing up again - luckily for me since I missed them when they first showed up. People have been seeing Cacklers here as well, but I haven't caught up with them yet. Lee Brown's is also one of the best places to find Eurasian Wigeons around Long Point but nothing so far. Well, until Richard Skevington found one way up the Big Creek valley off the E 1/4 Line by RR#45. I dipped on it today.
and then it lost it's head...

Blackbirds are always fun to pick through for goodies. 

I had a flock of Redpolls today near Walsingham feeding in a weedy field and one of them jumped out as being extremely pale. I was 95% sure it was going to be Hoary if I could manage a decent look at it - they weren't that close and I didn't have my scope. They flew up into some trees and I couldn't relocate the bird in question. The redpoll above was the palest one I could find but it's just a CORE (streaked undertail coverts for one).

Saturday, 16 March 2013

De-extinction video and links

There's a bit of buzz out there with the idea of de-extinction - bringing back extinct species using cutting edge science technology and techniques. It looks like a group of scientists are already working on bringing back the Passenger Pigeon. Instead of rehashing articles already out there I'll simply provide some links. I personally found the TED talks video informative and entertaining - like most of their videos.

Stewart Brand: The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?

The Plan to Bring the Iconic Passenger Pigeon Back From Extinction


Locally, I went out for a quick jaunt into Haldimand County today and found a pair of Sandhill Cranes near the Grand River. While they are easy to find around Long Point, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I see them elsewhere.

And love'm or hate'm, the wind turbines are starting to go up fast in Haldimand

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Snow Geese - Long Point

Back to blogging now that I'm back in Canada. I just posted photos of Resplendent Quetzals I saw in Panama, so check my previous post if you are interested in seeing those. This blog will be a Panama / Norfolk County mash up for the next little while. 

As everyone knows, spring migration is well underway with blackbirds, Killdeer, Tundra Swans, geese and ducks leading the charge. Every expected duck species is back at Long Point except for Blue-winged Teal as far as I can tell. Still thousands of swans around - check the waters off Port Rowan and the fields west of Port Royal. I'm still hoping for some Greater White-fronted and Ross's Geese to make an appearance, but I was happy to find 6 Snow Geese on Tuesday landing in a field with Tundra Swans. Once they landed it was tough to see all 6 of them, although a few were visible. 

Viewed from Front Rd 

As viewed from the Port Rowan pier.

 Large flocks of Wild Turkey are often easy to find in Haldimand County.

Resplendent Quetzal !!! - Feb 3rd, 2013

Yup, I know, I haven't blogged in forever - and no my fingers weren't broken. Basically wifi was hard to come by for part of my trip, and I made a decision to postpone blogging until I was back home in Canada. It's also nice to "disconnect" from technology when backpacking and I thoroughly enjoyed not having a cell phone, and barely turning on a computer.

For the next few weeks or so this blog is going to be a mash-up of Panama adventures and Norfolk nature sightings as we head into spring migration.  Hopefully I can get the Panama stuff out of the way relatively quickly. 

February 3rd was all about the Resplendent Quetzals - easily found at the start of the Los Quetzales trail on the Cerro Punta / Guadalupe side of Vulcan Baru. We saw 1 female, 1 immature male, and 2 full males as I recall. We got stunning views of them feeding, and flying directly overhead with the long tail streamers - incredible! 

First, the crappy back-lit photos I was able to obtain:

And here are a few AMAZING photos (of the same birds) from a photographer I was birding with:

Photo credits Michael Kuijl. Do not use his photos without permission please.