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Friday, October 24, 2014

Well that was a dud



Condo birding - watching that big low spin off the east coast... Terrible!

I watched for 3-ish hours on Wednesday before I was too bored to continue:

aaa_Condo, Hamilton, CA-ON
Oct 22, 2014
Protocol: Incidental
20 species

Canada Goose 50
Wood Duck 2
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 20
Northern Pintail 5
Greater Scaup X
Surf Scoter X
White-winged Scoter X
Black Scoter X
Common Goldeneye 1
Common Merganser 1
Red-throated Loon 8
Common Loon 35
Horned Grebe 5
Red-necked Grebe 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 3
Bonaparte's Gull 5
Great Black-backed Gull X
Pine Siskin 25



I decided to give it another go on Thursday, but only managed an hour before boredom struck again and I gave up:


aaa_Condo, Hamilton, CA-ON
Oct 23, 2014
Protocol: Incidental
8 species

Gadwall 1
Mallard 5
Common Loon 8
Red-necked Grebe 1
Northern Flicker 2
Merlin 1
Peregrine Falcon 1
Pine Siskin 9


The main highlight came with the falcons - through my binoculars I could see a Herring Gull and another bird swooping down towards the water, as if attacking something. I looked in my scope, and saw the Peregrine going full bore after the Merlin - looking like it had every intention of trying to catch it and eat it... The chase broke off when the Merlin was able to get some height on the Peregrine, and looked to be running for its life back to shore...

Not really sure what exactly unfolded there (was it the Peregrine and the HERG attacking the Merlin on the water? Or was the Merlin trying to catch something on the water, and the Peregrine then went for the Merlin???) but it was pretty cool to see. Just wish I saw it all!


=============


Too bad the weather was pretty darn dull here in the HSA - but there is always the sun to be excited about. There has been an exceptionally large sunspot in view the past several days.... Hasn't really done anything all that crazy, but it looks cool!


Thanks, Solarham!



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Afternoon of condo birding - lookahead



Spent the afternoon on my balcony, after an early morning of work...


American Wigeon 5
American Black Duck 2
Mallard 22
Northern Pintail 2
Greater Scaup 50
Lesser Scaup 4
Surf Scoter 500
White-winged Scoter 500
Black Scoter 65
Long-tailed Duck 1500
Red-breasted Merganser 75
Common Loon 4
Double-crested Cormorant 75
Parasitic Jaeger 1 two widely spaced sightings of light ad. PAJA
Bonaparte's Gull 17
Ring-billed Gull X
Herring Gull X
Great Black-backed Gull 20 


Just some highlights of course!

==============




Looking ahead, I'm still interested to see just how many Kittiwakes (or a Gannet?) can find their way into Lake Ontario over the next few days. Will it be 0? 20?  - time (and observers) will tell...







Various weather maps, issued at various time, for various times and dates - over the past two days. Long story short, there is a big low off the NE USA (or S of NS) and I'm hoping it helps direct some birds into Lake Ontario. This is no Hurricane Sandy, but it doesn't mean we can't learn from it!

Tomorrow and Thursday mornings could be fun! (or cold) - or both!

=========


Finally, there is a HUGE sunspot right now, spitting out flares every few hours. Several M class, one X class, and no CME's. 


Want to know more? Do what I do, and keep your eyes on this crazy website! - http://solarham.net/


Sunday, October 19, 2014

The mightiest blog post EVER





I have a few things I've wanted to get out recently, and given that the blog has been a bit slower than normal, I thought i'd just pile all of this into one monster post!


---------------------

PeregrinePrints highly irregular quiz answers! - I am really behind on getting these out. Only 1 month later!

Here's the quiz I'm talking about: http://www.blog.peregrineprints.com/2014/09/peregrineprints-highly-irregular-quiz.html

And congrats to Bruce MacT for being the first to get them all right (and on his first shot):

Little Gull
Common Redpoll
Common Murre
Parasitic Jaeger
Black-legged Kittiwake
King Eider
Chestnut-collared Longspur

Thanks to those who played along, both via comments and via email

---------------------


Hurricane Gonzolo - just as it was tickling Newfoundland early this morning:


Was anyone at Cape Race (or St. Shotts?) to look for the magic? 

---------------------

Pelee!

I thought the weather last week looked pretty darn cool, so I went SW and enjoyed the masses of birds!


Raw radar


850mb winds for the above map


I birded Port Burwell to Wheatley Harbour on Tuesday, and the National Park on Wednesday (PPNP). Thursday was a healthy dose of PPNP again, but an additional check of Hillman Marsh and Wheatley Harbour as well.


Some highlights:

Tues - 

Burwell - 8 Black-bellied and 1 Golden Plover

Port Stanley Lagoons - 2 Pec's and - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20235921

Rondeau Joe's lookout (on the bay) - 2 Forster's Terns, 1 Caspian Tern, 1 Tufted Titmouse

Wheatley Harb - 3 Lesser Black-backs. Missed a Little Gull and Kittiwake seen by Ross Wood just earlier....


Weds - 

5 Parasitic Jaegers, 1 Pomarine Jaeger, 3 Jaeger Sp's, oodles of Common Loons, Little Gull, 250+ Common Terns, Peregrine's catching Jays/Starlings, Barn Swallow, 10 Warbler species, - epic!


Thurs - 

Lots of birds on the go, including great looks at a Golden Eagle, Red-shoulders and a few late Broad-winged Hawks. Peregrines still around and chasing things. Common Buckeyes were all over, and 2 new warbler species from yesterday. 

Wheatley Harbour late - FRANKLIN'S GULL! Woot. 



It was a great little trip, even if I couldn't nail down something MEGA. ;) ... Great company in the park as well. 


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CONDO BIRDING!!! - Great cool NW Winds to get the birds jiggy! 


October 18th:

aaa_Condo, Hamilton, CA-ON
Oct 18, 2014
Protocol: Incidental
21 species

Canada Goose 1
American Wigeon 20
Mallard 25
Northern Pintail 4
Redhead 4
Greater Scaup 20
Surf Scoter 500
White-winged Scoter 1500
Black Scoter 3
Long-tailed Duck 700
Red-breasted Merganser 34
Red-throated Loon 7
Common Loon 45
Horned Grebe 5
Red-necked Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant 445
Northern Harrier 5
Great Black-backed Gull 4
Horned Lark 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Northern Cardinal 2

---

October 19th  - even better!!!

aaa_Condo, Hamilton, CA-ON
Oct 19, 2014
Protocol: Incidental
27 species

Canada Goose 45
American Black Duck 18
Mallard 26
Northern Pintail 8
Green-winged Teal 4
Redhead 1
Greater Scaup 100
Lesser Scaup 2
Surf Scoter 500
White-winged Scoter 500
Black Scoter 5
Long-tailed Duck 3000
Common Merganser 4
Red-breasted Merganser 80
Red-throated Loon 7
Common Loon 38
Double-crested Cormorant 250

Parasitic Jaeger 1 - adult, or sub adult
Bonaparte's Gull 35

Little Gull 1 - 2nd basic with flock of BOGU - gray upperwing with no primary markings other than white trailing edge and limited black flecking in outer primaries. Black underwing not nearly as full as an adult bird.

Common Tern 2 - 1st winters inside a flock of BOGU moving west along the shore. Small and sleek compared to the BOGU - lacking face patch of FOTE and too strong for ARTE.

American Crow 1 odd bird, flying west, over the water a bit (100-200m?)
Golden-crowned Kinglet X
American Robin 1
Palm Warbler 1 ...
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Dark-eyed Junco X


---------------------


Weather Network Photos! - I find more rarities on the weather network..........


Swainson's Hawk in Port Elgin -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/help-to-identify/20529902

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/help-to-identify/20531910



Where's Chip? -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/fall-birds/20527778


Dickcissel in NL -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/unusual-breed-anyone-know-what-type-/20617226


Long staying Hudwit -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/hudsonian-godwit/20602234


Partial Albino -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/unidentified-bird/20508488


Partial Pigmented at all -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/white-blue-jay/20566816


Hybreed goo -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/rosss-goose-hangs-with-big-boys/20587160

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/theres-a-new-bird-in-town/20454508


Awesomeness -

 http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/bird-heron-09-28-27033/20438052


I'm guessing this wasn't taken in Ontario? -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/blue-eyes-/20406618


Is this a Rufous type? Or am I wrong? -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/hummingbird/20406118


Ha! -

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/photos/view/birds/beautiful-wildlife/20361602



---------------------


RARITY ALERT - cool weather this week!!!!




Not really sure what to say at this point, other than I like this weather setup! 

For 3+ days this low pressure thing is forecast to sit off the NE USA coast, slowly moving into Nova Scotia. Our marine forecast calls for N or NE winds for 3+ days while this happens. Can't make any guarantee's, but I would like to think that this is the type of setup that brings birds like Kittiwakes and the occasional Gannet into Lake Ontario. Maybe we can get something a little nuttier?!



Maybe someday I'll get back to posting photos of birds taken in the field/recently...


------------

Saturday, October 18, 2014

weatha- 18 Oct 2014


James Bay - southern half: Forecast

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT


Winds

Issued 05:00 PM CDT 16 October 2014


Tonight and FridayGale warning in effect.Wind light increasing to northeast 20 knots after midnight and to north 35 late Friday morning. Wind increasing to north 45 Friday evening.


Waves

Issued 05:00 PM CDT 16 October 2014


Tonight and FridaySeas less than 1 metre building to 1 late this evening and to 2 early Friday morning. Seas building to 3 early Friday afternoon and to 4 late Friday afternoon and to 5 Friday evening.


Extended Forecast

Extended Forecast Issued 05:00 PM CDT 16 October 2014


SaturdayWind north 45 knots diminishing to north 30 in the afternoon.


SundayWind north 25 knots diminishing to north 15 late in the day.


MondayWind north 15 knots diminishing to light.



Past 24 hour conditions in Moosonee (inland from coast): 



18 October 2014

11:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 66 -2 NNW 28 gust 54 101.2 16
10:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 67 -2 NNW 21 gust 48 101.2 16
9:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 69 -2 NNW 28 gust 43 101.1 16
8:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 70 -1 NNW 30 gust 48 101.0 16
7:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 71 -1 NNW 28 gust 46 100.9 16
6:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 75 0 NNW 28 gust 52 100.8 16
5:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 77 0 NNW 26 gust 45 100.7 16
4:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 81 1 NNW 30 gust 50 100.6 16
3:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 85 2 NNW 30 gust 52 100.5 16
2:00 Cloudy 4 ↓ 88 2 NNW 37 gust 61 100.4 11
1:00 Light Rain 4 ↓ 91 3 NNW 35 gust 52 100.3 5
00:00 Cloudy 5 91 3 NNW 30 gust 50 100.2 11

17 October 2014

23:00 Light Rain 5 92 4 N 28 gust 54 100.1 10
22:00 Light Rain 5 92 4 N 30 gust 55 100.1 11
21:00 Light Rain 6 93 5 N 30 gust 50 99.9 13
20:00 Light Rain 6 93 5 N 30 gust 50 99.9 13
19:00 Light Rain 6 93 5 NNW 28 gust 54 99.7 10
18:00 Light Rain 7 92 6 N 34 gust 59 99.7 16
17:00 Light Rain 7 92 6 N 30 gust 48 99.6 16
16:00 Cloudy 7 93 6 N 32 gust 48 99.6 16
15:00 Light Rain 8 ↑ 93 7 N 28 gust 50 99.5 16
14:00 Light Rain 8 ↑ 94 7 NNE 28 gust 43 99.5 11
13:00 Light Rain 8 ↑ 94 7 NNE 26 gust 52 99.5 16
12:00 Light Rain 8 ↑ 94 7 NNE 30 gust 52 99.6 5
11:00 Light Rain 8 ↑ 94 7 NNE 28 gust 46 99.6 5



==================


Hurricane Gonzalo crushed Bermuda yesterday - and on its way to Newfoundland, then Great Britian - in a real hurry. Will be fun to see what birds are found because of it. 





Monday, October 13, 2014

Epic Hawkwatching - Wheatley - October 10th




Wheatley, ON - Hawkwatching - all day - on October 10th


Turkey Vulture 4703
Osprey 3
Northern Harrier 18
Sharp-shinned Hawk 403
Cooper's Hawk 13
Bald Eagle 41 all going SW
Red-shouldered Hawk 6
Broad-winged Hawk 45
Red-tailed Hawk 189
American Kestrel 69
Merlin 5
Peregrine Falcon 6

Total - 5501 !!!


There were some other highlights - check out the ebird checklist 




We beat some of the big dogs - Detroit River had more birds, but really only more vultures:



Holiday Beach - again, slightly less vultures, but more of everything else - 




Hawk Cliff - closer on the "good stuff" - but actually less vultures. 




===========


So many vultures!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fort Erie to Niagara - October 8th


I'm a little late, but the birding was sa-weeet!




Mather's Park - met Mr. Len Manning for a decent stretch. We walked a bit south along the shoreline (from the parking area) to get a better look at the lake. Some highlights here were:

1 Pomarine Jaeger
2 Parasitic Jaegers
3 Little Gulls
1 Red-necked Grebe
8 Peregrine Falcons
800+ Common Terns !!!
The white-ish Cormorant as well...

The number of terns around was insane! Full ebird - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20180467



Peace Bridge to Railroad Bridge - checked a few vantage points. Birds were zooming everywhere, so I lumped the area. Highlights:

1 Sabine's Gull
1 Parasitic Jaeger
1 Red-necked Phalarope
1 Little Gull
100+ Common Terns
The white-ish Cormorant - again!


Full ebird for more! - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20180505





Bowen Rd Lookout (Elegant Tern lookout) -

1 Little Gull

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20180517


Control Gates (Niagara) -

3 Little Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20180524


Dufferin Islands - I parked near the duck-feed spot. Didn't expect to see a Redhead there (was wary)

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20180535


Above the Falls -

400+ Northern Rough-winged Swallows!
3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20180551


Below the Falls - once again, it was just PACKED with birds. I worked it, and was not really rewarded.

1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20180558

---

Great day to be out - with lots of people seeing cool things from different times/places around the river.





Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Probable/Presumed Neotropic Cormorant - Fort Erie - 7 Oct 2014


After posting about my 6th Cattle Egret find in the past 5 years, I give you my 4th NECO in the past 4 years... Pretty much the same situation as this bird , but I didn't have camera handy and ready. 

====================

Subject: Probable/Presumed Neotropic Cormorant - Fort Erie - 7 Oct 2014
Date: Tue Oct 7 2014 18:08 pm
From: holden.ontbirds AT gmail.com Birders,


Just after noon today at Mather's Park in Fort Erie - 2 Cormorants flying
very close to shore (50ft) with one being notably smaller than the other. A
quick look in the scope showed a bird with a dark bill and dull throat, but
no obvious white feathers (that I could see, with precious little time). As
they flew away, the smaller individual showed a considerably lighter body
(looking 50% thinner) as I watched them leave. Not the best look, but for
all intents and purposes it was a Neotropic Cormorant. At the very least,
this is a heads up that it is "out there". Both birds were flying very
slowly along the shoreline, but I could not relocate them.


Other birds at the river mouth included 1 Pomarine Jaeger, 1 Phalarope Sp.
2 Sabine's Gulls, 5 Little Gulls and 2 Peregrine Falcons.

Other sites:

Catherine St. Parking Area - 1 Sabine's Gull, 1 Little Gull, 1 Leucistic DC
Cormorant

Control Gates - 4 Little Gulls

Below the falls - thousands of gulls, nothing of note



The marine forecast for tomorrow calls for strong westerly winds, which may
help provide a repeat performance for some of these species. A scope is
valuable. I also hear that Len Manning may be present, so bring something
to get an autograph - just in case!



Brandon Holden

====================







====================

Tonight and WednesdayStrong wind warning in effect.Wind variable 15 knots becoming southwest 15 this evening then increasing to west 25 late overnight. Wind increasing to west 30 near noon Wednesday.


One can dream