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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Should we be preparing for an INVASION!?


Is this it? Is this the year? I feel like "northern" birds have been mounting various incursions southwards over the past several years... A few Boreal Chickadees, record-setting flights of Great Gray/Snowy Owls, White-winged Crossbills... Bohemian Waxwings are becoming an annual thing... And we're on the path again this year...


Black-backed Woodpeckers in Ottawa
Boreal Chickadees on the move early (per ontbirds)
Gray Jay in London (per ebird)
Evening Grosbeaks are rolling
Pine Siskins are invading
Purple Finches are leaving
White-winged Crossbills and Common Redpolls are making eradic movements southwards
Pine Grosbeak recently (WPBO)
Snowy Owls (may?) be moving early
Reports of Great Gray (Sudbury) and Northern Hawk Owls (WPBO) on the move south already...

Are there any northern goodies that AREN'T showing some potential for a southwards movement this year?



I'm not really expecting anything "record setting" at this point. Heck, it's merely a guess... I just have that gut feeling that things may be prepping for something exciting... My hope is that some of the true boreal goodies will move far enough south to match some historical accounts of many years ago...

Woodland Cemetery in Hamilton may be a great place to keep tabs on something like this (for me at least) - as it would be phenomenal to see a small group of Boreal Chickadees, or a Black-backed Woodpecker - go flying overhead some point this November.

Do you have a favourite spot for watching diurnal passerine migration? I know the spots in Hamilton, but am not really that familiar elsewhere. The Hamilton Fall Bird Count is this Sunday - so that could give a good idea of what is around.


(unlikely this weekend, to say the least)


Not only are the birds moving, but we have some serious cold weather on the way as well! Check out these temp forecast maps:


That's COLD! 

Longer range models keep hinting at this type of setup returning in the next 7-12 days... Another model run (which is just a guess, but these are how weather forecasters try and predict what may happen in the longer run) - 


I know that our northern birds are more than willing to stay north and stick out the cold, but IF they actually are getting ready to do a bit of a movement, weather like this will enable them to make longer flights (into southern Canada or NE USA) where birders will be more than happy to welcome them...

Only time will tell! In the shorter term, strong NE winds in the forecast for Saturday morning as this blast arrives. It is a similar to a previous setup several days ago, where I was hoping for Kittiwakes and Gannets - and saw NOTHING..

But hey - I'll still be looking. It only takes one bird!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

That partial solar eclipse


From a few days ago... Had to be one of the clearest days of the year, so it was tough to photograph...


Black spots near the middle are the monstrosity known as AR 2192... Fairly happy with the result! Although it is still a constant struggle to re-size large files on my new laptop...


Monday, October 27, 2014

Death at Van Wagner's Beach - 25 Oct



Did a long romantic walk with my ladyfriend along Van Wagner's Beach - looking for dead things...

The haul:

3 Long-tailed Duck
3 White-winged Scoter
4 Double-crested Cormorants
3 Ring-billed Gulls
1 American Woodcock
1 Brown Creeper
1 Sparrow Sp. (tail only)

Some feathers included a Dark-eyed Junco and a juvenile PEREGRINE FALCON (primary)...

We also checked the Burdock along the trail and pulled out 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets and 1 small bird sp (mainly a skeleton, but still stuck). Sad to see them go this way...

Birds weren't the only thing dying. 1 Raccoon (beach) and 1 Red Bat (Burdock) also joined the fun. Was pretty surprised with the bat.

....

Living bird highlights were a Greater Yellowlegs and 2 adult Peregrine Falcons (near Gray's Rd).


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Low to Moderate Cave Swallow watch in effect for Tuesday morning in Hamilton -


I think CASW need multiple weather systems over multiple weeks to bring them to our area... The weather for Tuesday is a "classic" day to see them in Hamilton (early morning, south shore of Lake Ontario) - but there is a BIG question mark - are there any close enough to take advantage of the weather??? 

- After multiple years of watching, I've also learned that these things seem to fly sighting inland. Two years ago at Fifty Pt. C.A. - we had larger numbers inland, where we had a great vantage point looking east. I'll probably be looking from my place, trying to see if I can get one for my condo list!


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Can you believe there was an Arcitc Loon was in Ohio a few days ago? -


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205143942861616&set=p.10205143942861616&type=1&theater


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Goliath sunspot 2192 is slowly leaving us. It has spit out FIVE X-class solar flares during this rotation, but no CME's! Still really cool though



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!


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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!

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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!


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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

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


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

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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


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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



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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...


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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



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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.