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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Saskatchewan, July ! Brewer's, Yellow-heads and CC Longspur

Siskitichiwan photos!

Brewer's Blackbirds - http://www.peregrineprints.com/zz_BRBL.htm

Yellow-headed Blackbirds! (not great, but better than no photos at all) -


Aaaannndddddd - Chestnut-collared Longspur! -

(these really aren't good at all, but I put them online anyways)

More! (later)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Weather wonderings - more rarities on the way?

After the last weather alert, we had some good birds! (Sample:)

Violet-green Swallow in Port Burwell
Piping Plover in Hamilton
Laughing Gull in Oakville
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Col Sam
Snowy Egret at Holiday BCA

Not bad! I also saw a report of a Laughing Gull and a JAEGER at Derby Hill, NY - things are picking up!!!


So, with that said - there is some more cool weather on the way! Maybe not quite as cool as on the 13/14th range - but perhaps "more total days" of interesting weather between now and the weekend...

Solid 1006mb low sitting over the centre of the great lakes tomorrow (today!!!) at 8am... Rains right around Hamilton... Could it ground some migrants? Could it bring some rares? I may just have to sit on my balcony and watch... I don't have a map saved for Hamilton's Long-billed Curlew from a few years ago - but it was right around this day with scattered rain and light winds (just like the forecast says) - and it looks pretty cool to me!

I also might expect something like an Avocet (or several) at Long Point on a day like this... 

Forecast for Friday - strange line of low's (all weak) from the open ocean to Lake Superior... East winds in the forecast for this day... Could we pull something off the coast and onto Lake Ontario? Who knows! But I'll be watching.. We're combining semi-good weather outlooks for the next several days, with a PRIME season for MEGA's 

Worth taking a look!

Speaking of Avocets (something I'd love to get for my condo-list) - have you noticed that shorebirding has been pretty darn POOR in southern Ontario to date? I haven't really been out - but I'm also not inspired by any reports I'm seeing... So what's up?

I think shorebirds are pretty strong fliers (well, I know they are) - so where I typically look for "fall weather" for migrants (eg,/ north winds) - I actually have found that SOUTH winds and heat can be good for fall shorebirding in our area... We lack some really good habitat - so we need some "poor" weather to put them down in our sub-par locations... Poor being a hot headwind that they don't want to fly into!

Just my guess - but we've hardly had any heatwaves this summer - and I think that's why we're lacking so far... Better habitat wouldn't hurt either...

Starting to arrive!

All of this "cold" summer weather we've been having reminds me a LOT of last year - and our super cold winter. Big kinks in the jetstream bringing northerly air.. (Call it the polar vortex if you want, but that's just a misuse of the name for a real weather phenomenon) - maybe we'll be in for ANOTHER super cold winter???

All of those el nino forecasts would say no, but they've been pretty bad/wrong so far!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Saskatchewan, July! (Kings of the West - Kings of the East)

More photos from SK! Western Kingbirds were fairly common, and I went after them! Woot -


With all that excitement taken care of, there happened to be a rather large number of Eastern Kingbirds around as well:


More to come from Saskatchewan... 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A birding perspective and analysis of Hurricane Sandy in Ontario

Something I co-wrote for Ontario Birds! Published this past April, but I finally got around to doing a horrible scan job and posting it online...

You may have to rotate it, but yeah - some light reading if you're interested...

A birding perspective and analysis of Hurricane Sandy in Ontario - Holden, B.R. and K.G.D. Burrell. A birding perspective and analysis of Hurricane Sandy in Ontario, Autumn 2012. Ontario Birds. 32(1):12-22.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Saskatchewan, July !!! (WIPH, UPSA, BWTE, BHCO, WISN)

More bird photos from SK! Once again, all of these species are pretty much "Ontario birds" as well - but I was after everything! Let's get rollin -

Brown-headed Cowbirds - http://peregrineprints.com/zz_BHCO.htm

More to come - and some more "exotic" species as well... 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Condo birding update - 12 June 2014 - 12 August 2014

12 June - 1 Bald Eagle, 2 Kingbirds, 1 Indigo Bunting and 2 (separate!!!) Redhead (male and female, hours apart).. All in all, some weird sightings for mid June!

13 June - 2 Swamp Darners in tandem, 1 Hoary Bat!!!

14 June - Bald Eagle

15 June - 1 Bank Swallow - 15+ Cedar Waxwings... Once again, I find myself wondering - are these birds migrants?

June 29th - Common Nighthawk! Calling well after sundown

August 2nd - Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Great Blue & Black-crowned Night Herons, American Kestrel.... Crazy to see how much has changed after a month away from it all! Swallows everywhere, juvenile terns and gulls... The rares should start again soon!

August 3rd... For the first time in a long time, I pulled out the scope! I quickly found 7 Long-tailed Ducks, 2 White-winged Scoters and 1 Red-necked Grebe out on the open waters. Never a dull moment! A few Baltimore Orioles and Yellow Warblers (presumed migrants) around below... 1 Black-bellied Plover mid afternoon was fun!

August 4th - 1 Great Egret, 1 adult Common Loon (migrant!), 1 shorebird sp (probably a Sanderling, but waay too far away!)

12 August - SOO many Cormorants on this lake... Maybe I'll waste some time and start looking for a Neotropic again?  I can't seem to help myself (esp when things are slow).. we'll wait and see...

The time is nigh! (maybe)... Thought I'd get this post out of the way before the west end of Lake Ontario heats up and brings some of the ultimate in birding excitement soon (JAEGERS!!!!!!!!)