It had been a while since I had chased a rare bird. Come to think of it, the last time I drove more than 10 minutes to see a rare bird was the Mountain Bluebird in Stony Creek from March. This was mainly because nothing much was being reported across the province. That changed this weekend, as Dan Salisbury and John Black made a great find with a Purple Gallinule at the pond on the Port Weller pier. It was a juvenile, and if accepted would be the 15th record for Ontario.
I had some free time this morning so I booked it down to Niagara to take a look at this bird. After a brief wait it started foraging out in the open on the far side of the pond. It was a juvenile bird, but a hint of blue was starting to show on the wings. What really struck me was how obvious the white undertail coverts were! After enjoying the bird for a little over 1/2 an hour I moseyed on back to my car.
Other birds seen on the pier included Hermit Thrush, Orange-crowned, and Blackpoll warblers. The Gallinule was my 329th Ontario bird (the first new one since Glossy Ibis in May). Not a bad way to end this unseasonably warm Thanksgiving weekend!
I took a few poor photos of the bird which I will post later. Until then, check out Ken's much better photos of the bird on his blog here: http://kenburrell.blogspot.com/2011/10/purple-haze.html
What's next on the agenda?
This week isn't looking too busy school wise, so I might do a day trip somewhere. I am also hoping on venturing to a quite unexpected location this weekend to do a Nelson's Sparrow hunt - stay tuned! The looks I had of the one in Hamilton just weren't quite satisfying enough.