Sunday 8 January 2012

Great Gray Owl in Kingsville

Brett Fried and I headed down to Kingsville to look for the Great Gray Owl which has been seen well for several weeks. When we arrived first thing in the morning, there was already a group of 30 or so photographers on scene. Brett and I had great looks as it hunted and flew between perches, and everyone was respectful of the owl while we were there. I took a few poor photos (lighting wasn't the best) which I'll post later.

flight shot of Great Gray Owl - Kingsville

The rest of the day was a tour along the north shore of Lake Erie from Kingsville to Ridgetown before going back home. We didn't have too many highlights, however we did have a flyover White-winged Crossbill on DeLaurier Trail in the late morning. We ran into Richard Carr here and he put us on to some owls in the vicinity. We got the screech owl at the tip and a Snowy in the Onion fields north of the national park before continuing.

The only other bright spot of the day was near Erieau as Brett and I counted 4 Snowy Owls in the same field. Too far for photos unfortunately! The Ross's Geese at Ridgetown (which hadn't been reported in a while) did not show, though there was a huge flock of 100+ Tundra Swans.

late Bonaparte's Gull - Ridgetown Sewage Lagoons

Tundra Swans - Ridgetown Sewage Lagoons

I didn't add as many year birds as I had hoped, but the main goal of the trip was to see the Great Gray Owl. I'm currently at 72 species for the year.

Pics will be up soon. I have school all day tomorrow so no birding, but if the Varied Thrush in Ottawa is seen tomorrow that's where Andy Keaveney and I will be headed on Tuesday! The craziness has begun (who really travels 6 hours one way for a Varied Thrush???).


Anonymous said...

You do!

Brightcetera said...

The GGO is quite the attraction down here!
Short-eared Owl was present today on Concession #5, flying over the fields along with several Northern Harriers. That owl was a lifer for me. :)

Good Luck with the Varied Thrush!

Tyler said...

If you are going after the thrush you better get the Gray Partridge as well!. With the way this winter in going the Brantford birds may not have to contend with cold weather and big snow drifts. And thus will be invisible this year. That site in Kanata is usually an easy tick.
Also the Ottawa Barrow's may be needing a visit as well.

Good Luck,


Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone. Varied Thrush not seen today - not sure if I am still going to make the trek. We'll see....

Tyler - I've been put on an additional good partridge spot (as well as Kanata). Hopefully we can come up with a Barrow's either in Ottawa or the Presquille bird.

Tyler said...

The Oshawa Barrows, barrows hybrid and king eider have all vacated the area. At least They were not around for the mid winter waterfowl count this weekend. So yes going east would be a better choice for the barrows. Or if you are bored you can go to the lower st lawrence in late march/early april and see a few hundred Barrows in a morning.

Anonymous said...

Tyler, we got a female Barrow's at Bate Island in the Ottawa River and we got the Kanata partridge. Tomorrow I'm off to Niagara. Those BLVUs better fly over the river!!!

mo pie said...

Catching up on your blog, and I have to say your pictures are gorgeous! I look forward to reading along during the second half of the year. (And as a Vandenberg, I enjoy your Dutch last name!)