Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Still counting down

I'm still in Nova Scotia! I have gotten out and done a bit of birding around here and have seen a few interesting things. A Dovekie, Northern Goshawk Harlequin Duck, and group of 6 Black-headed Gulls was nice on December 29. Today, while walking around the lake that Laura lives on, I found a Northern Saw-whet Owl, White-winged Crossbill and Boreal Chickadee.

Its now the evening of January 3. I'll be in the province late on January 6 and out birding the next day. Here are the statuses of the 4 "code 4 or higher" rarities that are in southern Ontario at the moment. If you can recall, in a previous post I mentioned that I would need to see at least 20 rarities (code 4 or higher) to break the record.

Mountain Bluebird (code 4) 
I had a bit of a "scare" this morning when I read an ONTbirds post stating the Mountain Bluebird didn't show. The nighttime low was WELL below freezing so perhaps the bird had succumbed. However, it has been reported all day today, so there is still hope it will hang around to the morning of January 7! This will likely be the first bird I chase.

Black-throated Gray Warbler (code 4)
I hadn't seen any reports of the Black-throated Gray today, but a quick check of ebird showed that there was a sighting today.

Black Vulture (code 4)
The Black Vultures were still being seen coming to the roost along the Niagara River (January 2 report).

Black-headed Gull (code 4)
The only recent report I've heard of from Buffalo did not mention whether the BHGU was there. The Kittiwake (code 3) was reported, however.

Several other birds I'm keeping an eye on and will likely chase once I get any of the previous rarities include Great Gray Owl, Spotted Towhee (way up north but I'll likely chase it later in the month), King Eider, Barrow's Goldeneye, Greater White-fronted Goose and Ross' Geese.


  1. Hi Josh,

    I just found your blog and wanted to wish you all the best for your Big Year endeavour.

    I live in Windsor and so I was lucky enough to live close to Kingsville and have spectacular views of the Great Gray Owl. What a treat!

    Good Birding to you and Good Luck!

  2. We're thinking about taking a trip to see the Great Gray as well, I hope he sticks around for you.

  3. Hope those rarities stick around for your return! Looks like things are going to warm up a bit soon, so hopefully that BT Gray Warb survives tonight.

    Did you ever post that list of what birds fall into each category??

  4. Thanks Karen and Angie!


    Apparently blogger doesn't allow me to upload files, so I'm trying to figure out another way to do that...