No new birding news since the last update! I haven't gotten out since Thursday since I have a midterm on Monday and another on Wednesday. I've also spent this snowy weekend catching up on rare bird reports for the Ontario Bird Records Committee...done six and counting. I would encourage anyone else to submit written reports and photos to the OBRC when they get a chance...link to the website is http://www.ofo.ca/obrc/reportform.php.
At the beginning of the month I posted to the listserv about the 2011-2012 Ontario winter list. In the month of January an additional 9 species were added, and 1 removed (Blue-winged Teal), to bring the total to 215 species. This is easily the highest total we have had since the winter list has been compiled. Edit - 5 more species have been added since! See the end of the post
Among the major highlights were:
-A total of 4 Gray-crowned Rosy-finches have been seen in Ontario in the last few months including 3 since the start of the winter birding period. One of the Hepburn's race at Geraldton from January 4 to January 5, one at Rocky Bay (east of Lake Nipigon) January 10 to present, and one at Rossport (north Lake Superior coast) January 24 to 25.
-Two female Mountain Bluebirds have been seen in Ontario this winter. The first was found south of Guelph on January 1 and the second was found January 16 north of Thamesville.
-The other major highlight has been Fish Crow, the first winter record for Ontario. A probable bird was seen January 1 along the Niagara River and another probable bird was photographed in Hamilton on January 4. A single bird was found and its call recorded on January 15 and since then up to 5 birds have been seen daily in Fort Erie before continuing over the Niagara River to roost in Buffalo.
The other new birds are:
-Pectoral Sandpiper (January 1): Wheatley harbour
-Black-headed Gull (January 15): Fort Erie. This bird has been present along the Niagara River since December but first found in Ontario waters on January 15
-Ovenbird (December 26): Peterborough
-Vesper Sparrow (January 5): Beachville, southwest of Woodstock
-Lincoln's Sparrow (January 9): Perth
-Indigo Bunting (January 8): Cambridge
The total list is posted on Blake's webpage: http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/maybank/other/onwinter.htm
Edit - 5 species added since
Virginia Rail (January 25):found dead near St. Williams
Gyrfalcon (January 25): Northwest of Crysler which is southeast of Ottawa
Band-tailed Pigeon (February 4): Bracebridge. Was seen at a feeder for 3 days, consequently many birders were able to see and photograph it. Thanks to the Sinclairs for being such gracious hosts.
White-winged Dove: coming to a private residence in North Bay, no longer being seen. Still working on finding out the first date it was seen.
Yellow-throated Warbler (February 1): Windsor