A quick post from today.
Yesterday, a different Smew was found at Long Point - this time an adult male, found by Ron Ridout. No one else saw it that evening, however the Guelph crew (Reuven, Mark, Dave, Matt and I) headed down for first light. Apparently we missed it by a few minutes, or it flew right by us, as Stu Mackenzie saw it fly out of the bay around the same time we were scanning it! Very frustrating. We eventually met up with Barb Charlton and Ken Burrell and spent the rest of the day scanning every inch of the inner bay, probably looking at every duck about 10 times. We didn't see it, but had a few other highlights:
High count of 12 Little Gulls off the causeway
Many Sandhill Cranes
All the expected ducks, including a Blue-winged Teal at BSC headquarters (my earliest ever by 2 weeks!)
A very early Eastern Phoebe (my earliest by almost 2 weeks)
Lots of other early birds - blackbirds, flicker, Killdeer, E. Meadowlark, etc
I added three new year birds (Sandhill Crane, Blue-winged Teal, and Eastern Phoebe) so the day wasn't entirely lost. Plus it was great seeing the thousands of waterfowl. Tonight I am leaving for Kingston and I will try for the Varied Thrush in Ottawa (yes, try #3) first thing. I'll need all the help I can get.