Ash-throated Flycatcher: Glenn Coady found this southwestern species in Ajax on Wednesday evening, though unfortunately it was a one-day wonder as it was not reported the next day by any credible observers, despite dozens of people out looking for it. Flycatchers can be finicky this way, and Ash-throated Flycatchers, while nearly annual in recent years, are usually a one-day wonder. There are still only 12 accepted records for Ontario. I still need this one for Ontario, as do many other birders!
Townsend's Solitaire: David Pryor found one at Colonel Sam Smith Park in Toronto on October 19, which was quite cooperative for all the birders who came to look for it that day. Unfortunately, it too continued on and was not seen the next day. Just now, Brett Fried texted me a photo of a Townsend's Solitaire from the tip of Long Point, where he has been staying for the last few days. Speaking of Long Point...
Northern Gannet and White-winged Dove: Two more unusual birds, one from the east, and one from the southwest, have been seen at the tip of Long Point recently. If only I was down there right now....
Cattle Egret: Several reports of Cattle Egrets came in from the Long Point area recently. One flew by the tip on October 16, another passed Old Cut on October 17, and other one was seen near Port Rowan October 17-18. I'm not sure how many individuals were involved. Cattle Egrets, while rare in Ontario, usually show up at some point in late October in very small numbers.
|Cattle Egret - Tilbury lagoons (November 7)|
Black-headed Gull: Tyler Hoar found one at the Durham side of Lake Simcoe on Wednesday. This bird has become quite scarce in the province in recent years with usually less than 5 reported annually.
Late songbirds: This October has been quite mild, playing a role in the large number of songbirds that are still being reported in the province. Close to 20 warbler species have been seen in the last week! Other species that are normally far south of here, such as both cuckoos, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, White-eyed Vireo, Veery, and Grasshopper and Clay-colored Sparrows have been seen in recent days.
Shorebirds: The large number of White-rumped Sandpipers that arrived in early October are still hanging around in many areas. Mike Burrell wrote a great piece about this phenomenon, which you should check out! Some "late" shorebirds still being seen include a Short-billed Dowitcher at Richmond in eastern Ontario, and Willie the Willet at Blenheim lagoons (which may be the same bird that I found back on September 4.).
|Willet - Blenheim lagoons (September 4, 2015)|
This is just a small sample of some of the interesting birds that have been seen recently. With some unsettled weather arriving next week, as well as possibly the remnants from Hurricane Patricia, there could be a lot of unusual species around. Get out there and keep checking your local patches! I know I will be, here in Niagara-on-the-Lake.