Thursday, 26 January 2012

Update after 3 days in the north

Barb and I are currently in a motel in the quaint town of Geraldton, located northeast of Thunder Bay along highway 11. We have had a whirlwind 3 days and have another 3 crazy days ahead of us! I will post a full report when I get back, so this brief report will do for now.

On Tuesday we made good time, getting into the Soo around noon. Dave Bell was our virtual tour guide - telling us where to go via text messaging. He did a great job and helped guide us to a location where Black-backed Woodpeckers were seen. We got a nice female as well as tons of finches as a bonus!
Dave directed us to Bellevue Park and the Locks among other places. Among the highlights were a huge flock of Bohemian Waxwings (250+) and our first Hoary Redpoll. I didn't notice it until looking at photos later.

Black-backed Woodpecker - Sault Ste. Marie, ON

That night we stayed at his parents place, enjoying their hospitality, gourmet steak dinner, and wine. Off to Marathon in the morning!

We got to Marathon and immediately saw the Harris's Sparrow that was coming to a feeder. After meeting up with Michael Butler we got settled then headed out to search for Three-toed Woodpeckers - unsuccessfully I might add. On our evening snowshoe trek we unfortunately couldn't turn up any owls despite our best efforts. The wind picked up and by the morning it was too strong to find the woodpeckers so we decided that we would leave Marathon and head north. While we missed the woodpeckers, we did get a Gray Jay and great looks at a Northern Shrike. Best of all was enjoying Michael and Martha's hospitality and amazing cooking! I spent quite a bit of time studying Michael's redpoll flocks as all four subspecies were present.

redpolls - Marathon, ON

Day 3 was one to forget. Long story short, the entire day was devoted to chasing rosy-finches unsuccessfully. We did find our own "probable" Hornemann's Hoary Redpoll which was rewarding.

Tomorrow we are back-tracking an hour to the last rosy-finch. I forgot my phone at the house of the couple who has the rosy-finch coming to their feeder - perhaps it is a sign. Afterwards we are trying for the Spotted Towhee in Longlac. A Varied Thrush was seen yesterday nearby...could be interesting...

Pine Grosbeak - Marathon, ON

1 comment:

  1. Josh, nice goin! I would love to see Black backed WP's one day. It must be gorgeous up there. Thanks for sharing.