Friday 16 November 2012

No-rarity November

When Alan and I timed our Netitishi trip. one of the reasons why I was happy to go in October was that early November is usually mega-rarity time in Ontario, and I wanted to be back for that. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case so far this year! With the help of Sandy, Ontario had a ton of great rarities in late October, including some megas, though it has been very slow since November 1.

In the last 2 weeks, the rarities that have been seen in Ontario include:
-a Mountain Bluebird that was only seen once (4th one this year already)
-Cave Swallows that are sprinkled across Lake Erie and Lake Ontario (no one except for me cared, since hundreds were seen in October)
-a Western Tanager that was a one-day wonder in Hamilton
-lots of Eurasian Wigeons
-a Western Grebe that was a one day wonder (6 to 8 have been seen already this year)
-occasional Gyrfalcon reports

Considering that this is usually prime season, that is a pretty weak payload! A few rare birds, but nothing mega (or even close to mega). I would have thought that the hurricane would have displaced enough birds that good numbers of rarities would still be kicking around, but that doesn't seem to be the case!

In the last few days, New York has had Northern Lapwings (very few previous state records), a state-first Virginia's Warbler, a Myiarchus flycatcher (probably Ash-throated), a Barnacle Goose, a Selasphorus hummingbird, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Western Kingbirds, just to name a few. Even the tiny state of Delaware had two state-firsts, in Anna's Hummingbird and Calliope Hummingbird! Everywhere around Ontario has had good birds lately, but we are on a bit of a cold streak. Perhaps most of the birders here are content with how good the hurricane was, and are being a tad lazy? ;)

At any rate, I thought I would be on the run for the whole month of November but it hasn't really been the case so far. But hopefully that will change soon! I am planning a trip to visit my siblings in eastern Ontario and I hope to do a bit of birding before and after the weekend. My main realistic goal is Pacific Loon. Pacific Loon is one of only two remaining code-3 birds that I haven't seen this year (the other being Glossy Ibis). Most years one or more are seen on the north shore of Lake Ontario between Whitby and Kingston. I will be arriving in Kingston Friday night, which means that all day Friday will be devoted to checking out as many spots along the lake as I can. I will probably leave Kingston sometime on Sunday and spend a day or two returning back home, checking out more areas for Pac loons.

Of course, if a mega rarity is seen between now and then, my plans may be altered! But we know that won't happen ;)


Alan Wormington said...

Quit complaining .... November is only half over!

Tyler said...

I may bump into you in the county sunday afternoon. If not check out the mouth of wellington harbour. I have had palo there before

Anonymous said...

Hey Tyler,

I will probably devote Sunday to Prince Edward County. Monday I will be looning it up somewhere between there and Toronto!

Anonymous said...

Yes but the good half is done! Go find an Ash-throated Flycatcher or something.

Tyler said...

Hey Josh,

Email your cell and I'll call you when i get off the ferry. 35,000+ geese today and still no pink foot, greylag, or barnacle for Ontario today.