After a fantastic 2 weeks, I am back in Ontario for the next little while. As I type, I have already added 5 species to my 2013 yearlist! (House Finch, Black-capped Chickadee, House Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and American Tree-sparrow). I'm on a good pace to break the record....lol.
Matt Timpf isn't doing an Ontario Big Year - in fact he is going one step farther, and attempting a Canada Big Year in 2013! I'll definitely be following his blog as I'm sure it will be interesting. Check it out: http://canadabigyear2013.wordpress.com/
Charlotte Wasylik is a young birder from the prairies of Alberta. She recently interviewed me about my Big Year, and that can be found on her blog, http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com/. It's good to see another young birder so passionate about birding. I used to think that birding perhaps might decrease in prominence due to it being practiced by mostly an older demographic, but in the last few years especially quite a few young birders have come up out of the woodwork.
Sedgewick Warblers update: Sedgewick Park, in Oakville Ontario, has become a hotspot of warbler activity all winter, as almost all Ontario birders have probably heard by now. It started out with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, than a Cape May Warbler, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, a Yellow-rumped Warbler and another kinglet, all found by Cheryle Edgecombe and Rob Dobos. I was lucky to find a Nashville Warbler that is probably the western form on my first visit (no provincial records though there have been a couple seen in the province before). A second Yellow-rumped Warbler and third Orange-crowned Warbler were found and it became apparent that one of the Orange-crowned Warbs was very bright and may be a western form. Finally, David Bell and Jesse Pakkala found what appeared to be a Blackpoll Warbler, and all the birders seeing it for the week or two after added it to their lists as a Blackpoll. However, photos taken a few days later show it to be a Bay-breasted Warbler.
There are only 2 previous winter records of Bay-breasted Warbler in the province: November 29 to December 2, 1964 (Long Branch, Toronto) and November 10 to December 3, 1985 (Toronto). The Bay-breasted is still being seen daily, making it record late for the province and the first January record. Cool!
The Cape May hasn't been seen for a couple days, but everything else is. Just the other day, an Oregon Dark-eyed Junco (a western form) joined the fray at Sedgewick. It just keeps getting better!
I'll be heading down to Sedgewick (my 5th visit) later today to try to get better looks at the Bay-breasted. Cheers!