Saturday 15 June 2013

Working hard (or hardly working?)

It has been a busy month for me to say the least! Late May through mid July is the window to conduct breeding bird surveys in Ontario, and since that is (more or less) my job, I have been crazy busy! In the last few weeks I have traveled to Niagara (x2), Hamilton (x5), Pickering (x2), Toronto (x2), north of Orillia (x2),   and a few more that I am probably forgetting. Not to mention the big trip a few weeks ago that took us all the way to Timmins, Wawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Mattawa, and places in between! I also completed a big day with David Szmyr somewhere in there too. And then there was the time I went to the Bruce Peninsula...

Luckily, my work involves a lot of birding so I couldn't be happier at this time of year. Additionally, the surveys wrap up late morning, so I have been taking several afternoons to go birding on my way back!

In no particular order, here are a few photos that I have gotten around to editing from the past few weeks...

A belligerent cow from the southern Bruce Peninsula. I almost snapped a photo of a belligerent-looking llama with my phone today near Stoney Creek, but it unfortunately moved far enough away that the photo would have lost its charm.

Sparrows are something to look at in the hot summer months, since many of them will sing all day long. Here's a Grasshopper from Burlington!

Grasshopper Sparrow

Keeping a wary eye out for threats...

Grasshopper Sparrow

And always a crowd pleaser, the bird that is generally considered pretty rare, but is actually quite common in the right habitat!

Clay-colored Sparrow

One more for the "seems rare, but is actually quite common" category - a Vesper Sparrow. Recently I was doing some work in Flamborough, and nearly every point count has Vespers. The key? Agriculture and bare soil...

Vesper Sparrow

Anyways, that's all for now. After completing some morning surveys tomorrow, I leave for 10-12 days in northern(ish) Ontario! We are repeating the same route that we did last month, unless of course some of the highways are back open! On the last trip we had to drive from Chapleau to Wawa via Sault Ste. Marie due to washouts. Wildlife highlights on round 1 included Boreal Owl, Marbled Godwit, Arctic Tern, and lots of Large Charismatic Megafauna. For this round, all the late breeding birds will be back. I'm really hoping to find a Connecticut Warbler somewhere since I haven't seen one in a while (maybe over a year?).

I'll try to update the blog every few days when I'm up north. Still lots of photos to post from the past few weeks!


Blake A. Mann said...

I prefer hardly working! Looking forward to your finds on this next trip.

Brent Turcotte said...

I look forward to your findings as well. Even though currently birding has taken a backside seat to wildflowers and dragonflies. My June holidays start tomorrow and I am going to be surveying the Nipissing area for dragonflies. I am hoping to get at least 20 hours out in the field. My hopes are to find new species to me (I am at 81 species of odonata) and plug in gaps in distribution. As the only dedicated dragonfly observer in North Bay (as far as I know) I can make a real contribution.

In regards to wildflowers, my interest is growing. I am getting used to the Newcomb's guide and I am starting to find wildflowers new to me instead of just applying names to species I have seen all along.

I introduced my daughter to the excitement of counting yesterday. I aksed her to count the number of different types of wildflowers during a walk around our block. We had about fifteen species after a couple of blocks. She's only four so we didn't do any identification through.

Tyler said...

See you up there next weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Josh,
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about the Bruce Peninsula to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you soon!