Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 10 Paul's Update

Winter is coming to an end and, while this means that I expect the bird watching to pick up, it also means I am losing my opportunity to see the birds from the far north that may or may not be lurking around southern Canada. I crossed off two more of these birds off my list this week (snow bunting and gyrfalcon, chronicled in a post coming soon) and saw a horned lark as well. I also got a flavor of the potential bird viewing that is migration.

The waterfowl have started arriving on Lake Ontario, which is a major staging area for all points north. I stopped by the harbor at Coburg, Ontario this weekend and I couldn't believe the number of ducks and geese that were there. A quick scan of the main flock and I saw there were two or three birds I hadn't yet added to my list. There were redheads for sure. And there were a bunch of these ducks. I took two or three looks to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing: long-tailed ducks. Strange looking and sounding duck if I say so myself.
Long-Tailed Ducks on Lake Ontario
After getting a load of the wacky, long-tailed ducks. I searched the main group again for anymore ducks of a different breed. I could see there were definitely scaups in the mix. Were they greater or lesser? Did they have an oblong head or was it more roundish? It was too far, really, to see any color differences. Some seemed to have a definitely bump on the head and some were definitely a very round head. Conclusion? There were both greater and lesser scaups in the harbor. 

For this week, I ended up with seven new birds and my total is now past 60 for the year:

57 Horned Lark 3/8/2013 Mirabel, Quebec
58 Gyrfalcon 3/8/2013 Mirabel, Quebec
59 Snow Bunting 3/8/2013 Mirabel, Quebec
60 Redhead 3/9/2013 Lake Ontario, Coburg, Ontario
61 Long-Tailed Duck 3/9/2013 Lake Ontario, Coburg, Ontario
62 Great Scaup 3/9/2013 Lake Ontario, Coburg, Ontario
63 Lesser Scaup 3/9/2013 Lake Ontario, Coburg, Ontario

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