Monday, April 15, 2013

Week 15 Paul's Update

I took my two older boys down to Oshawa, Ontario last Sunday morning because I had seen on eBird several extensive bird lists reported at the "Second Marsh" on Lake Ontario. This is actually the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve and is a nice large wetland-forest complex, and it sits next to the General Motors buildings that you can see from the 401 as you drive out of Toronto.

After a short detour to the Oshawa beach where we saw a brown creeper (#94), I immediately saw why the Second Marsh is a good birding location: there are open meadow fields, large wetlands, several open water embayments connected to Lake Ontario, Lake Ontario itself, and several groves of large trees with mixed brush/shrubs underneath. As we started off down the trail, we immediately saw a brown-headed cowbird (#95) sitting in a tree and then soon after saw northern shovelers (#96) in a small pond. As we continued on down to the second marsh, we saw golden-crowned kinglets (#97) in a forest grove and then blue-winged teal (#98) in the second marsh. This was a lot of birds for a span of 30 minutes or so. We also saw a wren on our way back to the car, but damn if I could identify it before it flitted off into the bushes. I tried several times to track it down and ended up with no definitive identification.

This trip to Oshawa put my year's total at 98 birds and I realized that bird #100 would soon be seen. What would it be? Could Damon make up a dozen birds and reach 100 before me...

It wasn't until Wednesday that I had another bird sighting. There were reports of a horned grebe on Little Lake in Peterborough and I took a short trip to see if I could find. I thought I saw it on the far side of the lake through the driving, icy rain but wasn't entirely sure, so after work I convinced the kids it would be worth taking another look and we actually found the grebe close to shore where it could be seen plain as day. Bird #99. One more for 100!

The next morning, I casually glanced out my back window (like I do frequently) and saw a new bird. What was eastern phoebe (#100)! I had been expecting to see this bird for a couple weeks and one came to see me instead. I added a common loon (#101) on Saturday to make a total of 8 new bird species this week. 

94 Brown Creeper  4/7/2013 Oshawa Beach, Oshawa, ON
95 Brown-Headed Cowbird 4/7/2013 McGlaughin Wildlife Reserve, Oshawa, ON
96 Northern Shoveler 4/7/2013 McGlaughin Wildlife Reserve, Oshawa, ON
97 Golden-Crowned Kinglet 4/7/2013 McGlaughin Wildlife Reserve, Oshawa, ON
98 Blue Winged Teal 4/7/2013 McGlaughin Wildlife Reserve, Oshawa, ON
99 Horned Grebe 4/10/2013 Beavermead Park, Peterborough, Ontario
100 Eastern Phoebe 4/11/2013 My backyard, Peterborough, Ontario
101 Common Loon 4/13/2013 McGlaughin Wildlife Reserve, Oshawa, ON

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