Saturday, 27 December 2014
I took the day, yesterday, to drive to Ottawa, then across the river into Gatineau, Quebec on the news that a close cousin of the Black-backed Woodpecker had been seen in the wooded areas of a residential neighbourhood, that borders on a Golf Course. I had missed this bird previously in Alaska and north of Timmins, Ontario. Of course, I had to hope for better luck, as last week I had crossed the border into the US looking for Barnacle and Pink-footed Goose, and had come up with the preverbial Goose Egg. This time, however, after an hour or so of searching, with the help of local birders Ken and Richard, I did find the target bird and notched my 555th bird of the year and species #633 for my ABA Life List, in just a week shy of three obsessive years of being a Birder.
Saturday, 20 December 2014
I returned home from California to discover another misplaced Bunting, in this case, a Painted Bunting that seems to be taking the long way around to its wintering grounds in Florida. # 292 on my Ontario Life List over my 3 years of birding
Painted Bunting visiting a backyard feeder in Oakville, Ontario
I had hoped to finally see a California Condor on this, my second attempt. First was in Pinnacles National Monument in 2012 and this time at Big Sur. However, over the course of four days I did count 103 species, including the Rustic Bunting and 4 other ABA Lifers: Tricolored Blackbird, Cassin's Auklet, Black-vented Shearwater and the Island Scrub Jay on Santa Cruz Island.
The deliciously named Cinnamon Teal
Bathing Common Loon
Brandt's Cormorant and Frined
Snow Geese at the Salton Sea, just a handfull of the thousands present
Anna's Hummingbird, California Towhee and Western Scrub Jay
at the Orcott Ranch Horticultural Park
Common Raven and Island Scrub Jay on Santa Cruz Island
Nuttle's Woodpecker at the Orcott Ranch
Winter Pacific Loon vs Western Gull
Sandhill Cranes at Dusk at the Sulton Sea
Say's Phoebe greeting visitors
White-faced Ibis at the Salton Sea
Thursday, 18 December 2014
It was fortuitous that we were heading to San Diego for the Winter Meetings this year, as way up the coast, a Rustic Bunting appeared in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Rustic Buntings are usually only seen in the furthest northern regions of Alaska, so until I can book a trip to Attu, this was the next best thing.