Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Early December Birding

Lapland Longspurs among flocks of Horned Larks
The month of November was a crappy month for me. Just so many negative things happened... I'm just happy its over. This past Friday was my birthday, and I celebrated that evening by writing a three hour exam... I couldn't even drink after as I was antibiotics!  I feel like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders though, and I'm not taking night courses for this next semester (a well deserved break is needed). Birding has been meager although I am going out on occasion, usually chasing reported rarities instead of finding them myself.

In late November, I was driving along one of my favorite roads to bird in Essex, Concession 6 and noted many Horned Larks. I was scoping them at one point, looking for Snow Buntings but instead found a few Lapland Longspurs in the mix! This area is usually productive for Rough legged Hawks, but I only saw a few Red-tailed hawks instead.

Jeremy Bensette had given me great details on the location of a pair of Snowy Owls (found earlier by Alan Wormington) in the Point Pelee Onion Fields. It was cool to see two in the same field, although they were quite distant. Back in December 2011, when the Great Grey Owl visited Kingsville, I had actually found my first self-found Snowy Owl. I have video of that amazing bird here.

Sexually dimorphic pair of American Kestrels
While going to see the Snowy Owls, I noticed an American Kestrel on a telephone wire along the Leamington Soccer fields. This shy little bird gave decent looks and at one point, was joined by a female Kestrel. Sadly, my exposure dial on my camera was at like -2 and I had to brighten up this underexposed photo. Still, pretty cool to see a male and female Kestrel shoulder to shoulder!

I went out to Ojibway area this week to see if I could find a Northern Shrike. One overwintered last winter (see photo from Feb 2013 below), and hopefully one will overwinter again this winter!

Northern Shrike  - Amazing winter bird !!!
Looking forward to birding more and blogging more as well now that my night-school exams are over. I plan on partaking in a few CBC's over the next few weeks. The days will start getting longer in about 9 or so days!

Good birding!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post Dwayne! I love the Kestrel shots! Sadly, I just picked a Kestrel victim off the road a few weeks ago. It is with a local taxidermist who will try to recreate the look of life it had to be enjoyed in my rec room. A very pretty bird. Glad to hear your spirits are up!



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