Saturday, February 9, 2019
Yesterday while I was at work, I had checked my email at the end of the day and read an amazing bird sighting posted to the local wepbirds google group: Common Redpolls in Essex County ! Again this sighting was posted by local birding phenom Jeremy Hatt.
This morning (saturday) I went to the area that they were being seen (Couture Rd and Concession 9) and didn't see anything other than a Fox! But then, an hour after I left, Donnie M reposted to Wepbirds that he had found the flock again today.
It took a while - but after being very patient for perhaps 30 mins to an hour - Karen, Rick and Donnie pointed out distant flocks of winter finches --- Perhaps 60-80 birds. At one point, the flock landed in a large (oak?) tree next to the road. Much to my chagrin, many of my photos were unacceptably out of focus. This flock did not provide very nice views for photography --- but I was still delighted to see them.
Common Redpolls are one of my favorite winter finches. From my experience as a birder - I must say that they have been very rare in Essex County. In fact, there was only one other time in the last 10 years that I've seen a common redpoll in Essex, and it was one that I had found at Point Pelee many years ago.
Here's hoping that we see more of these red-headed winter finche beauties before the winter is over.
Saturday, February 2, 2019
After this week's "polar vortex" of -25C weather - it was nice to go outside today in balmy +4C + sunny weather. My first target was Long tailed Ducks that were seen by many along the Detroit River. It was nice to see a Pied-billed Grebe along with some Golden-eye, merganser and Canvasback ducks.
Then at Ojibway Park - just a few minutes from that spot several nice birds were seen. In particular - it was nice to see Fox Sparrow, a male and female Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse and to my absolute amazement - Kit M. had found a Saw Whet Owl!
I am tempted to go up to Guelph to try my luck for the Bohemian Waxwings... That would be a long sought after life bird!
Bonus story : Last week I was driving in Windsor on Dougal Ave and I noticed a raptor flying very agressively while I was waiting at a light. I soon drove by a hotel parking lot and noticed a raptor with a pigeon as prey. I pulled into the parking lot and was able to capture a few cell-phone photos as I flushed the bird. To my surprise --- it was a Peregrine Falcon!