Saturday, January 26, 2019

Highlights from 2018

2018 represented my 9th year of birding and blogging and as per tradition - I have attempted to summarize some highlights from each year of birding that I partook in. This year - 2019 would be the start of my 10th year of birding and blogging!

As I write this posting in January of 2019 - I am trying to think back at the previous year and came up with the bulleted list below. It seems that as each year of birding and natural history appreciation goes by - my tastes/interests/priorities continually evolve.

One example is that I'm less concerned about listing, and perhaps "competitive birding". I think trying to be in the top 10 (or maybe even top 100) in my county or province is just another source of stress in life. My mediocre talent levels, time prioritization and current career efforts hold me back from being competitive. There is nothing wrong with being competitive but its not really in my realm at present. Perhaps when I retire? Carbon footprint is another thing that weighs on my mind. For example - I was thinking a few weeks ago to drive to Cambridge to see a flock of Pine Grosbeaks. But - the time and fuel expense held me back from going. I might have gone if Grosebeaks were a lifer though...

Travelling and seeing the beauty of Ontario and Canada (and North America - US & Mexico) seem to be of greater interest for me. Bringing my wife and two boys to share the experiences would also be a huge bonus - but requires compromise on how involved birding and naturalizing can be. Botany, Mothing continue to peak my interest and offer lots of new discovery potential.

Ohio - Shawnee State Park
Ohio - Kitty Todd Nature Preserve
Long Point
Turkey Point
Niagara Falls

This year wasn't a terribly exciting year for birding highlights but looking back - there were some nice sightings.

Bird Highlights:

  • Townsends Solitaire (Point Pelee - Found by Kory R.)
  • Lawrences Warbler (Self - Found!!!  hybrid lifer)
  • Purple Galinule (Fox Creek Kingsville - found by Brad Oullette) 
  • Cerulean & Yellow throated Warblers at Ojibway (Found by Brad Hamel)
  • Hooded Warblers within the Ojibway Park Complex in Windsor (Found by: Blake Mann)
  • Great Kiskadee (lifer)
  • Brant (lifer) (Jack Miners in Kingville - Found by Rick Mayos)
  • Cape May Warbler in the Burr Oak in the hedgerow behind my back yard.
  • Northern Mockingbird perched briefly on my back fence.
  • Finding a Hudsonian Godwit at Hillman Marsh

Butterfly / Moth Highlights:
Orange Falcate (lifer)
Sleepy Duskywing  (lifer)
Dion Skipper (lifer)
Mulberry Winged Skipper (lifer)
Horaces Duskywing
Nessus Sphinx
Sad Underwing
10 + Underwing Species


  • Winged Sumac (Ohio)
  • Tall green Milkweed (Ohio)
  • Lyre leaved Rock-Cress (Lambton Shores - Pinery PP )\
  • Whorled Loosestrife
  • Prairie Loosestrive
  • Great plains ladies tresses (ID'ed through Inaturalist!)

Goals for this year:
More ambitious travel
Scissor Tailed Flycatcher
More botany

Thanks for reading my blog! All the best for 2019!

Good birding!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Slaty Surprise

I'm a passionate birder but ----I'm not a gull aficionado - (AKA Laurophile). I was telling a few birding friends lately that I almost find it difficult to scan through large groups of gulls. Perhaps in retirement when I don't have so many commitments - I will come to enjoy scanning through gulls.

With that said - local birding phenom Jeremy H was birding near the Essex County Dump and found a nice variety of gulls - including this mega rare eurasian species - the Slaty-backed Gull.

I  had gone yesterday after work at 4pm to see it and dipped on it. A small flock group of birders had been there scanning the field. They did have a white-winged gull - Glaucous perhaps that I took a poor photo of.

Tonight - I figured I would try my luck after work - heading out again at 4pm and this time I had found it quite easily! Its slaty back is not as dark as a black-backed gull. The bird also has pink legs, white eyes and in flight - distinct "string of pearls" field marks in its primary wingtips. Its a life bird at #411 !

Comparison with Greater black backed Gull

String of Pearls flight shot

Good birding!

Lifer Species 411:

Lifer Summary (Last 10) -
400- Gray Jay
401- Spruce Grouse
402- Ruffed Grouse
403- Pine Grosebeak
404- Northern Gannet
405- Common Eider
406- Razorbill
407- Black Gullimot
408- Nelson's Sparrow
409 - Great Kiskadee (New for 2018!)
410 - Brant (New for 2018!)
411 - Slaty Backed Gull (Jan 2019)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...