|Horrible iScoped Red Phalarope|
249 - Sedge Wren at Point Pelee. Sarah and I just ran out for a quick walk down to the tip before the sun set and the park closed. On the way back to the car, with only a few minutes left to get to the car and get out before closing, a small bird scurried in front of us. I thought, hmm.. Winter Wren? No, something didn't feel right about it. I kept looking even though I could see the park staff waiting for us as well as a few other stragglers so they could close the park. It popped up for a few seconds and I got great looks within 3 feet. I knew right away what I was looking at. Steve Pike had seen a Sedge Wren earlier in the week so I had been studying the picture and behaviour. It didn't call but I didn't need it to. Lifer! Unfortunately no pics because I knew the park staff was getting anxious for us to leave.
250 "The Goal" - Red-throated Loon at Point Pelee. I was lucky enough to share my 250th with Jeremy Hatt and Marianne Reid-Balkwill. Marianne and Jeremy spotted it first but I got on it in flight quickly. They had already called out what it was but I couldn't count it yet. I've mentioned it before, but I have a strict rule for myself. I have to be able to ID it myself. If someone calls out a bird, I have to confidently figure out why it is what they say it is. I studied this bird and could clearly make out a lot of differences between it and a Common Loon. I can count it! Thanks Marianne & Jeremy!! I could feel the pressure I've put on myself easing. I was getting too caught up in hitting that number instead of just enjoying birding. What a great feeling. A new life bird as well!!
Not stopping there...
251 - Evening Grosbeak at Days Inn/Sturgeon Creek - Not a life bird but a great bird for Essex County. Too bad it was just a flyover! Sarah and I have watched these birds at the Algonquin Visitor Centre but it was nice to have them in our area. Now, I just need to add this bird to my yard list...
252 - Cattle Egret at Point Pelee at A great bird to add to my year and Pelee list. This storm driven, wet and tired bird was hanging out behind the Visitor Centre. Thanks to Sarah Rupert for the heads up on this bird!
|Yes - That's a Red-necked Grebe|
254 - Snow Bunting at Sturgeon Creek - This bird eluded me all last winter. I couldn't find one while others were getting bored of seeing them! Again, big thanks to Sarah for the heads up about this bird and for Jeremy confirming he also saw it. I couldn't believe I was actually twitching a Snow Bunting but I wasn't going to let this one get away.
and where I sit today...
255 - Golden Eagle at Holiday Beach - I predicted this bird would be my 250th bird but 255th isn't half bad! I got to see 10 of these amazing eagles that day on the tower. If you haven't been to the tower, you should check it out because you never know what's going to fly over.
Even though I've hit my goal, I'm not giving up yet. I still need a few fairly common geese (Snow, White-fronted, Cackling), Kittiwake, Cave Swallow (please stick around for 1 more week), Northern Goshawk and a few others. Let me know if you come across these!
On a side note - Huge congrats to Josh Vandermeulen - He's doing a true Big Year and he recently set a new Ontario Big Year record!