I had to run up to the office for a few days so I thought I’d try and fit in some after work birding. I checked the sunset time tonight and thought I “might” have enough time to make it down to Col. Sam Smith Park before sunset. This would be my second attempt at finding the long-staying Western Grebe & Harlequin Duck. After fighting the Blue Jays traffic on the 427 (the ball club not the bird) I was at the park by 6:35. Plenty of light left.
First stop was the marina for a quick scan. Duck…duck….grebe! Western Grebe to be more specific! I didn’t have a camera so I had to settle for the iScoped record shot. New Ontario/Canada bird for me. That was easy! Scanned the rest of the birds and headed east.
After scanning the eastern bay, I was picking out a lot of species but not my target duck. Still nice to be out though. A photographer standing on the rock jetty caught my eye. He seemed to be fixated on something. Maybe my target? I made my way over and struck up a conversation. He wasn’t familiar with the species. That’s ok – I wanted to find the duck on my own. I moved the scope to a new spot and had a look. Sitting dead centre was the Harlequin! I love when that happens. I invited the photographer over for a look. I tried in vain to take a record shot but it would only stay on the surface long enough for the camera to focus and he was down. I gave up and just watched it for a while. What a way to cap off the night. Lifer!