Wednesday, September 26, 2012

50 days of rare: Day 1 breakdown

Yesterday was the start of it all! I had every intention of doing a marathon visit to Port Burwell/Stanley in strong SW winds... Didn't happen, because I decided to wait around home that morning to see if the Spotted Redshank was re found.... It wasn't refound, and I didn't start birding until noon...

Decided to do a poor-mans SW wind birding day, with the Niagara River on tap...

First stop:  Queenston docks:

A handful of Cormorants, a few Turkey Vultures (no Blacks, not that they would count anyways, but nice to see!), a few Bonaparte's and surprising numbers of juv Common Terns...

Adam Beck: not much at all! (not surprising, but figured I'd stop since I was already there)

Above/below the falls:

Below: - lots of gulls and corms below the falls, but nothing of note... They're still running the boats (when does that stop?) which would probably scare off any cool ducks anyways...

Control Gates: 1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.. Again, good numbers of birds..

Above the falls: lots of birds to be seen! Had Wigeon, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Pintail, C Mergies, A Coot, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Great Egret...

I ended up spending over an hour studying some (probable) American Black Ducks, maybe they had some Mallard genes in them (nothing obvious though like curly tail feathers or green heads), but they seemed funny and had obvious white above and below the speculum.... Makes Mottled Duck ID seem very confusing to me... Anyways, it was fun, but not rarity-productive..

Best birds here was another adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and a "Juvenile/1st basic" Lesser Black-backed Gull.... It looked like it had begun molting in some 1st ba feathers on the mantle, but it wasn't close enough to be 100% postive.. Couldnt turn it into a Yellow-legged Gull - even though it was really nice and frosty.....

My real goal was to reach Fort Erie on the SW winds and see what was milling about, but instead I went home to grab a friend from the train station to drink beer and throw darts.. Not exactly "Mega Rare or Die Trying" - but hey, I'm just getting warmed up...


  1. So I guess I should ask, anyone beat Lesser Black-backed Gull on day 1 ??? ;)

  2. American Golden-Plover at Turkey Point is my highlight. Lesser Black-backed still takes it but it's best we start off slow...

  3. I can't wait for someone to find a Brown Pelican or Frigatebird so we can claim it's "probably" not an original find.

    1. that's what the punkbirder self found rules are for! ;)

      (I reccomend checking out the examples too):

      At this point, the BRPE and MAFR would count as re finds... Although it would feel funny if someone refound the Kelp Gull at Wheatley Harbour... (Kelp Gull re-found outside of Wheatley feels good to me though!)

  4. Connecticut Warbler at Hillman Marsh beat your Lesser Black-backed? Maybe a tie? You also the ref or is it by committee? And I barely have time to bird let alone blog about it, but if I find a mega in the next 50 days you'll know it.

    1. I'd say CONW is better (by a fair bit), no offence.

    2. I'd agree that CONW takes the day 1 challenge... I've already written the day 2 post (will upload tomorrow on its own)....

      But I've also received a bunch of emails on the subject! SO, I'll have to sit down tomorrow night and figure this whole thing out (going to bed now)...

  5. How about Lesser Black-backed Gull in Nipissing County? First county record. pretty nice eh? And we had two of them.
    Or Nelson's Sparrow in Parry Sound? Fourth county record?


    1. haha see above --- I haven't done day 2 yet (tmrw morning).. Although I'd say a CONW is a better find than Lesser Black-backed Gull, even if it IS a 1st county record ;)

      Again -will reply to all (hopefully) tomorrow!


  6. I can take the part as referee. if you guys wish? Seeing as there may need to be one for this friendly competition.


  7. Or perhaps we could have a poll at the end over what was the rarest bird? And the public can decide :P

  8. What happens when none of us find anything truly rare?

    Thus far all Ive managed are a couple Am. Golden Plovers, some Cackling Geese, a RN Phalarope, and the first fall record for Clay-colored Sparrow at Tiscornia. aka, nothing that got the heart-rate up.