Got out yesterday afternoon to Van Wagner's Beach - I checked the lift bridge wind reading around noon - NE 19kmh! Good enough for me... Got down to the lake, and it was calm as glass....... WT..heck?
You could clearly see there was a wind "above us" from the NE, but it wasn't until 4pm that we even had ripples... Thankfully something about the weather was "stirring" the Jaegers up, and we had quite a number.. Some birds:
11 Dunlin (out over the lake.. Not the wanted Red Phalaropes)
1 Common Tern (ID made via the good old technique of using field marks that aren't actually field marks)
2 Red-necked Grebes
3 Common Loons
1 Horned Grebe
1 juv. Lesser Black-backed Gull
2 Wood Ducks (floating on the lake, well offshore late in the day)
1 Coopers Hawk
1 American Kestrel
and a healthy smattering of duck (puddle and divers) - along with good #'s of White-winged and Surf Scoters
Jaegers - in 2-ish hours, we had at least 10 different Jaegers... Somewhat in order of occurence:
The first 2 were pretty close, but flew at a funny angle and didn't really show much... I was thinking Pom's, but left them as Poms/Para's since I didn't really have a clue...
We then had numerous distant sightings and a few Parasitic's
Max # was 5 together that were pretty distant
1 adult Parasitic gave chase to some gulls (also quite distant)
1 sub adult and 2 Juvenile Parasitics gave excellent views (scope distance) but in spectacular light...
Then an adult went past at a similar distance
very pale Juvenile PAJA behind the wave tower was definitely a new bird (blondie)
-- then an adult and a dark juvenile went for a cruise around.. These and most of the others were making attempts at "migrating" by climbing up quite high and investigating the idea of leaving the lake for good. Quite a number actually left!
- Then another adult cruised past..
Anyways you get the point.. Lots of Parasitic Jaegers on the move... I know for a FACT that the zodiac is CURSED this year, given that I left it at home (expecting it to be windy), when I could have been out ALL afternoon/evening with the calmer conditions.. A-well... At least we had good looks..
We'll see what happens over the next few days.. I'm digging the weather forecast for the first time in a while.. Not too strong of winds, but it seems to be lining up properly for some good days... Probably do some more serious birding starting Thursday!
Some old PAJA pics, since I don't have any from yesterday to show.....