I managed to get my Dad out birding yesterday! - actually wait, he managed to get me out! I'm not going to lie, I'm still not feeling the motivation to really get out and bird... Maybe I'll post more about that soon...... Or maybe not...... Anyways here's what we saw:
Port Burwell: (yes I was at PB again...) Dad had to go to Tillsonburg, so we continued onwards..
At the public beach: smattering of gulls -- highlight was a 3rd ba Herring X Lesser Black-backed Gull .... This is the FOURTH hybrid gull I've found in 20 days (2 HEGU X GBBG and 2 LBBG X HEGU)... You know what the rarest gull I've found at Niagara River over the past 10 years is? California Gull... No Mew, Slaty-backed, no ivory, no ross's, no black-headed, no laughing, no franklin's... I'm not sure if I've ever found a Kittiwake there.. You know how many hybrids I've found? 40? 50? ..... enough hybrids! Oh, and a Semi-plover was nearby..
Anyways.. then we walked most of the provincial park through the woods/road... Into the dunes... flushed a bunch of Song and Field Sparrows from the dunes... Checked the beach..... Long story short: LOTS of birds... Man did it ever feel like a rarity, but we couldn't find anything even remotely uncommon.....
Then we hit up Port Stanley (again) ... No sign of my dark-mantled freako-gull.... No hybrids, but there was a 3rd/4th basic Lesser Black-backed Gull with a darker (than average) mantle and pink legs... 3 Dunlin were there as well (1 that I photographed with the "good" camera gear... but will probably edit the photos sometime in 2013 or 2014)... here's one with my point and shoot:
Sounds pretty boring eh? Hard to explain how we could look at superb numbers of birds in great habitat and not even see something uncommon - but that's the way it has been in Ontario for a few weeks now... We're just waiting for our turn on something epic to arrive (Prairie Falcon in OH)... We ran into the Norfolk Naturalist at Port Burwell who echoed our feelings on the lack of unusual birds to be seen...... (He had also had the LBBGxHEGU days earlier)...
On a different note, yesterday was probably the best day of 2012 for Netitishi point on James Bay (better than any future day too, is my guess)... It kind of snuck up on me, as they never really called for winds this storng, and it hit on a Monday, so I didn't even bother to make plans to travel up there (last train for the week is Friday, next is late Monday)....
Here's some wind readings from yesterday at the Moosonee Airport (10km inland!)
7am - NE 13 gust 32
10am - NNE 18 gust 28
1pm - N 24 gust 46
2pm - N 24 gust 41
3pm - N 28 gust 42
4pm - N 28 gust 39
5pm - N 22 gust 48
6pm - NNW 26 gust 39
Anyways you get the point! Some very rare birds flew past that spot yesterday........ Given that those measurements are from an inland station, I would guess that it was at least 40 Gusting to 60 (or 70)kmh at the coast.... damn.... The wind forecasts was saying 15-20knots leading up to it, and only switched to 15 to 25 knots the day of the event... 15 knots doesn't really do 70kmh N wind gusts justice.....