Tuesday, March 25, 2014

400 "self found" in Ontario?!

Someone had a blog post several weeks ago that joked at the idea of "self finding" 400 birds in Ontario (no twitching!) Which (as you can imagine) got me thinking...

I'm currently at 345 "self found" species for the province... And I know that everyone has slightly (or dramatically) different opinions on what exactly a "self found" bird is... I typically follow the punkbirder rules:


So with that, I wanted to break down some species that are NOT on my self found list, that may (someday) pile up to the point of reaching 400 "self found" species for the province... Some examples:


Willow Ptarmigan
Yellow Rail
Gray Partridge
Northern Bobwhite
Smith's Longspur
Boreal Owl

The Bobwhite is a tough one... I have no quarrels with counting an "established population" as self found, if it's the only place you could possibly see/count it in the province. It's a gray area. I wouldn't count Gray Partridge at the Brantford Airport (a specific twitch to a small area) - but Bobwhite would take enough effort wandering around Walpole Island to actually "find".

New "SF" list - 351... Next up:

Fairly Easy -

Piping Plover
Western Kingbird
Townsend's Solitaire
Lark Sparrow
Little Blue Heron
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Slaty-backed Gull
White-winged Dove
Northern Wheatear
Northern Fulmar

If I bird long enough in the province (an "if"), I fully expect to unexpectedly cross paths with all of those beauties someday... Some of these (like the fulmar) are location specific (Netitishi) which bump them to this category.

New "SF" list - 361.... Next up -

Bonafide Rares!!!

Curlew Sandpiper
Black-necked Stilt
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Tricoloured Heron
Great Cormorant
Painted Bunting
Mountain Bluebird
Lark Bunting
Spotted Towhee
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Swallow-tailed Kite
White-faced Ibis
Say's Phoebe
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Purple Gallinule
Ivory Gull
Cinnamon Teal
Bell's Vireo
Ash-throated Flycatcher

One could easily go multiple lifetimes without finding some of these species (in Ontario) - but I do think there's a pretty solid chance of nailing many of them. All it takes is time (and insanity) and you could pull it off... Some of these species are tailored to my birding locations/style, and may be different on your own list...

New "SF" List - 381... This is getting rough... Next up:


Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Black-capped Petrel
Sooty Tern
Thick-billed Murre

I love storm birding, and I watch the "big ones" come from a long ways out... These are some "classic" species that I may have a bit of an advantage to 'self find' some day...

SF List - 386... Getting reallly rough... Next up:

10 totally random uber-rares:

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Ancient Murrelet
Cassin's Sparrow
Bewick's Wren
Swainson's Warbler
Sage Thrasher
Manx Shearwater
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Magnificent Frigatebird

Ok that's 396... This is NUTS! At least some could give you some help (eg, BB Whistling Duck or Fulvous), Or Frigatebird Sp....

All I need is four more... How about:

Wilson's Plover
Least Tern
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Yellow-billed Loon....

There you have it... All I need to do is find ALL of those species and I'd have it! Nuts... Not really a goal one could have in mind I think... Other than just birding for fun and seeing what happens. (It's a lifetime goal)... If I were to come close, I would guess that I'd get maybe ~40 of the species listed here, and at least 15ish species not even covered here...

Anyways, just some fun!


  1. That was my post about 2 months ago! Don't forget all those first provincial records you seem to have a knack for finding...