Thursday, October 27, 2016

A little more rarity weather a'brewin'?

Nothing SPEC-tacular, but at least two more low pressure systems packin SW winds and a general lack of precipitous on route.

Saturday morning:

850mb winds, pushing from Texas to ON

Tuesday morning:

A lack of rain in the southern Great Lakes... 

Yet some ballin' SW winds (and a high-vorticity-ish dryline of sorts?) 

Neither event should be particularly long-lived, which may not be 100% ideal - but the formula is there... 

Question is - what will show up? Is it getting a bit late? It's not quite Cave Swallow weather, but maybe it's close enough??? Maybe we'll get more Cattle Egrets??? Will Cattle Egrets continue to move north, so long as the temps are >15C??? What if we get another western-goose-invasion??? Will it be Ross's Geese this time??? Snow Geese??? Where does one go to "find" rare passerines in this weather??? 

Stay tuned... 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

White-breasted Nuthatch movement

Have been seeing White-breasted Nuthatches EVERYWHERE recently...

Not expected... (including places like Point Pelee - where I saw 5 at the tip TOGETHER recently)

Didn't bother to do  a quick search of eBird, but I assume one would  fimd several other "new" or "high count" style records - wherever they aren't expected - in the last month or so....

(insert your ebird checklists you found here)


So - keep your eyes peeled for WBNU!! Perhaps this is a good time to look for other unlikely-irruptive species too? (Who knows?)

Rare bird weather is slowing down a bit (see the previous post before the titmouse post) --- sooner or later a dynamite bird is going to be found somewhere OTHER than Chippewa County in the UP of Michigan...

Will it be you?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Titmouse Movement

Had a Titmouse in the yard today...

Not expected...

Did a quick search of eBird, and found several other "new" records - somewhat north of their normal range - in the last week or so....


There have also been several recent records at places where they aren't normally around -


Long Point (Old Cut):

Holiday Beach:


So - keep your eyes peeled for titmice!! Perhaps this is a good time to look for Carolina Chickadees too? (Who knows?)

Rare bird weather is full-steam-ahead (see previous post) --- sooner or later a dynamite bird is going to be found. Will it be you?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Gearing up for some October rare-birding

I wasted considerable time watching the track of Hurricane Matthew - waiting and waiting to see if Ontario, Quebec or Atlantic Canada was going to reap the bird-benefits that can be associated with destructive tropical weather systems to our south...

Needless to say - it didn't happen... (Which isn't entirely true, as a lot of energy from Matthew pulled into Newfoundland yesterday --- but I don't think anyone was out looking??)

Anyhoots -

Here's a very rough breakdown on some upcoming weather - that I think could make for some darn entertaining vagrant/rarity hunting style birding in the southern Great Lakes (or enjoyable birding in general - but this isn't a "fallout forecast") Some general thoughts:

- the persistent high pressure we've had in our region is finally sliding southwards - perhaps due to little more than normal climate/climatology

- as it slips south, we will be getting southerly flow and warm temperatures into our area from both receding high pressure centres and advancing low pressure systems (that are scooting NNE - unlike the usual NE or ENE)

- the pacific jet is burning up right now, pushing energy onto the continent

- some of that energy is related to ex-typhoons (maybe even the MJO a little?) - so we'll get some potent weather and lower pressures for the next little while....

So what's the weather breakdown?? -

Rapid fire:

Tomorrow (Weds) - SW flow aloft in advance of the front. Warm. 

Thursday: Front passing the great lakes. Strong NNW winds and clearing skies (hawks, diurnal migration!) 


Friday - calm, but note Hurricane Nicole and a powerful chain of low's coming ashore from the pacific

Saturday - SW flow starting over the great lakes. Note the two low's mid-continent from the energy that arrived on Saturday. Hurricane Nicole still visible (leaving) ... Low "Bombing" out on the west coast

Sunday - continental lows zipping north - leaving DRY SW flow into the southern great lakes

Monday - fairly calm, but SW flow STILL reaching the S. Great Lakes after the earlier "mid-continental" lows zip off the screen... Energy from the pacific bomb is now consolidating east of the rockies...

Tuesday - energy has pulled into one low... Only shows 1000mb on this map, but it's also 7 days out... GFS has been hinting at a ~980-985mb monster approaching the great lakes...

Wednesday - after semi-bombing-out on the GFS, the low is really wrapping around and bringing Franklin's-Gull-ish winds whipping out of the W... Could be grand Fort Erie lakewatching winds too!

So yeah... Could be great weather for those who like to get out and find something unexpected! Or perhaps will provide some sort of rarity to chase once it's found on that December 17th CBC in your area!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Along came a Sucker

A quick check of Van Wagner's Beach during our recent run of east winds yielded - what I thought was - my new favourite fish species (family!) a Redhorse!!

Check it out!

Hindsight is 20/20 - and I think I should also have photographed the pelvic fin??? But this is all we get!

Then, based on my barely-intensive internet searching - I'm started to wonder why this isn't just a White Sucker or some other sucker species... 

Which leads me to one question... Are there any good Fish ID resources for Ontario?? Any good books I should pick up in my new-found-quest for fish? I'm somewhat surprised at how difficult it was to find a basic "What fish are found in Lake Ontario" checklist online... Perhaps they're all swamped out by sport fishermen looking for trout...