Phalaropes and Redpolls



        On November 5th, I went on the Owen Sound Field Naturalists annual 'Around The Bay' hike lead by Fred Jazvac. Although we didn't see many of our main target birds (diving ducks), it was a great day of birding. We had pretty good looks at some Long-tailed Ducks and Common Goldeneyes. 
-Long-tailed Duck

   One of the big highlights of the day was a flock of 48 Greater White-fronted Geese at Hibou Conservation area by Owen Sound. These geese have showed up at this spot for 5 years in a row, in a flock ranging in size fom 40-80 individuals.
- Greater White-fronted Geese

- Greater White-fronted Geese

   The bird of the day was without a doubt, a Red Phalarope that myself and Alfred Raab found. While everyone else from the group was eating lunch, Alfred and I decided to check a large group of gulls and geese. These birds were along the shoreline behind the park we were eating at. As we were scanning the gulls, a small whitish bird floating around in a boatlaunch caught my eye.... I got my binoculars on it and found myself looking at a Red Phalarope! This bird was very cooperative, swimming right along the shoreline and giving everyone in the group excellent views. Ironically, I saw my first Red Phalarope on this same outing last year!😂

- Red Phalarope

- Red Phalarope
- Red Phalarope

   As I said in my last post, this is a great season for seeing northern finches in southern Ontario. On my recent hikes around a wetland in my neighbourhood, I have found 2 pretty good birds. One of these birds was a lifer for me, a Hoary Redpoll😁. This small finch was mixed in with a large flock of Common Redpolls and stood out because it was bright white in comparsion to the commons. Hoary Redpolls are fairly rare and can be quite complicated to identify.
- Hoary Redpoll

- Hoary Redpoll

   The other exciting find was a flock of 14 Pine Grosbeaks including 2 males that gave me awesome views👌. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me for that, but hopefully I will get another chance to photograph these magnificent finches this year.


   From phalaropes to redpolls, there is always something to see in the world of birding.
Keep your bins handy, as you never know what might be around the next bend😉




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