Birding South Bruce - Feb 28

 I meant to write a post about my excursion in South Bruce last week, but I didn't have manh photos/forgot. Anyway for some lazy content here's the email I sent to the Bruce Birding Club about my day.


Yesterday morning it was warm (5 degrees) and sunny in my area, so I thought I would take a drive down to south Bruce and look for migrants. Long story short, the only “spring migrants” I found were Horned Lark and American Crow, plus two American Robins that might have overwintered. Anyway I thought I’d share some sightings birding excursion with the club. 

   I began in the Kincardine area and worked my way north along the shoreline to Sauble Beach. 

Here were my observations by location. 

-    Kincardine Lagoons and Kincardine HarbourBoth frozen. the lagoons had a few Buffleheads in a piece of open water, but were otherwise birdless. The harbour had nothing besides some Herring Gulls.   

- fields between Kincardine and Tiverton Lots of Horned Larks and American Crows beside the road, so somewhat “springy”. The fields are all snow covered and frozen though, so there wasn’t much around. Snow Buntings and Common Ravens were highlights.    

- Baie Du Dore was the best location of my drive. I first checked the south access point across from the plant. The ice was all out while I was there, so the ducks were easy to see out on the inlet. Here I saw; Hooded Mergansers, American Black Ducks, Tundra Swans, Great Black-backed Gulls and a lone American Coot (plus the normal 50+ Bald Eagles).

Next I checked the north access point (Scott’s Point boatlauch). Bob and Anne-Marie had just found a female King Eider here, which was luckily still around when I got there. Also present were; Ruddy Duck, Greater Scaup and Redhead. 

-    Port Elgin had nothing to note really. All frozen..

-    Sauble River Mouth was ostly frozen, though some Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser and Bufflehead were present.     

Some Ruddy Duck and King Eider pics..

Big Year 2022

As the title of this post indicates, I've made the hard decision to postpone my big year attempt. If you want to know my reasoning, I'll include it below;

For one thing, I got off to a bad start. Due to a family crisis I was in Paris up until early February and only got out to chase 2 birds. There wasn't that much around that I couldn't get now.. but some birds like Slaty-backed Gull, Purple Sandpiper and White-winged Dove that were easy in January are gone now. I could likely get those species agian later in the year, but even missing one isn't good.

Another reason, without a doubt the main one, is Covid. The lockdowns, colour coded "zones" and restrictions aren't exactly ideal for a big year. The "suppression aggression", with birders and homeowners hiding rarities has already cost me a few species and will likely keep on taking. I want to be able to freely travel in the province, say ...  head up to Thunder Bay for a rosy-finch and carpool with some friends. Now, I know a lot of birders are still travelling, and I would probably be fine chasing stuff, but it's hard to be sure. I know people in northern communities are really trying to discourage travellers from southern Ontario, and it just doesn't feel right to me to wander around the province during a pandemic. The upcoming spring months are shrouded in an uncertain light. Will Pelee be open? Will there be another provincal lockdown? Who knows?

The "fun" component was a big motivater when I decided to do a big year and all this isn't my idea of fun.  So, what am I going to do? Well for now I'll plan to postpone until 2022, when the Covid situation will hopefully be better. An added benefit of 2022 is that Ezra Campenelli is also doing a big year, so we should be able to carpool for trips and stuff... plus some competition would be fun.

What are my plans for this year then? I think I'll go back to my original idea of a semi serious self-found Southern Ontario "big year", as well as making some money for 2022. (So, this doesn't go on too long I won't say much on that, but I'll write another post sometime in the near future)

I'll try my best to keep content up here this, so stay tuned!

My 2022 Big Year From a Stats perspective

  I'm going to write several wrap up posts about my big year, I just have so much that I want to talk about! First off I want to talk ab...