Friday 17 November 2017

Townsend's Take Two

This afternoon, I went back down to Rondeau hoping for a second chance at the long-staying (for a warbler) Townsend's Warbler. It had been seen in the morning, and our ETA was a couple hours earlier than when I went on Tuesday, so going into the twitch I was feeling pretty good.

When we arrived, we were met by silence, so we set up shop at the corner of Second and Centre street, where the bird has been most reliable. Two Snow Geese in the company of Canada Geese flew over just above the tree line...too fast for photos!

After about half an hour, the chickadees and kinglets started making a commotion, so we knew that if the rare warbler was going to show up, it would be with the group of common songbirds.

After about 10 minutes of searching through the flock, I happened to look up and see a small songbird fly into a Juniper Tree. I got my bins on it, and imagine my surprise when I saw it was the Townsend's Warbler! I quickly called over the other birders, and almost all of us got decent looks at the bird, or at least enough to confirm the identification.

Photos, well, to say the least didn't work out. Auto-focus tends to hate me when it comes to rare birds, and this time it was no different.

Within 30 seconds the bird was gone. I relocated it 5 minutes later, but only saw it for about 3 good photo ops for me today!

Basically, I devoted my entire week to trying to find this bird, and I saw it for 33 seconds total...

The bird appears to be very healthy, and will no doubt be around longer. Is it too early to start thinking about the Christmas Bird Count?

Other bird life in the area included many finches, including siskin and Purple. A group of Cedar Waxwings was present as well. A first of season Brown Creeper was seen briefly.

Cedar Waxwings

I checked the beach, but I could only find a few Canada Geese and a Bald Eagle. No Ross's today!

I was thinking that maybe the geese went to the bay, so I checked it out just before we left. No geese, but plenty of ducks. The majority were American Wigeon and Redhead, but I also found small  numbers of Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, and Canvasback.

Wigeon and Redhead

Ring-necked Duck

I left very happy that I was able to find the bird, even if I couldn't get any decent photos! A lifer is worth a thousand pictures!


  1. Yippeeeee! Congratulations, Quinten! I am so happy for you! 👏

  2. That was a relief, I am sure! I was worried that you would miss it again.

    1. It sure was! It was cool to be able to "find" it added bonus!

  3. Quinten, great you found the Townsend's!

  4. I knew you'd get it ;)
    Now you have to worry about the Mountain Bluebird...