Wednesday 26 December 2018

Ontario's Next 25 Birds: Part 2

A few days ago, I wrote part 1 of what I thought the next 25 birds for the Ontario checklists were to be. I will now detail my top 10 picks, and a few honourable mentions!

10. Sooty Shearwater

Common off the Atlantic coast, with records all the way up to the far reaches of Nunavut, this is a record just waiting to happen...for those willing to venture far to get it. There is actually a Short-tailed/Sooty Shearwater from Ontario up in James Bay, which makes me think, once again, that may be your place to see one. Short-tailed and Sooty are hard to separate though, so good photos would be a must.

When: October or November, maybe following a weather event?
Where: Southern James Bay, though possibly Hamilton (Van Wagners)

9. Allen's Hummingbird

Sort of an overdue hummingbird! There are numerous records all over eastern North America. Ohio has had a record, and Pennsylvania just had it's fourth this year.  This species is hard to separate from Rufous Hummingbird, and a high quality photo of the spread tail would be needed to ID it. The species will likely show up when a supposed "Rufous" is banded and the measurements turn out to be a Allen's.

When: October
Where: Somewhere with a hummingbird feeder

8. Hammond's Flycatcher

Several records from New England, Wisconsin just got one. We have Dusky Flycatcher, we have Gray Flycatcher. This just makes sense. It would require a good look and photos to ID. Just be sure to check out all late empids!

When: October or November (December?)
Where: Somewhere is southern Ontario, but maybe banded somewhere in the north...

7. Northern Lapwing

Also a tad surprising. Somewhat annual or bi-annual on the Atlantic coast. Probably some sort of weather system will push it into Ontario. Not much to say about this than make sure to check out fields with some Killdeer running around.

When: April/May and December/January
Where: Random field in southern Ontario, probably near a birding hub if a spring bird. Not sure about James Bay potential, but hey, that is always there

6. Red-necked Stint

Annual on the Atlantic coast, the closest record to Ontario is one in Indiana. This species is very likely just overlooked, although once you know what to look for, they should (maybe) stand out a bit. They have likely been up on the James Bay coastline, but coming from someone who was lucky enough to go up there, it would be very difficult to pick out a rarity due to the conditions and sheer amount of little peeps running around. This species was once on the Ontario list, but was later removed.

When: May or July/August/September
Where: Sewage lagoon in southern Ontario or James Bay

5. White-tailed Kite

We have Mississippi Kite, we have Swallow-tailed Kite, so where is our White-tailed Kite? This species is prone to some vagrancy, with records from Minnesota, Indiana, Wisconsin, and New York to name a few. Will likely be found by some hawkwatchers, or as a surprise bird flying over the heads of unsuspecting birders at the Tip of Point Pelee.

When: May
Where: One of those traditional funnels in Lake Erie

This is a juv, adult more likely?

4. Bar-tailed Godwit

Prone to some vagrancy, with records up and down the Atlantic coast, and some inland records as well. Look for a Hudsonian Godwit with white underwings! While I think this bird could be found down here in southern Ontario, our best bet may to keep scanning the Hudwit flocks up on the James Bay coast.

When: May or July/August
Where: James Bay or a sewage pond in southern Ontario

3. Hepatic Tanager

As crazy as it sounds, I believe Ontario is due for a Hepatic Tanager. There are two records for Northern Michigan, and one for Quebec and Saskatchewan. I have no clue what weather events would effect it, but many birds like to wander. Hard to say for sure how one will be found. Likely either banded (Long Point, Thunder Cape) or coming to a feeder somewhere Here are a couple lovely examples:

It just has that "weird factor"

When: October or November
Where: North shore of Lake Superior most likely, but somewhere on Lake Erie would make sense

2. Glaucous-winged Gull

With records from New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, Newfoundland, Illinois and Wisconsin, it is only a matter of time before one is detected here. There may be an observer bias, as I know many people don't like to tackle those messy Larus subadults. Hybrids would also have to be taken into consideration. I can find four records of Glacous-winged/Herring Gull hybrids in Ontario. Nevertheless, keep and eye out at your local landfill!

When: November-April, Michigan bird was in May
Where: Anywhere in the Great Lakes region (emphasis on Niagara and Toronto region), Eastern Ontario, northern Ontario someplace (Sault Ste. Marie? Thunder Bay?) and of course, the good ol' James Bay potential

1. Clark's Grebe

My pick for the most overdue bird is Clark's Grebe. Sure, there are limited records for eastern North America, but just look at this bird. Just on the wrong side of the border. It was very likely in Ontario at some point! In addition, I can find about 10 records of Aechmophorus sp. (Western Grebe/Clark's Grebe) from Ontario, meaning they weren't identified to species. These two species can be hard to separate without good enough looks, and hybridization exists. Just west of Ontario, in Manitoba, this species becomes much more common.

When: Late February/March in southern Ontario, May to early June in northwest
Where: Lake Ontario, maybe Huron. Later in the spring, Rainy River and Kenora districts, likely in a sewage lagoon or marsh.

Some birds I had on my "shortlist" but decided to cut include Boat-tailed Grackle, Yellow-legged Gull, Western Gull, South Polar Skua, Temminck's Stint, Bronzed Cowbird, Short-tailed Hawk, Lesser Frigatebird, Arctic Loon, Pacific Golden-Plover, Acorn Woodpecker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Baikal Teal, Common Pochard, Masked Duck, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Black-whiskered Vireo, Eurasian Skylark, and Eastern Yellow Wagtail. A few may be pushing what may be reality, but hey, Slender-billed Curlew is on the Ontario list.

This is birding of course, and there is no way to accurately predict anything. Maybe I'll get some right, maybe I won't. It seems just as likely that a Terek Sandpiper or Wood Sandpiper will show up before my number one pick!

Anyways, that was my take on the whole thing. It certainly opened my eyes to what we need to be looking for!

 Note: all photos from the Wiki Commons

No comments:

Post a Comment