Wednesday 14 October 2020

Thanksgiving Birding

I have managed to get out pretty much daily for the last few days. It seems the continuing trend is that I don't take many photos, but I think I have enough to pump out a blog post!

On Friday I went down to south London, in hopes of coming seeing the reported American Golden-plover, a species that has managed to evade me in Middlesex county. I struck out, but did see a variety of other shorebirds.

Stilt Sandpiper

Killdeer and Black-bellied Plover


There was also a number of Cackling Geese present, with all the Canadas. A Snow Goose had been seen up until the day prior as well.


The next day I started off birding the Uplands North Wetland, one of my favourite, and often most productive local spots. So far this year, birders have tallied 130 species there, myself having seen almost 120. I didn't add anything new to the list, but I did have some decent success, including five species of ducks. Despite having seen 15 species of ducks here, I rarely see more than two or three on any given outing!

Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal

Great Blue Heron

I had scarcely gotten home and sat down when I got a call from Bill Lindley that he had seen a Hudsonian Godwit at Fanshawe Conservation Area! I was off again! Unfortunately upon my arrival, he had lost it, and despite spending almost five hours looking, it never reappeared. He had also found three Long-billed Dowitchers, which I saw. After he left, I found a Stilt Sandpiper, its getting late, and a good bird for Middlesex regardless.

The next day I was back at Fanshawe for a few hours hoping the godwit would appear again, but no luck. The dowitchers were still there however.

The next morning I was back at Fanshawe first thing, with plans of doing a stationary count at the lookout over the lake. I  didn't see much in the way of active migration, but I did have a couple of nice birds including Cackling Geese and Peregrine Falcons. The best birds were a pair of Trumpeter Swans, which didn't stick around unfortunately, but I called Bill who was able to get on them. Unbeknownst to me, he had been doing a stationary count from a different vantage point, and he looked up after my call and saw them go over! 

The next morning I was there at Fanshawe again, with the same plan. Other than some Eastern Bluebirds, another Cackling Goose, and my first Hermit Thrushes of the fall, there wasn't really anything to write home about. Hopefully as the fall progresses we will be able to see some cool stuff on the reservoir. 

Late that day I went back to south London, and this time was successful in seeing the golden-plover. 

Digiscoped plover

It just so happened to be my 199th species I have seen this year in Middlesex, with relatively very little effort (I had no intentions of year listing!). It had been an exceptional year for birding in the county. Bill smashed his own big year record of 225, and he is currently sitting at 233!

Lovely time of year! 

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