Saturday 28 November 2020

A Good Week of Birding

 This past week has been quite good for birding here in Middlesex County. Although the pretty much non-stop action of late October and early November has slowed down, still plenty to be seen.

The week started off with a bang. Late Sunday evening, I saw a Summer Tanager posted to iNaturalist from London. I was able to get in contact with the homeowner, and arrange for myself and Bill Lindley to go see it the next day. So on Monday morning, Bill and I staked out the feeder. It had been seen five minutes before we got there, but was a no show for the next three hours we stood there. We decided to go home to warm up, then come back a couple hours later. Not 20 minutes after being home, I got a call from the homeowner that said the bird was back! About 25 minutes later, we were on it!

 Certainly makes up for missing all the ones in the spring!

Later that night, a White-winged Dove was reported in Lambton, about 500 meters from the Middlesex county line. Bill and I made plans to head out and try to see if we could find it within the county the next day.

On Tuesday afternoon, we went out, but were ultimately unsuccessful in finding the dove. Since we were nearby, we opted to head down to Newbury. Although there were no Golden Eagles to be seen, we did end up having some great birding along Argyll Drive, highlighted by a couple White-crowned Sparrows, a Northern Shrike, and nearly 300 Common Redpolls.

Wednesday was a washout (literally), and Thursday wasn't much better. I just did some local birding. One thing that has been pretty good is the duck diversity in the neighbourhood. This week I have had the usual Mallards, as well as American Black Ducks (and a hybrid), American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Hooded Merganser, and Green-winged Teal. 

On Friday, Bill and I were out again, looking for Hoary Redpolls and Pine Grosbeaks. 

We drove through the Strathroy area, and ended up finding a couple Snowy Owls, the first of the season. This is the first time I have seen this species in November.

Our first stop was Argyll Drive in Newbury. It was not quite as birdy as it was on Tuesday, but we did see a pair of Common Ravens, quite the oddity.

Next up, we tried going up Oilfield Drive. It was pretty quiet at first, but we pulled over at one point after seeing a couple sparrows flitting around the bushes. As we were stopped a single redpoll flew over, not really unexpected anymore. I pointed my binoculars out to the field and saw a few more flitting around the corn stubble, still not unexpected. Then, a few hundred lifted up! We scrambled to get our scopes, and set them up, scanning for a whiter redpoll. After a few "oh that's a white one", but nothing definitive, we noticed three redpolls sitting on the hydro wire, and wouldn't you know it, one of them was a Hoary! We got brief, but satisfactory, scope views. Splendid! I still need one for my neighbourhood (flushed a good candidate from underfoot today, but I lost it!), but at least I can stop worrying about it for Middlesex! Just need a Pine Grosbeak (and Bohemian Waxwing) now!

We traversed a few more concessions, but nothing more to report. We stopped into the landfill for a bit to look for gulls, but it was mostly just Herrings and Ring-billeds. We did manage to find a couple Great Black-backs and a single Lesser Black-backed though.

It was a very fun week! Onward to December, hopefully we can end the year with a bang!

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