Sunday 17 July 2016

2016 So Far...

It is already over half way through the year, and birding is anything but slow. A few days ago, I posted 2016 Life List Goals. I thought that since I was looking ahead, why not look back? So, I have written a post about the birding in 2016 up until mid-July!

As some of you may know, my life list is 208 species. This means I added 49 lifers since the end of 2015 (I finished the year with 159 species, adding Great Horned Owl just six hours before midnight!)

My first "real" outing was on January 1st, with Nature London. This was also my third eBird checklist of the year. We saw a respectable 18 species, including a very early (late?) Pied-billed Grebe. Click Here to see it.

My FIRST checklist of the year is from my backyard. It was the first eBird checklist in Middlesex, in the top five for Ontario, and in the top ten for all of Canada! Click Here to see it.

The next big highlight of the year was on January 3rd. I observed this female Snowy Owl west of Strathroy.

This picture actually made it's way into The London Free Press in a weekly nature column my friend writes. View the article Here.

Fast forward a month to February 7th. On another Nature London hike, we spotted the continuing Greater White-fronted Goose. This was months before I got my 600mm lens, so I was using the 250mm. The photo isn't cropped, so I got really close!

That same day, I managed to get my first photographs of a Golden-crowned Kinglet.

I was really happy with what I got...until two weeks later when I captured this.

The kinglet is not the only small bird I photographed that day. Black-capped Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches got their time in the view finder as well.

In late February up until mid-April, a Gyrfalcon hung out in east Lambton. I managed to see it once.

Another bird showed up in Lambton a couple weeks later. I didn't get any clear photos, but I did see an Eurasian Wigeon. Northern Pintail was a lifer that I saw at the same location.

Mixed Waterfowl

Of course, who can forget the immature male Harlequin Duck that hung out at Springbank Park (Middlesex) for at least three months.

You can read more about Harlequins Here.

There was a Great Horned Owl nest near my home in north London (I'm not going to give the location in case they return). That entertained me for some of April.

I really enjoyed my trip to Point Pelee at the end of April. I finally saw a Pine Warbler!

May 7th was the day I was waiting a long time to come. This was the day I did my "big day" within the Pelee Birding Area. Unfortunately, the day was rather slow and I only recorded 84 species. This is the second year I didn't complete the 100 species challenge!

This is worth getting up at 1:30 am

As most blog readers already know, I went to the Bruce Peninsula with Nature London on May 2-4 weekend (to read about it click Here for part one, and Here for part two). It was this weekend that I saw 36.7% of my current 2016 lifers.

A couple weeks later, I went to Skunk's Misery (Middlesex). It was here I saw/heard my first Hooded Warbler (finally!), Acadian Flycatcher (Long Awaited!), and Cerulean Warbler (Awesome!).

This bird was making a weird vocalization!

Finally, a week after that, I saw the Dickcissels west of Strathroy! I wrote a blog post on them as well, which can be viewed Here.

It is only July 17th, so there is plenty more time to see some extraordinary birds. I will most definitely do a "2016 Review" at the end of the year. Until then, I will spend time finding birds!

Good Birding!

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