Monday, November 16, 2015

What's Around? Not Much!

The big winds of this fall robbed us of the full enjoyment of fall birding. The smart migrants caught the wind and headed to their wintering grounds leaving us with scant birds. What we do see, we work for! The Common Moorhen shown here was compliments of Bruce Mactavish who had been keeping an eye on a flock of wigeons. Then, one morning, he found a rare Common Moorhen among them. The sad part is: It landed in a pond on a golf course with a liner in it. This bird has now moved and has not been relocated.

 The Pied-billed Grebe continues at QV Lake where I found it almost on shore on the north side of the lake early yesterday morning.
 Surprisingly, six White-rumped Sandpipers flew in at Cape Spear while I was trying to count the Purple Sandpipers on the rocks below. This one made its way to the parking lot where it picked up worms off the pavement.
 Last Wednesday, Catherine B., Ethel D. and I headed down the shore to see what we could drum up. Not much out of the ordinary, but we did see some fine birds. One notable moment was at the end of Bear Cove Point Road where this huge flock of Pine Siskin darkened the sky.
Also in the same location were two small flocks of White-winged Crossbill. We had already seen one small group in Renews proper earlier. This, too, is notable as this species has been extremely scare in recent years. The large cone crop this year may treat us to numerous finch this year.
The most uncommon bird of the day was found by Catherine near Renews north beach. It was very difficult to get and ID on this Orange-crowned Warbler as it would not come out in the open and stayed in the darkened areas of the woods. Eventually, we left and returned a couple of hours later to try to see this bird again. Our persistence paid off as we were able to get good enough views to identify it.

The only other warbler seen on our day of birding (days are very short now) was this American Redstart. It, too, did not want to pose for a picture, but this single shot clearly identifies it for what it is.

So with these common birds, was our day humdrum? Absolutely not! We had a grand time spending most of it on the ground, enjoying the weather and anticipating the next great bird with every step.

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