Glancing at the eBird 2016 year list for Nova Scotia, I’m rather surprised to be sitting at the top with a healthy lead over the second placed birder, my co-conspirator on CSI, Mike MacDonald. It won’t last long for either of us though, we are mostly birding CSI while those haring up below are spreading their net further afield, still, nice while it lasts and if I’m still there at the end of May I’ll be even more pleasantly surprised.
Since my last post, you remember the little burst of year birds and even an NS tick (Snowy Egret), things have gone along quite steadily. Shortly after the egret the same voice on the phone (Johnny) told me of a Glossy Ibis in the same place. We (Sandra, Mike and Sandra, do keep up) were off out to join Rachel in supporting The Cape lighthouse, not physically holding it up you understand, they have concrete for that, but at a dinner in the Clark’s Harbour Legion. It was a remarkable evening for a number of reasons.
A highlight was a short presentation from the guys doing the drone filming of Nova Scotia’s 175 lighthouses. Drones have had bad press and their impact on breeding bird colonies, not to mention incoming aircraft, has yet to be established. They could be a great tool for surveys but will most likely go the way of other things and end up toys for the foolish, still, if they give us some aggravation around here they won’t last long once the duckin season starts!
If you want to see the sort of thing the drone guys do (No Ka Oi Drone Guys, no, I have no idea what it means but they are the best) look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVGDO9oufdM
The other surprise of the evening, well one I can tell you about, was the arid nature of the Legion. I can’t claim to have been in that many but the central theme of a Legion, the raison detra if you like (a type of bun or cake, yes I know the spelling is wrong) was the provision of libation. Perhaps I’m wrong and the bar was lurking elsewhere (update, it was!), or perhaps it was forward planning given the band and the need for something fortifying to cope with it, perhaps something containing tiny bubbles? Aside from that it was a nice do, the food was good and the people really nice and we got to meet Betty-June of The Cape Lighthouse fame.
Just before getting to the Legion, Mike and I were to be found yomping through the marsh of Daniel’s Head, finding the ibis and then tepid-footing it to the Legion for a well-deserved… Coffee. Sadly no photos of the ibis but decent looks and another on that NS list. Update, the ibis is back (4/30) and here is the photo to prove, well that I have a photo of something at least!
Willets came back as I told you before, this one below is the one we hear most days now.
On Daniel’s Head this Black-crowned Night-Heron has been a regular if often elusive visitor. We have to hope more follow as, unless the bird has been taking lessons from an Amoeba, it ain’t going to breed.
In the yard it has been a steady start to the year, 69 species so far. This Hermit Thrush sneaked in recently, they breed out back so it is nice to see them return, another CSI year bird as well.
Today (4/28) Ring-necked Duck finally made the CSI year list. I had thought we’d missed it until the autumn but on Baker’s Flats a showy male and his more understated young lady were a welcome sight. If ever a species was named from a corpse on a slab it was this one, that rusty neck ring is not very obvious usually.
Still today, a yard-tick in the form of Savannah Sparrow was a treat, a Chipping Sparrow dropped by too, not so common here and one of the Dark-eyed Juncos posed for a shot.
The merry month of May is on the horizon and with it whatever it cares to bless us with. I have 132 on the board for CSI and I expect that figure to race upwards in leaps and smaller leaps. Obviously I’ll keep you posted.