Just when you think you can put the year to be, up pops something else to keep it going. After a few dodgy days, weather wise, today was cold but ok, meaning that I could get out and about and try to add a few species to the CBC as count week birds, that is birds seen three days either side of the actual count – makes sense as it can compensate for a bad count day to some extent. Personally I’d like to see a spring and fall count but on set dates per provonce so that the data is a more accurate snapshot.
The morning was good but not spectacular, winter’s grip is upon us and sensible species are long gone, and I headed home intending to go out again later. The phone rang and Johnny asked had I counted the farm geese today? Funnily enough I’d noticed I’d not seen them and wondered whether their dwindling tribe was finally gone, it wasn’t. The five white geese had become six as a Snow Goose sought comfort in the company of the nearest thing to its kin. The photos aren’t great but ok and they show that this bird has been grazing in fields with a high iron content. I wonder where the nearest are and how long the staining lasts, through molt presumably.
Well pleased with getting a Snow Goose for my Cape Sable Island list (life) I was about to conduct a chilly sea watch when Ervin sent me a photo of a goose in Yarmouth Harbour, it was a Greater White-fronted, a year and Yarmouth tick, so off Sandra, Mike and I went. My Buff-breasted Wren text notification on the phone sang away frequently as we consumed the kilometres between Barrington and Yarmouth. We were optimistic, especially Mike, who has a history of not quite seeing the species several times, then the song announced that the bird had flown north but not until Ervin had been joined by Alix and Larry in mutual enjoyment. Two minutes later Ronnie arrived.
Naturally we searched when we arrived and chanced upon this Short-eared Owl hawking a small marsh near the end of Cheggogin Point. It was a bit dark but the snap is ok.
This is a doc-shot of the female Tufted Duck found CSI on 12/17, the CBC day.
This Western Palm Warbler is in residence near Baker’s Flats at present.
So has the year ended in terms of new birds for any of the lists? I suspect so, but there are a good few days left of 2016 and birding is always full of surprises.