Well, maybe around Southwestern Ontario is more accurate. I’m hanging around for the time being, seeing that there are no real rarities to chase elsewhere at the moment. So last Friday, after a heavy snow fall, with the sun shining and a wind chill in the air, I headed down to Norfolk County and Big Creek National Wildlife Management Area, to find me some Sandhill Cranes. And I found a mess of them, but not at Big Creek. I saw a number of them flying north and I headed in that direction after failing to see them in the tall grass. I found about 200 or more in a field on my way to find a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Got the cranes, not the sapsucker.
Sandhill Cranes, Including a Footprint in the Snow:
Just down the road at a feeder, where I was looking for a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, I officially added a Red-bellied Woodpecker to the year list. I am sure I saw one a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t list it on eBird, so I will count this one as the first:
On Sunday morning, a day after heavy winds were creating white out conditions on the road, which made me turn back from birding that Saturday, I returned to Norfolk County, directly across the road from where I saw the Red-shouldered Hawk, and got to enjoy a flock of Rusty Blackbirds. Though they can be seen through Canada in the summer and during migration, they winter mostly south of the Canadian border, except for a small pocket that winters just north of Lake Erie, not far from Long Point Provincial Park.
Today, Sue and I got to out birding together for the first time in a while. She wanted to look at ducks and I wanted to finally find a Black Scoter. We both got our wish! I found a Black Scoter,(species 165), amongst the dozens of Surf Scoters and a few White-winged Scoters.
After a lunch of wieners and beans, with some added cheese, a specialty of my childhood cooking, I headed out on my own to try and find a Merlin for about the fifth time this week, and finally succeeded, down the road from where I saw the Harris’s Sparrow earlier in the year. I wonder if it’s been there all along? Either way, I had species number 165 for the year and went home to rest up for the rest of the week. Both Sue and I were too tired to cook, so we let Uber Eats deliver us enough Chinese food to last a week of being too tired to cook.