Sunday 7 August 2011


My last weekend in Ontario for at least 8 months was spent in the Waterloo region. I did a bit of birding, as usual, which got me sort of excited for next year. I'll be living in Waterloo for 12 straight months starting next May which is going to be very different for me as I have been moving to a new city every 4 months for the past 3 years! Living in one city for 12 months will allow me to really appreciate migration from one area - I'll have my regular 'patch' (which undoubtedly will be Columbia Lake and Laurel Lake) to visit most days so I'll know which birds I should expect and which ones are on the move. Over the past 2-3 years I've certainly become familiar with the general migration of birds through Southern Ontario - but I don't have a thorough understanding of one particular region.

This is highlighted by one sighting from the weekend versus last weekend. I was near Kingston 8 days ago where I saw ~175 Bonaparte's Gulls in one spot alone so I wasn't at all surprised to see 2 at Laurel Lake (Waterloo) today. Then Ken Burrel shows up to say that Bonies aren't seen in the region every year so my sighting is a pretty good one. If he hadn't showed up I would have thought the day was pretty dull without anything exciting - but as soon as I know that the bird is somewhat unusual I'm happy!

So, the moral of the story is that I should stick to one spot for a year or more so that I really get to know my local birds and can fully appreciate migration.
Have I got you convinced?!

Other fun sightings from today and yesterday:
Grass Lake area:
my first juvenile Sandhill Crane! It was huge.
Common Moorhens - which apparently are unusual for the region as well according to KB
Am. Bittern
my first juvenile Eastern Bluebird

Clair Lake:
family of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
a Northern Waterthrush

Columbia Lake:
1 Least Sandpiper

Laurel Lake:
family of Pied-billed Grebes - every time I go there it seems I see a family of Grebes

Anyway, nothing riveting about these sightings - but still fun as it'll be my last time seeing most of those species for 8+ months.

In my next post I'll look back and brag about all the cool places I've been in Ontario over the past 2ish years. And I'll convince you that you should ignore your local patch and seek out all the better birds everywhere else - because there's always a better bird to be seen wherever you're not!