Monday, October 17, 2011

Pelee Chickadee's Pelee List Top 10

After seeing a Common Raven this month, my Pelee list now stands at 316. I actually didn't expect a Raven would be my next Pelee bird, though it is a pleasant surprise. My Pelee list isn't too bad with perhaps some "one time wonders" such as Ivory Gull, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Hermit Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Black-necked Stilt to name a few. However, there are a few birds that need to be added. Actually when I looked through my field guide I counted around 30 species, so I narrowed it down to easy task..

Here are 10 birds, in no particular order that are my most wanted:

1. Western Meadowlark
This is a bird that has been spotted in the last 2 years. In fact, I think there has been 2 sightings in the last 2 years, one in spring of 2010, followed by another that fall if I am not mistaken. The one in spring hung around all day, while the fall bird was a migrant passing through. In either case, I need this bird spring or fall.

2. California Gull
This is a rare gull in Ontario, and some plumages are hard to ID. Adult birds, and younger gulls with blue legs are easy to identify. I think I have to make more visits to Wheatley Harbour for this species.

3. Pomarine Jaeger
This is the rarest of the three Jaegers at Pelee. I wonder if it is possible to ask for days off this November with southwest winds?....might have to work on that...In either case, this will be one of those "right place at the right time in the right winds" kind of birds.

4. Ross's Gull
One of the worlds most beautiful birds just happens to be a gull. It is both beautiful and rare like gems from the earth....I'd take a Ross's Gull over jewelery any day. This will probably be the hardest one on the list to get, but I can't help placing the Ross's on the top 10 because it is just so cute!

5. Brant
Common around the Ottawa area in the fall and winter, the Brant is a hard bird to get around here. This species will probably be the first to be knocked off this list. Just got to find one in a harbour somewhere.

6. Tufted Duck
I think the only way to get this bird off the list is by scanning through thousands of Scaups during a cold early spring day....not my idea of fun....maybe a flask in my pocket will make this go more smoothly.

7. Fish Crow
This is a species I have missed the past few springs. Problem is that unless it calls you don't know what you are looking at.

8. Curlew Sandpiper
A few years ago I got a call that a Curlew Sandpiper was at Hillman Marsh. I ran out of the house, jumped in the car, raced to Jeremy's to pick him up and we sped to Hillman before dark. We swatted mosquitoes and saw lots of shorebirds, but of course no Curlew Sandpiper....

9. Eurasian Collared-Dove
One of the birds I have on my Ontario List but not Pelee List. The only Eurasian-Collared Dove I have ever seen in Ontario was at my house in 1999. This is a species that is rapidly expanding its range in the southeast. I am surprised there are not more sightings up here. I wonder if the Appalachians and the smokey mountains keep them from rapidly expanding north to the Great Lakes.

10. Barrow's Goldeneye
It was a toss up between this duck and Cinnamon Teal. I placed the Barrow's Goldeneye just before it because it will give me something to do this winter...scan the lake for this bird...

Here's just a run down of a few other species that I need. Some of these birds are not even on the official Pelee list at all, though it is only a matter of time before I, or others, find them.

Gyrfalcon, Cinnamon Teal, Black-legged Kittiwake, Swallow-tailed Kite, Rufous Hummingbird, Say's Phoebe, Ash-throated flycatcher, Boreal Chickadee, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Green-tailed towhee, Golden-crowned sparrow, Violet-green Swallow, Mountain Bluebird, Black-headed Grosbeak, Townsend's warbler, Sage thrasher, Northern Wheatear, Western tanager, Red Crossbill, Bullock's Oriole, Brewer's Blackbird and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.....yikes!

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