All I Want for Christmas…

Just one more bird!  That’s all I want.  I’m happily sitting at 259 (Cackling Goose was the latest) for Essex County… I just want that last one… but I’m running out of time!  It’s not been for a lack of effort, there just hasn’t been that many birds to chase, or when they did show up, other commitments got in the way (including a Florida vacation).  Why did all those birds pick the week I left to show up (Cave Swallow, Bohemian Waxwing, etc).  Oh well.  That’s the way it goes.  After all, birds have wings.

Snow Buntings in there (iScoped)

I’ve been out as much as possible, including participating in the local CBCs.  I’ve had a great time birding with Sarah Rupert, Jeremy Hatt, Dwayne Murphy and Jeremy Bensette on these CBCs.  We turned up some pretty decent winter birds, just not one I can add to my list.  I finally got some good looks at some big flocks of Snow Buntings though, a bird I’ve only seen singles of!  I got some really bad iScope shots of the birds.  Check out the “flight” shot of the bird near the top.

I decided to do something different this morning.  I wanted to cover a part of the county I don’t get to hit too often, in search of an elusive rare goose or gull.  I started out cutting across the county with the first target being area being River Canard.  There is still a lot of open water in parts and I’ve seen a lot of Canada Geese hanging out there but never had time to go through them in detail.  I was hoping to pull out a Greater White-Fronted or Snow but no luck.  I did pick out a couple Cackling — good bird but not new.  On to the next area.

Next stop was LaSalle Marina – very quiet.  On to Ojibway.  No real target here but was just a spot I don’t get to often.  I had a great long walk through the prairie and was able to turn up some good local birds include Titmice. I’d heard about a Northern Shrike in the area but didn’t come across it.  A nice walk though.

Next stop or area to cover was a long stretch of the Detroit River, all the way up to 26 Stop Beach.  I checked every group of geese and gulls I came across but nothing unusual.  After spending some time at the beach checking every gull 4-5 times looking for that Kittiwake that Tom Hince found the other day, I decided to head back home… well at least in the direction of home.

Headed down to the mouth of River Canard but it was mostly frozen.  Not much here except for a Great Blue standing on the ice.  I decided to head back up and check the geese up on Canard Drive (Snake Lane) one more time…  So many geese to go through, but couldn’t pick out anything new.

Next area to check was around Holiday Beach.  There was a Snowy Owl reported last week.  Would have been a good day bird but I didn’t find it.  I did find this Great Blue below hanging out on the completely frozen marsh.  Shouldn’t it be moving on to a better spot?

Great Blue and a frozen marsh

Harrow Lagoons.  Last stop?  Yeah right.  I was determined.  The only cell that wasn’t frozen was the one at the far end with the pumps.  Just some Northern Shovelers.  Oh well.  Worth a check.  Off to Kingsville/Cedar Beach.

Lots of gulls out in areas I couldn’t get to because of private property.  It was getting dark so it was hard to scope out anything from down the coast.  Oh well.  One last check at the Marina – a couple of Double-crested Cormorants and some of the regular gulls.

It was a bit disappointing, but still a good day to be out.  There’s always tomorrow (at least until the 31st) to get a new bird! 

Stay tuned for a full year in review — hopefully after I hit 260!  Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays!!

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