Right down to the wire!

I’ve been birding almost everyday for the last week and a half hoping to find one more bird. I was ‘stuck’ at 259 Essex County year birds – just 1 shy of my revised goal for the year.  Originally I was targeting 250, but as soon as I hit that, I thought why not go for 260!  I was turning up new winter birds but couldn’t find that last year bird.  That all changed this morning.

After a lazy start this morning – been feeling a little birded out – I made my way to Leamington marina for a quick check then off to Point Pelee.  The winds were strong so I thought this might be the day — it had to be since it was the last day of the year.  I haven’t been bringing my camera along thinking that might change my luck but today I said to myself – bring it!!

I started out walking down the “42” trail to East Beach and then from there down to the tip.  I could see Alan Wormington & Richard Carr standing down at the tip.  I thought I saw one of them wave me down.  Was it a “hurry up and get down here” or just a “Hi” sort of wave?  I wasn’t taking any chances so I picked up the pace.  As soon as I got there, Richard asked “You still stuck at 259? … we’ve got something for you… A Purple Sandpiper!”  YES!  I got a quick ID look (just in case) and then made my way down for a better look and some pics.

I sent a few quick text messages off to those who I thought might want to come down for a look.  Jeremy Hatt, Dwayne Murphy and Jeremy Bensette all ended up getting great looks at the bird…  my Essex County year bird #260.

After doing a long lake watch, Alan picked out an Iceland Gull.  Another bird I needed.  I got on the bird quickly and had great looks.  Bird #261.  Both of these were life birds as well – what a great day.  A huge thanks to Alan and Richard!

Windy day at the Tip – Iceland Gull in there somewhere

I came home to this amazing card from my loving wife.  She knew about the Purple Sandpiper but she didn’t know I got the Iceland too, so she just crossed out 260 and wrote 261.  Works for me!  I love this card.  She really supported me throughout this year so I thank her so much – especially for her patience and understanding!

What a year.  I plan on doing a full year in review post so look for that soon. 

7 thoughts on “Right down to the wire!

  1. Thanks Blake! It’s been great birding with you this year. I’m looking forward to exploring “your” ares more this year so I’ll probably be running into you more often!

  2. Kory, congrats on a great year! We met out in the field so many times its ridiculous… HBMO , Black Scoter on west beach, nobo, small herons and rails too many to recount…. Discovering Canada’s largest Egret roost in your first year of birding? Amazing!!!!

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