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.