Musing over a life list
Outdoor Ontario

Musing over a life list

Dinusaur · 92 · 18432

Walter Fisher

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Hey Henrique,

A Carolina Wren is a fairly easy find at Rosetta McClain Gardens and also Guildwood Park early most mornings especially come springtime.  They love to fly up to the top edge of the bluffs and sing their hearts out.  Another place I've had success is LaSalle Marina in Burlington along the path.  Watch ebird, of course.  Good luck!

Walter :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »
Is backyard birding our new normal?


thouc

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According to the new eBird "Target" function, the easiest 20 new Ontario birds for me to find in Ontario, with highest probability first, would be:
Pine Grosbeak, Gray Jay, Hoary Redpoll, Boreal Chickadee, Lapland Longspur, Hooded Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Red Crossbill, Black-billed Magpie, Le Conte's Sparrow, Thayer's Gull, Brewer's Blackbird, Yellow-breasted Chat, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Spruce Grouse, Barrow's Goldeneye, Summer Tanager, Connecticut Warbler, Northern Hawk Owl and Arctic Tern.

As you can tell I haven't done much birding up north.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Henrique Pacheco

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Thanks Walter. I know many places where they show up. I've heard them countless times but for some odd reason, I can't even get a glimpse of one. Oh well. The time will come...  :roll:

Thouc, there's been some reliable hoary's at the tip of tommy Thompson park at peninsula A (if you're willing to walk). Also an easier lifer for you would be the Thayer's down at Bluffers. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't still be there. Good luck!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


thouc

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Thanks Henrique,
I'm aware of those sightings, but I'm mostly able to bird in the west end.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Walter Fisher

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Just noticed that this thread has been active for more than a year now and my earlier post needs an update.

Ontario 'Lifer' Birds - 293 (added: Barrow's Goldeneye, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Pectoral Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Chuck-will's-widow, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Sedge Wren, Connecticut Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Lark Bunting, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, and the Brown Booby from 2013).

Walter :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 10:23:50 pm by Walter Fisher »
Is backyard birding our new normal?


Pat Hodgson

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I had some great travel last year and was behind on data entry.  Still am behind because I was in Korea in January, but at least all of 2014 is done.

I am at 98 on the yard list (midtown Toronto), having added pileated woodpecker last year.
I am at 286 for Ontario, having picked up only one last year (the very cooperative least bittern at Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke).
I am at 573 for the ABA area, having picked up 6 in Arizona.
I am at 1656 total, having picked up 393 in Colombia, 12 in Mexico, and 3 in Arizona (Leconte's thrasher, Bendire's thrasher, rosy-faced lovebird).

All lifers are definitely not equal.  The sheer volume in Colombia was so overwhelming that to be honest some are just check marks on a page at this point 7 months later.  Others stand out very strongly of course - black-billed mountain-toucan, sword-billed hummingbird, gold-ringed tanager, etc.  Saw 61 species of hummingbirds on that trip, 544 total species, in 3 weeks.  Go if you can, but probably best not to go there first, general advice with Neotropics to start north (Mexico or Belize) and gradually work south is good advice, that way you gradually learn the families before the biodiversity gets out of hand.  I probably should have done something like Costa Rica before Colombia, but did not.  I'm not suffering here, of course, but Colombia was overwhelming in terms of bird numbers.  I studied like crazy in advance and was still having tons of "what the heck is that?" moments.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »
Pat Hodgson
Toronto


Dinusaur

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It is time to update the list from 2015 sightings. My total lifer count is now 343, the year before it was 278. Two trips to south (Jamaica and Mexico) contributed 25 in my 2015 list. My Ontario lifers count is now 203 - a year ago it was 168;  35  new were added in 2015. Some notables from this year are: Harris's Sparrow in Oakville, Kentucky Warbler in Colonel Sam Smith Park, Wilson's and Piping Plover in Toronto Islands, Sedge Wren and Common Nighthawk in Carden Alvar, Clay-colored Sparrow and Wilson's Phalarope in Leslie Spit, Whimbrel and White-rumped Sandpiper in Presqui'le, Winter Wren and Vesper Sparrow in Downsview Park, and Tufted Titmouse in Dufferin Islands. In between I also missed the opportunity of seeing a Cave Swallow in Oakville, my two visits to Sedgewick was in vain. I also saw a Painted Bunting in Oakville and a  female Mountain Blue Bird in Whitby. Do they count as lifers or vagrants?

All in all it was a good year and I hope to continue the same stride this year.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Reuven_M

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Since last January I've added 118 species:

1 in Quebec (Black Guillemot)

108 in Portugal and Spain (2 week in late October/early November). Some of the birds added are species that show up somewhat regularly in Ontario, including Red Knot, Razorbill, Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Eurasian Collared-dove and Northern Wheatear

9 in Ontario including:
    4 self-found (Brewer's Blackbird, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Harris's Sparrow, Cave Swallow)
    4 twitched (Kirtland's Warbler, American Avocet, Wilson's Plover, Hudsonian Godwit)
    1 twitched but later self-found as well (Glossy Ibis)

My life list is now 421 with 312 in Ontario.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


thouc

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Quote from: "Dinusaur"
I also saw a Painted Bunting in Oakville and a  female Mountain Blue Bird in Whitby. Do they count as lifers or vagrants?

They should count on your life and Ontario lists as they are not considered escapees.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


thouc

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My Life list is now at 611 and Ontario at 295 (can hopefully reach 300 this year)

New Ontario species 2015
Evening Grosbeak (lifer) - Toronto
Hoary Redpoll - Mississauga
Kentucky Warbler (lifer) - Toronto
Swainson's Warbler (lifer) - Toronto
Wilson's Plover (lifer) - Toronto
Snowy Egret (lifer) - Hamilton
Neotropic Cormorant (lifer) - Toronto
Cave Swallow (lifer) - Oakville
Glossy Ibis - Oshawa
Red Phalarope (lifer) - Oakville

So 10 new species added to my Ontario list without travelling very far.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Reuven_M

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Quote from: "thouc"
Quote from: "Dinusaur"
I also saw a Painted Bunting in Oakville and a  female Mountain Blue Bird in Whitby. Do they count as lifers or vagrants?

They should count on your life and Ontario lists as they are not considered escapees.

Many people believe the Painted Bunting to be an escape due to the breast colouration and some foot damage, and it was not accepted by the OBRC
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Pat Hodgson

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Quote from: "thouc"
Quote from: "Dinusaur"
I also saw a Painted Bunting in Oakville and a  female Mountain Blue Bird in Whitby. Do they count as lifers or vagrants?

They should count on your life and Ontario lists as they are not considered escapees.

The painted bunting in Oakville in January, 2015 was not accepted as a wild bird by the OBRC.  If you wish to have your list clean of not-accepted records, you should not count that bird.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »
Pat Hodgson
Toronto


Rotarran

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My life list is 392 with birds seen in Canada, USA, Cuba, Germany, Romania and Hungary.

My Ontario list is at 318 and Toronto at 218.

Recently I've stopped chasing birds and focused more on local birding. My reasoning was that if I spend hours and hours chasing birds around Ontario, I'll miss many interesting sightings in my local area.

I still try for close-by rarities such as the the Barrows Goldeneye a little while ago or the Townsends Solitaire which I tried for last night (but didn't get), but I don't rush to see them.

I'm just pleased with whatever story nature will show me. Even seeing nothing is a notable story.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »
Today is a good day to bird!


Henrique Pacheco

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With almost a year since my last update, I am pleased to say my Ontario life list has grown from 286 to 326. I also went to Panama this past summer and added another 191 lifers. It's been a good past year. I've also been able to bird with quite a few of you too.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »


Dinusaur

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Those of you who have already achieved or nearing 300 target of Ontario bird species - congrats. That's more than half of the number of species found in Ontario - a truly great effort. It only gets tougher from here on; however, that is the fun part. Indeed, life list is not the whole thing - sometimes, as Elias described, looking for birds in local areas is equally rewarding. He, through his continued vigilance in later half of 2015, has made Downsview Park species count going above 150. However, the possibility of finding new species in far away lands is very enticing; particularly when you find 191 species in Panama, 108 in Portugal and Spain and whopping 363 in Columbia. I am putting these countries in my bucket list, the only problem is my bucket list may not necessarily agree with my wife's list (she maintains a different kind of list than a life list) and also have to convince her that Columbia may be as safe, if not safer than our Yonge Dundas square.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 pm by Guest »