Thursday, August 02, 2007

Plans, plans, plans

This evening, I decided to take a stroll along the waterfront just south of my street in Toronto (west end). There are a few beaches along the water, which unfortunately means too many people and few birds. However, it wasn't a total bust as I saw 3 Spotted Sandpipers in alternate plumage, two Mute swan pairs with healthy cygnets, a few Common Tern flybys, and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls (1 adult alternate plumage and 1 first alternate plumage).

Being at the edge of Lake Ontario always reminds me of Lake Erie and makes me yearn for a day of birding back home. At this time of year, Marianne and I would be shorebirding in the evenings at Hillman Marsh and also checking out Wheatley Harbour. I always enjoyed late summer birding in the Point Pelee Birding circle because it's great time to study shorebirds in their basic plumage and also a good time to scan for any uncommon gulls in the many flocks within the Onion Fields north of Point Pelee's northern border. I am extremely excited for the upcoming fall migration because I missed so many of the migrants that I take for granted each spring and now is the chance to see them, albeit in their basic plumage (also good practice). I'm sure High Park will be a good place to fall bird and by contacting a few local Toronto birders, I hope to find a few other hotspots that I can check out, particularly for shorebirds.

I am also looking forward to the OFO convention being held at Point Pelee this fall. A weekend of birding at my favourite park followed by a meal with many of Ontario's top birdwatchers and researchers. Lastly, another event looming on the horizon is a family trip Panama City, Florida, which will be my third time visiting the state. I hope to make this strictly a birding trip as my last two trips were spent preoccupied with other matters (one included trips to Disneyland and Universal Studios while the other was spent building houses for Habitat for Humanity). I want to tally a Florida list and see what birds I have to focus on finding and their status in November.

Still farther away (but most exciting) is a trip with Marianne to Arizona, which no doubt will be one of my best birding experiences to date. I need to order a copy of Arizona Birding online before the trip to prepare myself as well as listen to my bird call cd's so I'm fully prepared for an excellent birding trip. The amount of species we can see is almost overwhelming.

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