Just a quick update as to what will be happening around here for the next couple weeks. As I've been writing, my trip to Florida has arrived and I'm leaving soon to the Panhandle for a week. Obviously, many posts with many lists will follow. I wanted to get around updating the High Park hawk counts from this week but it's been another slow week for migrants (at least at this particular counts...according to reports from Holiday Beach and a few other locations, huge numbers are still going through; especially Turkey Vultures). Hopefully when I get back from Florida (November 7), there will still be some good hawk movement and I can get Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Golden Eagle, and Red-shouldered Hawk (at least the first and last should be easy).
I'm also VERY MUCH hoping that the White-faced Ibis is still in the vicinity of Hillman Marsh. Marianne just sent me an email telling me there are a lot of migrants of all kinds flying through the Pelee area right now so hopefully we can get a good day of birding in there before I hit the road to Florida.
A few highlights from my week: a great show from 2 Cooper's Hawks at High Park, chasing squirrels and pigeons. They were an adult (probably male by the size) and an immature bird. Another great sighting was on a rainy day when I watched a relatively late Osprey hunting in Grenadier Pond at High Park. I also had a domesticated Greylag Goose there, which was a first for the park (not that it's countable, just interesting). Grenadier Pond is very reliable for decent numbers of Northern Shovelers right now with 20 birds present the last day I visited. I have also seen at least 1 or 2 Pied-billed Grebes each time I've visited this week. Not much in terms of passerines, but good numbers flying over the hawk count including migrating Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, Starlings, Robins, Goldfinches, and Cedar Waxwings. A few Eastern Bluebirds and Purple Finches have been flying through as well. On Thursday, we had a flock of White-winged Scoter fly over, many migrating Canada Geese (no Cackling), large numbers of Mergansers (probably Red-breasted), and Double-crested Cormorant. Definitely worth it to take a visit to High Park this time of year.
Lastly, the Cormorant Cull meeting regarding Middle Island was very interesting, a bit frustrating, but very informative. It really sounds like they're going through with the cull no matter what. The meetings may just be part of the environmental impact assessment so management can at least say they consulted the public. A lot of strong words about the cull were stated and my final thought is that there is too little strong scientific evidence to back up a management decision of this capacity, time-scale, and cost.
Well, I guess I'll sign off until I get back from my Florida trip.