Monday, 21 April 2014

The birding mecca of Perth County

We had our family Easter scheduled for Sunday in Stratford, in the heart of Perth County. Birding wasn't on the original schedule but as it happened several nice birds turned up nearby including:
-Eurasian Wigeon at Mitchell Sewage Lagoons (AKA West Perth Wetlands) found by Jarmo Jalava on 13 April
-Snowy Egret in St. Marys (posted to Ontario Birds Facebook group by Herman Veenendaal on 18 April)
-Blue Grosbeak outside of Russeldale found by Rita Christie on 18 April and reported to eBird

So, naturally we left a bit of time before dinner to try and find some of these. Our first stop was Mitchell Sewage Lagoons, where we didn't find the Eurasian Wigeon but did find Josh and Barb (and a Horned Grebe). Here's our full list.
Muskrat at Mitchell
Josh, Barb and Brett Fried and Erika Hentsch were unsuccessful in finding the Snowy Egret earlier in the morning so our next stop was Rita and Ron Christie's place.

When we arrived Ken and Josh were pretty confident they saw the bird fly out of the crab apple and then disappear behind the house. A few minutes later I saw a bird that I was pretty sure was it fly by again, but we still hadn't nailed it down for sure (or even knew if it was still around). After about an hour of waiting it finally showed in the top of a crab apple before heading for the feeder:

It came back a few a minutes later for another look before we headed out:

We were pretty excited to see such a rare bird in Perth County. Apparently this would be record early for Ontario (the next earliest is one last spring at Ojibway Park found on 19 April 2013)

1 comment:

  1. A male Blue Grosbeak was seen April 17-18, 1974 at Crow Lake, Frontenac. Not reviewed by the OBRC but I think it would be published in the Ontario Field Biologist. It is in Murray Speirs' Birds of Ontario, a book that is starting to disappear from public libraries.

    Mark Cranford