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MerMaeve

Whatbird's Young Birders!

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Imagine getting any warblers 😂 . Westerners have it tough.

This year has been crazy... probably got around 60 lifers. My year list ended up around 350!

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22 hours ago, Melierax said:

Imagine getting any warblers 😂 . Westerners have it tough.

This year has been crazy... probably got around 60 lifers. My year list ended up around 350!

Wow! Nice!  Uh, you can have all our confusing fall warblers!

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On 7/6/2018 at 5:50 PM, egosnell2002 said:

What, nobody's tagging me? :classic_tongue: I'm still only 15 ya know! Soon to be 16, ahh, just the thought of being able to (legally) drive makes me excited...

Lots of happenings recently, including finishing Grade 10, a breeding bird survey near my chalet with some quality birds, I've recently gotten back into the iNaturalist craze, because sometimes birds just aren't enough! I can't remember how far back I've posted on here about, but in May I did a big day after my week at Pelee, and nailed down 154 species in a little less than 24 hours, the last bird being a Black-crowned Night-heron at about 10pm. Not called Night--herons for nothing! I've been hitting pretty much all my birding targets, recently adding Fish Crow to my Ontario list, a surprisingly rare but rapidly increasing bird in Ontario, as well as yearbirds Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Loggerhead Shrike (endangered here!), Golden-winged Warbler (also endangered!), Brewer's Blackbird (incredibly restricted range-wise), Piping Plover (my favourite all time bird- also endangered), and a couple others like Upland Sandpiper, Alder Flycatcher etc. It's shaping up to be a pretty fantastic bird year for me, sitting at 247 Ontario this year (my all time record is 259), and 362 world this year, which blew my last record of 273 out of the water (thanks Mexico and Florida!). In the near future, I hope to get Ontario birds Louisiana Waterthrush and Common Gallinule (argh!), and by the end of the month I'll be done Grade 11 physics in summer school, then I'll have a week to relax, then I'm off to James Bay for two weeks doing shorebird monitoring! James Bay is pretty legendary in Ontario, and probably the world. It's incredibly remote, starting with an 8 hour drive to Cochrane, which in itself is quite remote, riding the Polar Bear Express (a train) for 5 hours, then chartering a helicopter to our base camp, which is here. The area is legendary because of the thousands of shorebirds that pass through it every year, most being Semipalmated Sandpipers, White-rumped Sandpipers, Hudsonian Godwits and Red Knots. It's going to be awesome! A couple lifers would be nice, or at least a few Ontario birds. Here's a sample of the peeps:

 

I may not belong in this room either but at least I think I'm closer than @Charlie Spencer🙂   Just browsing through old posts and @egosnell2002 's post caught my eye. Beautiful country up there! Drove the road headed N out of Cochrane clear to roads end at the gate of the big gold mine just to see what was up there a couple years ago on my honeymoon  (ya I know - dragged the poor wife along 300 miles of gravel roads that day).  :-))  Saw 5 cubs just crossing the road that day along with a number of adults.

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16 hours ago, SirVive said:

I may not belong in this room either but at least I think I'm closer than @Charlie Spencer🙂   Just browsing through old posts and @egosnell2002 's post caught my eye. Beautiful country up there! Drove the road headed N out of Cochrane clear to roads end at the gate of the big gold mine just to see what was up there a couple years ago on my honeymoon  (ya I know - dragged the poor wife along 300 miles of gravel roads that day).  :-))  Saw 5 cubs just crossing the road that day along with a number of adults.

I know exactly where you're taking about, Otter Rapids I think? Or is it Abitibi Canyon, the one South of that. Never actually been, just rode through on the Polar Bear express. Never posted an update about that, but it was amazing being so remote, the scenery was beautiful and the birds were awesome. These are some of my favourite eBird lists from up there: 

https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S50620818 

https://ebird.org/canada/checklist/S50620757

I might go back this summer, but I'll have to see what else I'm doing first! Saskatchewan breeding bird atlas starts this year, and I was considering applying to some of that. 

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@egosnell2002   Just pulled up the map and I guess it was more to the NE - it was the Detour Lake mine. Drove all the way from Lake Joseph that day - got to the mine about dusk - probably about 10-11pm and then drove all the way back to Cochrane that night. Took the 652 the next day all the way across the border and came down the Quebec side. I wasn't ebirding at the time and didn't keep very good track of what I saw but do know that I photographed a large enough flock of SHCR that it got flagged when I recently added it after the fact.   

Nice variety in those lists! - now if only you'd been able to id all those 81 mystery peeps 🙂 so annoying sometimes I know - gull sp are my nemesis. 

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I think those must have been some distant flybys over the ocean or something. You get a super good handle on peeps up there, after you look at many thousands of each! What code is  SHCR? Do you mean SACR? Or STGR? And yep, the train still takes passengers. The people in Moosonee need to get back and forth somehow. They did take out the"observation car" a few years ago, which might be what you're thinking of. It was a shame too, best way to see STGR and NHOW flushing in front of the train. 

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Well, #300 happened last night!  We were headed to the barn we shoot archery in and we just turned on to the road that it is on, and drove about 150yds down the road and there was a tire turd in the road then as we got closer it was too upright to be a tire turd. Mom slammed on the brakes as we realized that it wasn't a tire turd.......it was an OWL!!  My brain clicked on what it was before Mom's did.  It was a Short-eared Owl!!!!  It sat in the middle of the road for about a minute, then it flew up on the bank of the road.  We took a ton of pictures, then left to go shoot our bows. Driving back Mom said and I quote "We will probably never see that owl again on this road"  And there it was same spot on the bank of the road again.  It was on my side this time and we got a lot more pictures. I was probably 15 feet away from this SEOW.   Amazingly unreal!  Only cell photos.  Will go out again tonight with our core group and try to find it.

This was from when it was in the road

IMG_5762.jpg

2nd time on the bank

IMG_5791.jpg

This angle it doesn't really look like an owl...raccoon?

IMG_5798.jpg

 

IMG_5803.jpg

Edited by MerMaeve
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Great bird!

What the heck is a 'tire turd'?  Is that anything like a 'gator back', a hunk of tread that's come loose from the tire?

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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35 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Great bird!

What the heck is a 'tire turd'?  Is that anything like a 'gator back', a hunk of tread that's come loose from the tire?

A tire turd is a frozen block of built-up snow/slush that will fall off of the mudflaps on a person's car.
(Not my pic)
Image result for tire turd

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54 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Great bird!

What the heck is a 'tire turd'?  Is that anything like a 'gator back', a hunk of tread that's come loose from the tire?

Something only people in the north / in the mountains experience. They can build up pretty bad and really get frozen on there, can become pretty hazardous. Lots of build up and they can cause your whole car to vibrate at highway speeds.

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3 hours ago, MerMaeve said:

Will go out again tonight with our core group and try to find it.

Well, we tried again tonight. Was going to meet at 6:15 but decided that might be too late past sunset.  We said get there when you can....we got there around 5:55.  Shortly followed by another gal (I will call her A). At around 6:05 A said "what's that bird flying in front of the sunset"  Big bird=owl!  We assumed that it was the SEOW but can't be sure it wasn't a LEOW as we have seen them on that road previous years. The rest of the group got there 6:10 and later. No owl the rest of the night....

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1 minute ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Okay, I'm familiar with the material in question.  I'd just never heard the nickname before.

What do you call them?  That's just what I grew up calling them..

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3 minutes ago, MerMaeve said:

What do you call them?  That's just what I grew up calling them..

My primary experience with them was when we lived in the U.P.  I was between 8 and 10 at the time, so I doubt Dad used the term around me (if he even used it).  I don't remember any particular name for it, it was just the frozen crud that caked in the wheel well.  I've encountered it a time or two as an adult, when the Weather Gods conspired to again turn the world around me into a white, frozen Hell.

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Just now, Charlie Spencer said:

My primary experience with them was when we lived in the U.P.  I was between 8 and 10 at the time, so I doubt Dad used the term around me (if he even used it).  I don't remember any particular name for it, it was just the frozen crud that caked in the wheel well.  I've encountered it a time or two as an adult, when the Weather Gods conspired to again turn the world around me into a white, frozen Hell.

Ah, okay!

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10 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I nominated one of my eBird patches as a hotspot and it was accepted!

IMMORTALITY!

https://ebird.org/hotspot/L8283225

image.png.e3fa5d404ade0e2aa0cb8b3c5674b3be.png

Sweet! How long did the process take? I have recommended two places as hotspots. Both were ultimately accepted, but it took maybe a year or more.

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1 hour ago, HamRHead said:

Sweet! How long did the process take? I have recommended two places as hotspots. Both were ultimately accepted, but it took maybe a year or more.

A lot less than a year.  I suggested it Sunday when I was cleaning up my checklist from Saturday.

The spot currently shows lists from only two users.  Other people submitted lists within a few hundred meters and referenced the location as GPS coordinates, a couple of nearby intersections, and the Fisher Tank manufacturing plant in the park.  I'm going to contact the ones I know and ask them to change their checklists to the hotspot.

The north quadrant is widely-scattered pines.  The west is heavy brush.  The south and road shoulders are manicured lawns, with low agricultural fields unused in the winter further south.  The east is dense mixed pine-hardwood wetlands.  Two ponds in the center; the bigger shallow one is a marked as a county-protected watershed; and a marshy retention pond between the big one and the east-west road, half-full of cattails and prone to drying out in the summer.  It's really a sweet mix of habitats in a small area.  I've pulled three lifers out of it, and get big raptors on a weekly basis.

Nah, I don't obsess over this spot.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Somehow I made a hotspot at my dad's workplace,  just a paved parking lot in the middle of a city. With two incidental sightings of two species 6 years apart 😂 But I did make a couple hotspots at some nearby lakes which was nice. 

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I'm not sure what the criteria are, or who makes the call.  Maybe it's up to the reviewer for the state?  Maybe it's automatic if X number of checklists with Y number of species are submitted within Z number of weeks / months?

I have another spot I nominated a couple of years ago that apparently didn't make the cut.  In retrospect, it probably doesn't rate anyway.  I'd like to see hotspots reviewed periodically to see if they still merit the status.  When scouting for trips, I've looked at a couple of spots that show dozens or a couple of hundred species.  Then you check the details and most of them were seen six or seven years ago.  Since then, three people have listed a total of 12 House Finches, 14 European Starlings, and a Turkey Vulture.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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