Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mission Accomplished - Part 3

The first bird of the 2009 was American Crow. A few were "cawwing" up a storm outside the hotel. Too often, for us suburban birders, the first bird of the New Year is House Sparrow or something equally junky. Crow? I'll take it.

From a bird standpoint, however, the day was pretty light. The day had been budgeted for more owling, if needed. However, with the location of the Boreal Owl the previous day, we basically had the day to do whatever. Unfortunately, being New Year's Day, many places would be closed.

So, we thought it might be fun to just drift home. Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park was mighty cool. The name tells you the place. It is literally a lake perched on top of a mountain hundreds of feet above Lake Ontario. Native American legends tell of mysterious depths and to this day, geologists don't agree on how it was formed. Sandbanks Provincial Park (pictured) was equally impressive, if not more. Granted, during the winter, the sandy beaches look like something you might see exploring the Northwest Passage, but it was still pretty cool. An open spot on the lake shore gave us a chance to study Long-tailed Ducks up close. What a super looking duck!

So, with the fading light, we moved on home. From the greater Kingston area, the drive back to Detroit was about seven hours. But worth every minute when balanced with the birds we recorded. Only 39 birds were recorded, but they were some stellar birds.

This little trip gave me the chance to add 5 new birds to my Ontario list - Boreal Owl (life bird, #626 too, of course), Northern Hawk-Owl, Pine Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, and Hairy Woodpecker. The total list now stands at 244 species.

4 new beers for a total of 527.

2008 ended on a great note. *clinking of beer glasses* Here's to a great 2009!

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