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Oct 23, 2013

Taking a break

I've decided to take a break from my BarrytheBirder blog
for a while.   I'll probably be back at the start of 2014.
I'd like to wish you, dear reader, a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Remember to feed the birds.


Oct 18, 2013

Seasonal scene at Seneca

Photo by BarrytheBirder
Canada Geese, Mallard ducks, and various migrating shorebirds make Seneca College's sewage lagoon a busy place in October.   The surrounding backdrop of autumn hardwood trees certainly adds to the overall vista.
Please comment if you wish.

Oct 17, 2013

New ponds attract shorebirds in King City

This is just one of dozens of new storm-water retention ponds that are, and will be, popping up all over the village of King City, as several large housing developments are underway after years of waiting for municipal sewers to be installed.   The pond pictured above is just south of King Road and just west of the railway tracks.   Several Canada Geese were in this and other ponds in this area today as well as a migrating Lesser Yellowleg (see photo below).   Many of the other new ponds in King City have also attracted migrating shorebirds already.   Many residents will be rather surprised I think when they start to walk the new trails around these ponds and see so many more wild birds than before.   They will be seeing all sorts of birds: year-around residents, migrants nesting here and other migrants passing through to nest further north.   Birdwatching in King City is about to undergo a renascence, I believe.   
Photos by Barry Wallace
Please comment if you wish.

Oct 9, 2013

Did I really see a Cozumel Thrasher?

I have recently received a comment from a fellow who signed his email Andrew S.   Andrew had inadvertently come across a blog of mine from March of 2011 in which I claimed to have seen a Cozumel Thrasher while vacationing on the island of Cozumel, off the Yucatan coast of Mexico.   I was relying on a birding guide who spotted and identified what he said was a Cozumel Thrasher.   It looked like a thrasher to me but I had to take the word of the local guide that it was a Cozumel Thrasher.   I did not know at the time that the Cozumel Thrasher was believed to be the most endangered species of bird in Mexico.   I have now learned that the last confirmed sighting was in 2004!   Unconfirmed sightings were made in 2006 and 2007 but none since then.   Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the bird.   Brown Thrashers have been occasionally spotted in Mexico, but Cozumel is quite far south of their normal range.   The two types of thrasher are quite similar in appearance, although the Cozumel Thrasher is the smaller of the two.   There are also 14 species of thrashers in Mexico...just to complicate things.   I am now not entirely sure that I saw a bonafide Cozumel Thrasher.   But I'm too old to worry about it, although if I return to Cozumel I will keep an eye out for this bird.   My thanks to Andrew S. for alerting me to this remarkable situation.   (Cozumel Thrasher drawing above from Birdlife International)
Please comment if you wish.