Tim McCarthy posts his first whimbrel report on ONTBIRDS.
(The Ontario Field Ornithologists operates an electronic mailing listserv called ONTBIRDS that notifies birders of interesting Ontario sightings. ONTBIRDS is a good way to keep on top of what's being seen in our park as migration begins to accelerate as well as keep up with other interesting Ontario sightings. On average, there are about 6 - 8 postings a day and Sam Smith Park is frequently one of them.)
Click here to find out more about Fred Bosworth.
Today we went out with a Whimbrel not a Bang (sorry, T.S.)
Believe it or not, around 8:50 this a.m. we were overflown by no less than 30 of our favourite chicken-sized shorebirds. So wonderful to hear again their thrilling, hairs up the back, wild kind of song! Not only have we been so lucky but if you've been reading Ontbirds reports lately you would see that there've been a good many more Whimbrel reports than has been usual, from places that we'd never heard from before. Lots of other shorebirds, too. That means, of course, if you can get out to those places tomorrow you will see lots of shorebirds. Their apparent increase in birds observed has to come from one or a number of good-news reasons:
There are more serious people out there looking for shorebirds. Yes, that holds credence for many reasons, not the least of which is more and more baby-boomer retirements these days to put more knowledgeable birders on the spots, more sophistication in finding and identifying and quicker location through social media. More spotters, same birds.
There has been a favourable pattern of weather lately? Well, I'm not much of a weather man but there certainly has been a change in winter and spring this year. Whether the weather is favourable for shorebirds or just a fluke will require much tiresome analysis from the tiresome analysis folks. Meaning we're seeing our birds plus somebody else’s'?
Or how about this one? Because of all mankind has been doing to help these birds, both in their winter and summer grounds their populations have finally begun to increase. Don't know if I'm going to live to see that one. It just might be true for Whimbrels but I can't see it happening to everybody everywhere.
So I'm asking you all because I want to know.
Here's what's making me so goofy. Today we at the Whimbrel Point saw:
2 Semipalmated Plovers
3 Spotted Sandpipers
3 Least Sandpipers
3 Black Bellied Plovers
18 Short Billed Dowitchers
50+ Unidentified Peep Sandpipers
10 Common Loons
Innumerable Cliff Swallows, so good it is to see them back under the eaves of the Treatment Plant
Pretty good day for the first one, huh?
Thanks to all the folks who came out to help and especially to those who came to learn. You are all more than welcome to come back anytime.
If anyone is interested in filling in the afternoon shift, say, from Noon 'til 5 or 6, we really need you as the Whimbrels have been showing up late sometimes and I know we missed 'em. I'll show you how to keep Reports if you're new and I'll make sure you're comfortable in the seat before all the morning shift goes stumbling off and you start getting swamped by Whimbrels!