Birding

Baillie Birdathon: Report #1

Dear Friends, We almost didn't go. We had been kept awake by violent thunder storms that swept through the area during the night. The weather man was calling for the same throughout the day. However, at the moment (8 am), although the skies were dark with heavy clouds, there was no rain and no wind. The Blue Elephant restaurant in Simcoe had supplied us with water, pop, veggies and tasty wraps so we decided to meet Steve Wilcox at 10 am, as planned, for our annual "Baillie Birdathon". On the way to Long Point heavy fog rolled in from Lake Erie, not quite pea soup, but very thick. We wondered just how many birds we could identify from 30 feet. Things were looking dismal, but the forecasted storms held off. We parked the van across from the banding station and…
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Short-Eared Owl sighting

Charles Welsh and his family, who farm north of Scotland, ON, were surprised one morning recently to find this beautiful Short-eared Owl sitting on their vehicle. The owl had a vole in its talons and seemed unperturbed by the curious humans as it proceeded to eat its supper in plain view. The Short-eared Owl spends its life in the Arctic, along the shores of Hudson Bay, but often winters in southern Ontario where it may occur in small groups.
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Winter birding in Haldimand County

Story and photos by Shelia Smith The moon was sailing in and out of clouds and the wind was howling when I woke on January 20th. It was not a promising looking day to go on a hike to find birds but I'd signed up to go with the Norfolk Field Naturalists to see what we could find. "Well," I thought, "we probably won't see much but it will be an adventure." So I joined the hike leaders, Audrey Heagey and David Okines along with about 20 members and friends of NFN on the Port Dover pier. We exchanged greetings and introductions. A lady, two boys and a dog were feeding the ducks and gulls at the pier. This gave some of the beginning birders in our group a chance to see some common birds up close. Among the Mallards…
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Birding in Cuba: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

by: Bernie Solymár My first trip to Cuba was in 2004, as part of a group of Canadian agronomists studying sustainable agriculture methods in Cuba. I was so enthralled with the wonderful habitats and biodiversity of the island that I contacted Luis and Yane, the company’s Cuban directors (now living in Toronto) to see about organizing nature-based tours. Eight years later, and several more visits as a tour leader, and I have thoroughly fallen for this tropical jewel that has been largely stalled in time for the past 50 years. Away from the white sand beaches and opulent resorts, there are numerous natural parks and nature reserves, as well as other natural areas that lend themselves to once-in-a-lifetime birding and other nature-related activities. Canadians Graham Gibson and Margaret Atwood discovered several decades ago that birding in this largest tropical island…
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