I received an e-mail yesterday, as did everyone else subscribing to the Ontario listserve, regarding the annual meeting of the 2008 Ontario Bird Records Committee. Two new species were added to the Ontario Checklist during Saturday's meeting at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Barnacle Goose and the Mottled Duck.
That brings the provincial total to 482 species and makes it all the more difficult, or should I say challenging, to complete the checklist. I remember the listserve reports of a Mottled Duck found in the Hillman Marsh, in May of last year. Jean and I were in the field with Kayo, John and Katherine after meeting with them to discuss the directions of the hot spots and day trip section of the soon to be published Niagara Birds book. While observing birds in Malcomson Park, Kayo was on his cell wanting confirmation it was indeed a Mottled Duck before driving the 4 hours needed to reach the Hillman Marsh. Kayo also flushed a lifer American Woodcock for Jean and I while birding the St. Catharines eco park.
Since then, Jean and I have covered quite an extensive area of the Niagara Region while trying out the directions written by Katherine and Drew. We have one more section to receive from Drew and then our job will be done.
Our chances of observing a Mottled Duck or Barnacle Goose in Ontario are slim but if a report occurs and they are within a reasonable driving distance, we'll be there. Our provincial list, adding 3 so far this year, currently stands at 220 species. It appears we still have some Ontario birding to do.