Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Carefree Adventure

On Saturday Jean and I returned to Van Wagners Beach Road (our last visit was the OFO field trip) in search of a reported Lark Sparrow. It was last seen on October 21 but I thought we should take the chance that it may still be found at the volley ball courts of a beach front restaurant.

An image of the sparrow captured by Tom Thomas can be found on the OFO site.

Strong winds were blowing from the south-west and unlike 2 weeks ago, we could find no birds in the brush along the Hamilton Recreational Trail. No birds at all were encountered, not even House Sparrows, as we passed the restaurant. After checking the volleyball court area, Jean and I crossed the road to the parking lot where there had been some avian activity during the field trip. At first no birds were seen. Eventually, a Dark-eyed Junco popped out of the brush and Jean caught a quick glimpse of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet but the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers had moved on. As we walked along the edge of the parking lot another birder joined us in our search. The best spot was near two garbage containers in the parking lot. A number of White-throated Sparrows appeared out of the brush and stood in front of the bins (garbage containers). A beautiful Fox Sparrow jumped into view as we observed the other sparrows. Additional birds observed here were 1 Song Sparrow and 2 Hermit Thrushes.

Though the Lark Sparrow was not found all was not lost this day. During our drive to Hamilton, we took an alternate route atop the Niagara Escarpment and stopped in Fonthill to pick up tickets to attend a reading of Nino Ricci's the Origin of Species. Can you see why the book attracted my attention? Nino Ricci himself will be reading from his newest novel. Should be an interesting evening.

Still sitting at 188. I'm beginning to think it will not change until the Niagara River Gull Watch field trip where at the Whirlpool a Little Gull awaits to be ticked.

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