Thursday, October 8, 2009

He has returned.

Yes, after a summer of raising young, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has returned to St. Catharines for a layover in my neighbourhood before continuing on to its winter range.

I heard a distinctive call this morning, much like a dog's squeaky toy. Sure enough, in the same neighbouring yard where I had seen him in the spring, a male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (yes, they do exist my non-birding readers) was climbing up the trunk of a walnut tree. For the second year in a row the sapsucker has been observed in this yard during the months of April and October.

My first fall observation of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was this past weekend during the OFO Annual Convention at Point Pelee. A post concerning the highly enjoyed weekend will appear soon. Not to mention one on the last weekend of summer and B.C. Trip Part XIII. At this rate, I'll soon have more drafts than posts.

I'm not sure if the sapsucker will stay as long as he did in the spring but I'll keep my eyes on the trees when ever I accompany our dogs in the back yard. Hopefully, between two Thanksgiving dinners and the OFO Hamilton field trip, I'll find some time to finally post some drafts this coming weekend.

Hold that thought. Looking at the WNY Dial-a-Bird report on Ontbirds, a third winter California Gull was observed off the Three Sisters Islands in the upper Niagara River on October 7. According to the report, this is the region's earliest occurrence of a California Gull (excluding one September record). Hmmmm. I think I'll wait for the OFO Niagara River Gull Watch where I'll have access to the great gull identifying skills of Jean Iron and Ron Tozer. Missing a turkey dinner to try and find a gull with yellow-green legs and a black ring on the tip of a yellow bill would be crazy. Right?

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