Monday, June 13, 2011

A Long Line of Birders at Darlington

A Willow Ptarmigan, a possible lost migrant or an extreme overshoot from last year's irruption, was found at the Darlington Nuclear Station on Lake Ontario east of Toronto on Wednesday June 8. The ptarmigan, normally found in the Arctic Tundra, was observed again two days later at the same site.

On Friday June 10, an ontbirds e-mail sent by Jean Iron informed all subscribers that the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) would kindly allow birders to visit the site the morning of June 12. Instructions were given and all interested were asked to meet at the Darlington Nuclear Visitor Information Centre Sunday morning. Unfortunately for my wife and I, her work schedule was changed recently and prevented us to share a rare opportunity with our fellow Ontario birders. Yeah, it does suck!

On Sunday morning the OPG bussed 150 birders to the secure site and they were not disappointed. Details of the viewing can be found at Jean Iron's web site.

Video of the molting male was captured by Luc Fazio and posted on YouTube.

Many thanks to the staff at the OPG and Beacon Environmental for allowing this to take place. Events like this will continue to happen when they run this smoothly and hopefully the next one will occur on a day that both Jean and I are not working.

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