Hamilton Naturalists' Club Birding Hotline Report - Thursday, February 7th, 2002

Keith Dieroff kdieroff at yahoo.ca
Thu Feb 7 18:35:28 EST 2002


At 7:00pm, Thursday, February 7th, 2002, this is the
Hamilton Naturalists' Club Birding Hotline Report. The
Hotline is normally revised on Thursday nights, unless
an unusual bird turns up in the Hamilton area.

The story of the week has been the SMITH'S LONGSPUR
discovered last Saturday on the 2nd Concession north
of Hagersville. Birders have come from great distances
to see the bird and so far, very few have been
disappointed. Your reporter made the trip to
Hagersville yesterday morning and was rewarded with
excellent views of the bird from only 30 feet away.
Directions are as follows: from Hamilton take Highway
6 south towards Hagersville, after passing through the
hamlet of Willow Grove watch for Oneida Township
Concession 2, turn left and look for the bird in the
fields just past the first farm. Other birds seen by
observers looking for the LONGSPUR include HORNED
LARK, SNOW BUNTING, LAPLAND LONGSPUR, SAVANNAH
SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK,
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, AMERICAN KESTREL, RED-TAILED HAWK,
NORTHERN HARRIER, SHORT-EARED OWL, RED-BELLIED
WOODPECKER, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.

This week's local reports include BALD EAGLE flying
over the high level bridge on Saturday morning, BELTED
KINGFISHER at the Desjardins Canal, a pair of
WHITE-FRONTED GEESE at LaSalle Marina on Monday, GREAT
BLUE HERON in Beamsville, GLAUCOUS GULL at Leander
Boat Club, NORTHERN SHRIKE, COMMON REDPOLL, and
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD at Derry Road and School Bell
Line, a male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE at the Travelodge on
Brant Street in Burlington, plus KING EIDER, BLACK
SCOTER, SURF SCOTER, and WHITE-WINGED SCOTER between
Greens Road and Lawrence Sayers Park on the Stoney
Creek lakeshore.

There were also some good yard reports, like
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL in Burlington, BOHEMIAN WAXWING
in Kilbride, PEREGRINE FALCON in Dundas, and BALD
EAGLE, COOPER'S HAWK, GREAT BLUE HERON, and both
species of NUTHATCH in Caledonia.

Out of town, the LEWIS' WOODPECKER was still at Wooler
as recently as Wednesday, an OVENBIRD turned up at
Sunnybrook Park in Toronto, PINE GROSBEAKS can still
be found on the Guelph University campus, and
SHORT-EARED OWL, LONG-EARED OWL, GREAT HORNED OWL,
BALD EAGLE, and a MERLIN were reported at Selkirk
Provincial Park. 

In Chatham, a PEREGRINE FALCON was discovered on its
back in the snow a week ago Wednesday. The bird turned
out to be Hal, one of the hatchlings from last
season's Hamilton pair. The good news is that X-rays
could find nothing wrong. At last report, Hal is
"feisty" and ready for re-release very soon.
 
To end this week's report, I'd like to provide my
observations regarding bird photography. While viewing
the SMITH'S LONGSPUR yesterday morning, I met the
ideal bird photographer, in my opinion. This gentleman
was using a camera attached (with an adapter) to a
regular spotting scope. Using this he was able to take
pictures of the LONGSPUR without getting too close to
the bird or scaring the flock. About two weeks ago, I
encountered the worst bird photographer. This
individual was using a regular 35mm camera with a
short telephoto lens to chase a SNOWY OWL around
Tollgate Ponds. Every time the photographer got close
to the bird, it became agitated and moved. This went
on for quite some time until the bird finally flew
off. The point of this story is that if you take
pictures of birds, please use the least invasive
method possible. Harrassing a bird can lead to
accidents and even death - this is the last thing we
want for the birds we love.

Until next week, please let us know about your
sightings. Leave your name, telephone number, as well
as the time and date of your call. Sightings can also
be reported by E-mail.

GOOD BIRDING!

Keith Dieroff
C/O Hamilton Naturalists' Club
Birding Hotline Report
Hamilton, Ontario
kdieroff at yahoo.ca

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