It was the weekend, so we took Red Dwarf (the new, used Grand Caravan) out for its inaugural birding spin. I’m not one of those people who want cars to do too much. Get you there and be able to walk when you get out on arrival are about all I ask. With the caravan being able to keep the tripod fully extended for those roadside emergency stops is a bonus. For our little ride we decided to visit Prince Edward County in Ontario, down Kingston way. There was a chance of seeing King Eiders and perhaps an Eurasian Wigeon if it stuck, but we also like the place for birding and so that alone is a good enough reason to visit.
The car was fine, comfortable and not too heavy on the gas. Another bonus with this one is a working radio with a jack socket so we can play podcasts on the go. For those of you who do not know what a podcast is, it is a radio show you can download to an ipod or similar device and we like to listen to the BBC Friday Night Comedy, Newsjack and the Infinite Monkey Cage when it is airing. If you like comedy the first two are good, especially the first. If you like science but with humour, try the monkey cage. Just Google BBC podcasts.
Just a bit of information about my new e-book here. I’ve created a page on this blog where, if interested, you can take a look at my e-books for sale along with links for buying ($2.99USD). If you don’t have an e-reader, just a PC, there is also a link so you can get the free e-reader app from Kobo. Just click on the tab at the top of this post. If any of you have bought it and have comments, please feel free. Purists will be glad to know that some of the typos have now been addressed.
Spring always sees a glut of year ticks as soon as the snow goes and the trip ran to form. At a place called Kaiser’s Crossroads a couple of flooded depressions had most of the regular ducks, a few Bonaparte’s Gulls and an Osprey fetching and carrying sticks for its roadside nest. No Eurasian Wigeon though but it did come back after we’d moved on.
We then headed down to Prince Edward Point where there were hundreds of duck to enjoy. We passed three Mute Swans on the way down and then lucked into an immature male Barrow’s Goldeneye just short of the point.
All three scoters were on view off the point lighthouse with White-winged in large numbers, followed by a handful of Surf Scoters and a couple of Blacks. We didn’t find the King Eiders though, they had probably moved off with the melt or could have been further around the point. The actual ‘reserve’ has no management or at least as far as we could see it doesn’t, nor does seem to provide trails or maps. Like so many of these sites it needs the government to provide investment and staff but we birders are hardly worth it are we?
As we were passing we went onto Amherst Island for the last hour of daylight. The reward was one distant Short-eared Owl and 17 (seventeen) Snowy Owls, all on the eastern end. Hundreds of Buffleheads bobbed about offshore along with Common Loons and both scaup. The ferry channel was still largely ice but that should clear over the next week and all those ducks will be going north soon.
Tomorrow the forecast temp is for 24°C, I wonder what that particular high pressure is going to bring us?