Out for a Lark (Bunting)

Lark Bunting, neither one nor the other really making it even more interesting, which partially explains why I made the run down to Amherst Island in Ontario yesterday to see one. It was also a lifer or life bird and within my unofficial twitching range. You have to have some sort of parameters when you live in North America, otherwise you would spend your whole life on the road.

I had earmarked the day to try to catch up on everything I’d let slide while gallivanting around the western USA for two weeks on Sandra’s folks’ ‘bucket list’ trip. The lure of the lark proved too much but my dilemma was how to get to it, and back, and still be around for said ancients as they don’t go east until Monday. The answer was to take them with me on their first ever twitch!

The ferry to Amherst sails on the half hour and we were still cruising the 401 as the minute hour signalled the start of a fresh 11:00am. I therefore apologise to the caravan driver who I had to put behind me on the road down to Millhaven, you were right to invest in that stability bar after all! We made the ferry with a small window of comfort and the treat of a shortish cruise on Lake Ontario added to the seniors enjoyment of the trip.

We made our way somewhat more sedately across the island to the appointed place but the bird made us wait a good three minutes before resuming its unanswered song of summer. It has been described as vocally cardinal like and that is pretty accurate. It was at a fairly long range and didn’t come to feed on the road as it had for previous observers – it may have been the twitching mass that put it off, three cars including ours. Put this bird anywhere in the UK and the crowd would look like a re-enactment of Woodstock.

The photos below don’t really do it justice, not least because they are rubbish. It is a great bird and not one I’d expected to see for the first time on the currently charming Amherst Island. I say currently charming as there are/were plans to stick those awful wind turbines on there, not for the green power, just the dollars. I did write to the PM of Ontario about it, I never heard back but then I did mention the Q (Québec) word in my email and probably got snagged in her spam filter.

So far June has been a blast, even though my beloved odonata has barely had a glance. I have lots of other things to do too but for a couple of hours at least I can enjoy having seen a Lark Bunting, finally.

IMG_2467 (2) IMG_2486 (2) IMG_2497 (2) IMG_2515 (2) IMG_2525 (2) IMG_2529 (2)

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