Despite snowy conditions, meaning poor visibility, a group of hardy Canadian birders had a great day birding Wolfe Island, Invista Lagoon and Ivy Lea. Our chief aim was to see a Gyrfalcon. For the tour leader, he aimed to be one of the few men to witness lighting strike twice while aboard the Frontenac III ferry! No luck on the Gyr, but just the thought of a massive Arctic falcon was enough to make me happy (I guess that’s not entirely fair because I had already seen one). While on Wolfe Island, we observed 10 Snowy Owls, 2 Lapland Longspur, a single Rough-legged and other neat finds. A good start! We enjoyed a sit-down lunch while on Wolfe and were not disappointed with our selections.
After lunch, we headed inland and birded Invista Lagoon, where we observed a beautiful collection of ducks. Derek Dunnet spotted a female Wood Duck tucked in along the shoreline; a good spot considering the viewing conditions. Finding “diamonds” among the “rough(Mallards)” is one of many ways to hone one’s birding craft, and Derek’s eye for detail is improving all the time.
We made our way to Ivy Lea, where the waterfowl scene continues to be excellent. A surprise Common Grackle popped out of a cedar hedge, giving us all our first-of-the-year view of this species. Migrant grackles begin to arrive in eastern ON by late February.
Wolfe Island: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S42663820
Invista Lagoon: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S42645376