Friday, 6 December 2013

November in Review

November in Review
What a month! I must admit that this migration season was strange, but November made me smile. Just look at the numbers!  I was able to post 5 birds, half of the total needed to stay on the course.  I added 6 new species to my year and life count, moving both to 88 species.

What a Month!
I started off November feeling a little down.  The migration season was not going as I had imagined it would go.  I was coming to grips with the fact that I am not going to complete the challenge and I was also feeling a little tired. It was one of the months where I did not get out birding as much, but the days in which I did, were truly fulfilling.  My highlight was a trip to a pond in the north of the island, on the afternoon of November 18. It was after work, and I was in the area so I stopped in. In the 45 minutes I spent, I was able to observe 16 species, but the highlight was a strange looking duck, one I had never seen before.  I was not even able to find it in my Field Guide.  On arriving home I e-mailed the photographs to three of the top birders on the island, Dr. John Webster, Dr. Karl Watson and Mr. Edward Massiah.  It was later confirmed that this strange duck was a new species to the island and maybe even the region.  It was a Common Shelduck “Tadorna tadorna”. Some of the other exciting birds observed during this month were Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor”, Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata”, Ring-necked Duck “Aythya collaris” and Hodsonian Godwit Limosa haemastica”.

Hudsonian Godwit

Northern Shoveler
Wilson's Phalarope

Bird of the Month
My bird of the Month, and possibly bird of the year, was the Common Shelduck “Tadorna tadorna” observed and photographed on November 18, in the north of the island.

On to December
This is the final month of the challenge.  We still have some exciting birds to see.  I saw a Wood Sandpiper but the photographs were not the best.  A Grey Heron may also be on the island, and I look forward to seeing that. So December here I come!