On Sunday, November 7th I led my second OFNC birding outing at Jack Pine Trail. A flock of Snow Buntings flying over my driveway just as I was about to leave brightened my spirits and seemed to promise a great day of birding. Not only were these the first Snow Buntings I had seen this fall, but also the first ones I had ever seen flying over my house – an excellent yard bird for the suburbs!
Although 15 people showed up for the walk, including Deb, there weren’t as many species at Jack Pine Trail as I had hoped. We saw a small flock of Dark-eyed Juncos, both species of nuthatch (both of which readily came to our hands for food), Golden-crowned Kinglets, all three woodpecker species, Blue Jays, chickadees, a Brown Creeper, mallards, and four Green-winged Teals. Because of the cold overnight temperatures ice had begun to form on the ponds, so there weren’t as many duck species present as I had hoped. A beautiful male White-tailed Deer was probably the best sighting of the walk.
The second part of my outing involved a stop at the Richmond Lagoons. There was still quite a bit of open water here, resulting in a good mix of waterfowl including the Green-winged Teals, Northern Pintails and shovelers I had seen on my previous outing as well as a Ruddy Duck. Only five other people accompanied me to the lagoons, and we enjoyed studying the ducks for a good twenty minutes before the outing broke up. Deb and I made one last stop at the Moodie Drive quarry ponds, where we added two Common Mergansers and a Great Blue Heron to the day’s tally.
Although I enjoyed leading my second outing, I was disappointed I couldn’t find at least one spectacular bird for the group. Given the recent sightings of Bohemian Waxwings, Common Redpolls, Pine Siskins and White-winged Crossbills I thought we’d find at least one of these species. As it was, I didn’t even take my camera out of my bag; as a result, I have no pictures to post from the outing.