Kind of a general summary post here. I'll probably find it easier to do this kind of thing once in a while instead of regular posting.
The Mitchell Lagoons provided an interesting find this week with the discovery of a Barnacle Goose a few days ago. I managed to get a couple hours free yesterday and got some great scope views and record shots of this rarity as it fed out in the nearby soccer field with a large flock of Canada Geese.
According to other folks, the bird was (and still is as of this writing) present at the lagoons dividing time between the ponds and the sports field. One of the great things about checking out a rarity like this is it is a great opportunity to meet like minded individuals and attach faces to names.
I didn't spend a lot of time picking through the other wildlife present, but was alerted to the presence of the continuing Red-Necked Phalarope feeding in the back south cell. Again a record shot only.
There have been some other decent finds in the county this year although none quite as rare as the Barnacle. I've discussed the potential of the Ellice Swamp in past postings and the rail trail off line 52 has proven a good site to check out.
Species rare elsewhere in the county were reliably found here this year including Blue-winged, Golden-winged and numerous Brewster's Warblers.
Least Bittern and Sandhill Crane were frequently heard along the marsh trail and a pair of Upland Sandpiper spent some time in a nearby hayfield with a probable breeding attempt. Other species although not necessarily rare would often trip the eBird filters in quantity such as Eastern Towhee, Veery or Ruffed Grouse.
My favorite non-bird sighting from the swamp this year would be this snowshoe hare, a species I had hoped to catch up with here for some time. To my knowledge this is one of the farthest south locations in the province that I can find documentation of this northern species. The habitat is certainly suitable here.
Not a bad year so far for a land-locked county made up of mostly farmland.