Sunday, October 14, 2007

OFO 25th Anniversary Convention

The weekend of October 13/14 was one for the record books. The OFO Convention was very successful and enjoyed by everyone. The change in weather a few days before brought in many birds to make it an interesting weekend.
A record high number of people attended the convention at Point Pelee. A record number of bird species was seen on the field trips. A new species record for the Rondeau area was seen, although not originally found by an OFO participant.
I led a field trip in the Rondeau area on Sunday. We found a total of 93 species for the day. The best bird was a Northern Wheatear that Jim Burk discovered at the Shrewsbury dock. We received word of it just after lunch, and rushed down to find it feeding at the pier.
This thrush will be a new species for our Rondeau list.
I had a group of forty-some people, and lucky for them they were in the area! It was a life bird for most of them, including myself.
The Northern Wheatear nests in Greenland and NE Canada. It occasionally makes it south in September or early October, but there are only a few records for southern Ontario. It was Ontario's second this fall.
The day was going quite well for us, and this rare bird put the icing on the OFO Anniversary cake. Jean Iron has some excellent photos of the Wheatear on her website at:
OFO conventions usually involve an entire weekend of field trips, with a dinner banquet Saturday evening. It is a time for some good birding and good comradarie. Old acquaintances are renewed, and it is a wonderful social event.
I always look forward to attending these functions. I have been attending them since 1996 when one was held at Hamilton. The field trip that time was at Van Wagners Beach and we hit paydirt! It was good day for seabirds as many jaegers were seen, including all three species for Ontario. Several kittiwakes (both adult and juvenile), loons and other birds. It was a memorable event!
OFO conventions are always worthwhile events.
Check out the OFO website:
All for now........

1 comment:

  1. I actually ended up taking a day off of work to see the Northern Wheatear, which is a first for my birding career! I've left school early, went way over the speed limit, and various other bad things to see birds but this was the first time I intentionally missed a greyhound and took a day off of work for one. Totally worth it. I'm glad to hear that your trip went well, especially considering how many people you had in one day.