Since Laura and I left Canada and embarked on our travels in the autumn of 2019, my Ontario bird list has moved to the back burner. Spending months at a time out of the province ensures that I will miss some birds, but I’m ok with that. Visiting other parts of the world and seeing the diversity found in those places is far more important to me than a couple of extra ticks on my Ontario bird list! Though, of course, it still stings a little when I hear the news of a “mega” back home in Ontario. Last fall was particularly painful as I was not around for Groove-billed Ani (7th Ontario record and 1st since 1988), Burrowing Owl (7th record) and Glaucous-winged Gull (2nd record).
Luck has been on my side since the calendar flipped to 2022. I caught up with my first Rufous Hummingbird for Ontario in early January during one of the few days that I was home over the Christmas holidays. This long-staying bird was attending a feeder in Oakville and I happened to be one of the last people to see this bird before it departed. It was a milestone bird too, my 400th species for Ontario.