About me and this collection

I have this idea that whenever I go birding there’s always a Bird of the Day.  Even a miserable, cold, dank day will produce something special, and it doesn’t have to be rare to be special. Sometimes two or three birds are the highlights, but there’s always at least one, one that stands out because it made me think Wow!

In this blog I spotlight my Bird of the Day. If I have a photograph that relates, I’ll add it.

My birding is done mostly in Southern Ontario, Canada. I live very close to the shoreline of Lake Ontario just where the lake tapers to its extreme west end. The closest big city is Hamilton.

It’s an area rich in bird life in all seasons.  The rather extreme continental climate means there’s migration action much of the year: We get birds moving north to breed in spring and returning south in fall, We see Arctic birds heading for open water and /or a more assured food supply over the winter months. The presence of the lake and varied landward topography means we have a lot of variety of habitat. No mountains, no salt water, but plenty of forest, marsh, grassland, farmland, bogs, swamps, rivers, ponds, rock faces and urban expanses.

On other pages I’ll share some of what I’ve learned, some thoughts and observations on individual birds, species and birding generally.  You might enjoy it, you may agree, disagree, or just navigate away to something more worthwhile.

And me?  I’m Peter Thoem, retired after a business career and a spell as a local politician.  Nature has fascinated me for as long as I can remember; since I was 4, I like to say. As  child and teen in the U.K, binoculars were out of the question so I just peered at things and looked for birds’ nests. I moved to Canada in my early 20s and now armed with binoculars and a new suite of living things, I have studied them ever since.  I am challenged by birds for the most part, I view them as a nice balance of intellectual challenge and aesthetic appreciation.  I don’t keep a life list or any other kind of list, but I keep field notes whenever I’m out; I just wish I could draw well too. This is me. 


9 thoughts on “About me and this collection

  1. I will come to the blog for peace and quiet and to spur me to get to the woods.
    But remind me to look for the ticks when at Rondeau.

  2. What a delightful blog. I can feel the stress of the day just melting away and will be a regular visitor. Thanks for inviting us in.


  3. I was contemplating coming to visit Canada during a migration period to see where all thes many birds set down….thinking perhaps the lakes in the Toronto area. I have visited the area around Whistler in April/early may when my grown up children lived there temporarily (2012) and then revisited with my husband up the inside passage of Alaska September (2012). My biggest observation was the lack of birds. I just couldn’t believe that with all those trees and lakes that their were so few birds….so….in my lifetime, I felt that there is going to be one more trip to Canada to See lots of birds….hence the search began. Coming across your blog I was simply thrilled. My bird watching involves a break from busy work and people……and usually come home with a “catch of the day as well” . Yesterday I photographed a black shouldered kite during the fluttered search for food, the dive and the mouse in its foot as it rose from the long grass and then the eating….I was extatic.
    It’s looking more like 2014 that I may get across to Canada now, but in the mean time it will be exciting to read your blog and research places and accommodation in the planning. My home and national parks that I go birding is along the East side inland from the coast by 90 minutes in Australia. Kindest Regards for you shared Efforts. Sigrid

  4. I am a visitor from Rustenburg Bird Club, South Africa. After spending a weekend on Pelee Island with my family (alas, non birders) and a pre-1994 N.American bird guide book, I became very frustrated at not being able to identify the beautiful birds on the island. When I arrived at my son’s home in Burlington my daughter-in-law had contacted Peter who so kindly offered to take me out into the fields where he helped me to find and identify so many beautiful birds of this area. What a knowledgeable and enthusiastic birder Peter is, I will always remain grateful to him for his kindness and patience. Alas, I have to return home soon but I look forward to returning and I will certainly contact Peter for a repeat outing !

  5. 31 July 2014
    Sorry I will not be about when you visit Malaga Province of Andalucia, Spain in September but I took your advice and looked up your blogsite. And jolly well glad that I did! What a delightful read; full of interest and a flowing style that will delight all readers. Indeed, the photographs came as an added bonus. Congratulations and I shall now “Bookmark” it so that I can continue to follow your Canadian exploits as you flush out that “Bird of the Day.”
    My wife is not that keen on the USA so a birding trip back to Florida would have to be a solo effort but your birding descriptions are going t have me looking up Hamilton on the map re nearest airports and accommodations, etc and who knows what might transpire in the next twelve months. So, any views & hints, birding resorts, best time to visit, etc would be much appreciated. As long as there is something else apart from birds as my wife can only take so much birding!
    Congratulations once again in a most delightful and enjoyable blog.
    Best wishes
    Bob Wright
    Lake Vinuela, Malaga, Spain

  6. I came across your blog from one of the comments you made on 10,000 Birds. I’m new to your sight, but really like your focus – the idea of one special bird each outing. This past weekend I had Snow Buntings, Horned Larks, and Lapland Longspurs, but the bird that stood out to me is the Am. Tree Sparrow – a bird I’ve seen hundreds of time. While going through my photos I was surprised by how dark and prominent the red “shoulder” mark truly is.

    Anyway, I look forward to your future posts. Happy birding.

  7. Hi Peter, for years, we’ve had barn swallows nesting under the docks at Harbour West Marina in Hamilton. The old wooden docks would have been under water with Lake Ontario’s record high water levels, but the old docks were pulled out over the winter. Yes, the swallows are back, nesting under the new floating docks, even with installation electric and water lines still under way. We had 4 fledglings resting on the life lines of the sailboat yesterday.

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