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Quinte Area Bird Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Nov 26, 2015 at 06:00 AM

Blue Jay. Photo by Daniel LaFrance Blue Jay. Photo by Daniel LaFranceTHE QUINTE AREA BIRD REPORT


with sightings from the Bay of Quinte region, and beyond



Please e-mail your sightings directly to   Terry Sprague

This is where you can tell us what you have been seeing around the Quinte area and in your backyard. Sightings are posted daily, so we encourage you to report your bird sightings, anecdotes, and other wildlife discoveries for everyone to enjoy. To report your sightings, just click my name above. 

Purple Sandpiper. Photo by Barry KantThursday, November 26: Everything right now as we edge closer to December, appears to be at a low ebb as no bird sightings came in today at all from anywhere in the Bay of Quinte region. These doldrums are apt to change however once December 1st rolls around and birders become more active as they work toward their Winter Bird List. The winter season for birders commences on December 1st, and concludes on February 28 (or 29). During that time all of us try to prove to the skeptics who believe that all birds go south for the winter, that there is still lots to see during the three lean months of the year with a minimum of at least 100 species being possible. A good start on that list can be achieved by visiting Algonquin Park where right now, PURPLE FINCH, EVENING GROSBEAK, COMMON REDPOLL and PINE SISKINS  are coming to the Visitor Centre feeder, species that might be missed if the Winter List was restricted only to the Bay of Quinte Area proper. BOREAL CHICKADEE and GRAY JAY have also been seen in the Park. Eleven species of waterfowl were present today at Invista (Dupont Lagoon) in Kingston, with good numbers of MALLARDS, REDHEADS, and GREATER SCAUP (200). Dribs and drabs of waterfowl are present at Presqu’ile Park with GADWALL, NORTHERN SHOVELER and NORTHERN PINTAILS being the most significant. A few lingering DUNLINS and a late SANDERLING have been present and the long awaited PURPLE SANDPIPER (file photo above by Barry Kant of Brighton) finally showed up there today. The Presqu’ile Park Bird Report for this past week by Fred Helleiner has been updated to the NatureStuff website and can be seen by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, November 25: As the bird feeder season gets well under way for another “winter”, at least one unusual sighting has shown up. A juvenile BALTIMORE ORIOLE turned up at a Brighton feeder this morning, just in time to be entered on the observer’s Project FeederWatch totals. Additionally, he has a half dozen CEDAR WAXWINGS, 4 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and a contingent of some 30 HOUSE SPARROWS! At a feeder on Swamp College Road, north of Wellington, an operator there has 15-20 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, 6-10 each of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and DARK-EYED JUNCOS, a half dozen BLUE JAYS and 3 woodpecker species – RED-BELLIED, HAIRY and DOWNY. But the surprise arrival yesterday on the west side of Wellington, albeit quite dead, was a WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL that had collided with a window. This species which is not to be expected in the Quinte area this season in any great numbers moves back and forth like a pendulum across the boreal forest looking for bumper spruce cone crops and irrupts south only in years of widespread cone crop failures. They are expected to be scarce in most of Ontario this winter because cone crops are low, but will occur this winter in Atlantic Canada including Newfoundland, which has a heavy spruce cone crop. It is hoped that WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS will move into the northern New England States and the Adirondack Mountains in New York State where spruce cone crops are very good which might bring a few down our way. RED-TAILED HAWKS wre seen today along County Road 2 in the Wellington area, and along 401 in the Belleville area, with another being spotted at Brighton. An AMERICAN KESTREL was seen keeping watch over the fields along County Road 2 near Wellington, and a COOPER’S HAWK on the north side of Belleville. A PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen by a motorist travelling Camden Road at Napanee today.

Tuesday, November 24: Birding these days can be hit and miss with some birds tending to show up where you find them. One Kingston birder came across a BARRED OWL in his travels in the Kingston area.   In Wellington, a tardy DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT continues to linger in West Lake. Duck populations can vary too, apparently due to the whims of the wind, forcing birds out into the open lake, or closer into shore where they can be observed. No further sign of the EURASIAN WIGEON that was in with a group of AMERICAN WIGEONS a few days ago. In fact, no sign of the AMERICAN WIGEONS either. Present yesterday was just a handful of ducks comprising a couple dozen CANADA GEESE, 36 MALLARDS and small numbers of LONG-TAILED DUCKS and BUFFLEHEADS. In among them was  GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. A SONG SPARROW was also seen. As the Christmas Bird Counts approach, a new one is being set up and attracting some enthusiastic interest at Sandbanks Provincial Park. It butts onto the existing Prince Edward Point Count and not far away from the Belleville and Presqu’ile Park Counts. Anyone interested in registering to take part in the new count can leave their names with me, and I will forward them on to the compiler. Essentially, the survey circle takes in all of Sandbanks Park, Wellington, East Lake and West Lake, Beaver Meadow, Salmon Point and Point Petre. Some good birds present at Prince Edward Point in the last few days have included HERMIT THRUSH, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. Three RED-TAILED HAWKS  were observed east of Belleville, and a PEREGRINE FALCON continues to be seen in the city of Kingston.

Monday, November 23: CAVE SWALLOWS have been in the news lately. CAVE SWALLOWS  first showed up in Prince Edward County in 2003, which coincided with about the same time they started turning up in Ontario. I became suspicious when a Point Petre resident reported a “Cliff Swallow” in his garage. In as much as it was well into November, the likelihood of a Cliff Swallow being here this late when the species migrates south by mid-September at the latest, was pretty slim. I immediately thought CAVE SWALLOW and when I went to see the bird, it had already died. The bird was severely emaciated, not unusual for a species that has somehow travelled from northern Mexico and Texas to Lake Ontario at a time when insects are next to absent. Two were seen feeding in the water treatment tanks at Sedgwick Park in Oakville. Others have been turning up too all along the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario shorelines to at least Oshawa this fall. The one theory as to why they always seem to arrive here every November is prolonged strong southerlies or southwesterlies during late fall, which basically carries the birds northward These southwestern winds often occur in advance of long trailing cold fronts. On the days of the southwesterlies, large numbers of CAVE SWALLOWS can sometimes be seen at “spring migration” hotspots, such as Point Pelee. Sadly, it is a one-way trip for them as the birds become too weak from lack of sustainable food and they starve in the November temperatures. In other bird news, a lone DUNLIN fed with a small group of BONAPARTE'S GULLS at Presqu’ile Park yesterday. On Sebastopol Island north of Gull Island  a distant SNOWY OWL was seen.  At nearby Gosport  4 TUNDRA SWANS, 2 SONG SPARROWS, a COMMON LOON, 1 RED-NECKED GREBE, and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL were highlights during an OFO birding trip yesterday. At Prince Edward Point, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, COMMON LOON and HORNED GREBE  were highlights. And trying for one more kick at the can before winter finally sets in, a few stems of PHILADELPHIA FLEABANE were still in bloom near the old school at Lake on the Mountain. A day or two earlier, this HAREBELL was putting on a brave front on the edge of the limestone cliff at Point Traverse. Photo by Jeff Haffner of Napanee.

Sunday, November 22: A little more information has come in regarding these two SNOW GEESE that showed up yesterday at Presqu’ile Park. Belleville birder and photographer Ian Dickinson, wonders, due to the size difference, if one might be a “Greater” and the smaller one, a “Lesser”? In Snow Geese males and females are the same size so there wouldn’t be any sexual dimorphism at work. Birders/hikers on the Doe Lake Trail at Frontenac Provincial Park today saw 47 COMMON MERGANSERS on the lake. NORTHERN SHOVELERS  were present today at Kingston’s Marsh;ands Conservation Area, and an ICELAND GULL was present at Odessa. At Bath’s Centennial Park and Beach, present were GREATER SCAUP, MALLARDS and BUFFLEHEADS, COMMON GOLDENEYE, GADWALL both COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and over 600 CANADA GEESE. And up in the Napanee Limestone Plain area, a NORTHERN HARRIER and 2 COOPER’S HAWKS  were noted by one observer. What could have been an EURASIAN WIGEON - clearly different plumage from the other Wigeons - brown head/buffy head stripe, and its sides were black and white/grey and not brown like the other Wigeons – was examined from a distance of 200 metres at West Lake Harbour. In addition to the AMERICAN WIGEONS, also present in the harbour area, waterfowl seen included lots of BUFFLEHEAD in West Lake.  Closer in around the cattails were a few NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and good numbers of CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS and BONAPARTE’S GULLS (35).  A few HERRING and GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS were present as well. At the bird feeders, a lone PINE SISKIN arrived with 4 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES to a feeder along Fry Road today, north of Picton. The RUFFED GROUSE also put in an appearance. If you don’t have many DARK-EYED JUNCOS so far at your feeder – well, they are all at this Fry Road feeder – about 20 of them!

Saturday, November 21: Five EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were seen a few days ago along Army Reserve Road, near the west MNR Road. Up to 20 or more have been in that area this fall. Not really a bad day for birding, and a few birders were out today scouting their favourite pastures for late November birds. Certainly the bluebird added a splash of colour to the dull days we have been experiencing this week. The excellent weather allowed one birder the opportunity to fish the Bay of Quinte today, travelling from Picton Harbour, all the way to Prinyer's Cove. During his casual travels, he was impressed by all the juvenile COMMON LOONS he passed by - at least a dozen, and all seen as singles. Birders were out everywhere today, it seemed. A BALD EAGLE  was seen at South Bay and a NORTHERN SHRIKE was spotted by someone else along Babylon Road. A tardy DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT at South Bay was accompanied by other sightings in that area including 3 COMMON GRACKLES, a CACKLING GOOSE and a PINE SISKIN. Four HORNED GREBES were seen along Long Point Road in Prince Edward Bay. Along Cressy Bayside Road, an excellent spot to bird at any time of the year, 200 CANADA GEESE were present in the bay there. A single MALLARD at the end of Kaiser Crossroad served as a reminder today that greater things are in the offing for this now famous waterfowl location come spring. A HOODED MERGANSER was at the Black River Bridge where the species can almost be depended on, and 48 TUNDRA SWANS  were counted in South Bay. At Point Petre, a single MERLIN and 25 CEDAR WAXWINGS  were highlights there, while a  nice cluster of a dozen DARK-EYED JUNCOS were enjoying the relative remoteness of the Miller Family Nature Reserve along Hilltop Road and Brewer's Road. Today, at Presqu'ile Park, two SNOW GEESE  were hanging out with the CANADA GEESE on the beach. And, it's not much, but a COMMON REDPOLL was finally seen, albeit at Bedford Mills in the Frontenac Park area, suggesting, at least, a few may be heading our way. At Heritage Point in Bath, a couple residents there decided to explore the woods to the shore of Lake Ontario yesterday evening, and were rewarded with a GREAT HORNED OWL that moved from tree to tree across a moonlit sky and kept hooting right above the observers. Birding experiences just don't get much better than that.

Friday, November 20: Two SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS in Napanee were seen yesterday chasing each other, while late yesterday afternoon, a MERLIN  showed up in the photographer’s backyard in Allisonville, north of Wellington. Today, however, no one reported any birds in the area, so I would like to concentrate this evening on a species which seems to show up, somewhere, every day – the SANDHILL CRANE. A photo taken in late November last year along South Big Island Road, just west of Allison Road, depicted over 40 SANDHILL CRANES. There have been somewhat larger flocks elsewhere in Prince Edward County in the past, so what’s the story? Everett Hanna of Toronto who was one of my volunteers for last year’s Marsh Monitoring Program, had a very interesting article in the October issue of the OFO News. The three migratory species spread across the continent are further separated into six migratory populations. The Eastern Population which we have here in Ontario, like all of the others, were decimated by over hunting in their former breeding habitat in the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior areas. Following protection, those populations began to increase and spread east into our area. The first documented sighting in Prince Edward County was in 1971, along Jericho Road in the Crofton area. Everett says our eastern population seems to have regained a secure hold, and are here to stay. As to their presence here during historic times, it is difficult to determine since many observers often referred to great blue herons as cranes. But, we can be sure that there have always been vagrants here during historic times, much the same as there are now with other species. Of course, there is sufficient evidence now to support the theory that the species is actively nesting in the Bay of Quinte area. I will always remember the time I was in a hay field behind our house walking the dog when I became aware of a presence behind me. Two SANDHILL CRANES had landed not more than 15 metres from me. They looked us up and down for a few moments, then facing each other, began their mating dance, jumping high into the air with considerable wing flapping. What an amazing photo......had I only had my camera with me! Hardy birds, it is not uncommon to see SANDHILL CRANES linger well into the winter months before finally moving on. Given that cranes seem to have the lowest fecundity of any game bird in North America (and they are actively and legally hunted in some areas), their successful re-population in Ontario has been nothing short of incredible. From a few scattered sightings making their way onto Rare Bird Report forms only a few decades ago, the estimated Ontario population today is at least 15,000. What a treat to have a chance to see these stately birds in local meadows and corn fields today.

Thursday, November 19: Except for a report of AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS along C.R. 7, and LONG-TAILED DUCKS at Wellington Harbour there appeared to be no birding at all today in the Bay of Quinte region. When that happens, we can always depend on the Kingston Field Naturalists who seems to have someone out every day, no matter the weather. Yesterday, it was Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area along Bath Road at Amherstview that produced about 20 species of birds for one birder. Like Lemoine Point Conservation Area, Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area is a spectacular conservation area with lots of trails that take you through a variety of habitats. Included, of course, is the bay itself which contained eight species of waterfowl yesterday, among them 6 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 20 GADWALL, 15 HOODED MERGANSERS and a couple of TUNDRA SWANS.  Over at Invista (Dupont Lagoon), a PEREGRINE FALCON and a SONG SPARROW were seen by another observer, but the show stoppers are always the waterfowl and yesterday was no exception with more than a dozen REDHEADS  present, along with 25 RING-NECKED DUCKS and 175 GREATER SCAUP. Heading west, Presqu’ile Provincial Park, a RED PHALAROPE  was feeding in with about 50 BONAPARTE’ GULLS at Owen Point at 2:00 p.m. today. It had been seen before noon on Beach 3. Note that tomorrow is a hunt day in the Park, so Owen Point won’t be accessible to birders. Speaking of Presqu’ile Park, Fred Helleiner’s weekly bird summary has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be seen by CLICKING HERE. Along County Road 64 between Prince Edward County and Brighton, a RED-TAILED HAWK and 10 WILD TURKEYS  were seen.

Wednesday, November 18: A RED-NECKED GREBE was one of 22 species of waterfowl noted at Twelve O’clock Point in Carrying Place yesterday by two birders. A PIED-BILLED GREBE  was also present among the scattered numbers of waterfowl, but the most obvious were the MUTE SWANS – some 40+ of them, with the majority over in the area of the Dead Creek Marsh. Other species of note here were 12 AMERICAN COOTS, 52 AMERICAN WIGEONS, 5 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 40 HOODED MERGANSERS, 24 BUFFLEHEAD, and singles of AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, GADWALL and  COMMON LOON. Much the same make-up of species was present again today when I visited the site this morning. Just across the Bay of Quinte behind the Trenton Canadian Tire store, 46 AMERICAN COOTS, 5 AMERICAN WIGEON and a couple TUNDRA SWANS were present yesterday. At Tremur Lake along Wooler Road at Telephone Road, north of Carrying Place, 4 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were a highlight there, but also present were a half dozen species of waterfowl – the TRUMPETER SWANS,of course, but also 72 HOODED MERGANSERS and about a half dozen GREEN-WINGED TEAL. And, at Trenton’s Bain Park, where last Sunday’s juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was seen briefly, a late DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was present as well as two TUNDRA SWANS and 39 AMERICAN COOTS. So, it’s mostly about waterfowl for the next little while until colder weather seals the open waters and we direct our attention to something else. At Point Petre,  NORTHERN SHRIKE, 2 NORTHERN HARRIERS, 45 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and a TURKEY VULTURE were highlights there. Driving along Burr Road today, I hoped to spot the four SANDHILL CRANES that we found there yesterday, but they had left for other pastures. Elsewhere, a PINE SISKIN and a COMMON GRACKLE appeared at a Brighton feeder today. And along Taylor-Kidd Bvd. at Parrott's Bay Conservation Area, a BELTED KINGFISHER  was seen today.

Tuesday, November 17: A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER  and a RUFFED GROUSE have been bird feeder guests in one Fry Road backyard, north of Picton as volunteers with Project FeederWatch begin paying closer attention to their feeder guests this season. At least one AMERICAN ROBIN is making regular visits to our feeder area at 23 Sprague Road on Big Island, making use of a heated bird bath. Not much sense in migrating south to find a heated pool when one is right here!  NORTHERN FLICKER, WINTER WREN, PURPLE FINCH, 3 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and a COMMON RAVEN were a few highlights from Sandbanks yesterday, while at Kingston’s Lemoine Point Conservation Area, a LONG-EARED OWL and a BALD EAGLE made it on a checklist there. Another BALD EAGLE  was seen this morning soaring above the west end of Brighton. Six AMERICAN PIPITS and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW  continue to be regulars along Airport Road in the Belleville area. Today, a NORTHERN HARRIER  was seen over the Big Island Marsh along South Big Island Road, and about midway along Burr Road, west of Crofton, four SANDHILL CRANES stood peacefully in a row along the edge of a field.

Monday, November 16: What happened to our  WHITE PELICAN since it was last seen September 27th at the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville? Well, it’s still around, and was seen today at Muscote Bay, just below the escarpment from the wetland where it had last been seen. Point Petre today was described as a large feeding frenzy of several species. Highlights were an immature NORTHERN GANNET, a PACIFIC LOON, 9 RED-THROATED LOONS, 114 COMMON LOONS, 104 HORNED GREBES, 2 LITTLE GULLS and 3 BLACK SCOTERS. Another PACIFIC LOON turned up today on West Lake. On Outlet Beach at Sandbanks Park, there was a single BLACK SCOTER, an adult RED-SHOULDERED HAWK and 7 TURKEY VULTURES. The prize today though goes to the County’s first SNOWY OWL of the season, seen on a telephone pole at Huyck’s Bay, just west of the bible camp at 4:30 this afternoon. Last bird of the day for birder Tyler Hoar and it was a good one! In Lake Ontario off Wellington Beach, 750 REDHEADS  were present, and a first year LITTLE GULL was in the harbour. Seen by another observer in the harbour were GREAT BLUE HERON, BELTED KINGFISHER and 4 BONAPARTE’S GULLS. At Barcovan, nothing starting to build up yet for the season. Just a couple MUTE SWANS. At Tremur Lake on the west side of Trenton, the five TRUMPETER SWANS  were there again, and an estimated 50 HOODED MERGANSERS. At the Brighton Constructed Wetland, a cloud of ducks took off when a birder arrived, mostly NORTHERN SHOVELERS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and BUFFLEHEADS. Where there are live waterfowl, there will also be casualties, and not necessarily victims of the fall duck hunt. Twenty-two COMMON LOONS  were found along the shoreline of Prince Edward County today, victims of Type E-botulism. One birder, just home from a birding trip in Ethiopia, reported many endemics such as the rare and local Stesemann's Bush Crow and Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, but more locally, in the Consecon area today he found lots of AMERICAN ROBINS, and a few WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. Somewhat notable there were nine RUSTY BLACKBIRDS and one PURPLE FINCH. At Sundridge, 75 km south of North Bay, sightings there gave rise to hope of some winter finches at our feeders in the weeks to come.There were numerous flocks of COMMON REDPOLLS, some flocks numbering over 100 birds. A large flock of 400+ PINE SISKINS mixed with a few COMMON REDPOLLS was seen just south of Sundridge. Other birds seen PINE GROSBEAK and EVENING GROSBEAK in small numbers. On the non-bird side of things, a hiker a few days ago walking the boardwalk at the H.R. Frink Centre, north of Belleville, was surprised to see a tadpole with just the beginnings of its hind legs swimming in the marsh. Doubtless, this was an AMERICAN BULLFROG which can take up to three years to progress through the tadpole stage before becoming an adult.

Sunday, November 15: Birders soon learn that birds are where you find them, and some of the best finds are by chance. This happened to a Belleville birder/photographer today when he decided to pop into Bain Park at the Trenton Air Force Base while on his way through town. There weren't many birds there, but he did get a nice surprise when a juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON   flew by and landed in one of the trees! There was not much happening at the park generally. It was a stroke of luck that the heron showed up. It perched quite high in a tree, and the only angle he could get was by shooting through the branches of another tree. So, needless to say, he was quite pleased with how the final shot turned out, and certainly so was I.  A Trenton area birder today did some exploring at Presqu’ile Park, coming up with a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER  and three lingering DUNLINS on Gull Island at Owen Point. At Sandbanks Park, a lone SNOW GOOSE  was sharing the limelight today with a couple hundred CANADA GEESE along the Dunes Beach. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER  was in Wellington today. In the Bloomfield area, an observation of a different kind. Taking advantage of the balmy temperatures today were hundreds of little grasshoppers hopping along the sunny edge of a field of soybeans. At Carrying Place, Twelve O’clock Point Road had lots of MUTE SWANS, a few AMERICAN WIGEON, HOODED MERGANSERS, MALLARDS, Scaup, BONAPARTE’S GULLS,  3 REDHEADS, 2 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, and 1 NORTHERN SHOVELER. In Wellington Harbour, a few NORTHERN PINTAIL were present along with GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEON, BUFFLEHEAD and Scaup, and a small group of BONAPARTE’S GULLS. Along Belleville’s Airport Road, there continues to be a dozen AMERICAN PIPITS, and this morning, there were also 2 SNOW BUNTINGS and a NORTHERN HARRIER. And a little farther away, at Kaladar, three birders there walked portions of the Trans Canada Trail east and west of the village coming up with good numbers of BLUE JAYS, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, a GREAT BLUE HERON, 4 RUFFED GROUSE, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and a couple of AMERICAN ROBINS, as well as a COMMON GRACKLE at a feeder. Sheffield Conservation Area, 11 km south of there, was very quiet with just a couple of  COMMON RAVENS, BLUE JAYS and a HAIRY WOODPECKER. As I recover from my hip operation, I used an hour of my time to watch what turned out to be the most outstanding documentary on the MONARCH BUTTERFLY that I have ever watched. It’s from The Nature of Things and it’s called Flight of the Butterflies. You won’t regret taking the time to watch this program that focuses on the research of Dr. Fred Urquhart and his wife, Nora, who devoted their lives to finding the wintering grounds of the Monarch.To watch it, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, November 14: Lots of good birds flying around today, including a juvenile female NORTHERN CARDINAL in the Wellington area  to get the opening day of Project FeederWatch under way in fine fettle. In Napanee, a flock of 20 to 25 HOUSE FINCHES bombarded a feeder there on East Street. Now I know where all of mine suddenly went! Over 300 SNOW BUNTINGS were seen north of Belleville – certainly a rather large flock for so early in the season. Meanwhile, at Milford, a single SNOW BUNTING landed on a driveway and remained for some time. At Prince Edward Point, a SNOW BUNTING was photographed as it wandered on the road. Another great sighting was the appearance of two EASTERN BLUEBIRDS on the trail to the lighthouse. From there, the day took a down turn when a party of duck hunters entered the national wildlife area, hiding their truck behind the lighthouse. Around 50 decoys were spread out on the water. It amazes me that thousands of dollars were invested in a new roadside page wire fence for the length of the property (about 2 km) to curb this activity, but the gate at the harbour is never locked in the fall; indeed the gate is often open. It just boggles the mind how money can be wasted in this fashion with no apology.  Getting back to the brighter side of things, a GOLDEN EAGLE was seen and photographed today on Ridge Road east of Stirling. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and 3 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS were two of the highlights in the East Lake/Outlet area of Sandbanks Provincial Park today. On over on the other side, in the Lakeshore Lodge Day Use area of Sandbanks, good birds seen there were 4 TURKEY VULTURES, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEAD and  COMMON GOLDENEYE. Meanwhile at Wellington, a tardy DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was present yesterday along with a female LONG-TAILED DUCK and 2 BUFFLEHEADS.  At Pleasant Bay today, a dozen TUNDRA SWANS flew low over the water. Yesterday’s CAVE SWALLOW  sighting at Oshawa’s Second Marsh was followed today with additional sightings at Mississauga and Oakville. A reminder from the Friends of Presqu’ile that Christmas at Presqu’ile is in its final weekend and sales have apparently gone well with lots of visitors. The Friends encourage you not to miss this opportunity to buy ‘one of a kind’ Christmas gifts, enjoy relaxing in the Tea Room and meeting with the artists at the Lighthouse Art Gallery. This is an annual fund raising event with proceeds going toward supporting educational, environmental and research programs at Presqu’ile Park. You have only until tomorrow to take in this event. Details can be found on my website by CLICKING HERE.

Friday, November 13: “What birder could pass on the opportunity to visit a dump?” so asks Tom Wheatley of Belleville who sent a photo from Thailand where is birding this month. On one of his checklists where he stopped in at one of the highest dumps in the country, his six-kilometre trek resulted in some 60 species. Some of the rarest birds, he says, can be found at the dumps. Such species as ORANGE-BELLIED LEAF BIRD, EURASIAN HOOPOE, BLYTH’S SHRIKE-BABBLER, CHESTNUT-VENTED NUTHATCH and FLAVESCENT BULBUL made it on his list of 60 species. Sounds like a place where one could go to get some life birds. A little more locally, a CAVE SWALLOW  was spotted early this afternoon at the Oshawa Second Marsh, a reminder to keep our eyes peeled for this November vagrant from Texas and Mexico which always seems to work its way to the Great Lakes at this time of year. And, even more locally, Tremur Lake was once again a scene of activity, along Wooler Road off Telephone Road. There was a nice collection of 57 HOODED MERGANSERS with brightly coloured males outnumbering the females significantly. The supporting cast was less spectacular. It was made up of 18 MALLARDS, 10 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 14 CANADA GEESE and 10 RING-BILLED GULLS.  Even this meagre assemblage outdid the show at Bain Park at the Trenton Air force Base. With the west wind whipping across the peninsula the main challenge was finding a suitably calm spot for the scope. The checklist consisted of 11 MALLARDS, 6 CANADA GEESE, 9 RING-BILLED GULLS and 6 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. Speaking of chickadees, tomorrow is the official start of this season’s Project FeederWatch. My binoculars are poised to start counting tomorrow morning. While there has been some promise of some redpolls this winter in the Bay of Quinte region, and many of the typical species can always be found at Algonquin Park, boreal species are almost regulars at a feeder in Manitouwadge, located about midway between Wawa and Lake Nipigon. Ben and Tammie Haché have operated a high definition bird feeder cam there now every winter for some time. Today I enjoyed visits from both PINE GROSBEAKS and EVENING GROSBEAKS. You can too by CLICKING HERE. By the way, don’t be alarmed. They have a good ground covering of snow there right now.

Thursday, November 12: A juvenile COOPER’S HAWK appeared in a backyard at noon today along Swamp College Road, north of Wellington. Other than a FOX SPARROW  seen east of Belleville, there wasn’t a whole lot of incentive in today’s high winds and horizontal rain to do much birding. At Oshawa today an ibis, either a GLOSSY or a WHITE-FACED, was seen feeding along the cattails at the Oshawa Second Marsh, but the observer wasn’t able to tell with certainty what species it was due to the weather and the distance. No updates have come in since the sighting today at noon. What we have been waiting for – a taste of what might be available this winter at Algonquin Park, the destination for those birders wanting to get a few boreal species on their winter checklists this season. Retired Park Naturalist Ron Tozer says there were eight species of “finches” reported this week, but all were in low numbers. A single PINE GROSBEAK was seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and a couple  WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS were heard passing over the same area a few days ago. Seven RED CROSSBILLS were observed along the Park’s east side at Lake Travers a week ago. We are anticipating some redpolls this coming winter and the forerunner of that hopeful irruption was the sighting of two COMMON REDPOLLS in the same area with another flying over the Park’s Visitor Centre. PINE SISKINS  have been widespread in the Park with flocks numbering from 20 to 30. EVENING GROSBEAKS, almost a regular at the Visitor Centre feeders numbered 16 on the 3rd and 10 on Tuesday. A few PURPLE FINCHES have been noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES  are regulars at the Visitor Centre feeders most days. Always a welcome sight, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS  have also been on the move this week with small groups of a half dozen or so being seen.  Other northern specialties such as the BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER were represented by two males seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail be. GRAY JAYS  and BOREAL CHICKADEE have also been seen at this location as well as along Opeongo Road. Everyone’s favourite though, the SPRUCE GROUSE, has not been reported yet. The Presqu’ile Park Bird Report for this past week has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, November 11: With Project FeederWatch set to begin this coming weekend, I always enjoy documenting other critters that visit our feeders in the earlier part of the season for my own interest. Right now, two EASTERN CHIPMUNKS  are regulars but their visits will lessen as winter approaches. Not so with the plethora of RED SQUIRRELS and the occasional GRAY SQUIRREL. However, most feeder operators enjoy all species that come to their feeders, whatever they are. I usually have a half dozen or so COTTONTAIL RABBITS  every winter, one birder in Trenton has had FLYING SQUIRRELS and a Wooler area resident has had a VIRGINIA POSSUM. Birding today got off to an early start with one last try at the Hamilton Wetland for any sign of the tardy GREAT EGRET that has been lingering at the roost there, but it seems to have wisely decided to depart for good. However, the three resident SANDHILL CRANES were there again this morning. Another early birder was at Trenton’s Tremur Lake at 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning, arriving in time to see the five TRUMPETER SWANS taking off from the lake and heading west. This morning, they were all back along with about 25 HOODED MERGANSERS. More than a dozen species of waterfowl were noted today at Kingston’s Cataraqui Bay. Among them were 60 TUNDRA SWANS, a dozen AMERICAN WIGEON, 8 GADWALL, 6 REDHEADS, 380 GREATR SCAUP, 5 LESSER SCAUP, and 20 LONG-TAILED DUCKS. An earlier report from another birder had placed the number of TUNDRA SWANS  at between 75 and 80. And to finish off this evening’s report, a little bit of trivia for you from Brian Morin’s Ontario Birding News out of Cornwall: A study of thrushes migrating between wintering grounds in South America and the U.S. this spring came up with an amazing result. A GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH banded in Columbia was located in Indiana in just 3.3 days. That is 3,200 km or 986 km  a day.

Tuesday, November 10: Some nice sightings at Prince Edward Point, a location which seldom fails to disappoint, even in November. Present were RED-NECKED GREBE, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, NORTHERN FLICKER, COMMON RAVEN, MERLIN and, just to remind us that winter is on its way, a couple  SNOW BUNTINGS. At South Bay, the population of TUNDRA SWANS is building with 60 now present in the bay. On Sunday, a pair of birders decided to try West Point at Sandbanks Park for the traditionally late arriving PURPLE SANDPIPER, but came up empty. A  MERLIN made up for the absence of his original quest. Fully 200 CANADA GEESE  were in Athol Bay, along with two rafts of REDHEADS – one estimated at 300 birds, and the other at 200.  Two PINE SISKINS  were present at Lemoine Point Conservation Area, along with 3 PURPLE FINCHES  and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. At nearby Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area, the bay there is attracting a fair number of ducks. Present were 7 species, among them 2 HOODED MERGANSERS, 18 NORTHERN PINTAILS, and a couple NORTHERN SHOVELERS. And this morning at Trenton, a birder there saw a PILEATED WOODPECKER in a tree beside the Tim Hortons drive thru on RCAF Road on the base. A very Canadian bird sighting on a grey November day. 

Monday, November 09: Two FOX SPARROWS were seen yesterday at Oshawa’s Cranberry Marsh. Also present were many dabbling ducks -  GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEON and NORTHERN SHOVELERS.   A group of 7 or 8 CACKLING GEESE flew in and that made the trip worthwhile for the Belleville birder. Of particular interest was a GREAT BLUE HERON that frequents the path where BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, the FOX SPARROWS, and even CHIPMUNKS come to feast on the feed that visitors scatter for them. The heron’s interest in the path? The clientele that the scattered feed attracts! This particular GREAT BLUE HERON on the Lynde Shores paths apparently stands motionless beside the path and waits for a chickadee or chipmunk to come to within striking distance. Some years ago, a camper at Bon Echo Provincial Park sent me a series of a photos he took of a GREAT BLUE HERON that wandered the campsites in that park looking for chipmunks, nabbing them one by one as they came within striking distance, then nonchalantly wading into the water with his prize where he would dunk it in the water a few times to lubricate the prey before swallowing it. More locally, only one tardy GREAT EGRET emerged from the Hamilton Wetland early this morning west of Demorestville, but the resident three SANDHILL CRANES were present giving the observers a cheery chortle as they left. Fish Lake today continued to harbour massive numbers of waterfowl, primarily RING-NECKED DUCKS with BUFFLEHEADS  mixed in.

Sunday, November 08: For the last three years at about the same time a pair of TRUMPETER SWANS  have shown up at Tremur Lake in the southeast corner beside Wooler Road on the west side of Trenton. Today they were there with three grey youngsters. Last year they had two and the year before one. On Friday about 10 HOODED MERGANSERS were there.   Today at Wellington Harbour, there were many MALLARDS, 46 AMERICAN WIGEON, 12 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, a few dozen BONAPARTE’S GULLS,  and far out in West Lake, many BUFFLEHEAD and a few REDHEADS. Along County Road 2, north of Wellington,  was a group of 7 AMERICAN PIPITS. Temperatures are gradually dipping as we get closer to winter and this is translating into the appearance of some birds more typical of the winter months. Of course, the DARK-EYED JUNCOS are well established, a NORTHERN SHRIKE  was seen on Babylon Road, and there have been scattered reports of SNOW BUNTINGS, but only in ones and twos so far. The denizen of the winter season, the LONG-TAILED DUCK, is starting to show up in a bit larger numbers now. Twenty were present  at Prince Edward Point. Elsewhere, a few scattered sightings including a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER on Keller Crossroad, 12 CEDAR WAXWINGS on Helmer Road, and 5 BLACK SCOTERS at Prince Edward Point.

Saturday, November 07: Best bird of the day today was a TUFTED TITMOUSE coming to a feeder in Waupoos. Lately, we have been averaging a titmouse once or twice every other year or so as the species gradually increases its range to include our area, but it has been a slow process. The 7 GREAT EGRETS that were seen at the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville, on Thursday, were present again at 6:45 a.m. this morning as they take advantage of the fine weather we have been having. A FOX SPARROW  has been coming to a feeder at Allisonville off Christian Road, also a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER. The latter species is also at a feeder along Fish Lake as well as a PILEATED WOODPECKER. Fish Lake today near Demorestville was filled with RING-NECKED DUCKS and one estimate placed the total at 1500-2000. A male EASTERN BLUEBIRD  was seen along the north shore of Big Island near Allison Road yesterday. Although shorebirds have all but departed from the area except for the RED PHALAROPES  seen a few days ago at Presqu’ile Park, all eyes now are on the rocky shorelines where PURPLE SANDPIPERS, the stragglers in the shorebird family, may begin showing up. In past years, they have turned up at Sandbanks Park’s West Point, Prince Edward Point and Point Petre, all three areas boasting suitable shorelines for this latecomer. One has already shown up in Toronto, so keep your binoculars poised. Another latecomer to be on the lookout for in November are vagrant CAVE SWALLOWS (photo by Paul Martin). One showed up today at Point Pelee. These Texas/Mexico residents tend to show up here in November, of all months. Prince Edward County’s first sighting of this species was in November of 2003 when one showed up in a garage at Point Petre in an emaciated condition. It died within a few hours and I picked up the carcass two days later and had the carcass sent to the Royal Ontario Museum. Since then, there have been three other sightings – 2005, 2008 and 2012, all of them in early November. The Prince Edward Point sightings in in 2008 unfortunately missed the publication cut-off date for Birds of the Kingston Region species account, but a hastily inserted note at the front of the book managed to include mention of it. Another November bird to be on the lookout for this month. Nothing else of great significance in Prince Edward County today – some 500 CANADA GEESE on tiny Milford Pond, 12 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES on Jackson’s Falls Road – usual stuff to be expected this month. Elsewhere, there was a RED-THROATED LOON off Portsmouth Harbour in Kingston yesterday as well as BRANT. The resident Kingston PEREGRINE FALCON was seen again three days ago, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE  was at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area.

Friday, November 06: Birds typical of the season are beginning to increase in numbers at bird feeders as the days go by – DARK-EYED JUNCOS, in particular, and BLUE JAYS.  BLUE JAYS  enjoyed a heavy migration this fall all along the Lakes Ontario and Erie shorelines and this may have contributed to the high numbers we are seeing right now. The strength of annual flights appears to be linked to the size of acorn, beechnut and hazelnut crops. Acorn crops were good in some areas and poor in other areas of the province. The beechnut crop failed in most areas and the hazelnut crop was average in 2015. AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS  are also showing signs of increase with 8 being seen today at Belleville. Their numbers will certainly increase once we see the first measured snowfall of the season. Typically, I have between 25-40 at my feeders every winter, so we have a way to go yet before we see those kinds of numbers.  At South Bay, AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, BUFFLEHEAD, and COMMON LOON  were among the waterfowl species that showed up there today. A reminder of a presentation coming up tomorrow in Napanee in support of the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre. For several years, legendary Canadian nature film makers, John and Janet Foster from the Tweed area, have helped me with co-leading guided hikes on their property. They have donated some of their videos as teaching aids in my Bird Identification Courses and Backyard Naturalization Courses.  Tomorrow afternoon, they will be assisting the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre with a fundraiser as they present Stories from the Wild at the South Fredericksburgh Hall. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!   The Fosters are donating two photos and a package of 5 of the documentaries they did for the Discovery Channel (Leave it Wild, Polar Voyages, Journeys Far and Wild, A Love Affair with Algonquin, and Journey to the Sea of Ice).  The Fosters have signed the photos on the back and had them framed so they are a very special “gift”. They will be available on the Silent Auction Table. To learn more about this special presentation, click on the link below to see the full colour poster about the event on my website by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, November 05: The only sighting to come in today was of 7 GREAT EGRETS  still persisting at the Hamilton Wetland along C.R. 14, west of Demorestville. While it may seem late for GREAT EGRETS  to be still hanging around, we can likely attribute the late date to the fine weather. However, November dates are not uncommon. Last fall, one was still on Indian Island in the Bay of Quinte near Trenton on November 1st, and one was seen daily at the Hamilton Wetland from November 3rd, finally leaving for good on the 10th. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, RED PHALAROPES, BARRED OWL and RUDDY DUCKS  were a few of the special birds seen this past week at Presqu’ile Provincial Park. The Presqu’ile Park Bird Report for the past week by Fred Helleiner has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be seen by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, November 04: One of the RED PHALAROPES found yesterday at Presqu’ile Park’s Beach #1, was there again this morning, feeding in the algae on shore. Overall though, the beach at Presqu’ile was rather quiet today, according to a Trenton birder who wandered out to Gull Island today. The highlights were seeing a group of about eight SNOW BUNTINGS on Owen Point. A PILEATED WOODPECKER was also encountered at Owen Point as it flew from tree to tree. Other than an AMERICAN PIPIT seen near Belleville, there was virtually no birding again in the Prince Edward County area, despite the gorgeous temperatures. However, CEDAR WAXWINGS  were photographed in a Wellington backyard, munching away on red cedar berries. CEDAR WAXWINGS tend to be quite nomadic and sort of follow a baited highway from food source to source. Which begs the question. What are the prospects for the appearance of their larger cousins, the BOHEMIAN WAXWING  this winter? We can probably expect a moderate southward and eastward flight this winter because mountain-ash berry crops are average in the boreal forest. According to birder Ron Pittaway who makes predictions every winter about certain species of birds, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS should get east to St. John's, Newfoundland, where mountain-ash (dogberry) crops are excellent. BOHEMIANS now occur annually (historically more infrequently) in southern Ontario, southern Quebec, northern New York State, and elsewhere in the east. Their more regular winter occurrence now may be related to the abundance of introduced buckthorns (Rhamnus) which produce large berry crops almost every year. If they venture south, BOHEMIANS will also find large crops (some bumper) on European Mountain-ash and ornamental crabapples in many areas.

Tuesday, November 03: Well, we certainly can’t say enough about the fine November weather we have been enjoying this month so far. Recovering from surgery, I was lured out to the sundeck yesterday by the balmy sunshine and immediately was covered by a layer of LADYBIRD BEETLES!  You have to be a dyed-in-the-wool nature enthusiast to enjoy that experience! “Ladybugs” or as they are also known as “Ladybirds” were experienced across the Bay of Quinte region yesterday as wildlife of all kinds responded to the balmy temperatures. Yesterday’s warmth also brought out a MOURNING CLOAK BUTTERFLY east of Lake on the Mountain. Bird-wise, a few sightings beg to differ about what the temperatures are suggesting. A SNOW BUNTING was seen at Lemoine Point Conservation Area beside the Kingston Airport. Also in Kingston, at the Marshlands Conservation Area, nine species of waterfowl were present, among them GADWALL, REDHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCK, HOODED MERGANSER, AMERICAN WIGEON and NORTHERN PINTAIL. At Presqu’ile Park today, 2 RED PHALAROPES were found this morning on Beach 1. One of them vanished fairly quickly, but the second bid remained. It is not known if either of them were seen later in the day. Also seen was a sub-adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on the rocks off Sebastopol Point (the small island north of Gull Island with a willow and 2 duck blinds present). The fall banding program of migrants has ended for this year at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. Some interesting figures include a total of 459 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS banded this fall. Also banded were 4 BARRED OWLS and 2 LONG-EARED OWLS. Of interest to readers might be the history of saw-whet owl banding at Prince Edward Point dating back to when the banding was done in the old lighthouse and I was actively banding owls myself. From the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory website, we learn that NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS were originally considered rare in the Prince Edward Point area. However during the years 1975-1988 the Kingston Field Naturalists (KFN) ran a program at the "Point" and captured a total of 4,875 saw-whets. From 83 to 779 owls were trapped in any one year and the KFN used up to 42 mist nets from late September to early November. The KFN did not use audio lures during those years but only ran their nets as "passive nets". In late October of 2000 Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory conducted a one-week trial period to see how many owls were around  Using audio lures and standard mist nets they banded 137 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS and a BARRED OWL during that week. With the Trillium Foundation Grant in 2001 providing money to hire a full time bander, a full NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL Migration Monitoring program was put into action. Ten 2-3/8 inch owl nets were erected in an area of the Cedar Woods just to the east of the main passerine netting area. In the fall of 2001, 345 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, 4 LONG-EARED OWLS, 2 BARRED OWLS and 3 EASTERN SCREECH-OWLS were banded and a decision was made to add the program to our banding protocols. Prince Edward Point has since earned the title, “The Saw-whet Owl Capital of the World”.

Monday, November 02: A female BLACK SCOTER  was present at Prince Edward Point yesterday.  Results just came in today of a Waterfowl Blitz held earlier on the weekend around the South Shore Important Bird Area, roughly all the area along the shoreline of South Bay, right around Prince Edward Point proper, and back up the shoreline to Point Petre. Certainly a large area to cover for the 15 volunteers who took part. Thirty-six species were tabulated, among them an unlucky 13 species of waterfowl which included 199 ducks that were too distant to identify as to species. Heading the list was the GREATER SCAUP which topped out at 2,420 birds within the survey area. LONG-TAILED DUCKS came in high too as winter approaches represented by 569 individuals. Also high were RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS  at 504, followed by CANADA GOOSE  at 201, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER at 181, MALLARD (135), and COMMON MERGANSER (133). BUFFLEHEAD, MUTE SWAN, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, TUNDRA SWAN, HOODED MERGANSER and COMMON GOLDENEYE came in with lower numbers – 79, 20,, 14, 13, 10 and 1, respectively. Also checked off were 97 HORNED GREBES, 86 COMMON LOONS, and six RED-NECKED GREBES. Raptors noted that day were BALD EAGLE (1) and MERLIN (3). Other interesting birds seen within the South Shore Important Bird Area were three each of BONAPARTE’S and GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, one NORTHERN FLICKER and a PILEATED WOODPECKER. Three COMMON RAVENS and a BROWN CREEPER  also made it on the day’s list, as well as 97 AMERICAN CROWS, 60 BLUE JAYS, and 71 BLACK-CAPPED  CHICKADEES. Of course, the now famous SUMMER TANAGER made it on the day’s list too. Away from the South Shore IBA and east of Belleville along Airport Parkway, two rather late SAVANNAH SPARROWS  are still hanging around as of today.

Sunday, November 01: Prince Edward Point’s special bird, a juvenile SUMMER TANAGER, was present again in the same spot near the lighthouse today. While there have been numerous sightings of this southern species of tanager in the past, the vast majority of them at Prince Edward Point in the last 25 years or so, most of them have occurred in the spring, with only a few autumn sightings, and only two this late in the season. The previous late date was November 8th in 2009 when birder extraordinaire Michael Runtz discovered an adult female at nearby Little Bluff Conservation Area. Other interesting sightings to turn up today included 20 TUNDRA SWANS at South Bay, a body of water that seems to attract up to a hundred or more of this migratory species before freeze-up. It has only been in the last few decades that wintering TUNDRA SWANS have become regulars in local waters during at least the early winter months, the abundance of zebra mussels likely a contributing factor. In the 1960s, it was extremely rare to see a TUNDRA SWAN (they were called Whistling Swans back then) remain the winter in Prince Edward County; they always migrated to Chesapeake Bay. Other good sightings to come in included a PIED-BILLED GREBE at the Glendon Green Boat Launch at East Lake (headwaters of the Outlet River), a WINTER WREN at Soup Harbour, PILEATED WOODPECKER on Simpson Road, and a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK on Cold Creek Road (Pleasant Bay area). At Prince Edward Point, BROWN CREEPER, 8 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS and a PURPLE FINCH were birds of note.

Saturday, October 31: Yesterday  was a pretty fair day at Prince Edward Point with just under 30 species being tabulated.  Three RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS were seen (one was banded on Monday), 2 COOPER'S HAWKS, 8 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS and 3 BALD EAGLES  were checked off during the day as were 2 GOLDEN EAGLES (5 were seen during the week), RED-TAILED HAWK, and NORTHERN HARRIER. Other interesting species tallied yesterday at Prince Edward Point to close off the month of October were HERMIT THRUSH, 4 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 2 RED-NECKED GREBES, 7 PURPLE FINCHES and 3 BLACK SCOTERS. Also present, some of which were banded, were GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES - a species we tend to think of as sedentary - were also on the move with numbers passing through. Also passing through in numbers were DARK-EYED JUNCOS, a trend that was noted elsewhere today. On East Street in Napanee, a resident there reported “squadrons” of them all over his yard very early this morning. Other birds of note at Prince Edward Point during the past week included  an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was seen on 26th and a PINE WARBLER on 27th. EVENING GROSBEAK, first for the season, was present at the Observatory on 27th. Unusual for this location, a SHORT-EARED was seen on 26th and a  NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen at the Observatory on 27th and BLACK SCOTERS have been regular this week just off the lighthouse. PINE SISKINS and PURPLE FINCHES have been regular throughout the week. But the big news today was a first year SUMMER TANAGER seen at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon near the lighthouse.

Friday, October 30: One Napanee birder cruising the roadsides today in Prince Edward County got a couple of unexpected surprises. A male RED-HEADED WOODPECKER   was seen 1 kilometre west of the new OPP station along County Road 1 (Schoharie Road), on the outskirts of Picton. Earlier in the day, the same motorist spotted three adult SANDHILL CRANES at the junction of County Road 5 and Fish Lake Road, just south of Demorestville. The Presqu’ile Provincial Park Bird Report for the past seven days, compiled by Presqu’ile Park resident, Fred Helleiner, has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website. You can read it by CLICKING HERE. Nice photo in there of a WHITE-EYED VIREO that made headlines in the Park last week.

Thursday, October 29: No birding today anywhere in the Bay of Quinte region as most birders preferred to avoid the wrath of flying branches and leaves in the high winds. One stalwart birder though did manage to get an impressive shot of the wave conditions at the west jetty of the Wellington Channel. Not good kayaking weather today!   However, the activity at our feeder, at least, kept me busy for most of the day as more than a dozen male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and as many BLUE JAYS struggled in the wind to retrieve their food from the feeders. DARK-EYED JUNCOS  are also represented by as many in number, and also present today were HOUSE FINCHES, both HAIRY and DOWNY WOODPECKERS, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, MOURNING DOVES. If there were AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, then they were surely camouflaged by the constant flurry of blowing leaves around them! By November 14th, most of us involved in an exciting project known as Project FeederWatch will have a better understanding of what our clientele comprises of, and in what numbers, as we begin paying attention to exact numbers. Remember something called The Ontario Bird Feeder Survey? That  was the original name of Project FeederWatch and I was a part of it way back then too. It’s a fun project every winter and takes so little of our time and we end up learning so much about our feeder guests. If you are not already a participant by checking out the PROJECT FEEDERWATCH website today? 

Wednesday, October 28: One birder from Belleville didn’t let the impending rain and wind deter him from birding. In the scant time before the rain settled in early this morning, he managed a couple dozen species at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, just on the north side of Kingston. Among the finds were two each of  WOOD DUCKS and GREEN-WINGED TEALS, 5 HOODED MERGANSERS, 5 GADWALL and 64 RING-NECKED DUCKS. Also making their way to the day’s checklist were NORTHERN FLICKER, HERMIT THRUSH, BELTED KINGFISHER, and 12  AMERICAN ROBINS. Park Naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park, Lev Frid, says this is an excellent time of the year to bird the Park with the potential to see a few rarities. The bird of the week was a BOREAL OWL late last night at km 20. It was vocalizing and was recorded. These owls have been on the move this year at Hilliardton Marsh and there is always the possibility of finding migrants in places like Algonquin Park, he says. They are probably regular but not-often-detected migrants here due to lack of coverage and difficulty of detection. SNOW BUNTINGS arrived in Algonquin Park this week, with birds being seen in a few locations alongside the highway. A VESPER SPARROW a week ago at the Old Airfield was a new late date. AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS and DARK-EYED JUNCOS are common throughout now. A juvenile NORTHERN GOSHAWK put on a good show for a group from Paris yesterday at the top of the Mizzy Lake Trail. A report on a few of the Boreal specialties for which Algonquin Park has become famous: SPRUCE GROUSE: These have gone back into anonymity in Algonquin, and none was reported this week. The Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the top of the Mizzy Lake Trail are likely your best chances. GRAY JAY: Birds were at the Algonquin Logging Museum, the north end of Mizzy Lake Trail, Arowhon Road, and Opeongo Road this week looking for handouts. BOREAL CHICKADEE: Excellent views were had by a group yesterday at the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail. This location seems to be the prime spot at this time. BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER: Reported at the Costello Creek Picnic Area and the north end of the Mizzy Lake Trail this week.  PURPLE FINCH: Several were flying over various areas this week. COMMON REDPOLL:  One flying over yesterday (Oct 27), and more to come. EVENING GROSBEAK: A flock has been irregular at the Visitor Centre Parking Lot, with 15 birds there on Oct 23. RED CROSSBILL: A singing male was at km 20 on Oct 26th. Great spot to bird. Once my new hip lets me out of the house, I hope to get back there for a day.

Tuesday, October 27: To feeders, to feeders – the Redpolls  are coming! Well, not in the immediate Bay of Quinte area yet but certainly during the weekend, COMMON REDPOLLS were reported at Tommy Thompson Park (Leslie Street Spit in Toronto), as well as near Rochester, New York. Yesterday, a mere 15,790  COMMON REDPOLLS  were seen passing over the Tadoussac Bird Observatory, 212 km northeast of Quebec City. This is the largest movement of Redpolls ever recorded at the Observatory. And while speaking of numbers, thousands of SNOW GEESE filled one lake the same weekend in Quebec. Among the noteworthy sightings in the Napanee Limestone Plain IBA along Nugent Road today were 4 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, an AMERICAN KESTREL, NORTHERN HARRIER, and a MERLIN. Three  SANDHILL CRANES, almost regulars now, showed up at the Hamilton Wetland, east of Demorestville. With only a few days to go banding NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS at Prince Edward Point, the running total to date according to their website, stands at 424. Also banded this fall have been 2 LONG-EARED OWLS and 3 BARRED OWLS. At Presqu’ile Park today, A WHITE-EYED VIREO was found near the Lighthouse. The immature bird was located  in the dense tangle of vegetation directly behind the plaque for Don Shanahan, which is located by the viewing deck closest to the lighthouse.  This is believed to be the third fall record for the Park, all in the last decade, in mid-late October.

Monday, October 26: At Vanderwater Conservation Area, east of Highway 37, at Thomasburg, an hour’s birding there revealed a late SWAINSON’S THRUSH, 2 FOX SPARROWS, 8 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and both species of nuthatches. The first AMERICAN TREE SPARROW  of the winter season turned up today at Prince Edward Point. Other birds of interest seen down there today were 30 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 18 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 45 COMMON LOONS a FOX SPARROW, 4 HERMIT THRUSHES, a RUSTY BLACKBIRD, a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK , 1 LONG-TAILED DUCK and 16 SNOW BUNTINGS. Certainly some reminders there that winter is in the offing. The rumour is that lots of PINE SISKINS have been banded at Prince Edward Point, but no numbers are available. One resident along Adolphus Reach at Cressy was drawn to a cacophony of sound and saw these DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and gulls diving for food. Apparently this has happened several times this past week. And this oil painting on the left is a actually a photo taken through the early morning fog at the same location of the OMNRF Ontario Explorer research vessel plying its way along Adolphus Reach. Both photos are by Paul Wallace of Cressy. At the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area, things are slowing down somewhat, although on Simpson Road, north of the DU berm road there were quite a number of AMERICAN ROBINS,  a few MOURNING DOVES and BLUE JAYS and a resident flock of CEDAR WAXWINGS that have spent most of the spring and summer roaming the South Shore Important Bird Area, eating Viburnum berries.  A couple other birders from Leamington (actually working for Bird Studies Canada) saw 20 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS in a field north of the corner of Army Reserve Road and Hilltop Road - and a young NORTHERN SHRIKE who was eyeing the bluebirds!  Still not too late for salamanders as 10 BLUE-SPOTTED SALAMANDERS  were found in the Charwell Point area. When the sun came out around two o'clock, three CLOUDED SULPHUR BUTTERFLIES and four AUTUMN MEADOWHAWKS  were also seen.  Not sure how much longer we'll be seeing them this year!

Sunday, October, 25: Despite freezing temperatures some nights, and blustery weather during the days, EASTERN PHOEBES will always keep just one step ahead of Old Man winter.  At Milford Pond today a SNOW GOOSE  was seen as well as two CACKLING GEESE. A MERLIN was at Prince Edward Point today and a BARRED OWL and a TRUMPETER SWAN were seen in the South Bay area. And, yes – I am home sporting a brand new hip right now, but it will awhile before you will see me out birding! Thanks to those who dropped by to wish me well at Room 611 at BGH. Hope you didn’t mind the loud party going on in there among the four of us! And that’s it for today. The Presqu’ile Bird Report for October 16th to the 22nd by Fred Helleiner can be found on the NatureStuff website at the FOLLOWING LINK:

Thursday, October 22: The only report to come in today was of a nice flock of 50 AMERICAN PIPITS in the Consecon area.  A few other notable migrants were five EASTERN PHOEBES, two HERMIT THRUSHES and singles of EASTERN TOWHEE and NASHVILLE WARBLER. Just north of Belleville, 26 WILD TURKEYS on Marsh Hill Road, near Baptist Church Road this morning.The Quinte Area Bird Report is going on hiatus for a few days while I check myself into Belleville General and receive a brand, spanking new hip. First time ever overnight in a hospital. A regular reader of this Report says I won’t need to worry about bringing any underwear as it isn’t part of the dress code. Sounds like a far out place! The Report will resume, hopefully, by Monday evening.

Wednesday, October 21: It is usually the supply of acorns and other nuts that determines the fall flight of BLUE JAYS  each year at this time. The flight of BLUE JAYS is fairly strong this year along the north shorelines of Lakes Ontario and Erie, according to Ron Pittaway who who has become well known for his finch and other winter bird predictions.  The strength of annual BLUE JAY flights appears to be linked to the size of acorn, beechnut and hazelnut crops. Acorn crops were good in some areas and poor in other areas of the province. The beechnut crop failed in most areas and the hazelnut crop was average in 2015. One happy Napanee area birder was driving along McFaul Road in the Allisonville area today, and managed to get a species on his list that he has been seeking for some time. Flying only about 50 feet off the ground and only 50 yards away, were two SANDHILL CRANES were spotted near the south end of this road that connects up with Scoharie Road (C.R. 1). On Goodrich Road, south of Codrington, a flock of 30 PINE SISKINS were seen feeding up in the trees. However, says Ron Pittaway, expect few around these parts this winter as the white spruce crop is generally quite low, and the majority this winter will be concentrated in western Canada which has enjoyed a heavy spruce cone crop. To see Ron Pittaway’s bird predictions for this winter, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, October 20: Still some birds passing through. A flock of 17 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS on a wire was a nice find in the Consecon area. Other migrants included EASTERN PHOEBE (8), HERMIT THRUSH (5), YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (7), BLUE-HEADED VIREO (2), NORTHERN FLICKER (2), RUSTY BLACKBIRD (8), EASTERN MEADOWLARK (3) and one MERLIN.  Along County Road 4 through the Big Swamp in Prince Edward County, a PILEATED WOODPECKER flew across the road in front of one motorist. No owls of any description were caught last night at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, but a LONG-EARED OWL was banded the night of October 17-18. Number of NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS banded to date this fall is 336.

Monday, October 19: Virtually no birding in Prince Edward County today, so we will commence with Tremur Lake, on the west side of Trenton along Wooler Road where yesterday the open water produced 2 RUDDY DUCKS. Also present were 7 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.  A few sightings from the Wellington area yesterday involved 20 or so RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS as this species starts its migration and is showing up at bird feeders everywhere. Typical bird feeder species are now showing up as opening day for this season’s Project FeederWatch gets under way on the 14th of November. Numbers of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES are building as well as BLUE JAYS, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, both HAIRY and DOWNY WOODPECKERS and DARK-EYED JUNCOS. HOUSE FINCHES are reappearing and a few feeders in the area have had a PURPLE FINCH, or two. Despite the wind and the promise of colder temperatures in the offing, the Kingston area enjoyed some enthusiastic birding today. At Lemoine Point Conservation Area, with BROWN CREEPER, COMMON LOON, RED-TAILED HAWK and both WHITE-CROWNED and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS highlighting the sightings there at noon. In Cataraqui Creek, north of Front Road, 60 GADWALL, a couple AMERICAN WIGEON, 55 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 35 LESSER SCAUP, and a BUFFLEHEAD  were some of the waterfowl species noted there. A nice raft of 350 GREATER SCAUP, a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and a GREEN-WINGED TEAL were present in Cataraqui Bay, and 200 REDHEADS and 6 PIED-BILLED GREBES and a NORTHERN PINTAIL  made up the waterfowl in front of the Montreal Street apartments. Twenty NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 200 AMERICAN COOTS were present at Belle Park. At Amherst Island, RED-BREASTED and COMMON MERGANSERS  were seen there. At the Martin Edwards Reserve at the east end of the island, the attention there swung from waterfowl to passerines with 7 AMERICAN PIPITS being seen.  Six BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and a tardy WILSON’S SNIPE were also seen there. A GREATER YELLOWLEGS  was still hanging loose at Invista (Dupont lagoons). And, returning to the Bay of Quinte area, the leucistic DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT can still be found along the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail where it has been for some time. Just a reminder from one reader as we continue to forge bravely ahead through the migration season, the incidents of bird strike at windows increases at this time of the year when birds are actively on the move. There are ways to prevent this from happening or, at least, lessen the occurrences by doing an Internet search and trying different solutions. On the market today is a variety of products such as inexpensive transparent black fiberglass screen that hangs loosely in front of glass, raptor silhouettes, various widow films and attractive art work that can be applied during this active time for birds. All it takes is just a little effort to install these. They can be removed later once activity slows down. 

Sunday, October 18:  Despite frost on the pumpkin this morning, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and EASTERN PHOEBE were seen at South Bay today. Yesterday at Prince Edward Point, 2 BLUE-HEADED VIREOS were among the highlights there for two observers, while at Black River, a BELTED KINGFISHER  showed up there. There was a MERLIN at Easterbrook Road near Point Petre, and 6 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS  were once again along County Road 24 at Point Petre. And the 7 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS that  were seen about 10 days ago were still in the same general area on Salmon Point Road. They hang out near Civic Address #878. The attraction is probably the excellent crop of wild grapes along a fence line on private property. There's no need to trespass. If the birds are there they perch on the utility lines beside the road. This morning, a handful of AMERICAN COOTS were along the shore at Consecon Lake, but according to a resident there, there were at least two to three hundred coots there a week ago.

Saturday, October 17: Today got off to an exciting start at Lake on the Mountain when a male MERLIN grabbed a DARK-EYED JUNCO from under a feeder east of there, then took its unfortunate prey to a telephone pole along County Road 7 to eat breakfast. Late yesterday afternoon, a photographer at the mouth of the Outlet River thought he was just getting a pretty picture of storm conditions off the Salmon Point rocky shoreline. It wasn’t until he examined his photos at home that he realized over 60 TURKEY VULTURES  were also in the photo, soaring around above the shoreline. At the mouth of the Outlet River yesterday afternoon, the photographer observed 3 BONAPARTE’S GULLS foraging along the beach, and loafing with about 20 RING-BILLED GULLS. There also were several immature HERRING GULLS along that section of beach, and several further flocks of ~30 gulls each further north along the beach. Two of the gulls were foraging, both with small inverts in their bills, and one loitering and feeding in the Cladophora washed up on shore. At about 6:20 p.m., he was startled to observe a kettle of over 30 other TURKEY VULTURES soaring close overhead in 30-40 km/hr winds and north along the beach.  Presqu’ile Park, noted another observer three days ago, was a bit dead after driving 45 minutes or so for “the list”. He walked the entire length of the beach and then went to Owen Point. Not one shorebird! Best bird was an EASTERN PHOEBE. On the way home he did a little tour of the Brighton Constructed Wetland and found lots lot of MALLARDS and quite a few GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Returning home, he racked up a list of 20 species from his own backyard! Among them were RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, both HAIRY and DOWNY WOODPECKERS, both WHITE-CROWNED and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, HOUSE FINCH and a migrating flock of 8 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. A few sightings to trickle in from Prince Edward Point over the last several days were a somewhat late OSPREY on the 10th, and a BLACK SCOTER  near the lighthouse on the 12th. Today, there was a dark morph SNOW GOOSE at Tremur Lake this morning, and this afternoon, the leucistic DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was seen that had been spotted at Zwick’s Park about a month ago. A photo forwarded to me by Kenzo Dozono of Belleville who saw the bird along the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail, suggests the bird may be a full albino rather than a leucistic bird.

Friday, October 16: Lots of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS  around yet. This little guy was taken today at Lemoine Point Conservation Area, in Kingston. Birding began today at 7:15 a.m. by one couple who surveyed the Hamilton Wetland west of Demorestville for action. In total, 27 GREAT EGRETS flew from the roost between 7:15 a.m. and 7:35 a.m. The resident 3 SANDHILL CRANES  were there also, accompanied by 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, 3 NORTHERN HARRIERS, 1 RED-TAILED HAWK, a MERLIN, 2 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 3 PIED-BILLED GREBES and a half dozen RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. At Prince Edward Point this morning, mainly GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, some HERMIT THRUSHES, a WINTER WREN, a couple RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, a PURPLE FINCH, one SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (#100 banded this season which beats any previous record) and a few regulars like BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, not a really busy day, but enough to provide some entertainment. And also at Prince Edward Point, a reminder that the ‘Big Sit’ raptor watch will be held at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory tomorrow 10:00-14:00. It’s free (donations welcomed as always). Just bring a lawn/camping chair, binoculars, lunch, telescope (and camera) if you have one, and warm clothing. Predicted NW winds might bring in some exciting birds – possibly a Golden Eagle or two. Coffee will be available. There will also be a kids programme – What’s that Bird? – at 11am. This will be repeated next week on Sat 24th. The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists’ weekly Friday morning walk along the South Shore Important Bird Area in the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area, came to a close for this year today on a gorgeous sun filled day. Nothing too remarkable seen, but at this season of the year, a spectacular time to see what’s around. The Ash trees have all lost their leaves and only their keys remain on the branches while the Maples are glorious yellows, oranges and reds and the Buckthorn leaves remain green.  There were gnats swarming along Army Reserve Road - so a few EASTERN PHOEBES were there too.  There were COMMON CROWS, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, BLUE JAYS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES and SONG SPARROWS at Simpson Road.  A couple of AMERICAN ROBINS  along Army Reserve and there were SULPHUR  butterflies flying: 25 CLOUDED SULPHURS between Simpson and MNR Roads, 18 between MNR Road and Lighthall Road, so roughly 50 of them, where literally hundreds were there a few months ago.  At Lighthall Road, a COMMON RAVEN heard to the east of the DU marsh and a BELTED KINGFISHER in the marsh.  Mixed flocks of DARK-EYED JUNCOS, CHIPPING SPARROWS and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were eating berries from the shrubs along the berm trail.  A single MONARCH BUTTERFLY was seen flying down Lighthall Road.  A few LOBELIAS, GERARDIAS and BOTTLED GENTIAN could be found in flower if you searched for them.  Still some GOLDENRODS and ASTERS blooming but most are over. The Presqu’ile Park Bird Report for this week by Fred Helleiner, has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, October 15: A species that we don’t always hear about for our Bird Report, was a RING-NECKED PHEASANT in the Bath area today. Also down that way, two EASTERN BLUEBIRDS  - a male and a female – at Lemoine Point Conservation Area this morning. A better night last night for NORTHERN WHET-OWL banding than the previous two nights at Prince Edward Point when none was captured. A total of 67 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS  ended up with bands on their legs last night, bringing the total banded so far this month to 245. No other sightings came in today given the high winds, and the predicted thunderstorm as I write this at 5:30 p.m. has now arrived.

Wednesday, October 14: A HERMIT THRUSH dropped in for a visit at a backyard in Wellington today.  TURKEY VULTURES are still moving through evidenced by 50-60 soaring over Salmon Point Road today, and another 70 soaring above Picton Bay and Glenora Road near Chuckery Hill Road today. Thirty were seen as well heading west through North Oakville, so conditions must have been favourable. A CHIPPING SPARROW  was still present along Airport Parkway. Not too late for them just yet, but we seem to pay less attention to them at this time of the year as we await the arrival of the first AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, which should be starting to show up next week, or even by this weekend. TUNDRA SWANS are arriving from their northern breeding grounds, en route to their wintering grounds in Chesapeake Bay, although an increasing number are remaining in our area now during the winter months, something we never saw a half century ago. There were 113 today at Wolfe Island. More open water in recent winters and a convenient food source – zebra mussels – are thought to be responsible for higher populations wintering here now. A GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Lemoine Point Conservation Area in Kingston today. And in the Consecon area, lots of common migrants about but also some harder to find species. There were still three warbler species with YELLOW-RUMPED and singles of NASHVILLE and  ORANGE-CROWNED. Other migrants included 40 AMERICAN PIPITS, three HERMIT THRUSHES, two EASTERN PHOEBES and singles of BLUE-HEADED VIREO, EASTERN TOWHEE and FOX SPARROW. There were also two COOPER’S HAWKS. One had a screaming BLUE JAY in its talons and came to ground in front of a birder. Luckily the jay got away and  the birder had to call out GO JAYS GO !!    

Tuesday, October 13: Rain in the morning, gusty winds in the afternoon. It is not surprising that no bird sightings came in today locally. However, yesterday at Prince Edward Point, it was a fantastic day for one birder who found some great species including a BLACK SCOTER, 60 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 1 HERMIT THRUSH, 2 WINTER WRENS and a PEREGRINE FALCON. Friend  Joël Coutu of Montreal was on Amherst Island yesterday, finding a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, a MERLIN, 5 RED-TAILED HAWKS, and a COOPER’S HAWK. Also present, but found by other birders were a couple SANDERLINGS, 5 AMERICAN PIPITS and a BRANT. On Monday, birders had a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO near Tamworth, which may have been the same bird that spent the summer there.

Monday, October 12: A Napanee birder at Point Petre today ticked off a pretty good list comprising 25 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 90 to 90 BLUE JAYS in one flock, 2 MERLINS, a NORTHERN HARRIER, 1 RUFFED GROUSE, and just to remind us that winter’s a comin’ – 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS. One interesting sight was a flock (a mumuration) of EUROPEAN STARLINGS that was chased repeatedly by a MERLIN. It was remarkable, he said, to see all of them fly together in a very tight, compact group to avoid the MERLIN’S attack and failing to single one of them out. Over on the other side of the County, in the Consecon and Hillier area, many of the common migrants were about but the number of species was down even from five days ago. There were only two species of warbler, many YELLOW-RUMPED and one WILSON’S. Other migrants were KILLDEER (13), EASTERN TOWHEE (2), EASTERN PHOEBE (7), GRAY CATBIRD (3), EASTERN MEADOWLARK (3) and singles of HOUSE WREN, NORTHERN HARRIER, AMERICAN KESTREL and MERLIN. Along the east extension of the Belleville Bayshore Trail, south of Farley Avenue and adjacent to the old Bakelite Plant, some nice finds there today including YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, 4 HERMIT THRUSHES, a single PURPLE FINCH, and 3 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS  were seen by a Belleville birder. A PURPLE FINCH was also at 23 Sprague Road today as well. One birder had a good day today at Lemoine Point Conservation Area in Kingston when he racked up a list of 23 species, among them 2 WINTER WRENS, 4 SURF SCOTERS, 25 SONG SPARROWS, 2 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, a PALM WARBLER, 35 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 2 BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, 6 BROWN CREEPERS and a BALD EAGLE.

Sunday, October 11: Far too blustery today for any serious birding, and that was reflected in the number of sightings that came to my attention. A BLUE-HEADED VIREO was seen in a Belleville back yard today, along with an EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE. Along Belleville’s Airport Parkway, a LINCOLN’S SPARROW and over a dozen AMERICAN PIPITS highlighted sightings made there in the wind today.

Saturday, October 10: Must be the fine weather we had today that resulted in two very late dates of a couple species. A Trenton resident was enjoying his morning cup of coffee when a RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD came to some flowers just outside his door. Residents are always advised to keep their hummingbird feeders up through the first two weeks of October just in case a few stragglers may still be around, but normally October sightings are not that common. The latest date in my files is October 7th. And north of Belleville along Bronk Road (north of Harmony Road), a birder was surprised to see a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW  still lingering about. To see this species still around this late is rare and the latest date we have on file for this area is October 20th when two were seen in the Ameliasburgh area three years ago.  Also seen today along Bronk Road were 2 SAVANNAH SPARROWS, a SONG SPARROW and a BALD EAGLE “a mile up”. Still lots of time yet, until the end of this month and even early into next month to check off BLUE-HEADED VIREOS. Two were at Prince Edward Point today and one was in the backyard this afternoon at 23 Sprague Road on Big Island. Several parties of observers were at Prince Edward Point today, Toronto resident David Allan capturing a photo of a GOLDEN EAGLE. At least 4 juvenile BALD EAGLES were seen, SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, COOPER’S HAWKS, but it was the TURKEY VULTURES that tried to steal the limelight, numerous kettles of them drifting overhead all day, one kettle comprising 220 birds. The population of DARK-EYED JUNCOS today was estimated at 100. GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS  numbered 20-30, and joining the fracas were 100 COMMON GRACKLES, a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, an assortment of gulls, 6 PINE SISKINS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 2 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS and NASHVILLE WARBLER. On Fish Lake today there were 2 GADWALLS, some MALLARDS and a PIED-BILLED GREBE. At Sandbanks Park, EASTERN SCREECH-OWLS have been calling this week in their usual location in the woods beside the Woodland Campground. It appeared to be a good day for all involved.

Friday, October 09: If you think volunteering at  a banding station is a rewarding job, you might change your tune should you happen to find a TURKEY VULTURE in the nets. They don’t take too kindly to being handled, and this one, banded a few days ago,  threw up on the volunteer! The vulture was the first one ever to be caught at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. Banding of NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS has been underway since the first of the month and the running total of saw-whet owls banded as of last night is 102. Weather permitting, banding demonstrations of these diminutive owls will be taking place on Sunday, from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. as part of the Observatory’s MIGRATION MATTERS weekend. Guided hikes and a raptor watch are also planned for the weekend. One sighting to come in from Prince Edward County was of a possible GOLDEN EAGLE at Consecon. Twenty-five species were checked off at the Bath Hydro Generating Station, among the sightings, some impressive numbers. RING-NECKED DUCKS (150), 76 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 850 CANADA GEESE, and 101 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS made up the rafts of ducks which also included AMERICAN WIGEON, BLUE-WINGED TEAL,  GADWALL, HOODED MERGANSER, LESSER SCAUP, MALLARDS, MUTE SWAN and NORTHERN SHOVELER. Six GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 2 PEREGRINE FALCONS were also noteworthy. Kingston’s Lemoine Point Conservation Area didn’t do too badly either with 10 each of WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, 6 PALM WARBLERS and an AMERICAN KESTREL.  It was a grey day, but one observer made it down to the Point Petre area where the usual species for this time of the year were around in great abundance – BLUE JAYS, EASTERN TOWHEES, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and both species of kinglets. At the Simpson Road DU pond a BELTED KINGFISHER was seen and a couple of SWAMP SPARROWS in the marsh. Along Army Reserve Road, west of MNR Road,  a COOPER’S HAWK flew with a COMMON CROW in pursuit.  Along Lighthall Road., north of Royal Road, three AMERICAN KESTRELS were on a telephone wire, each spaced about 10 metres apart - probably waiting for nicer weather for their flight south. Fred Helleiner’s Presqu’ile Park weekly bird summary for the past week has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, October 08: A gorgeous fall day for birding and what better bird to greet a Kingston resident than a juvenile ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. It is a late date for this species, although not too unusual to see them in early to mid-October. A LINCOLN’S SPARROW and PALM WARBLERS  continue on Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville. The beautiful day must have stimulated some activity among the DARK-EYED JUNCOS.  An individual that turned up today at a feeder near Lake on the Mountain must surely have been left behind because a birder today along Long Point Road near Prince Edward Point reported juncos by the hundreds, perhaps thousands. The same birder tried his luck on seldom travelled Gravelly Bay Road and it paid off in handsome dividends with 75 TURKEY VULTURES being seen, 4 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, a RED-TAILED HAWK, 2 BALD EAGLES, a NORTHERN HARRIER and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK passing over. Seven EASTERN BLUEBIRDS  were spotted on County Road 24 (Point Petre Road) near Soup Harbour Road, and AMERICAN KESTRELS and EASTERN PHOEBES  were common everywhere. In a Wellington backyard today, there was a PINE WARBLER  and also a HERMIT THRUSH. Two birders birding Presqu’ile Park returned home with a respectable list of 42 species, among them, BROWN CREEPER, BELTED KINGFISHER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, NORTHERN SHOVELERS, CEDAR WAXWINGS, 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and four TRUMPETER SWANS. BONAPARTE’S GULLS were at the Brighton Constructed Wetland. Gull Island was uncharacteristically devoid of birds.  

Wednesday, October 07: Twelve DUNLIN were among the finds at Amherst Island today, more specifically, the Martin Edwards Reserve at the east end of the island. Other good finds included a nice group of 25 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS  2 BLUE-HEADED VIREOS,  40 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 1 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 30 REDHEADS, 5 SANDERLINGS, and a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER.  Thirty-four YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS highlighted a few sightings at Strathcona today where other birds of note included GRAY CATBIRD, PILEATED WOODPECKER, SWAMP SPARROW  and GREAT BLUE HERON. At Stoco Lake, Tweed, an angler was fishing for muskellunge around noon when an AMERICAN BITTERN flew into a reed bed along the shoreline. Another birder had a great morning at the Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area north of Brighton where birds of note there were PALM, PINE and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, lots of DARK-EYED JUNCOS as that species continues its migration through the area, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS,  and an OSPREY, with the capper being a BLANDING’S TURTLE basking in the sun on one of the trails. Of course, dozens upon dozens of both GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS.  In the Consecon area today,  good number of migrants. In all there were seven warbler species and the Vermivora were close and together so the identification was easier. The species were ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, PINE, PALM, YELLOW-RUMPED and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. Eight species in the Sparrow family were seen with WHITE-CROWNED, WHITE-THROATED, CHIPPING, FIELD, SONG and SAVANNAH representing the sparrows commonly recognized as such. Also in that family DARK-EYED JUNCO and EASTERN TOWHEE. Both Kinglets were plentiful with about equal numbers of RUBY-CROWNED and GOLDEN-CROWNED. Other migrants included BLUE-HEADED VIREO (6), GRAY CATBIRD (4), BROWN CREEPER (5), EASTERN PHOEBE (10), YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (6) and singles of COMMON LOON and GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH. Certainly a good day for that birder! The first site in Prince Edward County where a roost of GREAT EGRETS was found back in 2012, harbouring well over 100 roosting GREAT EGRETS at its peak, is now all but deserted. That site – Indian Island in the Bay of Quinte across from Trenton – efforts were underway this year to discourage DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS  from roosting there as they were killing some of the trees with their excrement. In those efforts, the egrets became displaced as well. A final check last night revealed no egrets, and there were also no cormorants, so whatever has been going on is definitely having the desired effect.

Tuesday, October 06: Kinglets are on the move and also on the move are oth WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. A resident in the Barry Heights area on the west side of Trenton had 25 of the former in his backyard foraging on the ground. GREAT EGRETS are still around although in reduced numbers. One was seen yesterday lumbering up the Trent Canal toward the 401. They will till persist however through much of this month. One hung around the Hamilton Wetland along County Road 14 until November 10th last year. Five egrets were in the wetland today along with a BELTED KINGFISHER and four RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. Duck-wise at the wetland, there were 4 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 600 CANADA GEESE, and 100 MALLARDS this afternoon as well as a dozen YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and a NORTHERN HARRIER. In Wellington, a backyard on Narrow Street had a single YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER ( two yesterday), and a BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER took advantage of an available bird bath for a sip of water. Along Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS,  7 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, 7 AMERICAN PIPITS, and one each of PALM WARBLER, CHIPPING SPARROW and LINCOLN’S SPARROW  were all good sightings there. Yesterday at Strathcona, a GRAY CATBIRD  was found. On Duetta Road in Prince Edward County, EASTERN TOWHEE, HOUSE WREN, 2 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, a BROWN THRASHER were all excellent sightings today. A COOPER’S HAWK was at Point Petre, and SANDHILL CRANES  were heard, but not seen, somewhere near the west end of Big Island today, probably the three that often turn up at the Hamilton Wetland. And in the Napanee area, 3 COMMON CROWS  were seen climbing down the side of a round bale of hay – combing it for grasshoppers, perhaps? Just a reminder that the informal walks conducted by a member of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists on Friday mornings, will be coming to an end shortly. One is scheduled for this Friday, another on the 16th and the final walk on October 30th. The walks are conducted by a botanist but anything that moves is also documented. Walks leave the intersection of Army Reserve Road and Simpson Road at 10:00 a.m. You can contact Sheila Kuja at if you need more details. 

Monday, October 05: Lots of some species around right now – YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, and now, DARK-EYED JUNCOS moving in. A few LINCOLN’S SPARROWS along Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville today, and a TUFTED TITMOUSE  turned up today along the same road, at the Fuller Native and Rare Plants nursery.  The proprietor was able to follow it around for a while and it even did some singing , but all he was able to get was a grainy photo, unfortunately.  There was also an immature COOPER’S HAWK that swooped into the brush pile and then took off. Lots of kinglets of both species around the nursery all weekend. At Wellington, the predominant bird today in a Narrrow Street backward was the YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and 2 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS also appeared late this afternoon. A BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER even used the backyard bird bath! At Presqu’ile Park today, a SEDGE WREN was reported anonymously with no details provided. This species is rare at Presqu’ile, especially in the fall. Twenty-nine species were seen by one enthusiastic birder from Belleville at one of my favourite conservation areas, Parrott’s Bay, just west of Kingston today. Among the more noteworthy were 4 WOOD DUCKS, 5 NORTHERN PINTAILS, GADWALL, 6 AMERICAN WIGEON, 4 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS,  50 CANADA GEESE, RING-NECKED DUCK and 50 MALLARDS, on the bay inside the conservation area. A SWAINSON’S THRUSH, 8 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, a couple  RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, a  CASPIAN TERN, and just to put some icing on the day – a BALD EAGLE. In the Napanee area – actually Morven – Wilton Creek produced a couple GREATER YELLOWLEGS. Nearby, along County Road 8, south of Napanee, 10 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and a RUSTY BLACKBIRD were highlights there. Fellow birder Ron Pittaway has once again compiled his Winter Finch Forecast for the coming season. Will we once again have redpolls? To find out CLICK HERE.  Photo credits by the way, for the accompanying photos in his predictions, can be seen by “mousing over” the photos. All photos were taken by local photographers.

Sunday, October 04: Nothing reported today except for these three SANDHILL CRANES that showed up on Kings Road in the Point Petre area. An observer at Point Petre noted plenty of TURKEY VULTURES migrating and AMERICAN KESTRELS  present. At the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory this coming Thanksgiving weekend, it’s “Migration Matters”, a weekend of guided hikes and NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL banding. Guided hikes take place Saturday and  Monday mornings, commencing at the Observatory at 9:00 a.m. Visitors can see the banding of Northern Saw-whet Owls on Sunday, October 11th from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. (weather permitting. To see what other Observatory events are taking place this month, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, October 03: Not a lot going on today, likely due to the wind, but a few birders were out. The three SANDHILL CRANES (2 adults & juvenile) that turn up almost daily at the Hamilton Wetland along C.R. 14 west of Demorestville, appeared today along Black Road, just a short distance away. An AMERICAN KESTREL was also seen in that area. At Point Petre today, an EASTERN PHOEBE, a COOPER’S HAWK and a couple YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. At Sandbanks Provincial Park in the Lakeshore Lodge day use area, NASHVILLE and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER  were seen as well as a lone TREE SWALLOW. Two WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were on a birder’s list today at the Little Catarqui Creek Conservation Area, just north of Kingston. Also present, 10 RING-NECKED DUCKS, a BELTED KINGFISHER, a BROWN CREEPER, 1 BLUE-HEADED VIREO, GREAT BLUE HERON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a PINE WARBLER among the 15 species of birds checked off there by a Belleville birder. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER  was at the Marshlands Conservation Area yesterday in Kingston, as well as three HERMIT THRUSHES. Five RUSTY BLACKBIRDS  were at South Bay yesterday and two were at 23 Sprague Road on Big Island today. Codrington area resident and regular contributor to the Bird Report, Leslie Abram, has been doing some reading about the challenges that migratory birds face, and has written her latest blog about how choosing shade grown coffee can help.    Readers might be interested to know that their coffee drinking choices can make a big difference. There is even a plug in there for the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory coffee! You can read Leslie’s blog on why we should be drinking shade grown coffee by CLICKING HERE.

Friday, October 02: Lots of migrants about this morning in the Consecon area. Many species, according to one birder,  were present although nothing out of the ordinary. Some species were present in large numbers like BLUE JAYS (hundreds), WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. There were six species of warbler: YELLOW-RUMPED, PALM, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, NASHVILLE, ORANGE-CROWNED and NORTHERN PARULA. A good number for this time in the season. Sparrows present were WHITE-THROATED,WHITE-CROWNED, SWAMP, SONG, LINCOLN’S CHIPPING and DARK-EYED JUNCO.  Other migrants were good numbers of EASTERN PHOEBE and NORTHERN FLICKER but also YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, GRAY CATBIRD, WINTER WREN, BLUE-HEADED VIREO,  and three species of thrush – SWAINSON’S, GRAY-CHEEKED and HERMIT. Both GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS  were also present. At the other end of the County, down at Prince Edward Point, it was a good day there too, with 11 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS banded. There were a few SWAINSON’S and HERMIT THRUSHES, and GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS mirroring what the day was also like at Consecon, but few warblers – just BLACK-THROATED BLUE. A flock of TREE SWALLOWS, likely just arrived from the James Bay area, was seen. Lots of TURKEY VULTURES in squadrons flying past. Lots of TURKEY VULTURES  too in the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area with kettles of 30, sometimes 20, and other times 35 passing over.  Lots and lots of RED-TAILED HAWKS, COOPER’S HAWKS and SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS.  A few NORTHERN HARRIERS, too. Definitely a day to be looking up, way up! Probably several hundred BLUE JAYS - they were everywhere and quite vocal. Certainly a very blustery day, but quite exciting for all birders who were out today! Yesterday, the Hamilton Wetland west of Demorestville, managed to produce another exceptional bird to add to the SANDHILL CRANES, 90+ GREAT EGRETS, WHITE PELICAN and others that have shown up so far this year. A HUDSONIAN GODWIT turned up late yesterday afternoon and joined 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and the resident 3 SANDHILL CRANES that show up every day. Warblers are staying around despite the chilly winds – a late BAY-BREASTED WARBLER  was found yesterday along the trail that runs north from the intersection of Cannifton and River Road. A BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER  was also found. Other interesting sightings were a KILLDEER, 8 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET -17 species on a 1 kilometre section of trail. Pretty good for a windy October day. And, finally, our congratulations to regular contributor to this Report, Peter Fuller, for being the winner of a pair of 8 X 40 binoculars  in the 2015 Great Canadian Birdathon draw. There were several winners of various prizes awarded to Birdathon participants across North America, but Peter was the only local resident to win a prize.The Presqu’ile Park Weekly Bird Report by Fred Heleiner has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, October 01: Except for a few sightings along Airport Parkway in Belleville – PALM WARBLER, GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED  KINGLETS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, SWAMP SPARROW and 8 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS – no one was out birding today. Peak numbers of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS will be appearing this week and next, and the species will hang around until late November, except for the few that always turn up at winter bird feeders. Several showed up today in a Wellington backyard. It’s also the time for RUFFED GROUSE  to be on the move as evidenced by one that flew directly in front of one motorist on Taylor-Kidd Blvd this afternoon.

Wednesday, September 30: No action today, except from the wind. A few bird sightings did come in too late last night for inclusion in last evening’s Report, so I will list them here. At the Miller Farm Nature Reserve, along Prince Edward County’s South Shore area just east of Brewer’s Road (legendary Chuck-will’s-widow location!), found yesterday were MAGNOLIA WARBLER, a LESSER YELOWLEGS and  a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET. Not far away, on Whattam’s Road, NASHVILLE WARBLER and RED-EYED VIREO were found. The big list though came from Prince Edward Point where a tally of good sightings included PEREGRINE FALCON, 4 MERLINS, 15 NORTHERN FLICKERS, a BALD EAGLE, 36 COMMON LOONS, 1 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, 350 BLUE JAYS, a WINTER WREN. Warblers seen were 35 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, and one BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER. And way over on Main Duck Island, an adult BALD EAGLE has been present there since summer, according to a few observers.

Tuesday, September 29: Birds are where you find them, and WHEN you find them, even if it is during a steady rainfall. A GREAT BLUE HERON was found fishing at the base of the Napanee Falls in Springside Park this morning. He was having great success fishing and the observer wondered how so when the water was flowing so swiftly, obscuring any view of the fish swimming in the turbulent waters. Just west of Glenora Ferry, one resident there watched a continuous parade of  COMMON LOONS today, both swimming and flying, heading west. This performance has been going on for several days. Another birder who has no fear of rainfall, birded the lakeshore trail at Lake Ontario Park in Kingston this morning, coming up with more than a dozen species, among them, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, RED-TAILED HAWK, NORTHERN PARULA, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, 15 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, and five CHIPPING SPARROWS.  Meanwhile downtown, Kingston’s PEREGRINE FALCON that has been around all summer made its appearance today at the Princess Towers. Enjoy the evening. It’s still raining.

Monday, September 28: There were 65 GREAT EGRETS  seen flying out of the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville, last evening at 5:15 p.m.    Also present were these two SANDHILL CRANES.  Also present at the wetland were 13 NORTHERN PINTAILS, a PILEATED WOODPECKER, 3 PALM WARBLERS and some 300 EUROPEAN STARLINGS. If the egret and the crane weren’t impressive enough, the wandering WHITE PELICAN  was present too at the wetland. The pelican lately has been spending some time on nearby Muscote Bay, just below the escarpment and seems to have forsaken the cormorants with which it had previously associated. Now it’s egrets! A few interesting birds seen on the weekend at Prince Edward Point were 3 BALD EAGLES, EASTERN TOWHEE, and 8 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS. At Sandbanks Park, some highlights there were a HORNED GREBE, 4 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, a couple COMMON RAVENS, and a BROWN CREEPER. Along County Road 2, north of Wilson Road in the Wellington area, a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW  and a LINCOLN’S SPARROW were found yesterday, and down Kingston way today, a MARSH WREN and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were present in the Marshlands Conservation Area off Front Road. A SPOTTED SANDPIPER and 4 GREATER SCAUP were checked off at Invista (Dupont lagoons). Back in our area, birds present at Presqu’ile Park included BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SANDERLING, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, AMERICAN PIPIT and GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. In Belleville, the BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was in its usual spot in the Moira River today when I stopped in, along with a GREAT BLUE HERON and a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. Friend Ron Pittaway has completed his predictions for what may be expected in our area this winter and at our feeders. Get ready for Redpolls because we may very well have them again this winter, he predicts. They may move into southern Ontario because birch seed crops are low to average in northern Canada. A small flight of EVENING GROSBEAKS is expected in the East because of increasing numbers due to expanding spruce budworm outbreaks in Quebec. PINE GROSBEAKS also should move south in small numbers because the mountain-ash berry crop is below average in northern Ontario. And, he says, expect a scattering of RED CROSSBILLS across the East this winter. I will post his predictions on my website in a day or two along with a few photos. It seems weird with such balmy temperatures most days, to be talking about winter bird feeding, but signs of increased activity around the feeding stations at our home is already taking place with about a dozen BLUE JAYS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, HAIRY and DOWNY WOODPECKERS, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH and all the other regulars, now present and making regular forays to the feeders. If you are reading this right now at 6:15 p.m., there is still time to catch the first fall meeting of the Quinte Field Naturalists with the guest speaker Michael Mesure speaking about the Fatal Light Awareness Program. Finally,The WESTERN KINGBIRD in Ottawa was still perched in a dead tree at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden just south of the butterfly garden at noon today. Check the trees on the west side of the "old" field.

Sunday, September 27: A NELSON’S SPARROW (formerly called Sharp-tailed Sparrow)  was found and photographed today at the H.R. Frink Centre. Also present along the boardwalk in the marsh was “an infestation” of SWAMP SPARROWS (15) a good number for this wetland bird, and a VIRGINIA RAIL. The NELSON’S SPARROW is a rare but regular autumn migrant at this marsh. This particular one came into a taped song at the new section of boardwalk. A VIRGINIA RAIL was also present at the Harmony Road wetland north of Belleville east of Highway 37, but surprisingly, no GREAT EGRETS after the record number of 93 having been seen at the Hamilton wetland near Demorestville a few days ago. Also present at Harmony Road at daybreak this morning were 8 WOOD DUCKS, 2 COMMON GALLINULES and 110 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. However, the real treat was a PEREGRINE FALCON that circled the wetland, then did a power dive into a small flock of BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Another surprise was a flock of 15 BOBOLINKS, a rather late date for this species which normally departs by mid-September. Argentina is a long way off, so these BOBOLINKS  had best be going soon. Low of 1 degree Celsius by Thursday night! Another birder who was at Prince Edward Point yesterday echoed yesterday's report of numerous hawks playing a game of cat and mouse with the BLUE JAYS. Seven SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, he said, were gliding in the wind and then another came flying up from the trees... they were striking everywhere doing crazy aerial manoeuvres all over the place.   BLUE JAYS were hiding in trees hopping around quietly or else freaking out.. Goldfinches and rarely seen Warblers were chased into cover immediately.   The observer had never seen anything like it, he related.  At one point, there were 3 NORTHERN HARRIERS that went by, a BALD EAGLE drifting around as well as the SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS seemingly everywhere... another big hawk took a run at a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK  - it was just pure chaos and he even saw SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS take aggressive runs at TURKEY VULTURES twice, once making a loud whack..  pretty amazing to watch, went on all morning, he confirmed. At the Hubb’s Creek Wetland along the Millennium Trail off Danforth Road west of Wellington, a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was making use of what little bit of open water exists here between the cattail masses. Seven PAINTED TURTLES were basking in the fall sunshine at one spot. And a MERLIN was finishing off a dragonfly lunch. If you don’t mind driving a little bit, a WESTERN KINGBIRD  appeared today in Ottawa and hung around all day. I can provide directions, if interested.

Saturday, September 26: BLUE JAYS  were on the move today at Prince Edward Point, but it wasn’t the uninterrupted fall migration that usually takes place at this now famous migratory focal point. BLUE JAYS were on high alert as hundreds called alarms and flew from one side of the road to the other at 9:00 a.m.. The reason was soon obvious. At least 2 NORTHERN HARRIERS and possibly 4-6 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS  were looking for breakfast. At noon, the commotion was still going on but with less fervour - just 1 SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and the BLUE JAYS were probably exhausted. BLUE JAYS on the move were also noted at Sheffield Conservation Area, south of Kaladar, so the migration of this species is certainly well under way. A flock of 18 AMERICAN PIPITS was noted there, as well as a couple of BLUE-HEADED VIREOS and a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET. It is always interesting to determine the arrival of species by the number of reports that come in daily from birders in the field. For example, Thursday was determined to be the date when DARK-EYED JUNCOS began arriving with reports coming in from various areas. Another report of a Thursday arrival of the species came from the east side of Belleville. Along Airport Parkway, a PALM WARBLER, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and an AMERICAN PIPIT turned up today. As of yesterday, the lone BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON continues to frequent the waters of the Moira River at the Lions Park off Station Street in Belleville where it was joined by a GREAT BLUE HERON. A few interesting species at the Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area, west of Kingston. The list started out with another DARK-EYED JUNCO, followed by 8 each of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Also present were SWAMP SPARROW, GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH,  WINTER WREN, NORTHERN PARULA, a RED-EYED VIREO, and 2 AMERICAN WIGEON. Certainly a great place to bird where a year ago in May, there was a KENTUCKY WARBLER singing within a stone’s throw of a WORM-EATING WARBLER! Other birds seen around the region were a GREAT EGRET at the County Road 28 bridge near Fenwood Gardens south of Belleville, a NORTHERN HARRIER  west of Demorestville, and a PILEATED WOODPECKER in a backyard near the west end of Victoria Road west of Ameliasburgh.

Friday, September 25: In the Bay of Quinte at Zwick’s Park yesterday, there was a leucistic DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. Today started out at the break of day with more white in the form of 93 GREAT EGRETS departing the Hamilton Wetland along County Road 14, west of Demorestville – a record high. For 10 minutes there was a constant flight of egrets from the roost, with fewer than 20 settling down in the wetland.  Also present were 2 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 2 KILLDEER, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and 10 NORTHERN PINTAILS. Wetland birds seen yesterday at Presqu’ile Park included GREAT BLUE HERON, AMERICAN BITTERN, BELTED KINGFISHER and a couple of COMMON GALLINULES. Other birds noted in the park were AMERICAN REDSTART, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER and PHILADELPHIA VIREOS. Vireos were also the order of the day at Prince Edward Point where banders and volunteers there broke their record for RED-EYED VIREOS. BLUE-HEADED VIREOS  are also passing through now in good numbers. With good north easterly winds, it was definitely a hawk day at Prince Edward Point today. Volunteers  had 3 SHARP SHINNED HAWKS in one net at the same time! Five hawks in total were banded, but there were many more flying overhead! There were squadrons of TURKEY VULTURES and a few BALD EAGLES as well. BROWN CREEPERS have started to show up along with RUBY AND GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS in small numbers. There are still warblers coming through, notable BLACK-THROATED BLUE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, MAGNOLIA, NASHVILLE, AMERICAN REDSTART AND CHESTNUT SIDED. At Point Petre it was the BLUE JAY that took the limelight there with a single flock of 80 passing over Point Petre Road and BLUE JAYS  were in constant chorus all along Army Reserve Road. Also lots of NORTHERN FLICKERS  gathering together and moving eastward at Point Petre. Nine were seen in one concentration on Lighthall Road by one Napanee observer.  A small flock of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS turned up in the Point Petre Woods. At the Point there were four AMERICAN KESTRELS perched and then flying around over the federal open field and towards the lake. One was seen hovering and then catching his lunch and flying to a hydro line on the west side of the road to eat it.  The best part of all though down there today was just the beauty and colour of the roadsides and fields near Point Petre.  Because it's a bit cooler down there, the WHITE ASTERS, purple NEW ENGLAND ASTERS and Goldenrods were at their peak flowering and were a continuous phantasmagoria from the road back to the trees for several kilometres along Point Petre Road.   Also, there was a RED ADMIRAL butterfly and several CLOUDED SULPHUR butterflies feeding on an AMETHYST ASTER (the hybrid between NEW ENGLAND ASTER and the HEATH ASTER ) along the side of the Point Petre Road. Also seen were 7 MONARCH BUTTERFLIES along Army Reserve Road and Point Petre Road. Over on the west side of Prince Edward County, there was a BALD EAGLE on the north shore of Consecon Lake and a GREAT EGRET in the marsh at Carrying Place, and another at Pete’s Point near Massassauga. SNAPPING TURTLES at Pleasant Bay have been hatching this week, notes one observer, with numerous individuals making a hasty run for the water off Bay Meadows Park. Other sightings here and there included a RED-TAILED HAWK near Picton, and a return of Kingston’s PEREGRINE FALCON  in the downtown area. A late OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was seen at Invista in Kingston two days ago where an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was also seen. A DARK-EYED JUNCO was seen there on 24th which coincides with the first junco of the season being seen at Consecon yesterday. Fred Helleiner’s Presqu’ile Bird Report for the past week has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, September 24: It is the autumnal recrudescence of the amatory urge, judging from at least three separate examples this past week. It is the time of the year when plants and animals get mixed up by the equal day and night around the fall equinox, and think it’s spring again. In Napanee, a DOWNY WOODPECKER kept entering a nest box as though exploring the possibilities of it being a nest site.  A SPRING PEEPER was calling loudly from the Big Island Marsh at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, and in Consecon, a GRAY TREEFROG fooled one resident there into believing that an invisible bird was calling from the trees and rooftop of his house. Consecon had lots to contribute to the Bird Report today. It must have been a good migration last night since migrants could be found everywhere and in numbers. A Trenton birder there had 13 species of warbler including BLACKBURNIAN, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, YELLOW-RUMPED, MAGNOLIA, PALM, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, NASHVILLE, BAY-BREASTED, CHESTNUT-SIDED and  WILSON’S  as well as NORTHERN PARULA, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and  COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. Other migrants noted were SCARLET TANAGER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, both RED-EYED and BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, and in equal numbers – both GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS.  Fall is definitely coming since a few DARK-EYED JUNCOS – the first for this season - and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were present with large numbers of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. Slab Creek Swamp along the Millennium Trail off Station Road in Hillier had six squealing WOOD DUCKS and a grunting VIRGINIA RAIL – the latter another example of autumnal recrudescence as that species normally would not be calling this late in the season. The east end of the Murray Canal had three GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS with the usual HERRING  and RING-BILLED GULLS. . There were also seven BONAPARTE’S GULL and a lone CASPIAN TERN.  The WHITE PELICAN that turned up at the Hamilton Wetland along C.R. 14, had earlier been seen two days earlier on Muscote Bay. And a late report came in of a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER near Sandbanks which was subsequently found dead last week. A BARRED OWL continues to be a now and then visitor in the woods behind an Elmbrook Road residence where there is also a WHIP-POOR-WILL that has been calling every morning. A BALD EAGLE was seen at Northport three says ago, and another was seen today at Huyck’s Point. And, finally, a Fry Road resident north of Picton was outside with his iPod last night and played the song of an EASTERN SCREECH-OWL. Returning to the house, the muffled sound of a screech owl could be heard, so he returned to the outside deck, and played the song again. This time the owl flew over the man and his wife, perched in a tree,  and did a few more flyovers.

Wednesday, September 23: Last evening was a great evening at the Hamilton Wetland because, in addition to the unexpected appearance of the WHITE PELICAN, there was also present was a family of SANDHILL CRANES – two parents with a young ‘un in tow. Also present were some 25 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, one each of MERLIN and NORTHERN HARRIER and AMERICAN KESTREL, 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and a LESSER YELLOWLEGS. In the Moira River at Belleville, the BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON is back again off Station Street.  Five WILD TURKEYS  were present in a field near the west end of Black Road in Prince Edward County.   BOBOLINKS  have all left town by now, but EASTERN MEADOWLARKS are still round yet in good numbers. A half dozen or so can be depended on in the harvested hay fields west of 23 Sprague Road on Big Island.

Tuesday, September 22: As we say down here in The County – that’s “more better”. Lots of sightings for this evening’s Bird Report. Warblers are still passing through en masse in some areas in the Quinte region. A dozen species of warblers were present at Prince Edward Point, among them, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, 4 TENNESSEE WARBLERS, WILSON’S WARBLER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, CAPE MAY WARBLER, and NORTHERN PARULA. Much the same in the Stinson Block area, west of Consecon with both BLACK-THROATED BLUE and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, MAGNOLIA, YELLOW-RUMPED, and MOURNING WARBLER making up the list, along with NORTHERN PARULA and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.  Newly arrived WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS  also made it on the list as did four SWAINSON’S THRUSHES and a group of five EASTERN BLUEBIRDS on a grass farmyard. Not much happening, it seems, with the three GREAT EGRET roosts. No significant numbers have come in recently from the Harmony Road site, and just a sprinkling from the Hamilton Wetland. Very unusual as numbers last year remained high, 30-50, at the Hamilton Wetland well into mid-October before dropping off with one persisting until November 10th.  However, what was present at 5:00 p.m. this afternoon was the WHITE PELICAN which had been on the Bay of Quinte since June! At the Indian Island roost site, a possible explanation for the egrets' departure there might be in the efforts from a few locals in trying to discourage the roosting DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS from using the island to roost because of tree damage.  This, in turn, may have discouraged the egrets from roosting there any longer, and have moved on. Speaking of cormorants, there were 1,800 at Swetman Island (the False Duck Islands). One birder down there yesterday chalked up BALD EAGLE, 5 EASTERN TOWHEES, 3 BROWN THRASHERS, 6 EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES and 20 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS. Also see were 3 SWAINSON’S THRUSHES and a GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH. RED-EYED VIREOS  are still holding strong with 15 being counted and there was also a PHiLADELPHA VIREO, along with 3 MERLINS and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and a BROWN CREEPER  were at Sandbanks Park. West of Demorestville along Black Road, GRAY CATBIRD and a RED-TAILED HAWK both made their appearance, while 2 AMERICAN WOODCOCK were seen at Bloomfield. At Lake on the Mountain, SCARLET TANAGER, MAGNOLIA WARBLER  and BELTED KINGFISHER  were good sightings there, while at Strathcona, SWAMP SPARROW and a MARSH WREN made it onto a birder’s list in that community northeast of Napanee.

Monday, September 21: Today, not much going on except for a few early morning sightings at the Hamilton Wetland along County Road 14, west of Demorestville. Present in the flooded field today were about 20 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 4 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and a GREAT BLUE HERON.

Sunday, September 20: A few bird species came in today, but not much for a Sunday and beautiful weather to boot. Three GREAT EGRETS today at the Harmony Road wetland north of Belleville, and a GREAT BLUE HERON. On the Cataraqui Trail east of Strathcona, a birder there found CEDAR WAXWING and PILEATED WOODPECKER. Today at Presqu’ile Park, a birder there found CANADA WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, WILSON’S WARBLER, PHILADELPHIA VIREO, EASTERN PHOEBE and CEDAR WAXWINGS. Yesterday, another birder there found PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and 2 LEAST SANDPIPERS at Owen Point. On the beaches, GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, a half dozen BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS including one in transitional plumage, 10 SANDERLINGS, lots of CANADA GEESE and AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS. Sunny conditions, cool temperatures and wind greeted a Belleville birder today at Prince Edward Point where birds of interest included both BLACK-THROATED GREEN and BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS, PINE WARBLERS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER and NORTHERN PARULA. Hundreds of BLUE JAYS were in motion indicating a migration. Also seen, a female SCARLET TANAGER, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET and an immature BALD EAGLE

Saturday, September 19:  BAIRD’S SANDPIPER and BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER  were two of the highlights at Sandbanks Provincial Park today as the fall migration continues. A MERLIN was seen along King’s Road and a BALD EAGLE  was at Point Petre. No shortage of LESSER YELLOWLEGS yet. Seventeen were present today at Wilton Creek east of Napanee, as were 3 GREAT BLUE HERONS, a SOLITARY SANDPIPER, and a BELTED KINGFISHER. Three male NORTHERN HARRIERS were seen today swooping together on Amherst Island and 8 COMMON LOONS were present along the ferry route. Yesterday there was an adult BALD EAGLE and an immature soaring overhead and heading east in the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area. Otherwise, just the usual birds again during the Friday morning Prince Edward County Field Naturalists walk along Army Reserve Road – EASTERN TOWHEE, GRAY CATBIRD, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES. GREAT BLUE HERON and BELTED KINGFISHER were seen in the DU wetland on Lighthall Road. MONARCH BUTTERFLIES were flying about everywhere and a VICEROY BUTTERFLY was also among them. Still a fair number of CLOUDED and ORANGE SULPHURS according to the leader of the walk, but much less than half the number seen a couple of weeks ago.  Also at Lighthall Road, a RED ADMIRAL, an AMERICAN LADY butterfly and an EASTER-TAILED BLUE  were seen.  Still a few TWELVE-SPOTTED SKIMMERS around the pools as well as some Darners flying over and many Meadowhawks, some in tandem laying their eggs There were BOTTLE GENTIANS along the sides of the road below the berm at Lighthall Road. The highlight of the walk was seeing the Red Eft stage of the Eastern RED-SPOTTED NEWT on the gravel road. Also in the same area, another observer had a good day hawking with numerous RED-TAILED HAWKS  seen, as well as and adult BALD EAGLE along the shore, a COOPER’S HAWK at Point Petre, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK right on the road, 2 more BALD EAGLES (both juveniles)  at Charwell Point which were accompanied by 3 MERLINS. In the area of the Big Swamp, WILSON’S WARBLER, VEERY, and three species of vireo – RED-EYED, BLUE-HEADED, and WARBLING. And BLUE JAYS everywhere as their migration continues. Along the Napanee River today at Springside Park, present were MALLARDS, GREAT BLUE HERON, CANADA GEESE and a juvenile DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT.

Friday, September 18: Campsite 370 in the Trail’s End Campground at Presqu’ile Provincial Park is tucked away in a predominantly deciduous woods just a stone’s throw away from the lake shore. We could not have picked a better week, but except for a PILEATED WOODPECKER who repeatedly visited our campsite on most days, that was about the only birding I got in from Monday through today. A hip that is scheduled for new parts in November kept me pretty much campsite bound  all week so I did most of my birding vicariously through the efforts of others who left notes behind at the Bird Sightings Board about exciting discoveries they had made. The first DUNLIN appeared on the beach on Tuesday, and with it were several WHIMBREL, 2 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, a dozen BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. As well, the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER returned for an encore, and four were on Gull Island today. Thursday featured 10 RED-NECKED GREBES, 3 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and a BARRED OWL, the latter present again today. GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES  have been appearing all week. A quick trip to Campbellford and Ferris Provincial Park revealed NORTHERN FLICKERS  flying back and forth and along the roadsides everywhere. As we entered Ferris Park, between 12 and 15 flew from the shoulder of the gravel entrance road. Yesterday at Sandbanks Provincial Park, 13 SANDERLINGS  were seen by a birder there. West of Demorestville, 2 EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES were still present, although this species will hang around well into October before departing. Fred Helleiner’s Presqu’ile Bird Report for the past week has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

Monday, September 14: Taking some time off - me and Miss Dog - for a few days. The Quinte Area Bird Report will return sometime during the latter part of the week. Meanwhile, continue to e-mail me your reports and sightings and we will catch up when this blog returns in a few days.

Sunday, September 13: Well, I guess that will teach me to claim, several days ago in this Report, that it never rains in Prince Edward County. Two and half inches later......The two day steady rain though did translate into few sightings coming in, except for a MAGNOLIA WARBLER that met an untimely death when it struck the front door of a West Lake home. And, if you don’t like the rain, you can start dreaming thoughts of winter. Already, a SNOWY OWL has appeared, seen on a telephone pole in the off ramp from Highway 8 exiting towards the 401, just south of Grand River. Sandbanks once again had shorebirds, today, featuring 2 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 5 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 7 SANDERLINGS and one each of SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER and BAIRD’S. An exceptional sighting today was in a ploughed field in the Hay Bay area where 19 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS  were seen. Eight BROAD-WINGED HAWKS and a BALD EAGLE  were at Prince Edward Point.

Saturday, September 12: Birdwatchers do it in the rain! Well ,at least a few of them, anyway. Despite what ended up being around two inches of rainfall today, one birder was at Sandbanks Park mid-morning and found a nice assortment of shorebirds including 2 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, one SPOTTED SANDPIPER, a LEAST SANDPIPER, one BAIRD’S, a SANDERLING, one GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and 3 SEMIPLMATED PLOVERS. And here is real dedication. Two birders got a late start Friday morning, arriving 10 minutes later than usual to do a count of GREAT EGRETS leaving the Hamilton Wetland at daybreak, and discovered to their dismay that the egrets were already leaving the roost. Their count of 47 GREAT EGRETS  was considered unacceptable to them, so they returned again this morning, in the rain, swatting mosquitoes brought on by the rain. At 6:35 a.m., the first egret ventured out of the wetland, followed by many more for a final count of an incredible 91 in 15 minutes. By 7:00 a.m.  groups of 5-10 were flying off including one green tagged bird high in the sky. Mission accomplished and satisfied with their efforts, they returned home, and went back to bed!

Friday, September 11: If you are anticipating a visit to Prince Edward Point this week, and expect the same kind of excitement that spring usually offers – think again! The Point Traverse trail system is a maze of spider webs (and spiders) right now, and birding has been a bit thin. Yesterday, there was a BLUE-HEADED VIREO and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. The two BALD EAGLES 1 imm and 1 adult) and a MERLIN were also highlights, two species that carried on into today with 4 MERLIN being seen and an immature BALD EAGLE. Other raptor sightings suggested conditions were right for some raptor movement and also seen in the Prince Edward Point are today were AMERICAN KESTREL, RED-TAILED HAWK, BROAD-WINGED HAWK, a male NORTHERN HARRIER and lots of TURKEY VULTURES. Passerines were around, but always at this time of the year when birds are more restless than they are in the spring, and most sporting drab, confusing fall colours, not to mention that song is all but absent, sorting them out can be a challenge. One birder today did manage to confirm 7 warbler species there – BAY-BREASTED, BLACKPOLL, YELLOW-RUMPED, MAGNOLIA, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, NASHVILLE, and...drum roll...A BLUE-WINGED WARBLER. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS was also seen today, as yesterday. Three LESSER YELLOWLEGS  were at the Hamilton Wetland early this morning as were a WOOD DUCK, 7 BLUE-WINGED TEAL and a couple hundred MALLARDS. Two SOLITARY SANDPIPERS made it on the day’s list today along Airport Parkway in the Belleville area along with a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and a couple PALM WARBLERS. At the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, it was a slow day but had a few highlights. On first net round banders caught a large RED-TAILED HAWK, also SWAINSON’S THRUSHES, VEERYS,  and a few warblers, notable a BLACK-THROATED BLUE, MAGNOLIA, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET.  Banders yesterday had their first BROWN CREEPER of the fall season. Quiet was the word today at Point Petre with no warblers being heard or seen at Army Reserve Road. A SWAMP SPARROW was spotted  at the Simpson Road. DU marsh.  There were two TURKEY VULTURES soaring and a CEDAR WAXWING was in one of the trees below the berm.  An EASTERN TOWHEE and a GRAY CATBIRD  were heard but mostly insects rather than birds accounted for the sounds emanating from the shrubs and grasses.  There were still a few LADIES-TRESSES orchids in bloom and a few GERARDIAS still flowering but BOTTLED GENTIANS are at their peak, as are the Asters and Goldenrods, so the colour scheme of the fields and meadows is white, blue and yellow with a touch of pink. Fred Helleiner’s weekly wrap-up of birds at Presqu’ile Park has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be seen by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, September 10:  Airport Parkway east of Belleville today boasted a nice list of birds comprising two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, WARBLING VIREO, 2 ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, a HOUSE WREN, and BLUE-HEADED VIREO. Also six species of warblers – BLACK-THROATED GREEN, BLACKPOLL, CHESTNUT-SIDED, PALM, YELLOW-RUMPED, and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. Enjoy these species while you can as one day we will scan the trees and all will be gone until next spring rolls around. Some good stuff up in the Stinson Block area too, west of Consecon. Although birding was quiet the hedgerow along Pope Lane (off C.R. 39) had a small but varied group of migrants. Warbler species included BLACK-AND-WHITE, CHESTNUT-SIDED, MAGNOLIA, NASHVILLE, WILSON’S WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA and AMERICAN REDSTART. Also present were RED-EYED VIREO and 5 SWAINSON’S THRUSHES. A juvenile NORTHERN HARRIER sailed overhead and COMMON RAVENS called in the distance. A pair of the latter species nested this summer in an old barn in that area, raising five young.  A half dozen species of warblers were present today at Prince Edward Point, among them, MAGNOLIA, CAPE MAY and BLACKPOLL. Also seen, BALD EAGLE and BLUE-HEADED  as well as PHILADELPHIA VIREO. Along County Road 13, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER and BLACKBURNIAN  were chalked up by one observer, as well as BAY-BREASTED and a MERLIN. It was good going too on Amherst Island where highlights there at the Martin Edwards Reserve included 2 MARSH WRENS, SANDERLING, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS  and a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. A few shorebirds at Wilton Creek yet, east of Napanee. Highlights there today were LESSER YELLOWLEGS and SOLITARY SANDPIPER. More LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS being seen to accompany the individual seen recently near Gull Pond, this time in Ottawa where 4 juveniles were seen. And a bit of a flurry of migrants today at Algonquin Park where “an immense warbler flock” was seen in the Algonquin Art Centre parking lot, with the star attraction being a YELLOW-THROATED VIREO.

Wednesday, September 09: Not a whole lot to report this evening, despite the half decent day, weather-wise. A juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was photographed in one of the wetlands off Army Reserve Road in the South Shore Important Bird Area – another reason to protect this incredible habitat from the destruction by industrial wind turbines. Our first sighting for Prince Edward County was in 1977, and the only other record we have is of two seen at Wellington Harbour in 2002 by Bruce DiLabio of Ottawa. The scarcity of sightings is probably more attributable to the difficulty in separating this species from the more commonly seen SHORT-BILLED  species. This one, photographed by Brenda Kostiuk is a juvenile. In GREAT EGRET news, the only news to come in was the sighting of 21 birds last evening on Indian Island in the Bay of Quinte, near Trenton. A few sightings from Strathcona today included 6 PALM WARBLERS, 8 EASTERN PHOEBES and 3 GRAY CATBIRDS.

Tuesday, September 08:  It is very difficult to get too excited about birding in the daytime temperatures that we have been experiencing, although a few have been out and about. Six GREAT EGRETS last night flew from east to west down the Big Island Marsh just at dusk, likely heading toward the Hamilton Wetland along County Road 14. Not much being reported these days from Prince Edward Point although through the birding grapevine, a couple of CONNECTICUT WARBLERS had been seen and/or banded on the weekend. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER and a FIELD SPARROW  were seen at Point Petre, and a juvenile BALD EAGLE showed up on County Road 24 (Point Petre Road) near Royal Road. Another BALD EAGLE, this time an adult, flew over the northeast end of East Lake at about tree height. At the Harmony Road wetland, 16 GREAT EGRETS  were counted, all visible from the road at 6:15 a.m. At 6:25 a.m.,  they started to fly down by ones and twos into the marsh. By 6:40 a.m., the official time of sunrise, only 4 remained in the trees.  At Camden Lake and the nearby Moscow Marsh, juvenile BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, EASTERN PHOEBES, SCARLET TANAGER and lots of WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS were noted. You have to work for it, but there are birds around, if you don’t mind sweltering in the heat to do it.

Monday, September 07:  Presqu'ile Park's WESTERN SANDPIPER  was on Beach 3 today, but no word as to the fate of the remaining specials – the BUFF-BREASTED, BAIRD’S or the AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER. If birding was anticipated today, one had to be up with the sun and underway before both the heat and the wind, which is what one Belleville birder did this morning at 6:30 a.m. at Prince Edward Point. The distance from Belleville though proved to be in vain as only a handful of species was noted – notably a MERLIN, 12 CEDAR WAXWINGS, EASTERN TOWHEE, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, and 50 HERRING GULLS. Another Belleville birder did somewhat better with a couple dozen species at Kingston’s Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area along Division Street. Some of his more noteworthy finds were ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, PIED-BILLED GREBE, 3 HOODED MERGANSERS, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, 2 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, 3 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, and BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER. Also seen were both GREEN and GREAT BLUE HERON, GRAY CATBIRD, and NORTHERN FLICKER.

Sunday, September 06: No bird sightings today except for an update on the shorebirds at Presqu’ile Park. Early this morning neither the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER nor the WESTERN SANDPIPER, nor the BAIRD’S SANDPIPER or AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER that created so much excitement yesterday on the beach, were present. However, later in the morning both the  WESTERN SANDPIPER and the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER  did make an encore. Also present on the beach today were  dozen SANDERLINGS, 30 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, 6 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and a KILLDEER. Also seen in the morning was a first winter BALD EAGLE and a MERLIN that checked out the responses of the shorebirds along the beach.

Saturday, September 05: Some good sightings arriving today despite the hot, steamy temperatures. A WESTERN SANDPIPER turned up today on the beach at Presqu’ile Park. The bird showed up this morning and was still present at 6:00 p.m. this evening at Beach Two. To see the bird, you can park at Beach 2 parking area and walk south or the Owen Point Trail parking lot (formerly Beach 4) and walk north. Quite a few other shorebirds there too today including 5 BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS, and an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER. The real treat this evening though was a juvenile LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, hanging out in the Beach 3 area. No sign of the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS  though. A few species of interest in our immediate area including a GREEN HERON and 2 MERLINS at South Bay. East of Belleville, a birder there along Airport Parkway got a PALM WARBLER and an AMERICAN KESTREL for his efforts. And at Prince Edward Point, two species of birds at different ends of the size scale – 3 BALD EAGLES and three BLACKPOLL WARBLERS.

Friday, September 04: Pretty good today as far a bird sightings and reports go. A PALM WARBLER was along several species noted today along Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville, and a MERLIN was spotted down near the Waupoos Winery this morning. Four GADWALL and two COMMON MERGANSERS were among the sightings made at Invista today as the Dupont Ponds in Kingston come back for an encore after a summer long sabbatical. Also seen in there  2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, a BELTED KINGFISHER, 2 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS and six WARBLING VIREOS. An EASTERN SCREECH-OWL was one of the high points for a birder at Beaver Meadow Conservation Area at East Lake and another MERLIN  was at Sandbanks where an impressive list of shorebirds was obtained – BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, 3 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 6 SANDERLINGS, 10 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and a WHIMBREL. Also seen, COMMON TERN and an AMERICAN KESTREL. Along Black Road near Demorestville – EASTERN PHOEBE, 2 EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES and 2 NORTHERN FLICKERS. From Prince Edward Point today, the warm weather put a damper on activity a bit -  NASHVILLE WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA, YELLOW WARBLER, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, OVENBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SHARP SHINNED HAWK, RED EYED VIREOS, and the first RED BREASTED NUTHATCH.And just one BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER - this time, on Beach 2 today, instead of Beach 3 - directly opposite the south parking lot. Bird is preening and resting near junction of light sand and algae mat as of late this afternoon. Still lacking the Friday report from the South Shore Important Bird Area, but we’ll pick that up tomorrow. Remember - these Friday morning informal walks are open to everyone, commencing at 10:00 a.m. at the corner of Army Reserve Road and Simpson Road. 

Thursday, September 03: Present today in the early morning fog at Presqu'ile Park were SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, LEAST SANDPIPER, KILLDEER and a PECTORAL SANDPIPER. A few warblers around this morning at the Potter’s Creek Conservation Area at Wallbridge/Loyalist Road (formerly the Quinte Conservation Area) on the west side of Belleville. Warblers present were BLACK-AND-WHITE, CHESTNUT-SIDED, YELLOW-RUMPED, 2 MAGNOLIA WARBLERS and a couple of COMMON YELLOWTHROATS. Fred Helleiner’s Presqu’ile Park Bird Summary for the past week has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, September 02: Just a tiny Report this evening, starting with the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at Presqu’ile Park.There were three of them present last evening on Beach 3, but away from the shore. Also, a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER  was present along the shore.The RED KNOT at Sandbanks was seen again on the beach near the Lakeshore Lodge day use area. With it were 5 SANDERLINGS, 2 BOAPARTE’S GULLS, 2 each of CASPIAN and COMMON TERNS and a BELTED KINGFISHER. Along Wilton Creek today, at Morven, 4 CASPIAN TERNS, a WILSON’S SNIPE, 5 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, an amazing 32 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 4 LEAST SANDPIPERS and a couple of SOLITARY SANDPIPERS  were highlights there.

Tuesday, September 01: The RED KNOT  was still to be found at Sandbanks Provincial Park this morning. Some good sightings today, even a few that could not be identified. An impressive flock of 16 dark (plegadis) ibis flew over County Road 64 near Carrying Place yesterday afternoon, but their identity could not be confirmed. Maybe GLOSSY IBIS – maybe not. The lone BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON in the Moira River off Lion’s Park in Belleville doubled in number today, to two. Also in twos, were two GREAT EGRETS at Sandy Cove at Massassauga Point Conservation Area. Last night was mostly about COMMON NIGHTHAWKS though. Five nighthawks were observed flying over Fish Lake last evening. On the west side of Trenton, one observer there enjoyed watching a  flight last evening of about 20 nighthawks at treetop and above at about 7 p.m. It was quite entertaining to watch overhead for about 20 minutes, feeding on flying ants,  as they are very sleek rapid flyers back and forth. At about 7:15 they flew  very high up, and about 15 nighthawks were in a determined southwest glide. Within five minutes the birds at the lower level were gone and likely joined up with the others. A good group of 32+ COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were seen last evening feeding along/above River Road by a bicyclist in the Corbyville area. Highest single count of 32 at 7:30 pm. All were feeding high above River Road from Corbyville to Foxboro. Total birds along a 5 km stretch of River Road probably exceeded 50. What was likely the same OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER  was seen again today at Prince Edward Point where other species of note were MERLIN, LESSER and GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SCARLET TANAGER, 5 GRAY CATBIRDS and a GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER. A birder at Beaver Meadow yesterday near East Lake found several MALLARDS, a female WOOD DUCK, 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, 2 BELTED KINGFISHERS, AMERICAN WIGEON, 4 MUTE SWAN (2 adult, 2 young) a GREEN HERON, and a COMMON GALLINULE. The birder also found 100+ COMMON GRACKLES, the sound so loud when they flew off it that it resembled falling rain.  Sandbanks Park, on the Lake Ontario side of the Dunes (day use area) SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, along with HERRING and RING-BILLED GULLS were present as well as a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (sleeping on the beach). The dead RED-NECKED GREBE , found a few days ago washed up up on shore, was still there, surprisingly not cleaned up yet by the gulls. Noted at backyard feeders in the Barry Heights area of Trenton today, a male BALTIMORE ORIOLE with two grown up youngsters at the sugar feeder. Lots of AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES there also, at least 20+ with young. To add to the mix in this backyard,  at least four GIANT SWALLOWTAILS  this past month on the many flowers in the backyard, with the buddlea and lantana shrubs being the best. Also in the backyard, several patches of PRICKLY ASH with a good number of larvae growing for next year. The BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS (3 or 4) were on Beach 3 at Presqu’ile Park again today. Yesterday morning on the same beach, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and SANDPIPERS, KILLDEER, SANDERLING, BAIRD’S, LEAST, and PECTORAL SANDPIPER  were a few other species present. No mention of warblers today, but they are obviously still going through as evidenced by a flurry of mixed species that passed through a Narrow Street backyard in Wellington today.


Last Updated ( Nov 26, 2015 at 07:42 PM )
Presqu'ile Provincial Park Bird Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Nov 26, 2015 at 03:00 AM

Fred Helleiner. Photo by R. CollinsFred Helleiner. Photo by R. CollinsPresqu'ile Provincial Park Bird Report

Presqu'ile Provincial Park

courtesy of Fred Helleiner


November 20  - November 26

There has been little change in the bird life at Presqu'ile Provincial Park in the past week, though some species are less plentiful than before.
The two SNOW GEESE that many people saw this month were still present on November 21.  At least two groups of TUNDRA SWANS were seen on that date.  Although part of the marsh was briefly covered with a skim of ice, most of the dabbling ducks there are still present.  Among them have been a few GADWALLS, a NORTHERN SHOVELER, and two NORTHERN PINTAILS, one of which was still present today. The thousands of REDHEADS that had been in Presqu'ile Bay last week have virtually disappeared.  A RING-NECKED DUCK was seen on Sunday. A few WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS can be seen on most days.  Two HOODED MERGANSERS were in the marsh for a couple of days.  Stragglers of COMMON LOON and Snowy Owl. Photo by Gilles BissonGREAT BLUE HERON have been taking advantage of the open conditions, as have a few AMERICAN COOTS.  A NORTHERN HARRIER was dive-bombing a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK that was on High Bluff Island on two consecutive days.  A large accipiter, perhaps a NORTHERN GOSHAWK, was near the lighthouse yesterday.  A few DUNLINS and a late SANDERLING (today) were the only remaining shorebirds, although the long-awaited PURPLE SANDPIPER was on Gull Island today.With good numbers of BONAPARTE'S GULLS along the beach and at Owen Point these days, the possibility exists that they may be joined by a rarer gull such as LITTLE GULL.  Although there has been no record of ROSS'S GULL at Presqu'ile, that might be the time and place to find the first one.  The SNOWY OWL  (photo by Gilles Bisson of Belleville) first discovered over two weeks ago was still on Gull Island on Tuesday.
A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen on Saturday and a PILEATED WOODPECKER today.  SNOW BUNTINGS and HOUSE SPARROWS continue to be seen in appropriate places.  Otherwise, passerines have been limited to what one might expect in mid-winter.
To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park, follow the signs from Brighton. Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid that is available at the Park gate. Visitors to Gull Island not using a boat should be prepared to wade through water that is shin-deep at the deepest point, not taking into account any wave action,.in which there is often a swift current and a substrate that is somewhat uneven and slippery. It should also be noted that, because duck hunting is given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Owen Point, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days. Birders are encouraged to record their observations on the bird sightings board provided near the campground office by The Friends of Presqu'ile Park and to fill out a rare bird report for species not listed there.

Questions and comments about bird sightings at Presqu'ile may be directed to:


Last Updated ( Nov 26, 2015 at 07:14 PM )
Butterflies of Prince Edward County PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Nov 23, 2015 at 06:25 AM
Prince Edward County Field Naturalists PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Nov 23, 2015 at 03:00 AM


The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, founded in 1997, is an affiliate of Ontario Nature. It provides an educational forum dedicated to the study, promotion, appreciation and conservation of the flora and fauna within Prince Edward County.

S A V E    O S T R A N D E R   P O I N T  ! ! !


  • Encourage the enjoyment of nature;
  • Promote public interest in the appreciation and study of nature; and
  • Advance the conservation and preservation of Prince Edward County’s natural resources, habitat and environment.

At monthly meetings, guest speakers introduce a variety of nature related topics that are of interest to club members. All members are encouraged to participate at meetings by sharing their experiences and observations.Regularly scheduled field trips in the vicinity offer members the opportunity to experience various habitats.

(Link to our monthly newsletter at bottom of page)

New! Fabulous Fall Fungi workshops. Scroll to bottom of page for details


President..............................................................................Myrna Wood
Vice-President.......................................................................Sandra Dowds
Membership Secretary .......................................................... Agneta Sand
Treasurer..............................................................................Sheena Kennedy
Newsletter Editor....................................................................Sandra Dowds
Member At Large: ................................................................  Sheila Kuja
Member At Large: ................................................................  Allan Kuja
Member At Large: ................................................................  Sue Banks
Member At Large: ................................................................  Gerry Jenkison
Member At Large: ................................................................  Elizabeth Cowan

MEMBERSHIPPhoto by Agneta Sand

Membership in PECFN is open to all.

Single: $15.00
Family: $30.00

Student: $5.00

Corporation: $50.00

Contact: Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, P.O. Box 477, Bloomfield, Ontario K0K 1G0
Photo: Guided hike at the Alderville Black Oak Savanna on September 26, 2015. Photo by Agneta Sand



  • founders and co-sponsors of the annual Prince Edward County Birding FestivalPhoto by Agneta Sand
  • initiated the Prince Edward Point Important Bird Area (now South Shore IBA)
  • vegetation mapping of the Massassauga Point Conservation Area
  • lobbying against the use of Dombind on Prince Edward County roads
  • involved with other organizations in starting the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory 
  • participates on committees and panels on conservation oriented issues in Prince Edward County
  • regular field trips and indoor meetings to heighten awareness of natural history in Prince Edward County
  • contributed $3,000 toward the purchase of the Miller Family Nature Reserve
  • awarded the 2012 Conservation Nature Award from Ontario Nature
  • made presentation to the consultants writing the Official Plan Review draft that the Review specifically protect the South Shore as a Core area of conservation, also recommending stronger protection for woodlands and wetlands. 
  • organizes and holds an annual BioBlitz of the South Shore Important Bird Area
  • displays at Picton and Milford Fairs
  • spearheaded the Save Ostrander Point effort

Photo: PECFN members  look over a large area of Big Bluestem at the Alderville Black Oak Savanna on September 26, 2015. Photo by Agneta Sand

* * PECFN Celebrates Award Nomination * *

Kingston Field Naturalists and Quinte Field Naturalists have nominated PECFN for the W.E. Saunders Natural History Award from Ontario Nature. The nomination describes PECFN’s commitment to preserving the PEC South Shore IBA in the following terms: “Appealing against the Ostrander Point approval is a David versus Goliath task! The difficulty is immense, but the significance is enormous. – If wind turbines cannot be stopped at Ostrander Point in the heart of an IBA, they are unlikely to be stopped on environmental grounds anywhere in Ontario."

“The leadership qualities demonstrated by the PECFN are amazing. In the face of a giant, this dedicated group analyzes the issues and formulates well organized plans to move forward, always communicating well, and recruiting many skilled people to support its cause. PECFN’s campaign has educated many people about the value of caring for our natural environment. They are truly environmental heroes!”

We are humbled by this over the top description of our efforts to Save Ostrander Point and thank KFN and QFN for their support of the cause.

Just in time for decorating your porch for Christmas! Sheena Kennedy has made 9 beautiful outdoor winter arrangements using all natural local greenery, berries, flowers, etc.
One or more can be yours for a donation of $40 per container to the Ostrander Point Appeal Fund (OPAF). She  can deliver yours to the PECFN meeting on the 24th Nov. at the Bloomfield town hall or they can be picked up at her house in Wellington. 
You can call Sheena at 613 399 1461 or email at  
 Thanks to all who quickly responded to our offer.  All the arrangements are now sold!

Our Next Meeting ! !

Paul CatlingSpeaker: Dr. Paul Catling

Topic:  "Butterflies of Prince Edward County"

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Bloomfield Town Hall

Paul Catling was born in England, but grew up in east Toronto. He received his PhD from University of Toronto in 1980 on Orchid taxonomy and ecology He has been a research scientist with Agriculture Canada since 1980 and an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa for the last 20 years. Paul is well known for work on invasive alien plants, native crop germplasm, systematics of grasses and sedges, and systematics and ecology of Canadian terrestrial orchids. He is a well rounded naturalist/scientist publishing papers on plants, Saw-whet Owls, Butler’s Garter Snakes, butterflies and other insects, snails, prairies, alvars in Ontario and across Canada. Paul has appeared in over 200 publications in scientific journals, 300 other publications including book chapters and co-author of several books, and has received many auspicious awards for his scientific and conservation work. As a conservationist, Paul  has contributed to protection of plants and animals and their habitats through his writings and affiliation with groups such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada (board member), Canadian Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC, co-chair), Canadian Botanical Association (Conservation Committee), and the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas. His research focuses on taxonomic and ecological approaches to biodiversity protection and landscape management as well as documentation of the flora of Canada. Paul has had a keen interest in the County’s flora and fauna for many years. In 2014 published (through PECFN) an annotated list of the Vascular Plants of Ostrander Point CLB.

Looking ahead to upcoming Meetings

Tuesday, January 26: "Membership Night"
Tuesday, February 23: "The Highs and Lows of Nepal" with Mark Read
Tuesday, March 29: "Wildflowers in the County" with Sue Banks
Tuesday, April 26: "Aboriginal History in the County" with George Reid
Tuesday, May 31: AGM - "Fifty Years a Naturalist" with Terry Sprague


Amherst Island Owl Woods: Tuesday, January 12, with Joanne Dewey: Join us on an exiting outing to Amherst Island to see overwintering owls in the famous "Owl Woods"! In past years, we have seen Snowy Owls, Long-eared Owls, Barred Owls, Northern Saw-whet Owls, and more. Dress warmly, and bring a lunch. Meet Joanne at the Glenora Ferry at 9:00 a.m. RSVP Joanne Dewey at  

Winter Outing to Point Petre: Tuesday, February 9:  We will carpool, stopping occasionally to look for birds and other things on our way with leader Joanne Dewey, and then have a walk at Point Petre. Dress for the weather and bring a lunch. Meet at the Mary Street parking lot in Picton at 9:00 a.m. sharp. RSVP Joanne Dewey at  



Saturday, September 26 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Peter's Woods and the Alderville Black Oak Savanna.
The Alderville Prairie Day/ Peter's Woods trip was terrific.  Thirteen of us ended up going - ten from the County and three from Belleville, and we all loved it.   Those of us from the County did two of the outings at Prairie Day - Rick Beaver's tour of the Black Oak Savanna which was beautiful and Photo by Agneta Sandimpressive to say the least, and then we took a school bus to the new Hazel Bird NCC property where restoration is just beginning.  It was really interesting to be able to compare the two sites - to see where the restored Black Oak savanna started from and to see what the Hazel Bird property will hopefully transform into.  It was exciting to hear that even after a few burns the two women running that programme have discovered plants come up there like Indian grass that haven't been there for over 50 years!  Imagine those seeds waiting for that long for things to open for them, and now they have!  The other exhibits at Prairie Day were very moving and interesting too.  Some of that Pleasant Bay wild rice was being "danced on" at the wild rice exhibit.   A fellow from Canadian Bushcraft did a wonderful walk and presentation on traditional uses and gathering of the acorn.  There were also some really great teaching sources there dealing with Traditional teaching and Species at Risk.  And some great entertainment and food too! There was a ribbon cutting ceremony of their garden of traditional plants at the Alderville site.  It's a somewhat formal garden featuring beds of different types - plants traditionally used for medicinal purposes, for food, to build things and for other uses.  They are building a small bridge across the garden, putting in a pond for wetland/water plants, a bed that shows how native plants like these can be attractive garden bed plants for people into landscaped beds, and the garden, which you access through a path, is wheelchair accessible and surrounds their new outdoor classroom. I was so impressed by what all they are doing at Alderville.  After a full day at Alderville a few of us stalwart ones went on to Peter's Woods which was beautiful.  I was amazed by the size of those trees.  - Amy Bodman
      To see over 20 more photos of the outing with descriptions, CLICK HERE


"Wind turbines don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies." - Professor Ross McKitrick

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists are passionate about nature. It is our club policy to support renewable energy. However, we believe, along with Nature Canada, Ontario Nature and the Suzuki Foundation that wind turbine developments should never be sited in areas where they will cause significant harm to migrating birds, bats and butterflies or destroy the habitat of endangered species.Through the Save Ostrander Point campaign we are opposing the construction of industrial wind turbine development at Ostrander Point, in the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area. Ostrander Point is in a major migratory pathway and is the home of the endangered Blanding’s Turtle and several other species at risk.

Ostrander Point – will it still be a hotspot? Article submitted to Trail and Landscape by Paul Catling, Sheila McKay-Kuja, Brenda Kostiuk, and Allen Kuja: Some of the great ecologists of our time have said that the battle to protect Canadian biodiversity will be won or lost on the land between the protected sites. This was because there are not enough of them and they are not connected. Some hoped that we could start with the protected areas and add to that base with increased protective attitudes on the part of landowners led by exemplary protection of natural resources by governments. Ostrander Point is a key location in this concept of connectivity being a link between Prince Edward Point and Point Petre. The former is second only to the world-renowned Point Pelee National Park in its numbers and diversity of birds. Read more........

For more information and updates on our efforts, click on the link below:

S A V E    O S T R A N D E R   P O I N T  ! ! !



To view, click the link below


January 2015 Newsletter

March 2015 Newsletter

May 2015 Newsletter



February 2014 Newsletter

April 2014 Newsletter

September 2014 Newsletter

November 2014 Newsletter


January 2013 Newsletter

April 2013 Newsletter

September 2013 Newsletter

November 2013 Newsletter


January 2012 Newsletter

March 2012 Newsletter

September 2012 Newsletter

November 2012 Newsletter

CORRECTION: On page 2 of the above September, 2014 newsletter, the bottom 2 shorebirds on the left are Greater Yellowlegs, and on the right, a Black-bellied Plover. The PECFN newsletter apologizes for the misprint.


PECFN is always involved in many projects around Prince Edward County. As these projects unfold, news of them will be carried here:

The Rotary Club of Wellington is upgrading 8 km of the Millennium Trail through Wellington for the use of residents and tourists, particularly cyclists, because it is too rough to ride a bike on it. That leaves 41 km more to be done from Carrying Place to Picton. PECFN may be interested in serving on this committee to ensure that habitat preservation and the interests of naturalists are addressed. Read more.........







Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre

Last Updated ( Nov 23, 2015 at 04:02 PM )
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