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Riverwalk - Save Ostrander Point PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Jul 28, 2015 at 04:55 PM



Learn to "Safe Hike", Frink Centre PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Jul 27, 2015 at 04:26 PM
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Learn to "Hike Safe" at the Frink Centre
Thursday, August 6, 2015
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
HR Frink Conservation Area
381 Thrasher Road
Plainfield, ON


Quinte Conservation education staff will be hosting a "Hike Safe" program for children and families at the HR Frink Outdoor Education Centre and Conservation Area on Thursday, August 6 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. 

While on the hike staff will help participants learn hiking safety tips and how enjoy the natural world around them, safely.  After the one hour hike there will be a campfire.

This should be a great event for families and people of all ages.  The one hour interactive hike and learn program is designed to teach children how to stay safe in the woods and what to do if they are lost.  It will be a good refresher for parents and adults too.  We will round out the evening with a campfire where people can talk about their hiking and outdoor experiences.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

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Quinte Conservation
RR # 2, 2061 Old Highway 2
Belleville, ON
K8N 4Z2

Phone: (613) 968-3434 or (613) 354-3312
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Quinte Conservation | 2061 Old Highway 2 | RR#2 | Belleville | Ontario | K8N 4Z2 | Canada
Quinte Area Bird Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Jul 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM

 Broad-winged Hawk Photo by Mark ReadBroad-winged Hawk. Photo by Mark ReadTHE 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. 

Killdeer. Photo by Paul WallaceTuesday, July 28: Could be the heat – there’s a little bit of that around – that is responsible for some birds displaying odd behaviour. We have probably seen songbirds exhibiting what appears to be death throes as they flop out on days like this, with wings outstretched, beak wide open, and feathers fluffed out as they try to capture some cooling breezes. While it may not be related to the high temperatures, this KILLDEER (photo by Paul Wallace of Cressy)  is one of two that have been calling non-stop outside for two straight days at a residence in the Cressy area. The birds have located beside a small stream that drains from Cressy Marsh and runs beside the house and the two birds have been vocalizing there. Meanwhile, at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons, this WILSON’S PHALAROPE was seen yesterday and photographed by Belleville resident, Keith Gregoire, and is another reminder that the fall migration of shorebirds is well underway, having started early this month. Next week, be on the watch for SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, RUDDY TURNSTONES, SANDERLINGS, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and possibly RED KNOT and an increase in SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS (one has already been seen) . At Wilton Creek, south of Napanee, water levels are currently perfect for seeing shorebirds all along Big Creek Road where it crosses the water (three bridges and from the road). Yesterday morning, there were good numbers of GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS (25 seen by one Kingston birder), SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, KILLDEERS and LEAST SANDPIPERS. Also, a few SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, GREAT BLUE HERONS and MALLARDS. At Harmony Road Wetlands this morning, north of Wilson's Phalarope. Photo by Keith GregoireBelleville,  there were also LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, VIRGINIA RAILS and lots of COMMON GALLINULES, 2 AMERICAN BITTERN, 1 WILSON’S SNIPE, 4 GREAT BLUE HERONS, a few GREAT EGRETS, lots of MALLARDS and BLUE-WINGED TEALS. The birds are all feeding out in the open so it's easy viewing.  A group of 5 COMMON RAVENS also flew over. Along Airport Parkway, east of Belleville, NORTHERN FLICKER, INDIGO BUNTING, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and CEDAR WAXWING  were four of the highlights seen there. At Consecon Lake, the nightly disappearance of a hummingbird feeder full of nectar has been solved. It’s three young RACCOONS.  One climbs up onto deck railing and puts paws on the feeder, tipping it enough that the liquid leaks out.  He drinks it, while the others lick up the liquid that falls onto the deck surface. The theft is done quietly enough that even the family dog doesn’t waken. And we can attribute the following succinct message received earlier today on the heat also which has, in turn, increased the frustration level in Prince Edward County over the impending wild turbines. A regular reader and contributor to this blog, comments: “Yesterday, Ontario's 3500 MW of wind turbines had a total output of 13 MW at 11 AM EDT - that's less than one-tenth of 1%. So it makes perfect sense to have these things where people live, right? Excuse my sarcasm."

Monday, July 27: A few “catching up” sightings including an adult VIRGINIA RAIL and its chick seen at the H.R. Frink Centre on the 24th. With the young of the year scurrying around right now, this is a good time to check out the marsh boardwalk at the Frink Centre, on Thrasher Road, north of Belleville. Almost guaranteed will be Virginia Rails, but SWAMP SPARROWS, MARSH WRENS and COMMON GALLINULES with their young in tow will be around too. Up to five GREEN HERONS are regulars in a backyard in Allisonville where at least one or two have been coming every evening for several weeks now. Forty-one CHIMNEY SWIFTS were counted on Wednesday at the Picton Armoury on Main Street, from the previous week’s count of only 21. And there were 10 entering the chimney of the abandoned North Marysburgh Central School at Lake on the Mountain. On one of the hottest days of the summer, a Belleville birder still did very well at Massasauga Point Conservation Area today, with 24 species. Some of the highlights were WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS, GRAY CATBIRD, and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER – not bad for a 60-acre property with a monoculture of BUR OAK, RED CEDAR and EUROPEAN BUCKTHORN. The same birder, at Wilton Creek, near Morven, enjoyed more luck with most of the shorebird species expected to be seen in July, also coming up with YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (2), INDIGO BUNTING and 2 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS. 

Sunday, July 26: GREAT EGRETS at the Hamilton Wetland roost near Demorestville are averaging about the same in number as last year at this time, with 23 seen at 5:20 a.m. this morning.  At Wilton Creek in the Morven area, 9 species of shorebirds present are again a reminder that this popular family of Arctic breeders are beginning to pass through right now. The migration will continue until well into the fall season. Among the species seen yesterday were 15 LEAST SANDPIPER, SOLITARY (3), SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (2), 2 GREATER and 12 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, as well as a single SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER. All species were expected to arrive this month, with additional species arriving next month. Next month brings SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, RUDDY TURNSTONES, SANDERLINGS, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, RED KNOT and an increase in SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS. Look for them at a beach near you.

Saturday, July 25: Hubb’s Creek Marsh, off Danforth Road, west of Wellington, is always a promising spot to bird.  Of the 19 species of birds present yesterday were two each of EASTERN KINGBIRD, MARSH WREN. Also present in the varied habitat, GRAY CATBIRD, BELTED KINGFISHER, GREEN HERON, CEDAR WAXWING and up to 4 HOUSE WRENS. Often referred to as the Danforth Marsh, the site is located along the Millennium Trail, about a kilometre walk in from Danforth Road. LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES  continue to be seen in the Napanee Limestone Plain Important Bird Area. Also present a half dozen EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, NORTHERN FLICKERS, and AMERICAN KESTREL. West of Sprague Road, there is a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW singing most evenings now. To finish, there is a job opportunity coming up at Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. If interested, CLICK HERE for a description.

Friday, July 24: If you are convinced that we are too far north to have BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS, think again. A NORTHERN BLACK WIDOW SPIDER Latrodectus variolus,  was found and photographed by Joe Bartok of Tweed last month, near his home. BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS have actually been present in this part of Ontario for several decades.  However, Internet sources say that all the hype about this species is just that – hype. This one was eating a SPINED SOLIDIER BUG, according to Joe, and it was not even interested in biting the photographer. There was no cause for alarm – the male doesn’t even bite, and doesn’t have venom. Black widows prefer dark, sheltered spots close to the ground such as wood, trash or rock piles, or even underneath a house, but not something one is apt to find IN their house. Here they spin funnel-shaped webs to catch their insect prey. "They're not aggressive; they're a very timid spider," says one Internet source. "Once they find a place that's comfortable for them, they make a little web and stay put. It's when you disturb them that there's a small chance that they might bite."  It's the female, the one who often makes a meal out of males after she's mated with them, who can bite. But she's fairly easy to identify. She's shiny black, with a large abdomen and a red or yellowish marking on the underside of her belly.  In the remote chance that someone comes across one of these spiders -- and even in the more remote chance that one is bitten by one, it's not as though someone would die instantly. In fact, they likely wouldn't even need any medical care at all. Bird sightings today??? Other than a first year PRAIRIE WARBLER at Presqu’ile, no bird sightings came in at all. today.

Thursday, July 23: COMMON LOONS  seem to like Fish Lake, it appears. Artist Mia Lane regular sees 11 loons on the lake in front of her home along Fish Lake Road, and today, there were 13. Massassauga Point Conservation Area and 39 bird species are almost an oxymoron. This conservation area is not known for its wide variety of birds species, but early this morning, it was alive with bird song, especially along the Bay of Quinte shoreline. In addition to OSPREY (on its platform), WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, both COMMON and CASPIAN TERN and at least a dozen BALTIMORE ORIOLES, we found HOUSE WREN, GREAT BLUE HERON, EASTERN KINGBIRD, EASTERN PHOEBE, EASTERN TOWHEE and GRAY CATBIRD. A quick scan over toward Snake Island revealed only a handful of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, but no WHITE PELICAN. There has been no report of the bird since July 6th when Quinte Conservation staff members came upon the bird again at the island. The bird first appeared June 22nd. Out of the immediate Bay of Quinte area, 2 LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES were present on the Napanee Limestone Plain yesterday, and a PEREGRINE FALCON was spotted at the corner of Princess Street and Division Street in downtown Kingston. Just to remind us that the “fall” migration of shorebirds is well underway, no fewer than 42 LESSER YELLOWLEGS were present at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons yesterday. Forty-five BARN SWALLOWS  were counted today on Amherst Island, not bad for a species in decline. Back to our area again, a LEAST BITTERN was heard today at the Foxboro Marsh and a VESPER SPARROW  was seen along Massassauga Road this morning. The Presqu’ile Park Bird Report for this week has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be seen by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, July 22: In addition to the regular GREAT EGRETS at the Harmony Road wetland north of Belleville - there were 14 early Monday morning - other birds noted by one birder in the early morning visit were 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, many BLUE-WINGED TEAL, a few WOOD DUCKS,  a GREEN HERON, a VIRGINIA RAIL, and lots of young COMMON GALLINULES (one adult had a group of 11 that were feeding together). At the H.R. Frink Centre, just north of Harmony Road,  there were also young birds easily viewed in the marsh.  MARSH WRENS were feeding young birds and at either end of the boardwalk, VIRGINIA RAILS were out and feeding their young (3 immature were seen). BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES everywhere - along the Boundary Trail was a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER and an OVENBIRD.  In the Silver Maple swamp, a BROAD-WINGED HAWK was calling.   Yesterday, Sheffield Conservation Area, 11 km south of Kaladar, was a  showery morning and the birds were quiet, but heard by the same observer were a couple of PINE WARBLERS, FIELD SPARROWS, EASTERN TOWHEES, NORTHERN FLICKERS, a MERLIN, and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS.  Fly-overs included a COMMON LOON, PURPLE MARTINS and BARN and TREE SWALLOWS.  For the wildflower enthusiast, a number of NORTHERN SLENDER LADIES'- TRESSES turned up, and a large patch of BLACK CHANTERELLE. Also seemed to be a recent flight of AMERICAN COPPER BUTTERFLIES and large FRITILLARIES. At Bay Meadows Park at Pleasant Bay, an ORCHARD ORIOLE is seen by residents daily, and numerous BALTIMORE ORIOLES. A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD is also in the park, closer to the entrance gate.

Tuesday, July 21: Just a few scattered reports this evening, starting off with an AMERICAN KESTREL, seen late this afternoon on a hydro wire along Christian Road, east of Allisonville. One Cressy area resident was startled at 8:00 a.m. this morning as he strolled down to his dock when a majestic adult BALD EAGLE took flight from one of his shore willows. A juvenile SANDHILL CRANE was seen in flight today at Point Petre, and at Picton, two CHIMNEY SWIFTS  were seen last evening. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and the resident GREEN HERONS (2), were present in an Allisonville backyard. Last night, only 24 GREAT EGRETS  were present at 9:00 p.m. at the Harmony Road wetland north of Belleville, as monitoring of this and two other egret roosts continues in the Bay of Quinte area. At the far end of Station Street, east of Farley Avenue, in Belleville, a COMMON NIGHTHAWK was seen last evening.

Monday, July 20: Everywhere you look these days, young birds are about. Four juvenile GREEN HERONS were present behind the Walmart Store in Kingston. Urban herons??? In Picton, about 30 CHIPPING SPARROWS settled down in a backyard on King Street, thought to be one of those post breeding dispersal things when birds have little else to do but roam the countryside in loose groups, now that the nesting season is over for many species. In Belleville’s Memorial Park off Station Street today, 5 CHIMNEY SWIFTS  were noted as well as CASPIAN TERN and YELLOW WARBLER. On Big Island, a RED-TAILED HAWK continues to be seen daily immediately west of 23 Sprague Road on Big Island. Pretty slim pickings today as the summer bird activity continues to slip into its traditional low ebb. Gotta work for ‘em. But, for one Belleville birder, he didn’t have to work too hard this morning to get 41 species on a relatively short walk on the Trail of Two Lakes in the Ivanhoe area. The wetlands along the way produced large numbers of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, SONG SPARROWS, SWAMP SPARROWS and  COMMON YELLOWTHROATS. It was flycatcher day though. He found 3 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS, 1 ALDER FLYCATCHER, 3 EASTERN KINGBIRDS, 1 EASTERN PHOEBE and 2 GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS. Not to be outdone, 6 CEDAR WAXWINGS forayed out to catch insects on the wing also. Other highlights were 3 PILEATED WOODPECKERS, several YELLOW WARBLERS and a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO. Agitated GRAY CATBIRDS and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES suggested that they were still nesting.

Sunday, July 19: Another mild day, and almost a repeat of yesterday’s report in terms of species. Eight species of shorebirds were present at Wilton Creek, east of Napanee, among them a SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, 4 SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, 2 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS and both YELLOWLEGS species – 8 LESSER and 10 GREATER. The action continues at the Harmony Road wetland north of Belleville. Early yesterday morning, 26 GREAT EGRETS  were counted and according to the observer, the egrets upon leaving their perches in the morning tend to flop down from their roost to the marsh floor like wet dogs in front of a warm fire. Two of the egrets were banded – one wearing a red band on the right ankle, and the other with an orange wing tag. Among the 33 species seen in the space of only an hour and a bit more, were 15 WOOD DUCKS, 20 MALLARDS, 3 BLUE-WINGED TEAL and 2 HOODED MERGANSERS. Other waterfowl were 18 COMMON GALLINULES. Six GREEN HERONS  were also present as well as 3 AMERICAN BITTERNS. Seven VIRGINIA RAILS were also counted, including the young of the year, and among them was a juvenile SORA. Shorebirds were there too – four of them, including one each of SPOTTED and SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and a WILSON’S SNIPE. Three MARSH WRENS also seen  Best to batten down the hatches this evening. The weather might turn on us by 7:30 p.m. in the immediate Bay of Quinte area.

Saturday, July 18: A bit mild today, but a few sightings came in regardless. A HOODED MERGANSER  was seen at the Brighton Constructed Wetland where others among the 24 species present were 10 WOOD DUCKS, a couple GREEN-WINGED TEAL and two BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS. Reflective of the fall shorebird migration which got under way in the Quinte area a week or two ago, five species were present including LESSER YELLOWLEGS, LEAST SANDPIPER, and SOLITARY SANDPIPER, all expected this month. More are on the way though as autumn creeps even closer to us. LESSER YELLOWLEGS and SOLITARY SANDPIPER  were also present at the Harmony Road wetland which is gaining a lot of attention these days. Among the 25 species there have been 3 AMERICAN BITTERNS, COMMON GALLINULES (10), 8 WOOD DUCKS, 10 COMMON GALLINULES, and 15 GREAT EGRETS – a high number given that they were seen near noon, suggesting that this is a feeding area by day as well as a roosting area at night. Other highlights from another birder there today were a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, 2 VIRGINIA RAILS, 3 SWAMP SPARROWS, and 9 BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Tragically, flooding in Toronto has destroyed the nest of a pair of PIPING PLOVERS on the Toronto Islands. First discovered June 30th, the nest attempt is the first for this rare species on the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario in 80 years. Unfortunately, the nest was destroyed by heavy storms in late June, and it does not appear that the pair will re-nest at that location. Volunteer wardens provided valuable stewardship services at the site, as well as sharing conservation information with beach walkers. And the fact that the birds had come from beaches along Georgian Bay and Lake Michigan reinforces the importance of a regional network of conserved sites.

Friday, July 17: Shorebirds continue to take precedence over many other species in some locations as the “fall” migration gets underway. Seven species were noted at Morven, east of Napanee today. In addition to expected species like  KILLDEER (8)  SPOTTED SANDPIPER (5) and a WILSON’S SNIPE, also on the list were 3 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 16 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 8 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 2 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS. There were no shorebirds today at Beaver Meadow Conservation Area at East Lake, but a plethora of other species as well as mosquitoes! At the first lookout, at least a dozen VIRGINIA RAILS  were milling about, many of them juveniles being fed by adults. BLACK TERNS  numbered about 8 and several families of COMMON GALLINULES and WOOD DUCKS were also present. SWAMP SPARROWS and MARSH WRENS were vocal throughout the wetland and COMMON YELLOWTHROATS were calling incessantly. From the wooded area came the calls and songs of PILEATED WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER and the interrogations from RED-EYED VIREOS. Birding was a little slow at Vanderwater Conservation today, east of Thomasburg, with only 18 species being seen by a Belleville birder. Over a dozen RED-EYED VIREOS were singing, but only two OVENBIRDS were heard calling. A YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, a GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, 1 EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE and three EASTERN KINGBIRDS were a few of the noteworthy species seen. Last evening, there were 34 GREAT EGRETS at the Harmony Road wetland north of Belleville. At the Westbrook/Collin’s Bay wetland at Kingston, 4 GREAT EGRETS showed up accompanied by two BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS. At Strathcona, a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW put in an appearance for one birder during a lunch break there. And, in a Bloomfield backyard today, a gardener found a BLUE-SPOTTED SALAMANDER in her garden. Not bad for a day that threatened rain, but birders were quick to get it all in this morning before the much needed rain started to fall.

Thursday, July 16:  Shorebirds is a comin’ – their tails are in sight. A bit of a bastardization of the 1950s song by Joe Stafford, “Shrimp Boats is a comin’ – their sails are in sight.” Both GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS  were seen today along Nugent Road, north of Camden East. Three WILSON’S SNIPE  were also present there.  Last evening at the Harmony Road wetland north of Belleville, 10 LESSER YELLOWLEGS and  a SOLITARY SANDPIPER were seen. And just bumping it up another notch, LESSER YELLOWLEGS at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons today numbered 20, where there was also a GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 6 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. Also, along Nugent Road, the dependable LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE  was present again today. Four EASTERN MEADOWLARKS  were there also, and eight were seen on Bronk Road, just east of the Harmony Road site last evening. The Harmony Road wetland also had last evening, 4 HOODED MERGANSERS, WOOD DUCKS, COMMON GALLINULE and MALLARDS, and four COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were found along Airport Parkway, east of Belleville. The real treat at the Harmony Road wetland was the appearance of 10 GREAT BLUE HERONS including 6 full grown young in nests. Of course, the GREAT EGRETS were back again – this time 34 roosting in three trees. Early this morning, the Hamilton Wetland at Demorestville had 23 GREAT EGRETS  emerge from their roost area deep within the treed area. A GREEN HERON continues to appear regularly at an Allisonville residence, and often there are two. Despite the hay having been harvested in the six hay fields directly west of our house along Sprague Road at Big Island, after the prearranged date of July 10th, up to 30 BOBOLINKS and a dozen EASTERN MEADOWLARKS  continue to frolic around, often perching in a row on the hydro wires that pass over the fields.

Wednesday, July 15: Today at Belleville, there was a family 6 young WOOD DUCKS at the mouth of Potter Creek, along Highway 2. Two GREAT EGRETS were seen this morning in the Westbrook Marsh near Kingston. Also at Kingston, the popular Marshlands Conservation Area along Front Road yielded a couple YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, a VEERY and a HERMIT THRUSH. In Belleville, a GREAT BLUE HERON and a CHIMNEY SWIFT were seen at the Memorial Park off Station Street. A RED-TAILED HAWK can be seen daily one field west of Sprague Road on Big Island. Another was seen yesterday on Black Road near Demorestville.

Tuesday, July 14: More information on GREAT EGRETS. In an e-mail from Chip Weseloh, Emeritus Associate with CWS, in an announcement on the Ontario Birds listserv, he says that 144 young flightless GREAT EGRETS were tagged last month on Nottawasaga Island, near Collingwood, at the south end of Georgian Bay. Half of the birds were marked with green wing-tags with black  characters and the other half were marked with two red leg-bands, one  each above and below the "knee" joint (really the ankle joint) of the left leg. Both red bands carry the same number/letter. On both types of marking, the characters are in the form of number-number-letter, e.g. 88S, 27T, 46H. If you see any such marked egrets please notify Chip at   with the date, type/colour of marker, the number-letter combination and the location of your observation. “We have  been wing-tagging egrets since 2010 and there are birds with orange tags and blue tags from previous years, so please keep watch for those as well,” says Chip. He is also asking to report any evening roosting aggregations of GREAT EGRETS, like the ones already being reported to him from Indian Island at Trenton, Hamilton Wetland at Demorestville, and the Harmony Road Wetland north of Belleville. In other birding news today, a pair of COOPER’S HAWKS are nesting in the Rednersville area.

Monday, July 13: Four birders today spent this morning exploring GULL BAR, at Charwell Point, along the South Shore Important Bird Area in Prince Edward County. It was hot, but quite pleasant down by the lake and very interesting.There was a flock (80-100) of mixed Swallows right out at the point feeding on the lake and over Gull Pond.  Lots of dragonflies out as well as butterflies - at one point along the beach there was a congregation of over 30 SWALLOWTAILS. In total, 39 species were tallied. Among the more interesting species were COMMON GALLINULE (heard in the marsh behind the beach), LEAST SANDPIPER, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, 32 ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS, 50 BARN SWALLOWS, 4 MARSH WRENS, 11 GRAY CATBIRDS, 18 YELLOW WARBLERS, 2 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS, 9 FIELD SPARROWS, and 4 EASTERN TOWHEES. Fifteen CASPIAN TERNS, 11 SONG SPARROWS and 6 NORTHERN FLICKERS also were represented in good numbers. Another birder, birding a section of the former Grand Junction Railway Line Recreational Trail northeast of Stirling, near Rawdon Creek, found 16 species in 20 minutes, among them 8 WOOD DUCKS, 5 VIRGINIA RAILS, 9 COMMON GALLINULES, 3 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, 2 BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS, a couple AMERICAN REDSTARTS and an INDIGO BUNTING. Pretty darn good birding at both locations, considering July is regarded as the time of the year when bird activity is at its lowest ebb. Yesterday, the Brighton Constructed Wetland, just south of the town, also had some good birds, and species seen there included COMMON GALLINULES, HOODED MERGANSERS, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, LESSER YELLOWLEGS, WOOD DUCKS, LEAST SANDPIPER, SOLITARY SANDPIPER, and MARSH WRENS, just to name a few that were seen. A rather interesting sighting to come in today from Whitby involved the discovery of five singing HOODED WARBLERS on a trail in that area.The one kilometer trail that runs west from Concession Road 6, the road being the northerly extension of Westney Road, north of the Uxbridge-Pickering Town Line.  The trail starts about 100 yards north of address 2069.  There is a metal gate with a heavy chain - and a six by six wood post as a trail marker.  The birds were singing in the morning and were fairly easy to locate, but harder to actually see, and nearly impossible to photograph, as they all seem to stay well up in the canopy.  Still, that's an impressive concentration of HOODED WARBLER territories.  Other birds singing were RED-EYED VIREO and a few EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES, along with one loudly chipping MOURNING WARBLER.  Singing stopped once it got really hot.  So in spite of the really hot temperatures these days, there are still lots of birds to be found this month, especially if you have a sense of where they might be hanging out.

Sunday, July 12: Despite it being the weekend, no birding today, not even in the Kingston area to speak of. So, the only thing to report this evening is a lovely RED-HEADED WOODPECKER that has been coming for a couple days to a feeder at South Bay  Last evening at the Harmony Road wetland, a count of 31 GREAT EGRETS  was made. An interesting e-mail exchange took place between CWS retired biologist Chip Weseloh, and the observer who wondered if the relatively new Harmony Road roost could possibly be “stealing” birds from other known roosts, at least one of which has experienced a decline in numbers over the past two years. His reply may be of interest to readers: “You asked if there is any chance the Belleville roost is stealing birds from the Hamilton Wetland roost (west of Demorestville) or the Indian Island roost (Trenton). We would have to watch carefully the direction of arrival (and departure in the AM) to get an idea about that. At Hamilton Wetland all egrets seem to be coming from the North, which I suspect is the Bay of Quinte and probably even the area of Big Island and Muscote Bay. The 1-2 times I have watched arrivals at Indian Island (from the north shore of the Bay of Quinte), the egrets have arrived mostly from the west. The Harmony Rd roost looks like it is a couple miles north of the 401. My impression is the egrets seldom fly much more than 5 miles to get to their roost…so I doubt there is any conflict with the Hamilton Wetland roost. There is a chance with the Indian Island roost but I am doubtful of that one, too. The existence of 2 roosts about 25 metres apart at the Harmony Road site is not too unusual. I have seen that situation before and most of the time the two groups will join up once the sun sets and it gets dark…..sometimes not until it is quite dark. Watch it until 30-40 minutes after sunset some night and see what happens. As the season progresses and water levels go down, the egrets will often switch from roosting in trees to roosting in shallow water, so be on the lookout for that, too. I doubt the two groups indicate birds from two different colonies. At Luther marsh, where there is a roost of a couple of hundred egrets, tagged birds from two different colonies (one near Collingwood and one near Southampton), roost together in the same area of dead trees and bushes.”

July Saturday, July 11: No birding today locally, but one local resident had good success once again at the Brighton Constructed Wetland along Prince Edward Street where this relatively small wetland produced 25 species, among them, four BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS. Other notable sightings at this popular wetland included five waterfowl species – 27 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 17 WOOD DUCKS (several adults with ducklings), 8 HOODED MERGANSERS (adults with ducklings), 8 MUTE SWANS (including 4 cygnets), and six MALLARDS. Other species seen here were GREAT BLUE HERON, OSPREY, 7 COMMON GALLINULES, 5 MARSH WRENS, 2 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS and a GREATER YELLOWLEGS. The yellowlegs is another reminder to keep your eyes peeled for any early southbound shorebird species. There are several that are expected in July and already they have started appearing in the Kingston area, according to Mark Read who reported an early GREATER YELLOWLEGS in the Napanee Limestone Plain area, LESSER YELLOWLEGS (as many as 17) at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons, LEAST SANDPIPERS and 4 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS. The only sighting to be reported in Prince Edward County – and that was last evening – was an UPLAND SANDPIPER at the junction of McFaul Road and County Road 1 near Allisonville. And the GREEN HERON that paid Allisonville resident Brian Durell a visit while he was out in his yard reading a few days ago, has been back at least two more times.

Friday, July 10: There were 8 CHIMNEY SWIFTS seen today at the Belleville Lion’s Park off Station Street near the Lott Dam. A few sightings from Main Duck Island. Three COMMON LOONS  were seen off Yorkshire Island (just east of Main Duck Island), and an immature BALD EAGLE  was seen at the Prince Edward Point Harbour. GREAT EGRETS continue to congregate at some of their favourite roosts in the region. Last night (July 9) the Harmony Road egret roost, north of Belleville, had increased to 29 birds. This roost seems to be developing as 2 roosts, about 25 or more metres apart. Last night the one on left had 13 birds and the one on the right had 16 birds.  Unfortunately none of the birds have any tags to help keep track of them. Meanwhile, at the Demorestville area Hamilton Wetland roost, 15 GREAT EGRETS  were counted this morning between 5:15 a.m. and 5:25 a.m. as they flew out to the open water in the meadow to feed. Another sort of out of the way place south of Stirling, and one where I used to offer guided hikes, is a questionable and barely drivable road called Dutch Girl Lane. It runs between Baptist Church Road and Highway 62. Just in from the lane/road is a hydro right of way where numerous uncommon wildflowers grow like Carrion Flower and Upright Bindweed. Also present here is Sweet Fern which is rarely found this far south in the Quinte area. Birdlife can be quite varied due to the rich habitat and remoteness of the site. This morning though it was relatively quiet, according to a Belleville birder, who found BLUE JAYS, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES and RED-EYED VIREOS. Also, a couple of WOOD THRUSHES. The more open areas contained several singing birds, the highlights being 2 VESPER SPARROWS, 2 INDIGO BUNTINGS and a HOUSE WREN. A COMMON LOON flew over, believed to be one of the Ross Lake pair that nested there again this year, just east of Dutch Girl Lane. On Nugent Road north of Camden East today, a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE  was seen. The Presqu’ile Provincial Park Weekly Bird Report, compiled by Fred Helleiner, has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, July 09: Not a whole lot to report this evening, but such is the month of July. If you find your nectar feeders empty most mornings, don’t blame night slurping hummingbirds; it is more apt to be bats! They  developed a fondness for the nectar some years ago as the popularity of hummingbird feeders increased. At least one has been draining a feeder nightly along County Road 1 at Consecon Lake.  Bats have different ways of liberating the hummingbird nectar from the feeders. Some bats will land on a feeder and drink the nectar directly out of it. Other bats will fly around in circles and use their long tongues to reach in and get a sip of hummingbird nectar with each pass. At Smith’s Bay, birds reported there from a cottage today included a family of  WOOD DUCKS, 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, a GREEN HERON, BELTED KINGFISHER and  single female COMMON MERGANSER. At Lighthall Road in the Point Petre area, an UPLAND SANDPIPER and a NORTHERN HARRIER were seen, and an AMERICAN KESTREL  was present of Black Road near Demorestville yesterday.

Wednesday, July 08: GREAT EGRETS continue to make use of the Harmony Road wetland. There were 26 there Monday morning at 6:15 a.m. and 18 there early thIs morning, as well as 2 GREEN HERONS and three GREAT BLUE HERONS. Two Demorestville area birders travelled to the Kingston area yesterday to enjoy some birding  and had some success, coming up with two BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS at the Taylor-Kidd Blvd marsh, where they also found a GREAT EGRET, and a GREEN HERON. At the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons, they managed a list of 25 species including a BLACK TERN, 8 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, 10 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, a LEAST SANDPIPER and four SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS. It would appear that the fall migration of shorebirds is underway with at least the earlier expected species. Also seen there – 6 WOOD DUCKS, 2 GADWALLS. Invista had 2 COMMON MERGANSERS. Birds are still happening along Prince Edward County’s South Shore Important Bird Area. Yesterday along Simpson Road, 19 species were tallied, among them, 9 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, 5 GRAY CATBIRDS, 7 FIELD SPARROWS, 4 ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, a GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, 3 MARSH WRENS, 2 BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, and a WILSON’S SNIPE.

Tuesday, July 07: No one out birding today, and I guess I can understand why as it was a bit mild this afternoon. One exception was the north end of Haig Road where a birder there today found 25 BARN SWALLOWS – a nice number for a species that seems to be declining, 2 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, and 8 SONG SPARROWS. Sometimes it’s nothing more strenuous than just sitting back and letting the birds come to you. Allisonville resident Brian Durell decided to sit outside where it was cooler, and read a book, when a GREEN HERON arrived to a dead tree along the property line. One birder said his fiancé had spotted what she described as a “large grey goose” flying over. When talking to his neighbour, he said that he had seen what he thought was a SANDHILL CRANE earlier. Lo and behold, as they spoke about bird sightings a well defined SANDHILL CRANE few over Miller Road to settle the argument once and for all. Though similar in stature, but taxonomically different, GREAT EGRET numbers are increasing in the Harmony Road wetland, north of Belleville where it would appear that a late summer roost is taking shape, similar to the roosts on Indian Island, near Trenton, and the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville. There were 26 egrets there Sunday night. The CHIMNEY SWIFT action seems to have died down somewhat from earlier highs, but four are seen regularly over Belleville most days. On Dunnett Blvd, in that city, a young MERLIN is hanging around and causing agitation for nesting songbirds in the area.

Monday, July 06: A BLUE-WINGED WARBLER was another special find for birder/photographer Tom Wheatley of Belleville during a week of intense birding in the north country. On the 4th, he struck gold when he counted no fewer than 5 PRAIRIE WARBLERS along the hiking trail that runs from Little Mellon Lake to Haley Lake at the Sheffield Conservation Area, 11 km south of Kaladar. Found were four males, one female and two fledglings. Due to the sensitive nature of the species, the photo at the upper right was taken from a distance of 35 yards at 100X zoom. Anyone hiking this four kilometre loop are reminded that while the first half to Haley Lake is quite straightforward, the second half of the loop is more challenging and is poorly marked. The trail eventually crosses open water at Devil Lake and ultimately comes out at the remnants of Old High 41 before passing the Dark Sky site, returning to the parking lot via the shoulder of the present highway. Other birds seen on the hike to Haley Lake were LEAST FLYCATCHER, RED-TAILED HAWK, VEERY, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. At a little spot called Nephan, some distance northwest of the Menzel Nature Reserve, 22 species were found, including the BLUE-WINGED WARBLER mentioned above. Two males were found on territory, separated by 200 metres. The first male was with a begging fledgling. Second male in the same area as a Brewster's female. Also seen were CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, SCARLET TANAGER, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, 5 RED-EYED VIREOS, WOOD THRUSH and OVENBIRD. These little out of the way locations can be very special. And where is the Belleville WHITE PELICAN that disappeared for awhile and showed up in the Bay of Quinte between Big Island and Huff’s Island? Well, it’s back at its favourite spot, Snake Island, between the Herchimer Street boat launch and Massassauga Point, accompanied by a flotilla of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS. It was seen this morning by staff from Quinte Conservation. Last night BLACK TERNS  were seen in the Sawguin Creek Marsh, a species that had all but disappeared from that marsh. Last evening, at the Sprague Pond boat launch, a SPOTTED SANDPIPER  with 4 fluffy babies were running back and forth in front of a barge that is parked there. A male NORTHERN HARRIER  was seen flying over the marsh near the causeway. An UPLAND SANDPIPER was perched on a utility wire along County Road 24 at Point Petre, and 2 SANDHILL CRANES  were found not far away in a corn field along Kings Road.

Sunday, July 05: A SPOTTED SANDPIPER turned up along Haig Road yesterday  in Belleville, where a CASPIAN TERN was also seen. North of there, at the Harmony Road wetland, a GREAT HORNED OWL was heard hooting last night.  EASTERN KINGBIRDS  were seen by a party walking Gorsline Road near Demorestville today Also seen were CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS (at least 2), several WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS hiding and calling in the underbrush, EASTERN TOWHEES, CEDAR WAXWINGS, NORTHERN FLICKER, GRAY CATBIRDS, and EASTERN MEADOWLARK. Four days earlier, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and GREAT BLUE HERON were added to the cumulative list. Yesterday, OVENBIRD, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, COOPER’S HAWK and BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO were noted at Point Petre. And at Sandbanks Park, PILEATED WOODPECKER, INDIGO BUNTING, and COMMON TERN were seen there. Birds in downtown Allisonville have included WILSON’S SNIPE, HOUSE WREN, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, FIELD SPARROW, 3 ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS and NORTHERN CARDINALS. Always keen to hear sightings of BLANDING’S TURTLES; one was spotted two nights ago along the entrance road to Beaver Meadow Conservation Area at East Lake. At the Big Swamp, sightings near there have been 4 BELTED KINGFISHERS that bred successfully at an area pond and 4 RIVER OTTERS have also been there this summer. .Also seen around there have been SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, lots of  WOOD THRUSHES, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, GREEN HERON and GREAT EGRET. Approximately 30 to 40 BOBOLINKS in the unharvested hay fields west of 23 Sprague on Big Island today were a big treat, as well as at least 12-15 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. Also present along the 2.3 km mowed trail that I have around the property today were ALDER FLYCATCHER  (nested this summer), COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, SAVANNAH SPARROWS, FIELD SPARROWS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, EASTERN TOWHEES, and YELLOW WARBLERS. Tomorrow evening’s Report will contain some more great sightings from Tom Wheatley of Belleville who explored two additional out of the way places over the last few days, in his search for uncommon warbler species. Be sure to tune in again.

Saturday, July 04: It’s true. Birds are where you find them. And Belleville resident Tom Wheatley knows right where to go off the beaten track, to find some interesting species, like along Powerline Road, near Cloyne. On Thursday, he hiked 8 km, finding 31 species, among them 3 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS    (which may have been a family group), 2 VEERYS, 3 OVENBIRDS, 2 BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, a NASHVILLE WARBLER, 15 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, a YELLOW WARBLER, 3 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, 1 BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, 2 PINE WARBLERS, 1 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and rounding the list of 10 warbler species, were 2 BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER. Despite the favourable habitat for PRAIRIE WARBLERS, none was seen. The previous day, he spent a couple hours along the Trans Canada Trail at Sulphide Road, east of Tweed, and explored 3 km of that trail. Of the 29 species of birds he tallied, only five of these were warblers, but also finding a SCARLET TANAGER, a YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, a WOOD THRUSH and 2 WOOD DUCKS. Also on Canada Day, Tom checked out a section of Suphide Road and drove to the far end where the road deteriorates into a dead end that disappears into a swamp. Thirty-one species were found here, among them A-a RED-EYED VIREO, attempting to satisfy the appetite of a BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD. Also found, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, 3 VEERYS, 2 HERMIT THRUSHES, 5 PINE WARBLERS and 3 OVENBIRDS, just to list a few of the highlights.  On the third day of his three-day birding extravaganza he checked out Puzzle Lake Provincial Park in balmy 8 degrees Celsius temperatures at 6:15 a.m. and came up with just under 60 species. The higher number could be related to the fact that he walked 10 km after parking at the start of Norway Lake Road. Included in his long list of finds were 10 OVENBIRDS, a YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, 3 each OF VEERY and WOOD THRUSH,also finding SANDHILL CRANE, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO and 3 YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER. In addition to the 10 OVENBIRDS seen, other warbler species (eight in total), were 3 each of PINE WARBLER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER. What a fine way to celebrate Canada Day and the following two days! More locally, an INDIGO BUNTING and a COMMON RAVEN were reported from the Sager Conservation Area near Stirling. No further update on the whereabouts of the WHITE PELICAN that showed up at Belleville on June 22nd, and last seen between Huff’s Island and Big Island three days ago. If it is like the one seen last year, it may very well continue eastwards as it rides the currents in the Bay of Quinte. Speaking of Big Island, a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON continues to be seen along North Shore Road, just west of Allison Road. Today a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD showed up there.

Friday, July 03: With memories of the spring migration still relatively fresh in our minds, it’s hard to imagine there are “fall” migrants starting to appear already. LESSER YELLOWLEGS on their southward migration have appeared in at least two Ontario locations this week, and others like SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, BLACK-BELLIED and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, and RUDDY TURNSTONES  are likely next to arrive in a couple weeks. At Crofton today, a juvenile ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and a male AMERICAN REDSTART were seen along County Road 14. A single SANDHILL CRANE continues to be seen occasionally at the Hamilton Wetland along the same county road. The Harmony Road wetland, north of Belleville, where it seems that another egret roost is establishing itself, birders there last night counted 19 GREAT EGRETS, and 15 were counted early this morning at the Hamilton Wetland. At South Bay, a BALD EAGLE  flew past one surprised angler out on the bay today.

Thursday, July 02: Well, we know where the Belleville WHITE PELICAN is now. It was seen today in the Bay of Quinte at the east end of Huff’s Island, about midway between Huff’s Island and Big Island. As it has done in the past, it has been following a flock of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, or the cormorants have been following him. Two biologists from Norwood, out for a bike ride on Tuesday, came a cross two BALD EAGLES, resting on a gravel bar at Prince Edward Point. At Presqu’ile Park this week, highlights there were BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO at Owen Point, A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER  at Bayshore Road, and what may have been a  WESTERN KINGIRD. For the complete story this week, check out Fred Helleiner’s Presqu’ile Park weekly summary at THIS LINK.

Wednesday, July 01: Volunteers should consider monitoring the Harmony Road wetland north of Belleville. GREAT EGRETS are starting to gather here, and 18 were seen here a few nights ago. It seems a bit early for GREAT EGRETS  to be roosting, but obviously the annual ceremony has begun. GREAT EGRETS during their post breeding dispersal, tend to gather in substantial numbers at choice locations in the Bay of Quinte area prior to migration south. Two of these locations are the Indian Island site near Carrying Place, and the Hamilton Wetland at Demorestville where upwards of 80 to 100 birds have been counted at each of these locations. These birds are not necessarily local birds, but involve birds from all over Ontario, and even the United States, as this post breeding dispersal takes place. Also take note of any that have coloured wing tags, the colour of the tag and the number. You can e-mail me that information and I will pass it along to those in charge. The population of BOBOLINKS west of our house in the still unharvested hay fields continues to burgeon as young finally begin leaving their nests. Also having nested, but quite unsuccessfully, was a RED-EYED VIREO at the Black River Cheese, south of Picton, where a young, very happy, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD  was about to fledge. A Picton area resident with a cottage on Smith’s Bay comments about yesterday’s rainy conditions, “Sometimes misty, rainy mornings are the best. We had a family of WOOD DUCKS, a female COMMON MERGANSER, BELTED KINGFISHER, GREAT BLUE HERON, OSPREY and TREE SWALLOWS. “No such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”, as the old Scandinavian saying goes. A few interesting species on Amherst Island – AMERICAN KESTREL, 25 SAVANNAH SPARROWS, UPLAND SANDPIPER, WILSON’S SNIPE and RED-TAILED HAWK. An appeal has been sent out by the Kingston Field Naturalists to its members, regarding the proposed wind power project proposed for the internationally recognized Amherst Island. Like the South Shore Important Bird Area where two companies are lying in wait to permanently ravage the south shore of Prince Edward County, Amherst Island is also an Important Bird Area. An incredible 27 wind turbines are slated to be erected on this island! The Amherst Island project is next in line to be approved soon by the Ontario government. If you feel strongly about this project, the people to contact are contained in KFN’s letter that I have uploaded to my website as a PDF, and can be accessed by CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, June 30:  Some bird surveys yesterday morning in the South Shore Important Bird Area of Prince Edward County produced a few good finds. On Ostrander Point Road, a MAGNOLIA WARBLER was found. We tend to think of MAGNOLIA WARBLERS  in terms of migrants, but they do nest not far north of here, and there are numerous summer sightings in our general region. Fall migrants start appearing in August. I have birded Ostrander Point several times in the past with outstanding success, and yesterday was no different for a Belleville birder who was trying his luck there. Forty-six species were found along this 2.5 km stretch of road, among them BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, NORTHERN HARRIER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, INDIGO BUNTING, VEERY, WOOD THRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and OVENBIRD. Along the lake, YELLOW WARBLERS were especially numerous. South of Helmer Road were CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS, ALDER FYCATCHER, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, SAVANNAH SPARROW, WILSON’S SNIPE, and HOUSE WRENS (with begging young). On Big Island, a pair of ALDER FLYCATCHERS have nested west of Sprague Road. Along the island’s north shore, a few good species there, including BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, WARBLING VIREOS, HOUSE WRENS, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and also a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER.

Monday, June 29: No sightings came in today,

Sunday, June 28:  Understandably, no one was out birding today, but a few interesting sightings from the South Bay area yesterday where a GREEN HERON was spotted there. Also of interest there were 2 SANDHILL CRANES and an INDIGO BUNTING. Today, at South Bay, there was an AMERICAN KESTREL, and that’s all I found! Obviously, a short Report this evening, so I will mention another guided hike that is taking place at Presqu’ile Park tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. from the Beach 2 parking lot. If you don’t know what a tombolo is, this is your chance to find out. A better day tomorrow, and perhaps a few bird sightings.

Saturday, June 27: A few interesting sightings today at South Bay included LEAST BITTERN, 6 MARSH WRENS, a GREEN HERON, 2 COMMON LOONS, a WILLOW FLYCATCHER and 2 BALD EAGLES. Birders from Belleville today, took advantage of the nice weather this morning west of Ivanhoe, and birded a 3 kilometre stretch of the Trans Canada Trail west from Twiddy Road. An impressive 50 species were chalked up in a good variety of habitat including an extensive wetland and a large, old field. Found were at least six GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS, a BLUE-WINGED WARBLER and a BREWSTER’S WARBLER. The duo saw or heard many of the woodland species including 1 PILEATED WOODPECKER, 4 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, 3 EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES, 4 VEERYS, 2 WOOD THRUSHES, and 5 SCARLET TANAGERS. One oddity was a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK with a completely white-breast and not a hint of rose. The old fields contributed 4 EASTERN TOWHEES, 1 BOBOLINK, 2 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, 5 FIELD SPARROWS and a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW. The wetlands had numerous RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and SWAMP SPARROWS  and singles of WILSON’S SNIPE and LEAST BITTERNS .BOBOLINKS  were also seen today along Prince Edward County’s Christian Road off Highway 62. A BROWN CREEPER  carrying food and going to a probable nest was a nice find. BOBOLINKS  are doing very well this summer in a series of hay fields west of Sprague Road on Big Island where the owner has asked the farmer who cuts the hay to delay harvesting until mid-July. It is always refreshing to see conservation efforts like that. So far, I have counted 18 pairs that are currently carrying food to nests along a 2.3 km mowed trail that I have created around the fields with the blessing of the owner.  Birds present today at the Brighton Constructed Wetland were  MUTE SWAN 7, WOOD DUCKS  20 (female with ducklings), AMERICAN BLACK DUCK  25  (3 females with ducklings), and 2 lone AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, BLUE-WINGED TEAL 1,  HOODED MERGANSER  11 (female with ducklings), AMERICAN BITTERN   1, GREAT BLUE HERON 1, GREEN HERON  1, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON  2, and COMMON GALLINULE   7 . Other species present in the wetland were 2 KILLDEER, 5 RING-BILLED GULLS, 2 MOURNING DOVES, a  BELTED KINGFISHER , 1 NORTHERN FLICKER, a BLUE JAY, 20 TREE SWALLOWS, 3 BARN SWALLOWS, 3 MARSH WRENS, , an AMERICAN ROBIN, 2 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, and 30 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. Almost forgot.........1 EUROPEAN STARLING. At Allisonville, a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER is visiting a feeder there, and 2 ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS  are also around. In the hamlet of Moira, an EASTERN BLUEBIRD  was seen this morning.

Friday, June 26: We start our Bird Report at the Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area, north of Brighton, where a birder there today checked out some old field habitat with forested edges. In the past, both  both BLUE-WINGED and GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS have been sighted there. Today there was only a BLUE-WINGED WARBLER. Some of the other species included MOURNING WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, INDIGO BUNTING, FIELD SPARROW, EASTERN TOWHEE, OVENBIRD, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and WOOD THRUSH.  Nesting boxes had nesting HOUSE WREN and EASTERN BLUEBIRD. It was also nice to see a returning Monarch Butterfly on a milkweed plant. WOOD THRUSH and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (5) were also the order of the day along County Road 2, north of Wellington, just past Wilson Road, where a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was also present. No update today on Belleville’s WHITE PELICAN although it was definitely present yesterday, seen by at least a couple birders. There is a developing GREAT EGRET roost at the Harmony Road Wetland, north of Belleville. On Thursday evening at 8:30 p.m., there were 15 in a couple of trees on the southwest edge. Other noteworthy sightings were a GREEN HERON and 31 MALLARDS of various ages and at various stages of moult.  Thursday morning a very noisy young MERLIN spent about 15 minutes in an oak tree along Dunnett Blvd., in Belleville. For the past couple of weeks at least two families of AMERICAN ROBINS and several CEDAR WAXWINGS have been gorging on the fruit of the serviceberry bushes in one yard there. They were less than impressed by the MERLIN’s presence.  Two nights ago, a nice experience for a Belleville photographer who drove to the Dark Sky site along Highway 41, at the Sheffield Conservation Area in hopes of enjoying the predicted Northern Lights. No performance by the skies, but never so many night sounds, he commented. COMMON NIGHTHAWKS  were calling enthusiastically, along with 4 WHIP-POOR-WILLS. Also heard, a COMMON LOON, a VEERY and a WOOD THRUSH. One reader of this blog asks, “What is up this year. No SNAPPING TURTLES laying eggs on the shoulders of the road in front of my house (Cressy). In previous years I have had one to six laying most mornings from mid through late June. My friend who lives in Prinyers Cove  on Bay Side has noticed a similar lack of snappers laying. None!” On Big Island, the same observation is true with no SNAPPING TURTLES  noticed on the causeway where usually, several are seen excavating. Now, to give you something to seethe about as we enter the weekend, with this story and link. The Ontario Wind Resistance website gives us one more reason to loathe wind turbines and the so-called “Green” Energy Act that forces them down our throats. Two years after getting prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the energy giant, Duke Energy, looking for payback, takes aim at the law itself. In early June the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill—with a sneak attack on birds attached. The bill included an amendment prohibiting the use of Department of Justice funds to prosecute or hold liable any person or corporation for a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. If it becomes law, anyone could kill birds with impunity, with no risk of jail time or even fines. It would decimate one of the most successful pieces of conservation legislation in history. Duke’s renewable energy division had been the first green power company to be prosecuted under the MBTA, pleading guilty in 2013 to the deaths of more than 150 protected birds, including 14 Golden Eagles, at two wind farms in Wyoming, and forking over $1 million in fines. In the wake of that guilty plea, Duke apparently began deploying its considerable resources and political muscle to undo the very law it had violated, paying at least $60,000 in 2014 in its efforts to amending the Migratory Birds Treaty Act and Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act to address accidental avian deaths.  Read more.........

Thursday, June 25: Just a short Bird Report this evening. A BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON  was one of several present last evening at the Brighton Constructed Wetland along Prince Edward Street/C.R. 64. It, or another, was perched on the end of a dock at Brighton. The WHITE PELICAN was photographed by several birders yesterday along the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail in Belleville, and we can presume that the bird is still around. If looking for it, just focus your binoculars on the cormorants with which it associates, and you are apt to see it. Snake Island is a good place to start where cormorants nest, roost and feed. LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, NORTHERN HARRIER and EASTERN KINGBIRD were all present yesterday along Nugent Road, north of Camden East. Once we get more into the hot, sultry days of July, fewer birds will be heard singing, but we will always depend on at least two – the COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and the RED-EYED VIREO, the latter singing persistently from the tree canopy. Both species were present today in a backyard in the area of Mowbray and Miller Roads, just south of Picton. Fred Helleiner’s Presqu’ile Provincial Park summary of this past week’s sightings has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, June 24: Three PRAIRIE WARBLERS  were heard singing three days ago at Sheffield Conservation Area, 11 km south of Kaladar. There seems to be no shortage of good finds, if one knows where to go. Belleville’s WHITE PELICAN was seen again today between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The bird was seen from the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail, soaring high above Snake Island in the middle of the Bay of Quinte. Later, it swam with cormorants, north of the island where it seems to have developed a symbiotic relationship with this species. Also seen along the Trail were WARBLING  VIREOS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, AMERICAN REDSTARTS, YELLOW WARBLERS, MUTE SWANS, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, COMMON GRACKLES, SONG SPARROWS, CEDAR WAXWINGS, CASPIAN TERNS and a GREAT BLUE HERON. The latter species was one of several such species to be seen by one pair of Demoresville area birders who chose to set the alarm early and check out the Hamilton Wetland, west of the village. Seen were GREAT BLUE HERON, 7 GREAT EGRETS, a GREEN HERON and  a SANDHILL CRANE. Those sightings were topped by a third year BALD EAGLE which cruised in and sat for awhile on the ground. Just east of Belleville, along Airport Parkway, the AMERICAN KESTRELS, nesting in the eaves of a building, saw the light of day today, with 4 young and two very tired parents. .  Where there is life there is also death. A Trenton birder explored a section of the Millennium Trail where it crosses Consecon Lake when he noted several BLACK TERNS flying excitedly about the causeway. The reason for the excitement soon became apparent. A MINK crossed the trail in front of him, carrying a young bird. It did this three times. The MINK was dry and seemed to be robbing a nest on land, but close to the ground. Both shores are rocky with shrubs. The young birds were featherless, but they didn’t appear to be terns, but the adults certainly didn’t seem to like the perceived threat. Today, I spent two hours exploring the Marshlands Conservation Area in Kingston, coming up with a few good species including COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, YELLOW WARBLERS, several AMERICAN REDSTARTS, WARBLING VIREOS, RED-EYED VIREOS, GRAY CATBIRDS, WOOD THRUSH, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Cataraqui Golf Course), NORTHERN CARDINAL, SWAMP SPARROWS, INDIGO BUNTING, and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH. Along Taylor-Kidd Blvd, an AMERICAN KESTREL was seen near the back end of the Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area. With the arrival of summer, the roster of interpretive events at Presqu’ile Park for the coming week was released today. Of interest to readers is a guided walk this coming Sunday at 10:00 a.m. to learn about the 250,000 birds that call the offshore islands their home. Those interested are asked to meet at the Owen Point Trail parking lot.

Tuesday, June 23: The WHITE PELICAN continues to be seen in the Bay of Quinte at Belleville, and was spotted today along the Bayshore Trail. One birder thinks the bird may be spending time with the cormorants on Snake Island, a tiny island containing a colony of nesting cormorants which can be seen either from the Pinnacle Street boat launch, or from Massassauga Point Conservation Area. Last night as another birder was staking out the CHUCK-WILL’S-WIDOW at Hilltop Road west of South Bay, he chalked up a list of other species during his wait including BROWN THRASHER, WHIP-POOR-WILL, VEERY, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and a late HERMIT THRUSH – in fact the only summer sighting of a HERMIT THRUSH on file for Prince Edward County. More results from the weekend’s BioBlitz along the South Shore Important Bird Area has revealed a list of 20 species of butterflies, five species each of reptiles and amphibians, 40 species of moths, over 200 species of plants, 65 species of birds, 15 species of lichens and four species of mammals. Perhaps the most interesting sighting was a CARRION BEETLE carrying off a young dead GARTER SNAKE. Teams of observers also found a SHINING LADIES TRESSES ORCHID and several birds and reptiles on the Species at Risk list. All records will be collated and a report prepared. Through Bio Blitzes and Biothons (weekly outings) Prince Edward County Field Naturalists plan to prepare a comprehensive record of the natural environment of the IBA. Yes – the ideal location for wind turbines! As we get into fewer bird sightings and more of other nature, an interesting e-mail came in today from two Belleville residents who have a cottage near Crookston Road, in the Madoc area. Two weeks ago, their 10-year old patch of several hundred Lupines  were in glorious bloom. Four days ago, everything was reduced to bare stalks. The culprit? CALIFORNIA BLISTER BEETLES , our newest arrival that love Lupines. They are also drawn to Alfalfa as well. They are plentiful, active, voracious, mobile, and can fly. Well known naturalists and film makers John and Janet Foster, say that little is known about eggs/larvae etc.  So far, they have no known predators (biological or otherwise). They also carry a toxicity in their blood and, although you won't die from their bites, they can cause painful rashes. We wonder about toxicity to birds (apparently two cows reported died from eating hay, especially alfalfa, that had been "contaminated" when beetles were  baled up). So, there you go – just when you thought it would be a good idea to plant some Lupines. “Sorry to be bearer of bad tidings on such a glorious day," says Janet Foster, “but forewarned is forearmed, although what with I cannot say."  So check your lupines, flowers, and alfalfa! Getting back to birds for a moment – a few interesting sightings from the Little Catarqui Creek Conservation Area, just north of Kingston – one WOOD THRUSH, 6 WOOD DUCKS, 3 MARSH WRENS and a GREEN HERON. Closer to home, Mitchel Road east of Belleville, produced SAVANNAH SPARROWS, BOBOLINKS and a RED-TAILED HAWK. Two UPLAND SANDPIPERS on Amherst Island were also of note.

Monday, June 22: And the great sightings continue! A WHITE PELICAN was seen flying with DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS this morning in the Bay of Quinte near the Norris Whitney Bridge. Photographer Gilles Bisson of Belleville said the pelican and the cormorants were flying as a group and the pelican stayed with them wherever they went. The last WHITE PELICAN to be seen in the Bay of Quinte region was in 2013 when a single bird worked its way east from Trident Point, south of Shannonville, in mid-August of that year, spending the next three months in the Napanee area, before moving west to Belleville, then Frankford  where it spent the early part of December. The reported reappearance of the CHUCK-WILL’S-WIDOW at Brewer’s and Hilltop Roads southwest of Milford, mentioned in the Report last evening,  has been confirmed by no fewer than 6 birders. Results from this weekend’s BioBlitz just west of that site, are starting to trickle in. A Saturday evening walk along Simpson Road yielded almost 40 species, the highlights being AMERICAN BITTERN, ALDER FLYCATCHER, EASTERN TOWHEE, GREEN HERON, 1 WOOD THRUSH, NASHVILLE WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, 3 BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS, 2 GRAY CATBIRDS and a flyover COMMON LOON.  Early the following morning, a three hour walk along Lighthall Road produced 2 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS, 2 EASTERN TOWHEES, 6 GRAY CATBIRDS, 10+ MARSH WRENS, 3 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS, 3 BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS, 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, a VEERY, and a GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER. More results, including other flora and fauna sightings will come later. A Belleville birder today walked the Trail of Two Lakes from Highway 62 at Madoc to Sills Road, passing through some excellent mixed habitat including small wetlands, small woodlots and a hedgerow along the trail. The birds were all typical of a south Hastings rural area but there are enough of them to maintain interest. Highlights were a RED-TAILED HAWK, 2 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, a LEAST FLYCATCHER, 2 BARN SWALLOWS, a VEERY, 1 OVENBIRD, an AMERICAN REDSTART, 2 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS and an INDIGO BUNTING. July is just around the corner, but there are still lots of interesting birds around, so keep your binoculars poised, and report your sightings to me when you can so we can keep this blog at its current momentum

Sunday, June 21: Forget the spring migration. Some of the best birding can be had right now. A LAWRENCE’S WARBLER was seen near the village of Ivanhoe yesterday, as mentioned in last evening’s Report. The bird was seen from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The Lawrence’s hybrid and the Brewster’s hybrid of GOLDEN-WINGED and BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS can get a little confusing at times, but birder/photographer Tom Wheatley of Belleville has had considerable interest in past years with this phenomenon. The BREWSTER’S WARBLER  is a first generation hybrid offspring of a mating between a GOLDEN-WINGED parent and a BLUE-WINGED parent. This appears to be only the second ebird sighting of LAWRENCE’S WARBLER in Ontario (and Canada) for 2015. As for its song, Tom Wheatley  described it as  neither GOLDEN-WINGED nor BLUE-WINGED but “didididi-zii” like the secondary song of a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER. ThE BREWSTER’S typically has yellow on the underparts.  A bird displaying white underparts  would be a second generation backcross between an first generation  BREWSTER’S  and a GOLDEN-WINGED. Now enter the LAWRENCE’S WARBLER,  the result of a pairing between either two BREWSTER’S (statistically possible, but exceedingly rare), or a pairing between a BREWSTER’S or a LAWRENCE’S with either a heterozygous GOLDEN-WINGED or a heterozygous BLUE-WINGED, or a pairing of any two heterozygous parents of either species. In other words, because LAWRENCE’S is recessive for both of two traits, it cannot have received a gene from any parent homozygous for either dominant trait. Whew! Now aren’t you glad that you took up birding as a hobby? Two LEAST BITTERNS were found today in different sections of the Moscow Marsh, north of Yarker, and along Nugent Road in the Camden East area, a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (with a leg band) showed up.  Today wrapped up two days of BioBlitz surveys along Army Reserve Road in the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area. This morning, at 7:00 a.m., I conducted a bird survey down Charwell Point Road to the Lake Ontario. We found 25 species during out 4 km-walk, the best bird being a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO that was singing energetically in the fog just across the road. We found another two birds singing as we walked along. Five HOUSE WRENS were counted, and also seen and/or heard were NORTHERN FLICKER (1), WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (1), GRAY CATBIRD (3), BROWN THRASHER (2), FIELD SPARROW (3), GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (1), COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (5), EASTERN TOWHEE (3), WILSON’S SNIPE (1), DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (88), and CASPIAN TERN (2). An INDIGO BUNTING was seen at the Simpson Road Base Camp, and another was reported from Point Petre proper. There was a report that the famous CHUCK-WILL’S-WIDOW is still around at Brewer’s Road and Hilltop Road, as of last night, but no details or confirmation of this are available at this time.

Saturday, June 20: MARSH WREN and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONwere just two of several species present at the Brighton Constructed Wetlands yesterday. Other highlights at this wetland were COMMON GALLINULE chicks, OSPREY, NORTHERN SHOVELER, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Fishing on Camden Lake for opening bass produced more than just lucky catches of fish yesterday; it was productive for birding as well. VIRGINIA RAILS, BLACK TERNS, GREAT BLUE HERONS and MARSH WRENS  were present on the lake and wetlands as well.  This afternoon, a Mountain View resident was both surprised and elated to have a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER appear at her feeder several times today. It has been awhile since we have had any bird sightings from Main Duck Island, but a visitor there today found AMERICAN WOODCOCK, AMERICAN REDSTART, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, GADWALL, CASPIAN TERN and 3 each of WILSON’S SNIPE and SPOTTED SANDPIPER. A total of 45 BARN SWALLOWS was an impressive number for a species that has been in decline in recent years. BARN SWALLOWS have nested for several decades in the lightkeeper’s house at the tip of the island, as well as in the net shed at the harbour. Last night 4 WHIP-POOR-WILLS and a GREAT HORNED OWL were heard near the corner of Hilltop Road and Brewer’s Road along the South Shore Important Bird Area. A LAWRENCE’S WARBLER – a rare hybrid of the Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warbler was seen today west of Crookston. More details and a photo will be in this Bird Report tomorrow evening. In that same area, NORTHERN FLICKER, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, BROAD-WINGED HAWK, and WILLOW FLYCATCHER  were also seen.

Friday, June 19: So, what was an UPLAND SANDPIPER along Nugent Road in the Camden East area so upset about? It could have been that  her youngster was almost hidden by the tall grass and alsike clover. After photographer Bonnie Bailey stopped her vehicle, she snapped the photo of the adult bird, after which the sandpiper started carrying on about something, and it was then that Bonnie noticed there were chicks on the ground. In total along a one kilometre stretch of road, she counted 8 adult UPLAND SANDPIPERS. Also noted were 6 WILSON’S SNIPE, also in an agitated state, indicating young about somewhere. While on the topic of shorebirds, a SPOTTED SANDPIPER appears to be nesting in the Tuftsville wetlands near Stirling according to a birder there. Last evening at the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville, 4 GREAT EGRETS  were seen, one with a blue circular tag on each wing. Anyone spotting color-banded GREAT EGRETS this season and especially during the fall when these egrets are roosting, please record the date, location, number of other egrets with them, and, if possible, the letter(s) and number(s)  of the banding code, so we can better document the spring migration of these birds. Report all sighting of GREAT EGRET with red color-bands to Chip Weseloh, Canadian Wildlife Service-Ontario Region, 4905 Dufferin St., Downsview, Ontario, M3H 5T4, or phone 416-739-5846 or e-mail . Today at Beaver Meadow Conservation Area, south of Picton, LEAST BITTERN, PIED-BILLED GREBE, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, ROSE -BREASTED GROSBEAK were seen.  The Presqu’ile Park Weekly Bird Report for this past week has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, June 18: Birding friend and fellow tour leader, Joel Coutu of Montreal, saw a bird a few days ago that really had him stumped.   Commenting on the unusual bird, Joel says, “Daniel Néron and myself observed a very interesting looking warbler in Laval. Many leading observers  in the 'bird watching' community here in Quebec, Canada and even the States, have pronounced their feeling of what this bird is. This is basically the consensus of everyone. An AMERICAN REDSTART/YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (male) hybrid.  Michel Gosselin, (Responsable de la collection des oiseaux du Musée du Canada ), also said the only documented combination of a AMERICAN REDSTART reported in Avian Hybrid (2006) was with Northern Parula, Nashville and Mourning Warbler. So  this could be a possible first observation of this hybrid bird. Joel who is well known for his prowess as a birder and tour leader, concluded, “This was fun. Now how I'm I going to top this!” Joel Coutu has often done birding expeditions in Prince Edward County, and the Kingston and Amherst Island areas. Although the spring migration is all but a memory now, it is surprising how much activity there can be when taking a leisurely stroll down a remote road. This is what one birder did today on a 4-km walk along Long Point Road to the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. Best find was a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO calling, plenty of YELLOW WARBLERS defending their nesting territories, at least 8 TURKEY VULTURES have made the Point their roost and home for the summer, probably eating fish washed up from spawning carp etc., HERRING GULLS that looked absolutely beautiful in their dazzling white and yellow beaks, EASTERN KINGBIRDS on fence lines, EASTERN TOWHEES singing their hearts out, BALTIMORE ORIOLES darting past, and a few other common birds. Last night, a grey morph EASTERN SCREECH-OWL was found along Bronk Road not far from the H.R. Frink Centre, north of Belleville. In Stirling, a birder there was delighted to see BOBOLINKS nesting in the first field past the bridge on the Trans Canada Trail at Ridge Road & Sutherland Road.  At Cressy, a resident there was trimming his 10’ high Blue Spruce  today and suddenly came face to face with a MOURNING DOVE’S nest, containing a fledgling almost ready to take flight. The parent flew off the nest, but the youngster chose to remain still and pretend not to be noticed. The resident continued to trim branches for a good 25 minutes while work carried on close to the nest.

Wednesday, June 17: A RED-TAILED HAWK today did not have a good day. At least four BALTIMORE ORIOLES put up a defense that resembled the Battle of Britain, landing multiple blows on his back. The hawks have a nest in a White Pine along County Road 18, near Sandbanks. A RING-NECKED DUCK that was first discovered at the east end of the Big Island Marsh, was still there as of last evening. This species, primarily a breeder in northwestern Ontario, has been seen only a handful of times in Prince Edward County during the breeding season, all of them, except for the most recent sighting, made along the west shoreline of the County.  In the Camden East area today, a few interesting birds seen there today included COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, 2 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, BROWN THRASHER (one also recently south of the Quinte Skyway Bridge) and two GRAY CATBIRDS. Along Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville, a VESPER SPARROW  was found – not an easy species to find anymore it seems, compared to past years. At Big Island this afternoon, a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD posed for a few seconds from a hydro wire midway along Caughey Road at the island`s west end. An INDIGO BUNTING was photographed today near Camden East. On the heels of my June 12 reminisces of Presqu’ile Park (photos are still up for that entry by the way), I thought readers might be interested in a comment from John Kensett, supporter of the park`s 25th Anniversary Environmental Fund, contained in this month`s edition of The Beacon, received today. His piece is titled  Presqu’ile Was Always My Father`s Favourite Place. It reads:   “My parents travelled from Toronto to Brighton in the late 1970s, stayed at the Butler Creek B&B, and passed their days birding in Presqu’ile Park. In the 1980s, after my mother passed away, I joined my father every May not only to help him mourn his loss but also to continue the tradition of looking for Warblers and Whimbrels. This has continued almost every May but now includes my wife, and sometimes our three children, and now our grandson (the fourth generation of Kensett’s to walk in the Park).For the past 25 years or so, my wife and I have been joined with our good birding friends, who, also being retired, are able to spend several weeks in Presqu’ile, and not only to hunt down the odd rarity but also to enjoy the magic of Presqu’ile and completely relax from all of life’s responsibilities and worries for a short time. Presqu’ile was always my father’s favourite place and he donated money to the Park on several occasions. It is only fitting that I continue to support the Park in his memory on behalf of the Kensett family.”

Tuesday, June 16: No birds reported for tday, but that`s okay. There were more than enough seen yesterday to file a Report. A VIRGINIA RAIL  was one of several wetland birds located by one of two observers last night who were surveying the same section of the east end of the Big Island Marsh at roughly the same time. In fact, they were actually close enough that they waved to each other. One surveyor was monitoring for the Enhanced Marsh Monitoring Program through Quinte Conservation and the BQRAP, and the other was doing a Great Lakes Initiative survey. The east end of Big island Marsh has always been very productive and it certainly lived up to its reputation in past surveys this spring. Joshua Kuipers, surveying for the eMMP, said that birds identified in the survey as `focal species` (Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Common Gallinule, American Coot, Sora, and Virginia Rail) have been very active this spring at this location. During his first bird survey in may, multiple AMERICAN BITTERNS were observed (common in the marsh) and a PIED-BILLED GREBE was heard responding to its call. The second survey was completed yesterday and once again, he was not disappointed as there was a lot of activity from the focal species. AMERICAN BITTERNS were again a common observation, PIED-BILLED GREBES were observed at two different stations along with SORA and LEAST BITTERNS were both heard responding to their calls,  and also seen while canoeing to a station. At one station alone all four of these focal species were observed! Tyler Hoar from Oshawa, surveying the same general area, found LEAST BITTERN, 3 AMERICAN BITTERNS, 1 BLACK TERN, VIRGINIA RAIL, and COMMON GALLINULE. At 8:00 p.m. as he was finishing his survey, a PEREGRINE FALCON flew over. Both YELLOW and BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS  were calling northwest of 23 Sprague Road, beyond the marsh. A birder doing point counts and grassland surveys yesterday had some interesting sightings. At the former Duck Dive Charters harbour near Prince Edward Point, a lone REDHEAD  was observed swimming around. Lots of swallows, including newly fledged young, were observed all along the shoreline – BARN, TREE, CLIFF and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS, and PURPLE MARTINS. The north end of Whattam`s Road was good for BOBOLINKS (8 seen) and EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. In the wet fields along Babylon Road, WILSON`S SNIPE  were around as well as SAVANNAH SPARROWS and GRASSHOPPER SPARROW. Away from the immediate area, WOOD THRUSH, UPLAND SANDPIPER and AMERICAN KESTREL were seen in the Napanee Limestone Plain IBA yesterday.

Monday, June 15: It is June 15th and, surprisingly, this evening`s Report has considerable warbler content. At Shannon Road and Marysville Road, north of Marysville, five species were noted today – OVENBIRD, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER. Just a short distance northwest of there, a BREWSTER`S WARBLER (Golden-winged and Blue-winged hybrid) was seen today. Yesterday at the Harmony Road Wetland, east of Highway 37, north of Belleville, a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT was among  a half dozen species seen, among them MALLARD, COMMON GALLINULE, GREAT BLUE HERON, and 3 GREAT EGRETS. Warblers were also present today east of Waupoos at the Rose Cemetery where a PINE WARBLER  was singing energetically. At the far end of Cemetery Lane, I found a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER perched in a Red Cedar at a cottage where I was doing a site inspection early this morning. While the species is regarded as a fairly common summer resident in the Kingston area, in Prince Edward County, they are rarely seen in summer. This could be due to far fewer birders in the field in this area, although certainly the habitat would seem to be conducive to a higher population than what our records reflect. Fledged young seen at Sandbanks in 1994, and a singing male in Bloomfield on June 28th, 2001 is the extent of our summer sightings, until today. The male bird sang for several moments from its perch in the open. Other birds present there and in the cemetery were INDIGO BUNTING, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, HOUSE WRENS, WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS and a pair of AMERICAN REDSTARTS. Cressy Lakeside Road produced few birds except for the usual species, but it did surprise me with a very vocal chorus of CHORUS FROGS, something we are more accustomed to hearing right after the ice melts from roadside ditches! Just on a hunch, I drove up Kaiser Crossroad, and the almost three inches of rain over the last few days has resulted in some limited patches of open water, and right in the middle of one of them was a MALLARD. It`s a start! A NORTHERN HARRIER  and an AMERICAN KESTREL were also seen in the area. Beaver Meadow Conservation Area at East Lake was a busy spot yesterday for more than just birds, although VIRGINIA RAIL, nesting BLACK TERNS, MUTE SWANS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, GREAT BLUE HERON, LEAST BITTERN, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, and COMMON GALLINULE  were added to the day`s list. Insects noted were DOT-TAILED WHITEFACE, TAIGA BLUET, WIDOW SKIMMER, FROSTED WHITEFACE and a PEARL CRESCENT. Some of the wildflowers noted included CANADA ANEMONE, PURPLE FLOWERING RASPBERRY, WHITE BANEBERRY, BLUE IRIS and BUTTERCUP.

Sunday, June 14: A COMMON LOON and her chick were seen today on Varty Lake, north of Camden East where a LEAST BITTERN, seen yesterday, also turned up again for the second day in a row. A case of build it and they will come usually holds true, but doesn't always attract the intended guest. This was the case along Highway 62 near Jericho Road today when the occupants of a WOOD DUCK nesting box turned out to be AMERICAN KESTRELS  with four young. Some good sightings at the Hamilton Wetland last evening when a GREAT EGRET, 40 MALLARDS and a SANDHILL CRANE turned up. A BELTED KINGFISHER was at the Sprague Pond in the Big Island Marsh off South Big Island Road, and farther east along the same road, 16 WOOD DUCKS, NORTHERN HARRIER and AMERICAN BITTERN were also seen. The BLACK TERN (two were also seen May 27th) that was also seen was especially encouraging given that Quinte Conservation earlier this spring installed 12 black tern nesting platforms Ten are wire platforms, which were recommended in the Black Tern Management Plan. Two are wooden platforms that were installed to see if anything would use them. A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was calling along South Big Island Road this morning. An EASTERN KINGBIRD  was among several species noted today along the Dunes Boardwalk at Sandbanks, and YELLOW WARBLERS and 7 CEDAR WAXWINGS were found in the Woodlands Campground in the park.  . BALTIMORE ORIOLES, PILEATED WOODPECKER, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, and BOBOLINKS were among a handful of species noted by one observer at Lemoine Point Conservation Area in Kingston. CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, COMMON TERN, SPOTTED SANDPIPER and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were among species seen in the South Bay area.

Saturday, June 13: A pair of GREEN HERONS at the H.R. Frink Centre are believed to have a nest in one of the trees right by the gate. RGANSERS, WOOD DUCKS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, MUTE SWANS, CANADA GEESE and COMMON GALLINULES, all had young about. MARSH WREN was heard as well, and three OSPREYS circled overhead. At Fish Lake, 10 COMMON LOONS were see grouped together, a large number for this small lake near Demorestville. A GREAT HORNED OWL was seen two days ago at the corner of County Road 5 and Fish Lake Road. At Point Petre, an INDIGO BUNTING was seen sipping water from a puddle on the trail near the edge of the woods, and an AMERICAN REDSTART was also noted there. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER is still visiting a backyard in Allisonville where there is also a HAIRY WOODPECKER  with young, and an EASTERN TOWHEE. A photographer out for the day had good luck along Mitchel Road, north of Highway 2, east of Belleville, where he found and photographed BOBOLINK, NORTHERN HARRIER, SAVANNAH SPARROW and EASTERN KINGBIRD. A kayaker at Varty Lake, north of Camden East, scared up two GREAT BLUE HERONS, and moments later, a LEAST BITTERN, satisfied that the paddler  had neglected to bring along her camera, called from the depths of the cattails, then flew not more than 50 feet from her, later posing in a tree on shore. WHIP-POOR-WILLS are still calling enthusiastically at Big Island and in the Hilltop Road area; however, the CHUCK-WILL’S WIDOW that first appeared at that location, appears to have departed as it has not been heard since June 2nd. At Big Island, a pair of MALLARDS who don’t seem too concerned about cover, are nesting in a fallow field behind a residence along North Big Island Road. GREAT BLUE HERON, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, and RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS have also been noted here, and Allison Road has both BLACK-AND-WHITE and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, both species likely nesting. And a report from Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in Napanee, confirms that business there is still brisk with GREAT BLUE HERON, BALTIMORE ORIOLES and PILEATED WOODPECKER among the patients that were cared for this past week. An ALDER FLYCATCHER is still calling most mornings west of Sprague Road, and a WILLOW FLYCATCHER is a regular west of Caughey Road, both on Big Island. Thank you for your comments on last night’s report on my memories of Presqu’ile Park; we’ll do it again sometime. Meanwhile, I will leave the photos attached to that particular report for a few more days.Speaking of Presqu'ile Park, Fred Helleiner's Weekly Bird Summary has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Friday, June 12: No bird reports came in today, and it’s easy to understand why, unless you dashed out early this morning. It seemed like a good day to reminisce, and through an e-mail, I did just that. Presqu’ile Provincial Park. It was my introduction to birding back in the days when my transportation was via a 1966 Honda Dream 150 motorcycle that cost only 70 cents in gas to fill it. Presqu’ile Park has changed a lot over the years.  Where there is now solid land, a wide channel separated Owen Point from a tiny island in the mid 1960s when I started birding there. Of course, this is all one land mass now, the wide channel has been swallowed by willows, bushes, and the cattail marsh that you can see is now almost solid invasive towering Phragmites grass. At Owen Point, there was a large parking area, and several floating docks  where shorebirds often gathered along the mudflats along the edge of the cattail growth beside the docks. The Owen Point Trail today actually crosses that very parking lot. My mentor during my early days was the late Orval Kelly who lived on Division Street in Brighton and we often hooked up and birded the park together. Orval was editor of the former Brighton Ensign section of the Trentonian. As part of his section in the newspaper, he penned a column called Nature Rambles and it was through his column that I eventually got to meet him as I had just started writing my birding column in the Picton Gazette a year earlier, in 1965. Orval always delighted in telling me the story about the first American Oystercatcher to be seen at Presqu’ile Park, in 1960. He was the lucky birder to first spot the bird, but the sighting wasn’t immediately accepted as it hadn’t been “confirmed”. Fortunately, the bird hung around long enough to be seen by a “recognized birder” and it was officially listed. He always claimed that it was pretty hard to misidentify an oystercatcher! He was lucky as he was given credit for the sighting which is acknowledged in the most recent Birds of Presqu’ile, something that doesn’t always happen when new species are seen, the credit often going to the person who confirmed it and provided the necessary details. Sadly, Orval died of a massive heart attack only a year after I met him, but I will always remember those wonderful years of birding with this great man. Some of the earlier Park Naturalists at Presqu’ile park were Martin Parker, Ian Seddon, and Ron Tozer. On our full day outings at Presqu’ile Park, we would often have lunch at Paul’s Restaurant that was located just outside the Park entrance, now marked by remnants of a foundation pad. Paul Yacoff always looked forward to our visits and was eager to know what we had seen in the park that day. Back in those days, it was possible to drive right out to the edge of the beach. I always found my Honda motorcycle a great cover for birding as the incredibly quiet machine was able to approach the birds closely without spooking them, and allowing me to quickly raise my binoculars and determine their identity. Fifty years ago. Seems like a long time. I remember ranting and raving because the season’s pass had been raised to $5.00 and the day permit was no longer $1.00 ! By the way, I still have my motorcycle permit. I just need a Honda Goldwing now to go with it!

Thursday, June 11: Charwell Point Road which leads south from Army Reserve Road and ends at Gull Bar in Lake Ontario in the South Shore Important Bird Area, is not for the faint of heart, especially after a good rain, even with an AWD. It is best walked (which we will do next time!). The mixed habitat of wetlands, shrubs and trees though offers a delightful mix of birds, and today was no exception with FIELD SPARROWS, EASTERN TOWHEES, YELLOW WARBLERS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS bursting in song at 8:00 a.m. this morning. If you don’t take the “trail” from the corner which goes under the guise of a road (which we did) to where off roaders have been playing in the mud, the short walk to the lakeshore is a rewarding experience. If you have the inclination, GULL BAR  that reaches into Lake Ontario is a bonus. When standing on the tip, you are about as far south as one can get in Prince Edward County. My main reason for being there this morning was to preview a guided walk that I will be doing on that road at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 21, as part of the 2nd Annual Prince Edward County Field Naturalists BioBlitz within the Point Petre Provincial Wildlife Area. Lots of things going on during the two day event, including a butterfly search, bird walks, pond dipping for invertebrates, marsh monitoring, moths, and tallying turtles and frogs. For more information on what’s happening, and when, CLICK HERE. Point Petre proper this morning had UPLAND SANDPIPER, SAVANNAH and SONG SPARROWS, YELLOW WARBLERS, NORTHERN FLICKERS, EASTERN TOWHEES and HOUSE WRENS in the five minutes we spent along the roadside. HOUSE WRENS  were also heard singing along Schoolhouse Road and Easterbrook Road. An AMERICAN KESTREL was perched on a utility wire along Schoolhouse Road. On Maypull Layne Road   a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW was heard singing, and a NORTHERN HARRIER coasted over a newly sprouted field of soybeans. Somehow we ended up at Black River Cheese, and readers will know the story from there.

Wednesday, June 10: Scattered sightings from all over the place today from this morning, and in between spontaneous rains this afternoon. A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was singing in a backyard at the end of Edward Drive in the Stinson Block, west of Consecon. The property owners thought at first that they had a LEAST BITTERN in their trees due to the similar calls. A genuine LEAST BITTERN though was heard early this morning during a Marsh Monitoring Program survey at the mouth of Blessington Creek on the east side of Belleville. The bird was heard before his survey officially began, but the bird thoughtfully flew across in front of him only 10 minutes into the survey, and only four or five metres in front of him! Across from Macaulay Village (up on the “hill”) along County Road 22 and just west of the Millennium Lookout overlooking Picton, a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was seen today. A BELTED KINGFISHER was seen near Camden East while the photographer was on her way to work. Work or no work, birding must go on. Parrott’s Bay, another of my favourite conservation areas to visit in the Kingston area, did pretty well today with 20 species noted, among them 5 WOOD THRUSHES, 2 SCARLET TANAGERS, an amazing 17 RED-EYED VIREOS, 5 PINE WARBLERS, 4 OVENBIRDS, 4 BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, and 2 GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS. Yesterday, 2 BARRED OWLS, 4 EASTERN TOWHEES, 4 INDIGO BUNTINGS and a VESPER SPARROW, were spotted north of Wilton. There was no sign of a LEAST BITTERN this morning at the H.R. Frink Centre, north of Belleville, that others had seen earlier, but a VIRGINIA RAIL was present along with AMERICAN BITTERN. At the Brighton Constructed Wetlands just outside of that town, 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS  were in evidence, as were WOOD DUCKS, a family of HOODED MERGANSERS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, and a SNAPPING TURTLE preparing to lay its eggs along one of the paths in the wetland. And if you want to do some travelling, the male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD  is still present  in the area of the Lynde Shores Conservation Area, at Whitby. Directions for anyone wishing to see this western bird are as follows: To get to Lynde Shores take the 401 west to Brock Street in Whitby. Go south to Victoria and then west to Lynde Shores. The only way to access the east platform is from Lynde Shores on Victoria Rd. Once there follow the Levey trail down to the east platform on the eastern edge of Cranberry Marsh.

Tuesday, June 09: With only about two weeks to live, the male and female CECROPIA MOTHS, pictured in Sunday's Report, were still “going at it” at 7:00 a.m. this morning in Wellington! Also, responding to the mating season is our resident WHIP-POOR-WILL  who was calling non-stop again this morning at Big Island for the 8th consecutive day. At the H.R. Frink Centre, north of Belleville this morning, a MARSH WREN was one of several species seen, including AMERICAN BITTERN, before the rains came. Also seen were BEAVER and NORTHERN WATER SNAKE,  In the Kingston area off Gardner’s Road, a woodlot there today produced EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, INDIGO BUNTINGS, four WOOD THRUSHES and five NASHVILLE WARBLERS were among the 26 species fond there. The Amherstview cattail marshes on both sides of Taylor-Kidd Blvd., also in Kingston, yielded 3 GREAT EGRETS today among its list of birds seen. And still in Kingston, at Lemoine Point Conservation Area beside Norman Rogers Airport, 15 BOBOLINKS were counted (nice to see the meadow habitat being retained there), and two COMMON RAVENS. No sightings in quite awhile from Prince Edward Point as the hype of the spring migration gradually wanes. From now through fall, the trails will be once again claimed by massive numbers of spiders and their webs! An update on the trail system in the Point Traverse Woods that volunteers have maintained since 1998 – CWS has instructed volunteers to refrain from maintaining the trails or placing benches. In their directive, CWS states, “The whole issue of trails and what should or should not be in place in Traverse Woods is part of the National Conservation Plan that is currently being reviewed as it relates to PEPt. Also, any trail mowing by you or others will require permits or an agreement (or maybe both) in the future so CWS will be more involved going forward.” Birders hope this issue will be resolved before the trails revert back to prickly ash, dog strangling vine, fallen trees and black-legged ticks. Trails were usually groomed in the fall, and since that will not be done this year, please keep the deteriorating condition of the trails in mind when birding there next spring as there will be significantly more hazards to watch out for unfortunately.  And to finish off this evening’s Report - now that we will soon be entering the birding doldrums, with almost 50,000 hits a year, I am interested in keeping this Report going through the summer months to maintain its momentum. Any wildlife sightings and photos will be most welcome as we expand the format to include other wildlife, wildflowers,  and any interesting wildlife behaviour. In the past, the Report has been uploaded by 7:00 p.m. each night; however, with summer in the offing, the Report may be uploaded earlier, later, or even on time, but should most always be available by 5:00 a.m. the following day, at the latest. Thank you so much for your past support!

Monday, June 08: Just when you think you have seen everything. Artist Mia Lane of Fish Lake, and her husband, Robert, witnessed a courtship between a male AMERICAN BITTERN and a female right on their shoreline property. Since bitterns tend to be quite secretive and perform their nuptials in the secrecy of dense cattails, they were not aware that the male has huge white epaulets on his wings with long, white trailing feathers that he displays for his intended bride. The white feathers are not something that shows up in most bird guides. The Lanes said the male bowed like a Red-winged Blackbird to show of his finery, then stiffened his tail erect like a Ruddy Duck and paraded around her like that while she she appeared to ignore him. Getting little to no response, the male stepped up his efforts a notch and did his familiar throat pumping sound. This evening at Sandbanks during a guided hike along the newly opened Lakeview Trail at West Point, birds were in fine fettle as the woods resounded with the songs of ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS, NORTHERN FLICKERS,  and BALTIMORE ORIOLES. Also seen on the 4.6 km hike were GRAY CATBIRD, SONG SPARROW, CASPIAN TERNS, and FIELD SPARROW. An AMERICAN KESTREL was spotted along County Road 10, just south of Picton, and a RED-TAILED HAWK flew low across Fry Road near dark. In Wellington, a male ORCHARD ORIOLE is defending his property from an intruder – his reflection in the window of a residence. The owner says he has been doing this for several days, a habit one associates more with cardinals and robins. South of Stirling on Baptist Church Road, a sand pit there has attracted at least 30 nesting BANK SWALLOWS. The observer says this is a regular site for nesting BANK SWALLOWS despite the damage to the site from ATVs. Yesterday at the North Foxboro Marsh, among the bird species seen were 1 WOOD DUCK, 3 LEAST BITTERNS (one of them calling repeatedly for 15 minutes), 2 GREEN HERONS, BLACK TERN, 2 EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES, a WILLOW FLYCATCHER and a GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, MARSH WREN, VEERY, OVENBIRD, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, 2 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS and a PINE WARBLER.

Sunday, June 07: Readers often question my propensity in getting up every morning at 4:00 a.m. As a birder, it does have its rewards. I have had AMERICAN WOODCOCKS at my feet on a trail that I often walk at that hour, an ALDER FLYCATCHER calls every morning from the next field where there is a natural area of Grey Dogwoods and Red Cedars, and an early WHITE-THROATED SPARROW is almost a given. This morning, another sound woke me up only moments before the alarm. It was a WHIP-POOR-WILL calling repeatedly from a treed area on our two-acre lot! Another addition to the yard list! Our yard list comprises only those species that actually touch terra firma on our property and does not include those seen or heard from the property. A few people out birding today, but not many. A LEAST BITTERN was photographed early this morning at the H.R. Frink Centre. A Kingston birder doing a breeding bird survey along Foster Road near Fish Lake came up with VIRGINIA RAIL, 2 LEAST FLYCATCHERS and 6 RED-EYED VIREOS as highlights among the 26 species of birds he found. On a Kingston Field Naturalists field trip today in the Camden East/Camden Lake/Moscow Marsh area, with 23 in attendance, 3 UPLAND SANDPIPERS and a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE  were spotted on Nugent Road. SORA, COMMON GALLINULE, BLACK TERNS and BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO were found at the Moscow Marsh, and at Camden Lake, NORTHERN HARRIER, CASPIAN TERNS and EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE were among the notables showing up there. Closer to home, at the Harmony Road wetland today, just north of Belleville, there were two GREAT EGRETS, COMMON GALLINULES, WILSON’S SNIPE, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, HOODED MERGANSER and MARSH WRENS. The corner of Blessington and Bronk  Roads nearby continues to be a good place to see UPLAND SANDPIPER (and BOBOLINK, EASTERN MEADOWLARK and GRASSHOPPER SPARROW). UPLAND SANDPIPERS are regulars too at the corner of Atkin Road Airport Parkway. At Peat’s Point, off Massassauga Road, a female WOOD DUCK with five young in tow were seen today swimming amongst the water lilies. We finish off tonight’s Report with some insect pornography. A couple of CECROPIA MOTHS were getting it on for some time today in a Wellington backyard. The female had just emerged from the remains of the cocoon. Returning with her camera at 7:00 a.m., she was surprised to see that the male had already arrived, and they continued copulating until 3:00 p.m. CECROPIA MOTHS can remain attached like that for pretty much the entire day. That is the adults’ sole purpose in life -  to seek each other out, mate until the windows rattle, then die after two weeks! They don’t even eat during this period since they have no mouth parts with which to do it. Hardly worth coming out of the cocoon! The female emits a pheromone and it was likely the female that had emerged from the cocoon.  Because the pheromone is so powerful, the male likely was there within minutes.  You got to admit that the private lives of wildlife just boggles the mind.

Saturday, June 06: A BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was seen today near Camden East, and another BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO was one of 32 species checked off today at Charwell Point, along Prince Edward County`s South Shore Important Bird Area. Other birds of note there today were BROWN THRASHER, AMERICAN BITTERN, YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER, WILSON`S SNIPE, MARSH WREN, LEAST FLYCATCHER,  and COMMON LOON. Along Taylor Kidd Blvd., in Kingston, a GREEN HERON was spotted today and 18 WOOD DUCKS. At the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, SCARLET TANAGER, WOOD THRUSH, PINE WARBLER and 3 VIRGINIA RAILS were a few highlights there of the 36 species noted, while at Westbrook 5 GREAT EGRETS  were seen. From Mark Read`s weekly report, a late BRANT was hanging out at Kingston`s MacDonald Park on Wednesday, and two BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS  were seen at the Westbrook Marsh the following day. Amherst Island has had a first year male ORCHARD ORIOLE coming to a feeder, and some special sightings at the Queen`s University Biological Station on Lake Opinicon (regarded as regulars there) included YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, CERULEAN WARBLER,  and a real treat when two PRAIRIE WARBLERS showed up. It is unfortunate that I have to include a grisly report of a 13-inch SNAPPING TURTLE that was intentionally run over at 7:00 a.m. this morning at Cressy. The photo was too graphic to include in this evening`s Report. A reminder, there will be a Lighthouse Guided Walk at  Presqu’ile Park this coming Saturday, June 13th. Presqu’ile’s history is rich with mystery, progress and recreation. Find out about the characters of Presqu’ile’s past during this walk with Park staff around the lighthouse. Hike  begins at the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre at 2:00 p.m. On the following Saturday, June 20th, Park staff explore the world of “Marsh Madness” on a walk along the popular Marsh Boardwalk where you will learn about the unique plants and animals that call the marsh home and why this is such a special place at the park. WARBLING VIREO, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, numerous YELLOW WARBLERS, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and a CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER have been turning up almost daily along North Big Island Road near Allison Road, where a VESPER SPARROW  was seen and heard singing today.

Friday, June 05: Not much today in the way of birding news. But, that`s okay – we all need a rest now and then from the stresses associated with binoculars, spotting scopes and checklists. A WHIP-POOR-WILL continues to call non-stop every morning along Sprague Road at Big island. A few birds of note from the Camden East area including EASTERN BLUEBIRD, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, BOBOLINKS and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER. Time to just sit back and enjoy what happens along in our backyards. The Presqu’ile Park Weekly Bird Summary by Fred Helleiner has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website with an accompanying photo of a LEAST BITTERN by Marmora resident Derek Dafoe. You can see Fred’s Report by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, June 04: It’s still a happening place at Prince Edward Point, despite that we are now into June. Today 30 species were noted there, among then four species of warblers – AMERICAN REDSTART, NASHVILLE WARBLER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and YELLOW WARBLERS, as well as a BALD EAGLE. WHIP-POOR-WILLS are sure holding their own along the southern reaches of Prince Edward County. During a survey Tuesday night along County Road 13, Babylon Road and Hilltop Road, 50 birds were heard calling in 26 stops. Highest concentration seemed to be along Babylon Road.   With the bright moon this is a great week for anyone wanting to get out and hear them.  The CHUCK-WILL’S WIDOW at Hilltop and Brewer's Roads was also calling loudly as mentioned in last night’s Report. Also recorded during the survey were COMMON NIGHTHAWK, AMERICAN WOODCOCKS and WILSON’S SNIPE. The entire area where the surveys were conducted is part of the South Shore Important Bird Area. The Prince Edward County South Shore IBA includes approximately 26 square kilometers of land and 65 square kilometers of waters along 30 km of shoreline.  It has been designated as a globally significant IBA because of its congregatory waterfowl populations (especially LONG-TAILED DUCKS, WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and GREATER SCAUP).The IBA is also an important flyway for raptors in fall migration. Large numbers of landbirds pass through in both spring and fall and a number of Species at Risk breed in the area. The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory  has become the official Caretaker of the Prince Edward County South Shore IBA, a responsibility that involves collecting data on species in the IBA, assessing sites and being an advocate for habitat conservation. Read the recent CBC ARTICLE about bird habitats in danger, including the Prince Edward County South Shore IBA. Last evening a confirmed BLACK VULTURE flew at eye level with a patron dining on the patio deck, overlooking Picton Bay. Yesterday, a Marsh Monitoring Program volunteer noted a small flock of SANDERLINGS flying over the Brighton Constructed Wetland. West of the general reporting area, Oshawa’s Second Marsh had lots of activity this morning with 4 RED KNOTS, a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER and 3 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS being seen along with a LITTLE GULL, 49 WOOD DUCKS and a singing BLACKPOLL WARBLER. And the LITTLE EGRET at Carp, near Ottawa, seems to have left for new pastures, and was last seen yesterday morning.

Wednesday, June 03: Birders were out and about today which was good to see after the frenzy of the spring migration. Charwell Point, an excellent, remote and beautiful area along Prince Edward County’s South Shore, had some good sightings today including 9 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 23 CASPIAN TERNS, 2 COMMON TERNS, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, MERLIN, 18 CEDAR WAXWINGS, COMMON LOON, 14 YELLOW WARBLERS and a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW. At a small wetland and a creek at the north end of Haig Road In Belleville which hardly lends itself to rails, a SORA was heard calling last night during a Marsh Monitoring Program survey by a volunteer. The CHUCK-WILL’S-WIDOW did not seem bothered at all by the banding exercise a few nights ago, as it was happily calling along Hilltop Road again late last night. Numerous WHIP-POOR-WILLS  were also heard calling enthusiastically. At the H.R. Frink Centre today, a highlight there was an immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK. Other notable sightings were WILSON’S SNIPE, NORTHERN FLICKERS, many singing GRAY CATBIRDS, HOODED MERGANSER and chicks, AMERICAN BITTERN ,LEAST BITTERN (heard), 6 SWAMP SPARROWS, 4 MARSH WRENS, GREAT BLUE HERON, COMMON RAVEN and EASTERN KINGBIRD. A pair of GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS are nesting in a PURPLE MARTIN house at Cressy (photo tomorrow). LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, and GREEN HERON were among the species seen on the Napanee Limestone Plains IBA by members of the North Leeds Birders, while at Strathcona today, 2 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS  were seen there. Other sightings included 2 WHIP-POOR-WILLS in Tyendinaga Township and a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER in downtown Allisonville.  A record crowd attended to celebrate the 20th year of Bird banding at PEPtBO last Saturday evening.  After a delicious buffet dinner the evening’s activities began with the Annual Spring Bird Count wrap up.  The Whiskey Jacks (David Okines and Gerard Phillips) were the winner of the Laphroaig trophy with 134 species seen (The Sprague’s Pipits are filled with chagrin as we ended the day with 133 species!) .  Cheryl Anderson was awarded the Barrel of Money trophy for the most dollars sponsored. Photo contest winner were Sydney Smith for her photo of a pair of Northern Cardinals, Kyle Blaney for his shot of a Blue-headed Vireo and Ayman Rizk for his photo of an Eastern Kingbird. Three positions on the board were endorsed during the Annual General Meeting: Peter Fuller as Vice President, John Hirsch as Secretary, and Kathy Felkar as Director at Large.  Two positions of Director at Large remain open.  Sadly, the technical advisor position formerly filled by the late David Hussell is also open.  The board will be working to fill all these positions as soon as possible. After the “official” part of the evening was completed we were treated to a history of the first 20 years of PEPtBO.  Past President Rosemary Kent brought the story to life by inviting several people to the stage to tell (or sing!) their PEPtBO story.  We heard from Joanne Dewey, Terry Sprague, founder Brian Joyce, David Okines, Jeannette Arsenault, Janet Kellough and Carolyn Barnes.  Included in Rosemary’s presentation were lists of long term volunteers that were augmented by a complete chart in “hard copy” form on a presentation board. Thanks to all who attended and to everyone that helped with the AGM and the wonderful 20th anniversary presentation.

Tuesday, June 02: No word whether the star CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW of Brewer's Road near South Bay is still present. The bird was first heard on May 17th and was last reported calling on May 29th. On May 27th, Bander in Charge for the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, David Okines, set up a mist net at the location and was able to capture the bird and band it, before taking these photos and releasing it. This is not the first time that this southern version of the better known WHIP-POOR-WILL has been seen in Prince Edward County. Up to 1975, there were only five records for all of Ontario! The first for the County was in 1976 when one was heard calling near Prince Edward Point, followed by another in 1977, and two more in 1978, all of them located along Babylon Road. In more recent years, one turned up in 2013, right at the banding station, of all places, actively repeating its name enthusiastically! Last spring, of course, the individual CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW along Hilltop Road was the real drawing card with cars arriving almost nightly on this narrow, seldom travelled road to hear this southern visitor which hung around and called faithfully every night from May 19th to June 29th. Whether or not this spring's bird is the same individual is difficult to say, now that this species has become almost a regular visitor here every spring. It's similar cousin, our familiar WHIP-POOR-WILL is still being reported from various locations giving rise to the belief that the species may not be as uncommon as a breeder here as we feared it might be. One was calling at 4:00 a.m. this morning from a wooded area, along Sprague Road on Big Island, and another was reported calling at Macaulay Mountain a few days ago. At the Brighton Constructed Wetland today, there was still some activity with BLUE-WINGED TEAL, MARSH WREN, AMERICAN COOT, NORTHERN SHOVELER, and CANADA GEESE. The GREAT EGRET season may be beginning at the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville. Three were seen last evening flying in that direction from Doxsee Road. Also active have been the CHIMNEY SWIFTS in Picton.  There were a record 90 entering the Picton Armoury chimney and another 11 in various other chimneys in town. Outside the area, the WHITE-FACED IBIS was seen again today at Whitby, and another turned up today near Ottawa. Amherst Island had some pretty good sightings today, among them ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW and LEAST FLYCATCHER. In the Napanee Limestone Plain, UPLAND SANDPIPER and about a dozen BOBOLINKS  were once again seen. On the lighter side, teenaged birder Ben Diabilo of Carp (near Ottawa), e-mailed his dad, Bruce Dilabio in Alberta today about something he saw along the Carp River that he believed to be a LITTLE EGRET from Europe. Turns out the young birder was correct and birders are "flocking" to Carp to see this rare visitor! Congratulations, Ben!

Monday, June 01: Two BLACK TERNS continue to be seen at a marsh northwest of Foxboro. North of Stirling today, a WHIP-POOR-WILL landed in a backyard and performed for the residents. Also performing well, but last evening, was a VESPER SPARROW, singing its heart out along a fencerow west of 23 Sprague Road, a rarity on Big Island in recent decades. Also in the same area, the resident AMERICAN WOODCOCK  was found in its usual spot early this evening along a 2-km mowed trail on the property. Shorebirds are thinning out a bit, but 3 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS  were seen at Wilton Creek east of Napanee. However, 400-500 shorebirds still remain at the Oshawa Second Marsh which is rather late for so many to be still around. The FRANKLIN'S GULL, seen yesterday, and 4 RED KNOTS are also present. It seems many of the really good birds have gravitated to that part of the Lake Ontario shoreline as a rare WHITE-FACED IBIS was seen today at Whitby's Cranberry Marsh. At Toronto, the PIPING PLOVER has now moved from the status of 'historical breeding species' to that of an active contemporary breeding species in the Greater Toronto Area. Earlier today, it was confirmed that  an active nest of PIPING PLOVERS was found on the beach at Hanlan's Point on Toronto Islands, according to resident birder, Glen Coady. This represents the first nesting of PIPING PLOVER on the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario since the spring of 1934, when George North found a nest with eggs on Hamilton's Van Wagners Beach on 4 June 1934 and G. Hubert Richardson discovered a nest with three downy young and one egg at this very same Hanlan's Point Beach on Toronto Islands on 9 June 1934.  The location of the nest has been shared with the recovery team for Piping Plover of the Canadian Wildlife Service and further protection of this nest (perimeter fencing, predator exclosure, nest monitoring, etc.) under the joint auspices of the Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority will continue tomorrow. This represents a new 'beachhead' in the recovery of this Endangered Species in Ontario and efforts are underway to provide the birds with the best chances for successful nesting. A large area at the north end of Hanlan's Point Beach has already been fenced off and 'Do Not Enter' signage has been erected on all sides of the general nest area. It would be to the birds' advantage if visitors could avoid the site altogether until the recovery team has had the opportunity to provide further security for the nest area and to coordinate a monitoring protocol and set up a volunteer public interpretive program similar to that at the nesting site at Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay. In an era when so many of our birds are showing alarming declines, this is an encouraging and novel conservation success story being written one beach at a time. Let's hope that this pair of PIPING PLOVERS has a successful nesting season to come, concluded Coady in a post today on the popular listserv, Ontario Birds. Elsewhere today, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, BOBOLINKS, BROWN THRASHERS, WILSON'S SNIPE, and EASTERN MEADOWLARK were some of the highlights today at the Napanee Limestone Plain IBA.

Sunday, May 31: Last night, the 20th anniversary Pr. Ed. Pt. Bird Observatory Dinner and special presentations in Picton (a photo of a very young me with hair and sideburns, banding a Long-eared Owl, was on the screen briefly!), so no Bird Report for yesterday. This morning, a planned power outage in Belleville until 8:30 a.m. which impacted Kingston Online (my ISP), and no Bird Report this morning. So, I am combining everything this evening. The now famous CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW of Brewer's Road and Hilltop Road in Prince Edward County, finally got his picture took recently! Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory bander, David Okines, set up a mist net in the area where the bird was calling, managed to catch it, banded it, and photographed the rare visitor. I will post a photo of this remarkable bird, once received. The bird, first discovered on the 17th, was heard calling again on the 29th. Also that day,. CEDAR WAXWINGS were cavorting about on Charwell Point Road near Gull Pond where a GREAT EGRET and CASPIAN TERNS  were also found, as well as a probable nesting pair of SCARLET TANAGERS. At Belleville, COMMON NIGHTHAWKS have once again become active along Airport Parkway. Also active have been CHIMNEY SWIFTS in Picton where 36 were counted on the 29th. A LEAST BITTERN was heard in the Hubb's Creek Marsh off Danforth Road, west of Wellington as well as a SORA. At the Brighton Constructed Wetland on Prince Edward Street/C.R. 64, the earlier activity of swarms of DUNLIN are but a memory, but birds are still present, including a COMMON GALLINULE  and a lone NORTHERN SHOVELER continue to be seen. Birders are reminded that a permit from the Town of Brighton is required in order to bird this wetland.  A couple of really interesting birds, one late afternoon yesterday, and the other today. Today, on the Trent River, at the dam just south of Batawa, a birder was surprised to see a COMMON GOLDENEYE  still hanging around. While it was always supposed that COMMON GOLDENEYES found in our area during the summer months represented non-breeding individuals, there is increasing evidence that a few could nest in our area. Summer nesting surveys in the Kingston area did reveal a nesting pair with 11 chicks in 1994, near Gananoque.  However, the presence of the Frontenac Arch passing through the Gananoque region, might account for the presence of that nesting pair which prefers the Canadian Shield.  Except for the nearby Bleasdell Boulder, there isn't much Canadian Shield in the Batawa area!! At 5:15 p.m. yesterday, an ARCTIC TERN was seen flying over Weller’s Bay as seen from the end of Smoke’s Point Road.  There were several COMMON and CASPIAN TERNS also flying over the Bay but the ARCTIC TERN was alone.  A big storm front which ultimately produced a rainfall that can only be regarded as pitiful in terms of sufficient rain to ease the drought,  might explain why it was there. And at the Oshawa Second Marsh, an adult FRANKLIN'S GULL was present this morning.

Saturday, May 30: Today's Bird Report will be uploaded tomorrow morning.

Friday, May 29: Birds are where you find them, and today it was all along Army Reserve Road from Point Petre to Hilltop Road at South Bay. The resident UPLAND SANDPIPERS were  in fine fettle this morning as two of them provided renditions  of their diagnostic "wolf whistle" from the open meadows surrounding the DND towers at Point Petre. Calling beside the laneway that leads from the end of the road to the lakeshore, was a very vocal and persistent WILLOW FLYCATCHER. Also present there were  SONG SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, SAVANNAH SPARROW, BROWN THRASHER, YELLOW WARBLERS, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, GRAY CATBIRD, and BALTIMORE ORIOLE. Coursing to and fro over the meadows was a NORTHERN HARRIER. The lakeshore held only a dozen HERRING GULLS and a transient SPOTTED SANDPIPER  which flew past us as we set up the spotting scope. The end of Simpson Road at the Ducks Unlimited impoundment near Gull Pond was alive with bird song when we arrived. The marshy area at the weir was a chorus of MARSH WRENS - at least 10 of them, SWAMP SPARROWS, lots of COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, YELLOW WARBLERS, and at least one LEAST BITTERN was heard calling and a WILSON'S SNIPE  was performing its aerial nuptials during the time we were there. EASTERN TOWHEES  were singing all along Army Reserve Road and, at Charwell Point Road, we found a pair of HOUSE WRENS, in an otherwise unwren-like habitat, who had somehow managed to find the perfect nesting site - the inside of a hollow upright steel pipe that had been jammed into the ground beside the entrance. GRAY CATBIRDS and COMMON YELLOWTHROATS  were here as well. On Hilltop Road, the Miller Family Nature Reserve provided several EASTERN TOWHEES, FIELD SPARROWS, SAVANNAH SPARROWS and a pair of EASTERN KINGBIRDS. Despite the drought and even the absence of any appreciable soil, the entire roadside was ablaze with delicate, blooming BLUETS. Tough little guys, they are. Yesterday, a WILLET was photographed at the Brighton Constructed Wetland.  Present at Presqu'ile Park's Owen Point yesterday morning were SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, RUDDY TURNSTONE and lots of DUNLIN.  North Shore Big Island Road warblers today included both BLACK-AND-WHITE and CHESTNUT-SIDED, both of which could be nesting birds, given the date. At Prince Edward Point today, a few SWAINSON'S THRUSHES were banded, GRAY CATBIRDS, TRAILS FLYCATCHER (Willow/Alder), YELLOW BELLIED FLYCATCHER and a few regulars. Fred Helleiner's weekly wrap-up of the birds at Presqu'ile Provincial Park has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday May 28: Build it, and they will come. Quinte Conservation recently set out a number of BLACK TERN floating nest platforms in the newly constructed ponds and channels of the newly rehabilitated Big Island Marsh. It was a gamble as BLACK TERNS   have not been seen as a nesting species, or even sighted, in this 2,000-acre marsh, for over 40 years. Yesterday, two BLACK TERNS  were sighted just east of the project area along South Big Island Road. If they end up nesting, it will truly be a red letter season for Big Island, as just across the road from this site, is the field of Brome Grass hay that is being left uncut this year for nesting BOBOLINKS and EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, thanks to the generosity of property owner and artist Kent Monkman. The BOBOLINK population in this field will rise again to the levels of previous years and, hopefully their bubbling delirium of ecstatic notes will enjoy a backdrop of the sharp "klea" notes of BLACK TERNS. Seen in the Bay of Quinte at the end of the Big Island Marsh yesterday were 2 COMMON LOONS and the ever present AMERICAN BITTERN. At the Hamilton Wetland west of Demorestville, things have been pretty quiet there in the past weeks, although the season's first GREAT EGRET turned up there last night. A GREEN HERON was seen today in Consecon Creek at the bridge in the community of Melville at the east end of Consecon Lake. In Wellington, a backyard there contained a first year male AMERICAN REDSTART and a BLACKPOLL WARBLER. A WILSON'S SNIPE was reported from the H.R. Frink Centre Marsh. On Chase Road in the Hillier area, 2 BROWN THRASHERS were seen, and a pair is presumably nesting in a backyard at the west end of South Big Island Road. Birds seen today at the Hubb's Creek Marsh along the Millennium Trail off Danforth Road, west of Wellington, were 3 MARSH WRENS, GREAT BLUE HERON, COMMON RAVEN, WILSON'S SNIPE, and VIRGINIA RAIL. And venturing a little farther west, there was an amazing sighting at Thickson's Woods early this morning in Whitby - a loose flock of 28 RED-THROATED LOONS circling high over the bay at the south edge of Thickson's Woods. They made several attempts to head northwest into a strengthening headwind, circling back over the lake and trying again.  Finally they seemed to find an altitude with suitable winds and headed off. Keep those binoculars handy. Lots around yet! My wife and I will be heading out tomorrow to see what we can find.

Wednesday, March 27: A WHIMBREL, a sought after shorebird that traditionally passes through the area every spring at this time, was found along the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail in Belleville. Photographer Kenzo Dozono of Belleville said he spied the bird yesterday morning and at first thought the bird was a gull, until he approached it more closely. The bird sat there, allowed its photo to be taken then nonchalantly flew off. SWAINSON'S THRUSHES (2), NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, MOURNING WARBLER, and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER were among some of the highlights at Prince Edward Point today. An excellent "birding trail" to have been discovered a few years ago is a section of the Millennium Trail that runs across Danforth Road and continues for a kilometre to the Hubb's Creek Marsh where LEAST BITTERNS - 4 at a time - have been heard calling on occasion. A Prince Edward County Field Naturalists field trip there a few days ago resulted in a nice list of 38 species, including MOURNING WARBLER, SAVANNAH SPARROW, SANDHILL CRANE, MARSH WREN, a somewhat late HERMIT THRUSH, GRAY CATBIRD and MARSH WREN. On the same trail, but at Consecon Lake, another birder found no fewer than four singing ORCHARD ORIOLES (2 first year birds and 2 full adults), a WILLOW FLYCATCHER, a BLACK TERNS and a LEAST BITTERN in flight as well as singing AMERICAN REDSTARTS. AMERICAN REDSTARTS were also present today at Kingston's Marshlands Conservation Area when I walked the trail there, coming up with GRAY CATBIRD, WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, NORTHERN FLICKER and YELLOW WARBLERS. At Lemoine Point Conservation Area beside Norman Rogers Airport, highlights there were BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, 3 WOOD THRUSHES, 2 EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES and a PINE WARBLER. Interesting birds seen today in the Napanee Limestone Plain Important Bird Area were 3 WILSON'S SNIPE, UPLAND SANDPIPER, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW and BOBOLINKS, while at Morven, a WILLOW FLYCATCHER  was a highlight there. It's look alike cousin the ALDER FLYCATCHER  continues to sing in a low area three fields west of our house at Big Island, where I found it again this morning at 4:15 a.m. on an early morning walk on my established trail, after almost stepping on an AMERICAN WOODCOCK! On Bryant Road in Ameliasburgh, two MALLARD hens had newly hatched broods, and and a WILD TURKEY nest  in the same area still has a female patiently waiting for her eggs to hatch. And, in Wellington, a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was seen today.

Tuesday, May 26: Not much birding being done today, and is it any wonder. Really mild out there today! Still some leftovers from the massive fallout of shorebird species that was evident at various focal points along Lake Ontario. Port Hope had 10 WHIMBRELS, 27 RUDDY TURNSTONES and a mix of SANDERLING, DUNLIN, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. Other interesting species seen on the harbour wall included a first summer ICELAND GULL, a first summer LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, 8 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS and 40 CASPIAN TERNS. This morning on the Belleville Bayshore Trail, there was a WHIMBREL present. AMERICAN BITTERNS  were noted nesting at the H.R. Frink Centre today. Still a few warblers passing through while others like the BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER and AMERICAN REDSTART  may very well be nesting in the area. While it is true that most migrating warblers do keep going until they reach the boreal forests where they will nest, a few like these two species pictured, the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, OVENBIRD and, of course, the YELLOW WARBLER do commonly  nest in the Bay of Quinte area, and there is also evidence that others, like the PINE WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, CANADA WARBLER and MOURNING WARBLER, and even CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER probably nest here as well as they have been noted here during the breeding season in suitable habitat. CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER and AMERICAN REDSTART were seen this week in a Wellington backyard, and AMERICAN REDSTARTS probably had a nest near our campsite at Sandbanks Park last week as a pair was seen daily outside our travel trailer. A BLACKPOLL WARBLER, a typically late migrant, was seen today along Airport Parkway east of Belleville. Near the west end of Black Road west of Demorestville, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, NORTHERN HARRIER, and GRAY CATBIRD were seen today, and 10 COMMON GALLINULES were noted at the Brighton Constructed Wetland yesterday. A good news story to finish up this evening's report. Successful negotiations with a new landowner beside us and the farmer who cuts the hay, has resulted in one of those fields of brome grass being preserved for nesting BOBOLINKS and EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. What a treat to have these birds nesting once again in this field beside where I live, and where I also have a walking trail where I can enjoy their presence daily.

Monday, May 25: It is unfortunate that technical problems prevented me from uploading yesterday's Bird Report as it was surely a day for birders to remember. There was a fallout of shorebirds at several locations early yesterday morning which was like nothing that many birders had ever seen. At Presqu'ile Park, there were huge numbers of shorebirds at Owen Point involving some 50 RED KNOTS , 13 WHIMBRELS and many others, including two RUDDY TURNSTONES, thousands of DUNLIN, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, KILLDEER and a lone SANDERLING. One's success depended on when you were there as species and numbers kept changing as the day wore on.   Other observers arriving later in the day noted that the number of visible DUNLIN had substantially increased from early in the morning. There were easily anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 DUNLIN scattered from the north end of the beach (including outside the park boundary and onto the rocky shoreline) up to Owen Point, on all shoals between Owen Point and Gull Island, on Gull Island itself and distantly on High Bluff Island. The birds were generally less active than in the morning, but this changed when a PEREGRINE FALCON arrived and made several unsuccessful attacks. The birds slowly worked their way back to Owen Point, but congregated more on Gull Island. Other shorebird species noted during the day were 2 SANDERLINGS (up from the single bird noted earlier in the day), 200 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, 30 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 2 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS and a single LEAST SANDPIPER. Today, a mere 5,000 DUNLIN were present according to one birder who visited the Park this morning. Meanwhile, at Oshawa's Second Marsh, the story was similar. WHIMBRELS there topped the list at 115, including .one very dark HUDSONIAN GODWIT, 1 RED KNOT, 2 RUDDY TURNSTONES, 72 WILSON'S PHALAROPES, 1 DUNLIN, 510 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 1 LEAST SANDPIPER, 111 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, 140 SANDERLINGS, 8 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, 1 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 262 KILLDEER, and 5 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. At the Brighton Constructed Wetland on Prince Edward Street/C.R. 64, DUNLINS  covered every square inch of the northeast cell - hundreds and hundreds of them. Truly quite a spectacular morning. At Prince Edward Point yesterday, as the Spring Birding Festival started to wind down,  BLACKPOLL WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, TENNESSEE WABLERS, AMERICAN REDSTARTS, and BLACK THROATED GREEN WARBLERS were among the highlights. Also present were RED-EYED VIREO, EASTERN TOWHEE, EASTERN WOOD-PEEWEE, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER. There were LEAST BITTERNS  calling at Gull Pond, off Army Reserve Road.   In Picton, the CHIMNEY SWIFT Watch continued with 38 noted entering chimneys, down from the high of 90 seen last week.  And, today, on Big Island, there was a SANDHILL CRANE and an ALDER FLYCATCHER singing a few fields wes of Sprague Road. And a little farther away, a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was seen today near Carp, in the Ottawa area. Wow, this is the kind of stuff that birders live for every spring. 

Sunday, May 24: Sorry. computer issues today. This evening's Bird Report will be uploaded tomorrow night at the usual time, at 7:00 p.m. See you then!

Saturday, May 23: Things are slowing down a bit at Prince Edward Point as the Spring Birding Festival enters its final day tomorrow. Few birds were banded yesterday, although the highlight came upon retrieval of the first bird of the day from the nets - a MOURNING WARBLER. During an 8:00 a.m. scheduled guided hike this morning, there were some birds like the SCARLET TANAGER, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK singing along with BLACKPOLL, CHESTNUT-SIDED, YELLOW-RUMPED, and YELLOW WARBLERS flitting through the woods. Banding was very slow as well with LEAST FLYCATCHER, OVENBIRD, and GRAY CATBIRD being highlights.  An ORCHARD ORIOLE is nesting in a big, dying tree right at the Bird Observatory. The CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW was heard again last night at the Miller Family Nature Reserve gates on Hilltop Road,  and WHIP-POOR-WILLS were heard calling as well.  A WHIP-POOR-WILL was also heard calling near Allison Road on the north shore of Big Island last night. Tonight's photo of a YELLOW WARBLER, taken at Prince Edward Point is by Garry Kirsch of Belleville.

Friday, May 22: This evening's Report is all about shorebirds - mostly anyway. Starting with Presqu'ile Provincial Park, there were 150 shorebirds on the beach at 8:00 a.m., alternating between Gull Island and Owen Point and the offshore shoals. Included in the flocks were 75+ DUNLIN , 20 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, 18 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, 2 RUDDY TURNSTONES and a single WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER. Eighteen BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS were at Sandbanks Park's West Point yesterday, and may still be around. At Amherst Island, The Martin Edwards Reserve is the place to go to see WILSON'S PHALAROPES with 23 being present last Sunday (need to be a KFN member). Also present through the week have been 25 DUNLIN, 10 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, 25 DUNLIN, 3 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS and singles of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and RUDDY TURNSTONE.  However, it was Kaiser Crossroad in Prince Edward County which led the numbers when it came to some species of shorebirds last weekend with 130 LEAST SANDPIPERS, and an impressive 70 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS which were also joined by 2 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS. Kingston's Lemoine Point Conservation Area refused to be left out of the picture, and observers there found an unspecified number of KILLDEERS, SPOTTED SANDPIPERS and SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, along with WOOD DUCKS, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, AMERICAN REDSTARTS, YELLOW WARBLERS and BOBOLINKS.  A nice find in a small pond south of the Ducks Unlimited berm at Gull Pond today was a WHIMBREL. Also present there were BLACK TERNS, a pair of LEAST BITTERNS and a VIRGINIA RAIL.  No report was received from Prince Edward Point today, although numbers are presumably holding their own with 2 HOODED WARBLERS last weekend as well as an almost complete complement of all the other 'regular' warblers. Two Demorestville area birders also found both BLACKPOLL WARBLERS and WILSON'S WARBLER  at Prince Edward Point. OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were also seen at Prince Edward Point during the week over at least 3 days (16th-18th) but numbers are not known. No update either on the CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW along Hilltop Road in the South Bay area that was first heard at Brewer's Road on the 17th, and again on the 19th. The chimney at the Picton Armoury was an active place on Wednesday with 83 CHIMNEY SWIFTS noted entering near dusk. Fred Helleiner's Presqu'ile Park Weekly Bird summary has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, May 21: Back again, after three days of "camping" (24' travel trailer !) at Sandbanks Provincial Park. While there, I managed to accumulate a list of some 55 species of birds, the majority of which were right around our campsite, including a probably nesting pair of AMERICAN REDSTARTS, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, ORCHARD and BALTIMORE ORIOLES, COMMON NIGHTHAWK, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, GRAY CATBIRDS and RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (at our campsite daily), SCARLET TANAGER, at least two RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS and EASTERN SCREECH-OWL that called for two nights in the woods beside our campsite in the Woodlands Campground. At Point Petre on Tuesday, there was an ORCHARD ORIOLE  and an UPLAND SANDPIPER. That night, one of the observers who was at Point Petre found a CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW calling from Brewer's Road (south of Hilltop Road). This is very close to where one was calling from May 19th to June 29th last spring. It could even be the same individual. Another birder also heard it calling two nights earlier, so chances are that it may hang around a bit like the bird did last spring. Beaver Meadow Conservation Area is still living up to its reputation as THE  spot to find wetland birds. Present there almost routinely have been LEAST BITTERN AMERICAN BITTERN, SORA, VIRGINIA RAIL, WOOD DUCKS, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, COMMON GALLINULE AND PIED BILLED GREBE, as well as a nice colony of at least a dozen BLACK TERNS. At the Brighton Constructed Wetland, a GLOSSY IBIS has been present for a few days. At Presqu'ile Provincial Park, 16 WHIMBREL were present early Wednesday morning, and in Bloomfield, a three year old boy reported to his grandparents that he was looking at Big Bird. And, indeed he was. A PILEATED WOODPECKER was working away at the ground level stump of an  old Maple tree. Nice start to anyone's life bird list. 

Monday, May 18: I am "flying" away to Sandbanks Park for a few days of birding there. I will not have Internet access while there, but please continue to send me your sightings and I will catch up once I get back. I will leave you with this sighting though - an UPLAND SANDPIPER this morning perched atop a utility pole along Babylon Road at South Bay. There was a time before the fields succumbed to Red Cedars when it was possible to see at least a dozen along that stretch of road, back in the days when the roads there were known as Rose's Lane and Middle Road. 

Sunday, May 17:Over 100 birders were at Prince Edward Point today, and one of the special arrivals was an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER. OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS are not often seen by birders at Prince Edward Point as the species tends to migrate through very quickly in the spring. No report on the makeup of warblers today, but we can safely assume that it was over 20 species again today as it was yesterday. A really good weekend start to the Spring Birding Festival, which was founded in 1997. If you are considering a visit to the Kaiser Crossroad wetland, you had better plan to go soon as the farmer has drained both fields and has already started working on the north field. Needless to say, not much there now to attract waterfowl, but the mudflats are still drawing in the shorebirds.  There were still some interesting shorebirds about in the mud, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER in striking breeding plumage being the most identifiable. There were at least 20 of them along with KILLDEER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER and LEAST SANDPIPERS. Yesterday, SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS, LEAST SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, DUNLIN and a few BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER  were also present. Another productive area nearby whether spring, summer, fall or winter, is Cressy Lakeside Road where today, birders were treated to an ORCHARD ORIOLE at the beginning and a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD at the far end. In between there were BLACKPOLL, YELLOW,  and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS and lots of WARBLING VIREOS and a few SPOTTED SANDPIPER.  At Moscow Marsh, north of Yarker,  a couple BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS were seen as well as two CAPE MAY WARBLERS, two BREWSTER’S WARBLERS, and EASTERN TOWHEE and an ORCHARD ORIOLE. Members of the Quinte Field Naturalists yesterday checked off 130 species of birds yesterday in the County with 3 UPLAND SANDPIPERS, a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, NORTHERN HARRIER and an ORCHARD ORIOLE bing highlights at Point Petre. It is certainly a time of the year to keep our eyes open. One observer did at Brighton and came across a GLOSSY IBIS feeding in the northeast end of the Brighton Constructed Wetland along County Road 64. Today at the Miller Nature Reserve along Prince Edward County’s South Shore Important Bird Area, birds noted were BALTIMORE ORIOLE, several EASTERN TOWHEES, SAVANNAH SPARROW, FIELD SPARROW, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. An update on the OSPREY incident east of Waupoos revealed that the nest atop a hydro pole had caught fire, destroying the nest and its contents, resulting in a loss of power. Hydro One’s removal of the nest remains was clearly based on safety to residents. The earlier report that the nest was removed by Hydro One as an act of malice made no sense as Hydro has always been very accommodating to nesting OSPREYS by building platforms on existing nesting poles and elevating them above the wires. The May 2015 issue of the Beacon from the Friends of Presqu’ile is now available and can be seen by CLICKING HERE. (page may take a few seconds to load)

Saturday, May 16: It was a good start to the Prince Edward County Spring Birding Festival this morning. Prince Edward Point somewhat resembled Point Pelee (maybe on a slow day!), and there were plenty of birds to go around. At least 22 species of warblers, among them BLUE-WINGED, OVENBIRD, numerous BAY-BREASTED, WILSON’S, and TENNESSEE WARBLERS all over the place, a few CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, NORTHERN PARULA and a somewhat tardy PALM WARBLER. Also present today were PHILADELPHIA VIREO, VEERY, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, LINCOLN’S SPARROWS, and if you had never before seen a LEAST FLYCATCHER, today was certainly the day to get one on your list - or 30 - as they were everywhere this morning. The GREAT CORMORANT, first observed on May 4th flying over the Observatory, once again flew over the Observatory at 6:00 p.m. last night. Doubtless it has been hanging out with the DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS on the offshore shoals somewhere just east of Prince Edward Point. For want of one on my life list, I was sure that a distant cormorant flashed a patch of white when it dove, but it resurfaced around the bend in the shoreline before I could verify it. Not enough to make it a life bird! Some great finds at Prince Edward Point this past week including HOODED WARBLER, GOLDEN-WINGED and BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, but alas – no WORM-EATING WARBLER or KENTUCKY WARBLER yet, although Bander in Charge David Okines stresses that the migration is not over yet. There is still time for one of these sought after warblers to drop into Prince Edward Point this spring. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS  are beginning to thin out a bit. There were only three in my yard today compared to the 20 or so just a few days earlier. Fifteen were noted just west of Wellington where an INDIGO BUNTING also appeared. Lots of warblers coming through at both Lemoine Point Conservation Area and Marshlands Conservation Area at Kingston. A few highlights have included MOURNING WARBLER, CANADA WARBLER, up to two ORCHARD ORIOLES, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, and PHILADELPHIA VIREO.  A RED-NECKED GREBE was seen on Lake Ontario near Norman Rogers Airport and migrating BRANT are starting to show up now. On Amherst Island, the popular PAINTED BUNTING seems to have departed from the feeder where it has been seen since last Monday, but other good birds have quickly taken its place – a late ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, WILSON’S PHALAROPE and PEREGRINE FALCON. The Prince Edward County Spring Birding Festival continues all this week and into next weekend. Lots of things going on – guided hikes, workshops on grassland birds and shorebirds and nature photography, displays and, of course,The Great Canadian Birdathon. For more details and a schedule of events, CLICK HERE.

Friday, May 15: Shorebirds appeared to be on the move today. The Kaiser Crossroad wetlands once again awakened from its slumber and early last evening produced 25 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 8 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS, 10 LESSER YELLOWLEGS and “hundreds” of LEAST SANDPIPERS.     Also present was a pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN BITTERN, a pair of NORTHERN SHOVELERS, and a CASPIAN TERN. At Wilton Creek in Morven LEAST SANDPIPERS were there too, but in smaller numbers – only 25, and also present, 5 KILLDEER, 2 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, and 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. The SOLITARY SANDPIPERS at Jackson’s Falls, east of Milford, weren’t too solitary – there were six of them today. CHIMNEY SWIFTS over Picton are still going strong with 25 counted last evening as they descended a chimney at The Armoury of Main Street. It seems to be getting harder to find CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS these days in Prince Edward County as many of the fields that could be relied on for the presence of these birds, have become too dense with Red Cedars. Finding them is an exercise in following them around as they move to more open habitat where the bushes and cedars are not as thick. Today, one was heard singing in the Stinson Block area, west of Consecon near Edward Drive. The observer said there was one there last year too, although the habitat is not where one would expect to find a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW as it is an old field quite densely covered in small deciduous shrubs. As COMMON RAVENS continue to establish themselves as breeding birds in the Bay of Quinte region, especially Prince Edward County, it has long been assumed that the species is now firmly established as a nesting bird. On a farm silo along Eames Road, midway between Cherry Valley and Picton, not only was a nest found, but the whole family was present there involving a half dozen members! Other miscellaneous sightings around the region today included SWAINSON’S THRUSH, BLACKPOLL WARBLER and PINE WARBLER at Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area at Amherstview. Some very concerned residents east of Waupoos are investigating the wanton destruction of an established OSPREY nest on a hydro pole, containing eggs about ready to hatch, allegedly by Hydro One, an agency which in the past has been lauded for their efforts in building nest platforms above hydro poles that had been occupied by OSPREYS. Several queries to Hydro One produced the usual mindless recorded reply, “Thanks for your message.  We will read and consider it carefully.”

Thursday, May 14: As well as abundance and densities of spring migrants that are unsurpassed anywhere else along the north shore of Lake Ontario, Prince Edward Point is also becoming well known for its special sightings which turn up occasionally. A CERULEAN WARBLER and MOURNING WARBLER  were both photographed yesterday in the Point Traverse Woods by a Toronto resident/summer cottager. Many of these species such as CERULEAN, GOLDEN-WINGED, BLUE-WINGED, BREWSTER’S WARBLERS and, to a certain extent, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, are turning up so regularly every spring that most experienced birders now make it a point to look for them. To date, no WORM-EATING WARBLER or KENTUCKY WARBLER have shown up yet though, but there is time yet. The spring migration is young. According to one observer, things were quite slow and quiet at Prince Edward Point today, although a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER  was seen by some. At Beaver Meadow Conservation Area, a GREEN HERON and 2 SANDHILL CRANES were seen at this popular conservation area along County Road 11 at East Lake. Yesterday, Kaiser Crossroad came back to the forefront with an encore performance by producing six AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS. In Picton, the CHIMNEY SWIFTS have returned! Swift observers last night counted 49 entering chimneys at various locations in town. A chimney at The Armoury on Picton's Main Street had the majority of swifts. Often this Report receives updates on birds and other animals that have been admitted to the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre. It is always upsetting the dangers that befall our wildlife and refreshing to know that a facility like Sandy Pines exists to do its part in rehabilitating injured animals with the hope of returning them to the wild. A few admissions this past week included 2 GREAT HORNED OWL fledglings that were found being eyed by a hungry crow. Also admitted have been a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK that hit a window, a RUFFED GROUSE, the victim of a car hit and run; an OSPREY; a HOUSE WREN, a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, as well as the usual orphaned birds – in this case, MALLARDS. Other sightings around the region today included a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK on Black Road in the Demorestville area, a REDHEAD at Point Traverse, an UPLAND SANDPIPER on Florida Road in the Wilton area, 2 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS at Amherst Island, 2 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS at Prince Edward Point, and a VESPER SPARROW  at Point Petre.The Presqu'ile Provincial Park Weekly Bird Report by Fred Helleiner has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website. You can read it by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, May 13:  I did some birding this evening at the H.R. Frink Centre and the Harmony Road Wetland, north of Belleville. The Frink Centre had VIRGINIA RAIL, SWAMP SPARROW, AMERICAN BITTERN, EASTERN KINGBIRD, OSPREY, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and WOOD THRUSH, just to name a few of the species present.  A SORA was seen by another birder who was just coming off the boardwalk as we were about to go in.  Harmony Road provided nice views of two BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Also present there this evening were COMMON GALLINULE, MALLARDS, LEAST SANDPIPER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and a VIRGINIA RAIL. There was a RING-NECKED PHEASANT reported seen near the Foxboro IGA. The Amherst island PAINTED BUNTING continued to put on a nice show today. According to Kingston area birder, Mark Read,  it is somewhat wary, and doesn't seem to show any signs of being a cage bird (no bands/feather damage etc.) The bird apparently moves between the well-stocked seed feeder at 9950 Front Road and the niger feeder at 9910 front Road (directly next door). Both home owners are accepting of birders but please DO NOT enter their properties without direct verbal authorization. The bird was present for much of the day. At Prince Edward Point today, birding was still excellent with over 20 species of warblers being reported today, one of them a MOURNING WARBLER this afternoon in the Point Traverse Woods. Four LINCOLN’S SPARROWS  were also seen at the Point today. Today at the H.R. Frink Centre, I received some very nice comments about from an Alberta birder about the birding at Prince Edward Point and how it differs from the commercialized and busy atmosphere that is normally Point Pelee at this time of the year when there is scarcely a place for a Yellow Warbler to perch. Prince Edward Point rivals Point Pelee in terms of numbers and densities of species, and few enough birders that 20 birders would constitute a huge crowd. I well remember one spring many years ago when I came across an extremely vocal KENTUCKY WARBLER, and I had only me and myself and I to share the good news with, until three or four more birders showed up to see it. It is a very special place and we are so fortunate to have it so close by within easy driving distance.  Newburgh area birds today included lots of AMERICAN REDSTARTS, SOLITARY SANDPIPER and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH. Three GREAT EGRETS were present in Consecon Creek at the bridge at Highway 62 between Bloomfield and Crofton.  Reports of birds came in today from Inverary and Bailieboro (west end of Rice Lake) and it is so encouraging to know that birders do enjoy these daily reports in view of the popularity these days of e-Bird and the OntBirds listserv. A resident of Bailieboro reported EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were nesting again this year on her property. Thank you all for your comments.

Tuesday, May 12: Birding was a bit more challenging today with the high winds, although many of the same species seen yesterday in the Point Traverse Woods, were still there this morning. Still abundant were BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS and one was also seen today in Wellington. A CERULEAN WARBLER  was seen in the Point Traverse Woods just at sunset yesterday, riding the tail of a passing flock of other warbler species. BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS and TENNESSEE WARBLERS were present in a Wellington backyard today. Speaking of TENNESSEE WARBLER, the photo on the right shows the strange hybrid that was banded on Saturday at Prince Edward Point, believed to be a cross between a NASHVILLE WARBLER and a TENNESSEE WARBLER. Interesting.  On Big Island’s north shore, birds seen there were YELLOW WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE, YELLOW-RUMPED, RED-EYED VIREO, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, EASTERN TOWHEE, BALTIMORE ORIOLES, EASTERN PHOEBE and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, and also a BELTED KINGFISHER near the shoreline. So, lots of birds yet, even in backyards. Elsewhere, a male PAINTED BUNTING was seen yesterday afternoon along Front Road on Amherst Island, and was present again this morning at a feeder. An unusual mammal sighting yesterday was a small herd of about 8 GOATS out for a leisurely stroll on Babylon Road in the South Bay area. A first year male ORCHARD ORIOLE showed up at a nectar feeder along County Road 10 (Lake Street) south of Picton this afternoon. And a strange looking oriole has been in the Point Traverse Woods for at least two or three days which turned out to be a leucistic BALTIMORE ORIOLE. At West Lake today, an INDIGO BUNTING showed up at a feeder there. Other arrivals at the West Lake address included BROWN THRASHER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, and the big prize of the day, a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER that was seen heading off toward the dunes at Sandbanks.This is the second RED-HEADED WOODPECKER  to show up in the County in as many days. On Narrow Street in Wellington, an INDIGO BUNTING made a quick visit late yesterday, 3 ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS (2 males and a female) have been present today as well as several BALTIMORE ORIOLES. The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN) invite everyone to  participate with them in a Spring Wildflower Walk in Point Petre Woods at 1 PM Friday May 15.  Meet at the corner of Army Reserve Rd. and Co. Rd. 24 (Point Petre Rd.) for an easy hike following a trail/road around the woodland. We won’t overlook any birds present!

Monday, May 11: We found 21 species of warblers today at both Prince Edward Point and Ostrander Point, as part of our Great Canadian Birdathon to raise funds for the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. In total, in our 24-hour period from  5:00 p.m. yesterday to 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, we chalked up 131 species of birds, compared to 137 species last year, 122 the previous year, and 118 in 2012. Last night we birded  for a few hours getting WHIP-POOR-WILL, CHIMNEY SWIFT, LEAST and SOLITARY SANDPIPERS (5) and GREATER YELLOWLEGS, along with PIED-BILLED GREBE, working well into the hours of darkness where we had our biggest treat. At the Glenwood Cemetery woods near the scattering grounds, we were able to lure in five EASTERN-SCREECH OWLS, all of them providing us with a delightful chorus of their well known whinnying calls, all of them delivered on different pitches. A SCARLET TANAGER was heard singing its raspy song at Macaulay Mountain in Picton. Today started early with our first birds of the day being found on Ostrander Point Road where we found CEDAR WAXWING, NASHVILLE WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA, TENNESSEE WARBLER, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, and a small cluster of a three or four lingering BUFFLEHEADS. At Point Traverse, the woods there were busy with both birds and birders with MAGNOLIA WARBLER, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, CANADA WARBLER, and a PHILADELPHIA VIREO being our best finds. A VEERY and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER  were being banded at the Observatory when we arrived. AMERICAN REDSTART was found here and others were heard at Beaver Meadow Conservation Area where we were able to add GREEN HERON, COMMON GALLINULE, MARSH WREN, BLACK TERN, and VIRGINIA RAIL to our growing list. Ducks were few but we were able to find the dependable SURF SCOTERS and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS at Point Traverse, and the distinctive conversational calls of LONG-TAILED DUCKS echoed off the lake at every location. All the swallows were found – TREE, BANK, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED, CLIFF, BARN and, of course, PURPLE MARTIN. At the Hamilton Wetland west of Demorestville, PIED-BILLED GREBE and GREATER YELLOWLEGS were found, and an answer to the call of nature by one member of our group was rewarded when the day’s only VESPER SPARROW was heard delivering its traditional late afternoon song. A LINCOLN’S SPARROW  was heard and seen at Prince Edward Point, and the day’s only HORNED LARKS were picked up in Ameliasburgh. Point Petre gave us the only BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER of the day, but we failed in our bid to locate a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW despite birders finding them routinely at dependable  breeding areas. Not so dependable today. Quick eyes spotted the diagnostic flashing white outer tail feathers of a lingering DARK-EYED JUNCO, and an INDIGO BUNTING was seen at Point Traverse, GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS at Ameliasburgh, a GREAT BLUE HERON on an overhanging branch over the Black River, a single WOOD DUCK at small pond, and a single RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH in with a pocket of warblers at Point Traverse.....Birds were where you found them. Six species of woodpeckers were found out of a possible seven with the only one missing being a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. One of those six species turned out to be a gorgeous RED-HEADED WOODPECKER that flew across the road in front of our car on Wesley Acres Road to a corn field, then returned almost immediately across the road again, and disappeared into a hedgerow of trees. An excellent day for a good cause. Thank you to those who sponsored me and my teammates – Michael Burge, Kathy Felkar and Nick Quickert. Together we were “The Sprague’s Pipits” .

Sunday, May 10: As those who know me are aware, I am always underway by at least 4:00 a.m. every morning. Over the last several days, I have donned my LED headlamp and have spent a delightful hour or so walking a 2 km established trail through the meadows and woods west of our house. Even at that hour WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and EASTERN TOWHEES are quite vocal and a COMMON LOON  called from the Bay of Quinte this morning. I am almost embarrassed to admit that for the past few mornings, I have interrupted the nuptials of several AMERICAN WOODCOCK (there were 8 of them this morning). Three separate individuals stared glassy-eyed at me from the trail, less than two metres from me, all the while twisting their heads and trying to make sense of this bright light that had suddenly interrupted their love making. In our own yard late this afternoon an EASTERN BLUEBIRD chortled from a hydro wire that passes over our property. At North Beach Provincial Park today, PALM WARBLERS, YELLOW WARBLERS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, EASTERN KINGBIRDS, GRAY CATBIRDS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, WARBLING VIREO, EASTERN PHOEBE, BOBOLINKS and BALTIMORE ORIOLES. At nearby Bay Meadows Park on Pleasant Bay, an ORCHARD ORIOLE  was seen again today, as well as a RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD at a feeder. INDIGO BUNTINGS – three of them – were present in a single tree at Prince Edward Point, and a BLACKPOLL WARBLER was found at Point Traverse. The YELLOW-THROATED VIREO was seen in the woods there again yesterday. Two Belleville birders birding Prince Edward Point yesterday did very well with the warbler family, coming up with a respectable 20 species, and also found an AMERICAN WOODCOCK before dawn, and heard WHIP-POOR-WILL as well. An EASTERN BLUEBIRD was spotted at Civic Address #5161 along Long Point Road. Today in the Springbrook area, north of Stirling, birders walking the Trans Canada Trail in a grassland area found, three UPLAND SANDPIPERS (locally uncommon in Hastings County), WILSON’S SNIPE, PILEATED WOODPECKER, 5 BROWN THRASHERS, 2 OVENBIRDS, 1 BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, 2 BLUE-WINGED/GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS, 2 CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS, and 8 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS. A little further away, Opinicon Road north of Kingston was excellent this morning, with two singing CERULEAN WARBLERS, one GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER and six YELLOW-THROATED VIREOS. Other species included numbers of INDIGO BUNTING, SCARLET TANAGER, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and OVENBIRDS. At Kingston Marshlands Conservation Area, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, and a VIRGINIA RAIL  were interesting finds there.  Presqu’ile Park offered only 14 warbler species today, the scarcity of warblers certainly offset by the appearance of a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, and five RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS. Friday’s PIPING PLOVER hasn’t been seen again but a few other shorebirds did put in an appearance today – SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, a few LEAST SANDPIPERS, along with KILLDEER and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. Other good birds noted there today were SCARLET TANAGER, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON and INDIGO BUNTING.

Saturday, May 09: Another busy day at Prince Edward Point, with so many migrants this morning that banders and volunteers had a difficult time keeping up. Mostly YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS but lots of different warblers like yesterday.  Of particular interest was an apparent NASHVILLE/TENNESSEE WARBLER hybrid that was very interesting. Two early latecomers at Point Traverse today were CANADA WARBLER and BLACKPOLL WARBLER. Birders at Point Traverse chalked up a dozen species of warblers this morning, among them, likely the same TENNESSEE WARBLERS that I heard yesterday chattering up a storm, as well as MAGNOLIA WARBLER, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, both BLACK-THROATED BLUE and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, BLUE-WINGED and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, NORTHERN PARULA and AMERICAN REDSTART. Other interesting birds in the now famous Woods were the PURPLE FINCHES  from yesterday, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, and offshore, 15 SURF SCOTERS were counted. A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was seen there yesterday, and a YELLOW-THROATED VIREO was present there the previous day. The season's first GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH was seen today at Point Traverse. At Presqu’ile Park today, a singing male CERULEAN WARBLER  was found along Paxton Drive. As the May drought continues in Prince Edward County, wetland habitat is shrinking quickly at Kaiser Crossroad where earlier this spring, water was lapping the shoulder of the road. Today, only a few yellowlegs were present. In recent years there has been increasing interest in the birding opportunities and species present along the South Shore Important Bird Area from Point Petre down the shoreline toward Prince Edward Point. WHIP-POOR-WILLS  seem to be the mascot down that way and a CHUCK-WILL’S WIDOW was present for several days last spring just east of the new Miller Family Nature Reserve. Simpson Road, on the west side of the Gull Pond Ducks Unlimited dyked area yesterday had lots of the usual species, including BROWN THRASHERS and EASTERN TOWHEES. Habitat is excellent there for both species. Lots of YELLOW WARBLERS and COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, as well as WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. At the shoreline, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS was present, and also recorded were RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 2 BUFFLEHEADS, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, RING-BILLED GULLS and lots of LONG-TAILED DUCKS engaged in conversation chatter out in Lake Ontario. At the Limestone Plains in the Napanee area, found yesterday were 2 UPLAND SANDPIPERS. Today at Camden Lake, a prolific day with 6 CASPIAN TERNS, 30+ BLACK TERNS, 2 GREEN HERONS, 2 LEAST FLYCATCHERS, 2 BOBOLINKS,  a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, 20 or so YELLOW WARBLERS, 2 BALTIMORE ORIOLES and 14 COMMON LOONS. Back in Prince Edward County, a birder keeping track of birds along County Road 13 in the South Bay area found 2 PINE SISKINS, 6 CHIMNEY SWIFTS, 1 VESPER SPARROW, 1 EASTERN BLUEBIRD, and a BALD EAGLE. Wow! Birders live for these moments in spring before everything drops down to a low ebb once summer arrives.

Friday, May 08: Prince Edward Point was hopping today, but it was mainly for the birds. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were definitely the species of the day, but right behind them were at least 18 other species of warblers. The first AMERICAN REDSTART of the season was banded at the Observatory. TENNESSEE WARBLERS were heard singing in two distinct pockets – one at Point Traverse and the other on the south side of the harbour where several individuals were involved each time.  At least two NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES  were also singing at the harbour. Also found were CAPE MAY WARBLER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, several NASHVILLE WARBLERS, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, PALM WARBLER (3), several MAGNOLIA WARBLERS and NASHVILLE WARBLERS seen and heard singing, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, BLUE-WINGED WARBLER  and a Brewster’s hybrid. An OVENBIRD was singing in the Point Traverse Woods and also seen there, an early BLACKPOLL WARBLER. Also in abundance were LEAST FLYCATCHERS, GRAY CATBIRDS, EASTERN TOWHEES and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS. A SCARLET TANAGER was seen at Point Traverse as were several PURPLE FINCHES. The big treat was seeing both a BALTIMORE ORIOLE and an ORCHARD ORIOLE, both of them males, perched on the same limb at the Observatory. An interesting find today was an orange variant ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. LONG-TAILED DUCKS  were widely scattered on Lake Ontario, and two small rafts of SURF SCOTERS were seen at Point Traverse with a few  WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS also thrown in. CASPIAN TERN, RUFFED GROUSE (walking nonchalantly in front of our car!), singing RED-EYED and WARBLING VIREOS, HOUSE WREN, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, and both WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were also good finds for us. Two birders, birding the Huyck’s Bay shoreline three nights ago, found a half dozen AMERICAN WOODCOCKS calling and displaying. Wednesday night, members of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists did their first survey of CHIMNEY SWIFTS of the spring and counted 10 at one time, but only seven entering chimneys they were checking. One pair was seen entering the chimney of the abandoned North Marysburgh Central School at Lake on the Mountain, and others were heard circling over the town of Picton. At the H.R. Frink Centre, nine kilometres north of Belleville, warblers there included OVENBIRD, NASHVILLE and YELLOW. In the wooded area, a WOOD THRUSH was seen. Along the 500 metre boardwalk, four VIRGINIA RAILS, two of which were “getting it on” right in plain sight,  while a YELLOW WARBLER sang overhead, an AMERICAN BITTERN thumped in the background, 2 SWAMP SPARROWS tried to decide if they were a couple and a NORTHERN WATER SNAKE crawled out on the boardwalk to catch a few rays. A lot going on all at one spot, said the observer. Today at Presqu’ile Park, a PIPING PLOVER  was spotted by one keen birder early this morning as it moved between Beach #1 and Beach #2. A Luck’s Crossroad (Picton) resident reported that she had only two PINE SISKINS all winter long, but 20 arrived today for one more feast before continuing on to their nesting grounds. While she took the above photo, 4 BALTIMORE ORIOLES  arrived, and earlier there had been AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, PURPLE FINCHES, a pair of NORTHERN CARDINALS and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS all at the same time. You gotta love spring when backyards are saturated with so much colour and song. Both WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS on Big Island’s North Shore Road, and SANDHILL CRANES calling, but not seen, in the Mountain View area. Jackson's Falls Road east of Milford produced 3 SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS and a KILLDEER.  A reminder that tomorrow is International Migratory Bird Day — a time when people all over the world can learn about birds and migration. This year’s theme is “Restore Habitat, Restore Birds." Habitat is where an animal lives, so without habitat, they have no home.  There are many efforts all over the country to try to protect and restore habitat for birds so that we can enjoy migration for many years to come! Already, I am in negotiations with the new owner of the hay fields beside us where we live to set aside one of those fields for nesting BOBOLINKS and EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. He is all for it, so it’s full steam ahead from here. The Presqu’ile Park Weekly Bird Report by Fred Helleiner has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, May 07: It doesn’t matter how many years we enjoy birding; we are always learning new things. Friend Joe Bartok of Tweed e-mailed me a couple days ago with this observation:  “I took a detour in the brush chasing butterflies when a bird – couldn't tell at the time if it was a Wilson's Snipe or an American Woodcock – took off from almost underfoot. It seemed to be carrying something and had a hard time gaining altitude, and landed a short distance away. The bird continued to make a ruckus and it occurred to me than perhaps there was a nest nearby, I looked down, and sure enough there was a baby a few inches to the right of my feet. I snapped a couple of photos, left, and cautiously returned a few minutes later. The adult bird took flight a couple of feet from where the nestling had previously been, again taking off with difficulty, and this time I could see why. It was carrying a small fuzzy object with little pink feet hanging down – its baby! I had no idea that any birds transported their chicks from danger in this manner, like a cat or a squirrel moving its kittens.” I decided to do a little research, and it seems this peculiar behaviour has been reported before, but the reports have always been dismissed as little more than folklore. When in doubt, I always turn to my Arthur Cleveland Bent’s 26-volume Life Histories of North American Birds. Several sightings of this strange behaviour have been documented: The following account by Edwyn Sandys (1904), one of several such reports,  seems convincing: "The nest in question was on a bit of level ground amid tall trees. The sole suggestion of cover was a lot of flattened leaves which lay as the snow had left them. Perhaps 10 yards away was an old rail fence about waist high, and on the farther side of it was a clump of tall saplings. A man coming out of the woods told me he had just flushed a woodcock and had seen her brood, recently hatched and pointed out where they were. I went in to investigate, and located one young bird crouched on the leaves. It ran a few steps and again crouched, evidently not yet strong enough for any sustained effort. I went off, and hid behind a stump, to await developments. From this shelter the young bird was visible and it made no attempt to move. Presently the old one came fluttering back, alighted near the youngster, and walked to it. In a few moments she rose and flew low and heavily, merely clearing the fence, and dropping perhaps 10 yards within the thicket. Her legs appeared to be half bent, and so far as I could determine the youngster was held between them. Something about her appearance reminded me of a thing often seen--a shrike carrying off a small bird. I carefully marked her down, then glanced toward where the youngster had been. It was no longer there; and a few moments later it, or its mate, was found exactly where the mother had gone down. She flushed and made off in the usual summer flight." So, there you go – AMERICAN WOODCOCKS and their young using a novel way to escape danger. Locally, migrant birds are still arriving en masse. More of the same species discussed in past Reports, only more of them.  One birder  went out for a few hours this morning in the Ameliasburgh area and found birds birds have returned and most in considerable numbers.  A few noteworthy sightings were a nice singing male CERULEAN WARBLER at Carrying Place, GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS on the Snider Road and a male and female ORCHARD ORIOLE on the Stinson Block Road.  There was a LEAST FLYCATCHER in Wellington, an immature BALD EAGLE at Smith’s Bay, and the first reported INDIGO BUNTING of the spring season at a feeder south of Codrington. Forty-eight species of birds were tallied today at Kingston’s Marshlands Conservation Area, with a few of the notables being GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER, RED-EYED VIREO, GREAT HORNED OWL, WOOD THRUSH, OVENBIRD, NORTHERN PARULA, LEAST FLYCATCHER and VEERY. On the north shore of Big Island, two OVENBIRDS were calling to each other. Sorry – no report from Prince Edward Point today.

Wednesday, May 06: A GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER along County Road 12 at West Lake, near Sandbanks Park, was a new arrival yesterday. Sandbanks Park has always been a preferred location for this species, so it came as no surprise to learn of its arrival there. Doubtless others have been seen in the County today, although no further reports of the species came in today.  Lemoine Point Conservation Area at Kingston today had BOBOLINKS in the grassland meadows, and other interesting species seen in the conservation area today were GRAY CATBIRD, LEAST FLYCATCHER, PINE WARBLER, WILSON’S SNIPE, WOOD THRUSH, and a concert of 17 YELLOW WARBLERS. At the Big Island Marsh, a CASPIAN TERN was present for most of the day. North of Cobourg today, there was a male BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER in a red pine prescribed burn area near the parking lot along Beagle Club Road. This is part of the massive Northumberland County Forest, a location where I have held guided hikes in past years. In animal news, a white morph GREY SQUIRREL is a regular visitor at a County Road 12 address at West Lake. There are few nectar feeders this week that aren’t hosting either RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS or BALTIMORE ORIOLES as they have invaded the Quinte area in recent days. Backyards are still temporary homes to a plethora of both WHITE-CROWNED and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. As of this evening, the Quinte Area Bird Report has had 13,847 hits since January 1st ! These followers are interested in what is being seen in your area. Send me your sightings by clicking on my name in the masthead above.

Tuesday, May 05: They’re here! If your nectar feeder is out, then chances are good that a RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD has found it.  It’s a good time for bird feeders as ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS are flocking around sunflower seed feeders right now as they arrive in the Bay of Quinte area. INDIGO BUNTINGS can’t be far behind. WOOD THRUSH, SCARLET TANAGER, LEAST FLYCATCHER, BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, CERULEAN WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, OVENBIRD, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER were all new arrivals at Prince Edward Point as of yesterday. A BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER also showed up at a residence on North Big Island Road. Also on Big island, an Allison Road field of corn stubble today produced SONG SPARROWS, 3 FOX SPARROWS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES. Two OSPREYS and two COMMON LOONS  were seen over and on the Bay of Quinte. A new arrival at Bay Meadows Trailer Park at Pleasant Bay today was an ORCHARD ORIOLE.  An AMERICAN BITTERN  was spotted along shore and several pairs of BROWN THRASHERS were present today at North Beach Provincial Park. Lots of WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS these days around feeders, as well as WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and a few lingering DARK-EYED JUNCOS. What was probably a SEDGE WREN was seen today east of Lake on the Mountain, near Bongard’s Crossroad. An  EASTERN KINGBIRD was on Mowbray Road today, and a resident there also had a RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD. A bird feeder operator along Glenora Road east of Picton was surprised to see a GRAY CATBIRD at her feeder today. Outside the immediate Bay of Quinte area, a SOLITARY SANDPIPER  was seen today on Wilton Creek on Big Creek Road, as were 8 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 2 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, 2 KILLDEER and a GREATER YELLOWLEGS. In the Newburg area, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW and a BROAD-WINGED HAWK, were nice finds there. A WOOD THRUSH turned up at Amherst Island today, as well as 2 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. At Kingston’s Marshlands Conservation Area beside the Cataraqui Golf Course, 2 each of WINTER WREN, VIRGINIA RAIL and VEERY and a single SORA were highlights, and a nice little flock of 13 PURPLE FINCHES showed up at Dewey Road in the Camden East area, and 11 YELLOW WARBLERS also infiltrated the same area today. . A reminder of the Prince Edward County Spring Birding Festival coming up on Saturday, May 16th to Sunday, May 24th – hikes, workshops, displays, banding demonstrations. For a list of scheduled events, CLICK HERE.

Monday, May 04: This is the time of the year when birders are permitted to weep openly as I did when our backyard was filled this morning with the spirited songs of ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, BOBOLINKS, and YELLOW WARBLERS. Two WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS showed up yesterday in our backyard; this morning, we we surrounded by them! New birds are showing up everywhere and landing wherever the spirit moves them. Last evening, two GREEN HERONS landed in a  backyard at Allisonville, near Wellington, and two also turned up south of Codrington. Also up that way, a resident put out her hummingbird feeder, and moments later, a RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD was feeding from it. Another RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD was seen at two separate locations along Fry Road, north of Picton. The best sighting today was at Prince Edward Point where Bander in Charge, David Okines reported a GREAT CORMORANT flying over the Observatory, heading west, displaying all the salient features which separate this species from the more common DOUBLE-CRESTED  species (white thigh patch and white throat patch). It was not seen again; however, it may have been roosting with the DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS on the offshore shoal where hundreds typically gather. Only three times before has this coastal species been seen in Prince Edward County – December 15, 1979, when one was seen on the Christmas Bird Count, east of Waupoos; and again in 1999 and 2004, both at Prince Edward Point; and again at Green Point when one was seen in flight with DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS just seven years ago. A couple new arrivals west of Wellington involving SWAINSON’S THRUSH and EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE. Reports of BOBOLINKS and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS came in from absolutely everywhere today, so there must have been a fairly heavy arrival overnight. Summer bird feeders are picking up momentum, but with some additional guests like the ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, but also a few typically winter species involving migrants coming from wintering grounds farther south and passing through right now on their way to more northern nesting grounds. An example of this was a dozen PINE SISKINS at a Glenora Road feeder. BALTIMORE ORIOLES everywhere, some coming right now to nectar feeders and oranges. Kayakers and canoeists are out there too with their checklists. One kayaker on Sawguin Creek, south of Belleville, found COMMON MERGANSERS, a half dozen OSPREYS, 4 GREAT BLUE HERONS and an immature BALD EAGLE. Meanwhile in the East Lake Marsh, a paddler there found AMERICAN BITTERN and GREEN HERON, and was also treated to an OTTER swimming along beside his boat. A Trenton resident visiting the Calabogie area in the Madawaska Highlands reported a cacophony of sound coming from six warbler species – YELLOW-RUMPED, PINE, BLACK-AND-WHITE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and NASHVILLE WARBLERS, as well as NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and BLUE-HEADED VIREOS already on territory. Also WINTER WREN, PURPLE FINCH, and the sparrow family represented by SWAMP, SONG, CHIPPING and WHITE-THROATED. Also, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET and RED CROSSBILL. A few scattered reports from today include a newly arrived  WILLOW FLYCATCHER singing at Stirling, male NORTHERN HARRIER at Perry’s Lane at East lake, a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER at Allisonville and a PRAIRIE WARBLER at Thickson’s Woods in Whitby, and GRAY CATBIRD and GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER at Prince Edward Point yesterday. One birder checked off a respectable 74 species of birds at Presqu'ile Park yesterday, among them 2 AMERICAN BITTERNS, 2 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, 10 COMMON TERNS, 75 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 2 each of HOUSE WRENS and WINTER WRENS, WARBLING VIREO, and 10 warbler species which included distant singing TENNESSEE WARBLER and NORTHERN PARULA. 

Sunday, May 03: While the old standbys like the WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continue to delight backyard birders, others are making their new arrival known. Two WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS showed up at Sprague Road this morning, and 2 calling GREATER YELLOWLEGS flew over early in the afternoon. Nine GREATER YELLOWLEGS were present at Kaiser Crossroad and LESSER YELLOWLEGS there numbered 14.  Also announcing their arrival to County soil there today  were 7 AMERICAN PIPITS. Another new arrival, although an exceptionally early one was seen at Big Island some days ago, was an EASTERN KINGBIRD along Gorsline Road near Fish Lake and another was seen today at Kaiser Crossroad.  A BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, another new arrival in the County, showed up today at South Bay where a BALD EAGLE  was also seen. A BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER at Prince Edward Point was new today, as was a WARBLING VIREO.  Others present there today included BLACK-AND-WHITE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN,  and YELLOW WARBLER. In total, 9 species in the warbler family have been seen so far this spring at Prince Edward Point. A ways to go yet before we hit the 30 species mark, but we’re off to a  good start. It was a good weekend to catch their arrival. An AMERICAN WOODCOCK was seen in the woods behind the banding station. Another new arrival in the Bay of Quinte region was a SPOTTED SANDPIPER along Airport Road, east of Belleville. A HOUSE WREN was seen on Fry Road today, and a PIED-BILLED GREBE, 5 WOOD DUCKS and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER  were reported from Black River at the bridge. A RED-TAILED HAWK at Lake on the Mountain was a nice find as was a YELLOW WARBLER in Wellington. The Kaiser Crossroad wetlands at the east end of the County are still yielding a few ducks. Present there today were CANADA GOOSE, NORTHERN SHOVELER (1), BUFFLEHEAD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL (5)  and MALLARD as well as a CASPIAN TERN. Along Cressy Lakeside Road, both COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS  were seen. Yesterday, the Point Traverse Woods were producing some good finds like HERMIT THRUSH, ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, CLIFF SWALLOW, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, EASTERN TOWHEE and EASTERN MEADOWLARK. Below, in the water, a nice bunch of SURF SCOTERS was found.  Photo by Jeff Haffner of Napanee.Two YELLOW WARBLERS seen today along the Bayshore Trail Extension, east of Herchimer Avenue in Belleville. And in Stirling, CHIMNEY SWIFTS have returned to the village, where the chimney at the Stirling Creamery has been identified as a roosting site. 

Saturday, May 02: The migration is rolling now! Lots of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS being seen and heard. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS  were also the species of the day at Frontenac Provincial Park where four of us today hiked a nine kilometre trail, also hearing several PINE WARBLERS, and at least two NASHVILLE WARBLERS and a distant NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH. Two SANDHILL CRANES flew over the Arkon Lake parking lot upon our arrival, and other species seen today were RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, GREAT BLUE HERON, EASTERN TOWHEE, PILEATED WOODPECKER, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET  and lots of FIELD SPARROWS. A BALTIMORE ORIOLE showed up at Green Point toward the east end of Sophiasburgh Ward, and a BALD EAGLE  was seen today on Under Island at Deseronto. BLUE-HEADED VIREOS and BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER were seen yesterday at the Marshlands Conservation Area in Kingston, and the latter was also noted at Amherst Island. At Point Petre last evening, lots of stuff seen, some of them new arrivals – GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILLS – 18 of them - and a really nice find – a PRAIRIE WARBLER singing in some red cedars. We don’t get to see or hear many of them in these parts. An immature SNOW GOOSE  was seen with 2 CANADA GEESE. As reported a day or two ago, the annual clouds of midges have arrived, and taking advantage of them last evening in a feeding frenzy was a flock of some 250 BONAPARTE’S GULLS at Point Petre. Six RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were also noted. Along the south shore from Point Petre to Prince Edward Point an evening count of birds under a bright, full moon resulted in 30 AMERICAN WOODCOCKS, 34 WILSON’S SNIPE, 1 LONG-EARED OWL, 2 GREAT HORNED OWLS and an EASTERN SCREECH-OWL. Also noted were howling coyotes, which reminds me, at Frontenac Park, the four of us passed by a WHITE-TAILED DEER on the trail, not more than seven metres from us, totally unconcerned about our presence, although it kept an eye on us. And I guess, considering what it was eating, it is no surprise. Everybody’s favourite – fiddleheads! It’s moments like that which makes us thankful there are places like Frontenac Park where wildlife can function in peace.  

Friday, May 01: Now we’re movin’ ! The warmer weather has translated into more migrants arriving in the Bay of Quinte region. A BALTIMORE ORIOLE was seen today on Luck’s Crossroad near Picton.  Activity at Prince Edward Point today included large numbers of WHITE THROATED SPARROW, PURPLE FINCH and RUBY CROWNED KINGLET. Finally, the first BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, usually a mid to late April arrival, made an appearance, along with PALM WARBLER and 3 PINE WARBLERS.  There was also a good number of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Others like WINTER WREN, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, HERMIT THRUSH, and BROWN CREEPER were in smaller numbers. An EASTERN TOWHEE that was first banded in 2012 as an adult, was retrapped today.  Out on Lake Ontario, there was a cacophony of sound today from 5000 LONG-TAILED DUCKS. However, it isn’t just the main focal points where the migration is happening. Many backyard owners today reported increasing numbers of spring migrants, especially WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and increasing numbers of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS as we forge bravely into the month of May in expectation of that first fallout of migrants. Turning up with the spring migrants have been others that wintered farther south and are now passing through, heading north, most notable of these PURPLE FINCHES and PINE SISKINS. Migrating PINE SISKINS have also shown up at feeders in Belleville, Trenton and the Codrington areas. In the Napanee area, WOOD DUCKS and 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS  were highlights on Wilton Creek. At the Martin Edwards Reserve on Amherst Island, WILSON’S PHALAROPES have turned up there. Good sightings today at Lemoine Point Conservation Area included BROAD-WINGED HAWK, BANK SWALLOW and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH. And for those  who still haven't had a chance to see the GLOSSY IBIS at Whitby, it was seen today flying over Thickson’s Woods. It is suspected that the bird had roosted overnight in the Corbett Creek Marsh to the east of the woods. And that's it for today. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 30: A new arrival today was CHIMNEY SWIFTS in Kingston. A GREATER YELLOWLEGS and a WILSON’S SNIPE  were both present again in Wilton Creek at Morven, east of Napanee. Although some distance away, two local birders had a remarkable sighting at Niagara Falls – 87 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS on the tiny island behind the old scow above the Falls, and another 27 on the island below the big bridge in Hamilton /Burlington. Closer to home, the Moscow Marsh north of Yarker, last night produced an AMERICAN BITTERN that surprised the observer by flying up only a few feet beside her. A GREATER YELLOWLEGS at the Keech Road flooded area near Camden Lake and an UPLAND SANDPIPER on the Limestone Plains were other good sightings. Two residents of Baptist Church Road south of Stirling decided last night to take advantage of the favourable temperatures and lack of biting insects to wander around outside taking in the serenity of it all, and were rewarded by two BARRED OWLS  serenading each other shortly after sunset. Back in Prince Edward County, shorebirds are now the main attraction at Kaiser Crossroad, with both GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS present in both wetlands. There are still small numbers of assorted ducks, including WOOD DUCKS. The GLOSSY IBIS at Whitby is still around for anyone still wanting to see it. And to wrap up tonight’s Report, the April issue of Ontario Birds has just been released and Ontario Field Ornithologists members should be receiving their copy in a day or two. It's a great issue with articles on: the seasonal timing and abundance of Little Gulls at Point Pelee, Ontario; avian window strikes at a Toronto office building, with regular opportunistic scavenging by American Crows; The Cave Swallow, in Ontario, 1989-2014; an early spring influx of Acadian Flycatchers into southern Ontario: April 2014. Keep watching for those warblers, and be sure to report any that you see by clicking my name above in the masthead. The big news at Presqu'ile Park today was the appearance of a YELLOW RAIL late this evening in the parking lot area of the Marsh Boardwalk, almost precisely the same area where one was heard "ticking" some 40 years or so ago, and which I was successful in getting on on my life list. Read all about tonight's YELLOW RAIL sighting by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, April 29: As the spring migration kicks into second gear, Kingston’s Marshlands Conservation Area produced some nice finds today – 3 VIRGINIA RAILS, a SORA, 10 SWAMP SPARROWS,  a PINE WARBLER, 8 HERMIT THRUSHES, 2 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, and 2 PURPLE FINCHES. PURPLE FINCHES were also seen today along Loyalist Parkway, west of Wellington, and a single male has been present for two days at our feeder on Big Island. Sadly, the action at the Marshlands Conservation Area could not be duplicated at Prince Edward Point this morning. It was very calm there this morning and very little was around. A few YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and seemingly thousands of LONG-TAILED DUCKS echoing their diagnostic calls across water from Point Traverse to Timber Island and Swetman Island (The False Ducks Islands). At Point Traverse, I did find a few things, including a PALM WARBLER, several singing RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, BROWN THRASHER, HERMIT THRUSH, FIELD SPARROW, lots of NORTHERN FLICKERS, RUFFED GROUSE, EASTERN PHOEBES, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, but no EASTERN TOWHEE which usually is the denizen of at least the western end of the trailed section of the woods. Out on the water, a peaceful collection of WHITE-WINGED and SURF SCOTERS. Along Fry Road, a RED-TAILED HAWK was perched in a tree, seemingly unconcerned about traffic passing by below. The egrets that were seen on Indian Island, east of Carrying Place, seem to have departed, and have been replaced by 250 roosting DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS. Outside the general reporting area, 2 UPLAND SANDPIPERS  showed up today northeast of Smith’s Falls, and three were seen in the Napanee area. Things are happening now in Wilton Creek near Morven where GREATER YELLOWLEGS and WOOD DUCKS turned up. Near Codrington, a birder/photographer there went for a stroll and came up with RED-BELLIED and PILEATED WOODPECKERS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, along with nesting RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, BARRED OWLS, WOOD DUCKS and TURKEY VULTURES. Also at this location, EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, TREE SWALLOWS and HOUSE WRENS were all checking out nest boxes. And in this same person’s backyard, a few lingering PINE SISKINS and EVENING GROSBEAKS at the feeder. I wish all my own walks were as prolific as that! It was a great morning at Oshawa’s Second Marsh where highlights there were an amazing 120 LITTLE GULLS, and 2489 BONAPARTE’S GULLS with the strongest flight coming this morning between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Twenty-four species of waterfowl were also present with a few of the notables being CANVASBACK, RUDDY DUCK, 4 CACKLING GEESE, lots of NORTHERN SHOVELERS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and NORTHERN PINTAILS.  Good news for those waiting in anticipation for that first RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD – they are on their way with the northern edge of the migration extending in almost a straight line from Delaware, lower Pennsylvania and Kansas. Right behind them are the SWAINSON’S THRUSHES, VEERY, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, TENNESSEE WARBLER, YELLOW WARBLER, WARBLING VIREOS and GRAY CATBIRD. Any day now they will be crossing Lake Ontario and descending on Presqu’ile Park, Sandbanks’ West Point, Point Petre, Prince Edward Point and Amherst Island. My binoculars are poised!

Tuesday, April 28: My hiking trail in the fields west of our house on Big Island has expanded to 2.3 km in length from its original 1 km. What a treat to be out this morning for almost two hours basking in the sounds of SAVANNAH, SONG, WHITE-THROATED and FIELD SPARROWS, with the couplets notes of at least three BROWN THRASHERS wafting in on the light breeze. EASTERN MEADOWLARKS  were whistling everywhere, and it will be only a matter of a few days before the resident BOBOLINKS return and fill the air with their rollicking, kinky notes as they rocket into the sky and perform their spring nuptials for the glassy-eyed females on the ground below. Did we think only a few weeks earlier, that days like this would ever arrive? Only one other birder out today thought to take in this phantasmagoria of colour and sound, too. That person also spent several hours taking it all in over in the Stinson Block area at Consecon where he had a nice EASTERN TOWHEE calling and two HOUSE WRENS singing. On Bryant Road he found a pair of BROAD-WINGED HAWKS calling and acting as if they were on territory. This was in the Albury Swamp Forest on the east side near Victoria Road. There seems to be no record of this species breeding in the County, and the observer stated that he will watch this area for signs of breeding as he sped away to check Indian Island for GREAT EGRETS where 8 were seen six days ago. Other than a PINE WARBLER  heard at Lemoine Point Conservation Area at Kingston, that’s pretty  much it for this evening’s report. This week on The County, Naturally, an interview that I had with the show’s host Pamela Stagg about my 50-year career. Listen in to hear it tomorrow evening, Wednesday at 12:35 p.m. on 99.3 County FM. or live-streamed at 993countyfm.ca. People should go to the site a little early to download the free software which will allow them to listen in. I think after editing out all the “ah’s” and “hum’s” and “you know’s”, it should be a fun show. Something bird photographers might be interested in, during the Month of May, as part of the Prince Edward County Spring Birding Festival, the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory is sponsoring a Bird Photography Contest. Rules are as follows: 1) Subject: A bird photo of a local or migratory bird taken within the last 24 months in Prince Edward County. 2) Format: 5x7, B&W or colour, unframed. Put name, address, phone, plus when and where photo was taken on back of photo. Limit of two photos per person. 3)  Submission: Drop off at 28 Low St., Picton from May 1 until noon on Saturday, May 25. Photos will be posted in the window at 7 Elizabeth St. during the contest period and winning photos will be posted on www.peptbo.ca  4) Judging: Members and guests at the PEPtBO Annual General Meeting, Saturday, May 30, will judge the photos and 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be awarded.

Monday, April 27:  Today, an adult BALD EAGLE passed over Adolphus Reach as the species start to thin out from the 25 or so that winter in the Prince Edward County area. So far, just winter visitors with a few non breeding individuals persisting through the summer, and no interest in nesting in this area just yet, although there are two eagle nesting platforms along Black River in super dominant white pines, should the spirit move them one year. The species has not nested in Prince Edward County since 1949 (Timber Island), and they currently do not nest along the north shore of Lake Ontario. Also a bit late in leaving the area was a PINE SISKIN at a feeder near Lake on the Mountain. A male NORTHERN HARRIER  was seen today along Highway 49 near Essroc Cement. A COMMON LOON was spotted in the Bay of Quinte along North Big Island Road near Allison Road. At the Harbour Street boat launch at Brighton, present were 7 CASPIAN TERNS and 2 GREAT EGRETS. Over at the Brighton Constructed Wetland, birds seen there included 2 AMERICAN WIGEON, 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 2 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a nice group of 16 NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Also present was a COMMON GALLINULE. At Presqu’ile Park, 2 RED-NECKED GREBES and a BELTED KINGFISHER were seen at Calf Pasture Point, and at the lighthouse, 300 BUFFLEHEAD and 200 BONAPARTE’S GULLS  were counted.

Sunday, April 26: RUSTY BLACKBIRDS are on their way through with  numbers peaking today at the Thurlow Wildlife Area along County Road 5, east of Foxboro. There were an estimated 125 in the forested area there today,  but the cacophony in the forest suggested the number could easily be double that. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS  were also present at Kingston’s Marshlands Conservation Area where WOOD DUCKS  were also seen. Kaiser Crossroad in Prince Edward County is still producing a few waterfowl in the wetlands there. Highlights today were 30 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 8 REDHEADS, 2 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 8 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 20 AMERICAN WIGEONS, and 10 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS. At the Glendon Green Boat Launch at the headwaters of the Outlet River in East Lake at Log Cabin Point, waterfowl now are scattered and a spotting scope is needed to see them. There today were 4 AMERICAN WIGEON, 4 BUFFLEHEADS, 6 MALLARDS, 4 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and 6 NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Six CANADA GEESE were also there (one on a nest), as well as 15 MUTE SWANS (also one on a nest). A CASPIAN TERN also showed up. Down at Prince Edward Point, highlights there today were BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, 5 CLIIFF SWALLOWS, 3 ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS, a MERLIN, 2 PINE SISKINS, a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, a nice group of 20 SURF SCOTERS, HERMIT THRUSH, and 2 FOX SPARROWS. However, this renowned point of land noted for its warblers, produced only a single YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. But, other members of the warbler family are around and with the warmer temperatures, should start appearing any day now in greater numbers. A PALM WARBLER  was there yesterday, and a report came in today from the Calabogie area of several PINE WARBLERS and a singing NASHVILLE WARBLER. So keep your eyes open. The warblers, they are acomin’! Two PINE WARBLERS and a WINTER WREN were at Kingston’s Lemoine Point Conservation Area today. Back in Prince Edward County, the spring’s first BROAD-WINGED HAWK turned up along Chuckery Hill Road, east of Picton, and farther east, there was a HOUSE WREN along Cressy Lakeside Road. A pleasant sight at Big island this afternoon when two SANDHILL CRANES flew across the Big Island Marsh, followed by a GREAT EGRET. At Smith’s Bay this weekend, 18 COMMON MERGANSERS and 2 WOOD DUCKS were good sightings there in the Waupoos area. Also viewed there with mixed feelings were 120 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS roosting in a tree. NORTHERN CARDINALS  are nesting at Luck’s Crossroad and, yes – I believe spring is here with the nesting season well under way. If you have been following the appearance of an EARED GREBE off the foot of Thickson Road in Whitby, the bird was still there as of this morning. An optimistic birder at Wellington who put out her nectar feeder got a customer right away, but this EASTERN CHIPMUNK wasn’t exactly what she had in mind! Photo by Terry McInnes-Edick.

Saturday, April 25: If the predicted night time lows for this week and well into the weekend have convinced you that the migration has stalled, the warblers and others are still forging ahead bravely, although not many have reached us here yet in the Bay of Quinte region. TENNESSEE WARBLERS, BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS, AMERICAN REDSTARTS and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS have made it into Pennsylvania and even into Maine, along with YELLOW WARBLERS and WOOD THRUSHES.   HOUSE WRENS, INDIGO BUNTINGS and EASTERN KINGBIRDS, were recently seen in Massachusetts. So, hang in there. The best is yet to come.  Two RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS and a male NORTHERN FLICKER were seen at one address along County Road 11 at East Lake today. Surprisingly, despite the gorgeous day, no other sightings came in from Prince Edward County today. Two MERLINS and an AMERICAN KESTREL were observed on Airport Parkway, east of Belleville today. There was a report of an early DUNLIN at Amherst Island a few days ago, and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS  continue to be seen occasionally.

Friday, April 24: It should come as no surprise that few sightings came in today. Things were excruciatingly slow at Prince Edward Point today but several birders had great views of  as many as five HARLEQUIN DUCKS. In keeping with the early morning snow squall today, EVENING GROSBEAKS that were regulars at a Codrington area feeder all winter, not surprisingly, were there again this morning.  Birds seen today at Charwell Point in the South Shore Important Bird Area, included BROWN THRASHER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, CHIPPING SPARROW, EASTERN TOWHEE, FOX  SPARROW and NORTHERN HARRIER. And in the Selby area, north of Napanee, a dozen GREATER YELLOWLEGS were present with the CANADA GEESE  on County Road #11, just east of Selby. An EASTERN BLUEBIRD was seen on Dowdle Roads at Hinch, near Eagle Rock Farm. Pamela Stagg’s weekly summary of the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands activity can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, April 23: Despite the cold winds and snow flurries today, birds are still responding to the urge to do what birds have been doing in the spring for thousands of years. Another quiet day at the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands, with waterfowl gradually heading off for points north. Highlights were a pair of BONAPARTE’S GULLS and three NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Other waterfowl present today were AMERICAN WIGEON, RING-NECKED DUCKS, REDHEADS, BUFFLEHEADS, MALLARDS, WOOD DUCKS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, GADWALL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and CANADA GEESE. At Prince Edward Point, a male and female HARLEQUIN DUCK have been present for two or three days now. GREAT EGRETS – eight of them – were seen last evening on Indian Island in the Bay of Quinte, just east of Carrying Place. At Wilton Creek today, pair of GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and at Lower Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area at Colin’s bay,  RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and PINE WARBLER  were noted. A pair of AMERICAN BITTERNS engaged in a "mating dance" for one observer just east of Forest Mills.  At Peat’s Point, near Massassauga Point, hundreds of BUFFLEHEADS, scaup and COMMON GOLDENEYE have been present. Some interesting sightings at Thickson’s Road at Whitby today have been an EARED GREBE and an early BLACK TERN arrival. An early DUNLIN was seen at Presqu'ile Park on the weekend. The Presqu’ile Provincial Park Weekly Bird Report by Fred Helleiner has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and this week’s report can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, April 22: A blonde morph GREY SQUIRREL, and a BELTED KINGFISHER  were both seen at Picton’s Glenwood Cemetery today. The Kaiser Crossroad continues to be a bit drafty. Two Picton area birders dropped by yesterday and noted  GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, LESSER SCAUP and RING-NECKED DUCKS. Cressy Lakeside Road had many BUFFLEHEADS, LONG-TAILED DUCKS and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. Waterfowl are now thinning out at the Kaiser Crossroads wetlands. The current highlight today was five NORTHERN SHOVELERS – a duck never seen in abundance at Kaiser. RING-NECKED DUCKS (72) were the most numerous and there were modest numbers of BUFFLEHEADS, REDHEADS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, MALLARDS and CANADA GEESE. Despite the cooler than-what-we-would-like temperatures, migrants keep trickling in. At the Slab Creek Swamp along the Millennium Trail in Hillier, a VIRGINIA RAIL turned up today. Among the 15 species of birds that were present in an undeveloped area north of Haig Road in Belleville, were AMERICAN WOODCOCK, 6 SONG SPARROWS, a NORTHERN FLICKER, and a couple SWAMP SPARROWS. It is always a treat when these little birding areas can be found and enjoyed off the beaten track.  CHIPPING SPARROW, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and  WILSON'S SNIPE noted at Allisonville, and about 20-30 WILD TURKEYS  strutting and displaying in an open field between Picton and Demorestville today. The PINE WARBLER along County Road 12 near Sandbanks has been a regular for some days at a feeder, and continues to drop in daily. NORTHERN FLICKER and CASPIAN TERNS seen at Belleville’s Zwick’s Park. At the Consecon Dam, at the old mill, there were two GREAT BLUE HERONS there today and both were having good success at fishing. Present too were 6 COMMON MERGANSERS. Some nice birds yesterday at the Marshlands Conservation Area in Kingston, among them, RUSTY BLACKBIRD, GREAT BLUE HERON, HERMIT THRUSH, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, FIELD SPARROW, and both GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS. This property has been known by various names over the years including Little Cataraqui Creek Valley Lands, Cataraqui Marshlands Environmental Protection Area and Cataraqui Bay Marshlands Conservation Area. This trail is also the trailhead for the Rideau Trail, and if you walk far enough, you will stumble into Ottawa. I have walked only as far as Polson Park, still in the City of Kingston! Kingston has some amazing and well maintained conservation areas such as Lemoine Point and Parrott’s Bay, all of which I visit as often as I can for birding.

Tuesday, April 21: High winds at the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands the past two days have sent the waterfowl into the shelter of the vegetation at the back of the north wetland. Counts of the birds were not possible. Other than that, nothing in the way of sightings came in today.  A PINE WARBLER is coming to a feeder along C.R. 12 near Sandbanks Park. 

Monday, April 20: A PURPLE FINCH at a Camden East area feeder is just one of many that are now turning up at feeding stations all over as the species migrates through the area. It wasn't the best day for birding today, but a few sightings trickled in including a COMMON RAVEN at Big Island`s North Shore Road that appeared be carrying a tiny baby RACCOON.  Seen on the Bay of Quinte were 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, 2 NORTHERN PINTAILS and 6 COMMON MERGANSERS. Near the corner of North Big Island Road and Allison Road, NORTHERN FLICKERS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, FOX SPARROW, HOUSE FINCHES, OSPREY and TURKEY VULTURES were noted. At the Brighton Constructed Wetland, waterfowl noted today were WOOD DUCK, NORTHERN SHOVELER, RING-NECKED DUCK and BUFFLEHEAD. Present yesterday at the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands were 750 BONAPARTE`S GULLS in several groups of about 50 each. A WINTER WREN, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, EASTERN TOWHEE, FOX SPARROW and PURPLE FINCH as well as both PINE and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, were tallied at Prince Edward Point. There was a MERLIN seen at Point Petre, and another is behaving very noisily at Trenton. Two good sightings yesterday along Lighthall Road in the South Shore Important Bird Area was a  RED-SHOULDERED HAWK and a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER. A kayaker paddling the Outlet River and parts of Athol Bay yesterday found CASPIAN TERNS, BONAPARTE`S GULLS, RING-BILLED GULLS, COMMON MERGANSERS and BUFFLEHEADS. Choruses of WOOD FROGS were still vocalizing along the Outlet River. Congratulations to the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists on their victory at saving Ostrander Point from a serious invasive species – industrial wind turbines. Details are in the News tonight. It was a tough battle, but Nature and biodiversity in a sensitive habitat won in an age where species legislation these days is usually dictated by the bottomless pockets of developers.

Sunday, April 19: Thank you so much to all the photographers whose photos I often use in this Report, who came to the big 50th Anniversary Celebration held in my honour last night in Wellington. Fifty years a naturalist and birder. How did I get old, so fast? A RUFFED GROUSE held up traffic today on Wesley Acres Road in Bloomfield. But, the delay was worth it, as there were 6 GREEN-WINGED TEAL in a field beside the road that is always flooded in the spring of the year, and where good waterfowl and shorebird watching are available until the land is drained for planting. SWAMP SPARROW  was also seen along that same road, at the bridge. When the birders who submitted the above photo arrived home to County Road 12, they found a PINE WARBLER  visiting their feeder. CHIPPING SPARROW at a Narrow Street backyard today, and a HERMIT THRUSH was there yesterday.  A Camden East area resident found 21 species of birds today without even venturing from the perimeter of her backyard. Among them were 4 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS, a pair of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, 2 AMERICAN KESTRELS, 2 EASTERN PHOEBES and a PILEATED WOODPECKER, one of three that stopped by. A male PURPLE FINCH was also present, and another was at a feeder today in Napanee. Two NORTHERN FLICKERS and a GREAT BLUE HERON in Newburgh. Today, along the Aitkin`s Road extension, just east of Belleville, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS showed up. Five VESPER SPARROWS and 5 SAVANNAH SPARROWS were also seen, and a FOX SPARROW. Yesterday, five duck species were present, among them,  5 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a nice little gathering of 10 WOOD DUCKS. In the Harmony Road wetland, 2 BLUE-WINGED TEAL were added to the list for the day, and 7 HOODED MERGANSERS.  WILSON`S SNIPE  were heard and 2 PILEATED WOODPECKERS  were also found here. On the other side of the wetland which becomes the H.R. Frink Centre and its legendary boardwalk, a RING-NECKED DUCK was found, three GREEN HERONS, RED-TAILED HAWK, WILSON`S SNIPE. Added to the list too were SWAMP SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, BROWN CREEPER, and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. Along Baptist Church Road, a BELTED KINGFISHER turned up, NORTHERN FLICKER, 3 FIELD SPARROWS. On the Trans Canada Trail through Springbrook, north of Stirling, HOODED MERGANSER, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW were significant finds. On another Trail yesterday, the Trail of Two Lakes off Crookston Road near Madoc, 3 WILSON`S SNIPE were found there, but the big prize was a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER that was viewed well, but briefly in binoculars. And at Kaiser Cross wetlands today, the following report has been filed by birder Pamela Stagg: Waterfowl numbers continue to drop, although there is still an interesting variety of species. BONAPARTE’S GULLS now number 60+ and there are four NORTHERN SHOVELERS. AMERICAN WIGEON continue to be numerous for that species. Other waterfowl include GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEADS, BUFFLEHEADS, MALLARDS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, RING-NECKED  DUCKS, NORTHERN PINTAILS, GADWALL and CANADA GEESE. One WOOD DUCK was also present.

Saturday, April 18: EASTERN TOWHEES arrived just a few days ago, and one was seen today at East Lake, and others today at Northport, Prince Edward Point, Waupoos, Napanee and Belleville. File photo is by Jeff Haffner of Napanee. The best birding as one cyclist found out today at Presqui’le Park is either on shank’s mare or by bicycle. Seen today by one cyclist were 2 GREAT EGRETS, a BARRED OWL, 12 CEDAR WAXWINGS, 6 NORTHERN FLICKERS, 2 BROWN CREEPERS, 2 BUFFLEHEADS and 20 RING-NECKED DUCKS, and a variety of other more common species. Yesterday in the Gull Pond area of the South Shore Important Bird Areas in Prince Edward County, 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SONG SPARROWS, 1 WILD TURKEY,  RUFFED GROUSE, NORTHERN FLICKER and RED-TAILED HAWK. Two pairs of CANADA GEESE and a pair of BUFFLEHEADS were at the berm in the Ducks Unlimited containment area. A GREAT BLUE HERON was also seen on its nest in the heronry in the wooded swamp. Its nest was one of only five nests counted. This heronry was once the largest in the County, with more than 200 nests. However, natural decay of the dead trees took its toll and many of the trees that once held nests have since fallen over. Yesterday, a lone white morph SNOW GOOSE was seen at Milford. A male PURPLE FINCH is coming to a feeder along County Road 10 just south of Picton, and if you want to travel a bit north to find another one, a male was at the Visitor Centre feeder at Algonquin Park. In Algonquin Park, spring has arrived with the sighting of SANDHILL CRANE, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, TREE SWALLOW, WINTER WREN and  RUSTY BLACKBIRD as well as AMERICAN KESTRELS, BELTED KINGFISHER, NORTHERN FLICKER, FOX SPARROW, BROWN THRASHER, and for ducks – GREEN-WINGED TEAL and RING-NECKED DUCK. A rather late sighting that just came to my attention this evening was that of a TUFTED TITMOUSE that visited a feeder during January on Green Point Road east of Picton. The numbers at Kaiser Crossroad are getting low and next week should, I think, be the last report. Waterfowl numbers are dropping in the Kaiser wetlands yet there is still a variety of species to be seen: GREEN-WINGED TEAL, RING-NECKED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEADS, REDHEADS, GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAILS, MALLARDS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and CANADA GEESE. There is one lone NORTHERN SHOVELER and two SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. In the Ameliasburgh area, Snider Road had an EASTERN BLUEBIRD sitting on a nest box. On the Stinson Block there was a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and a BROWN THRASHER. The feeder in Carrying Place which has had COMMON  REDPOLLS all winter has not had any for a few days. In the Camden East area today, pair of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, CHIPPING SPARROW 2 AMERICAN KESTRELS, EASTERN PHOEBES and 3 PILEATED WOODPECKERS were highlights.

Friday, April 17: We’ll start this evening’s Report with the BOLD and then wrap it up with the BEAUTIFUL. On Rosebush Road at Glen Ross (north of Frankford) today, some extremely unusual behaviour from an OSPREY, a bird that is almost exclusively a fish eating bird of prey, with occasional deviation from the norm by eating a snake or two. An observer in that area, was driving home yesterday when he noticed an OSPREY standing on the edge of the nest platform frame. Just as he arrived at the pole, the OSPREY took flight whereupon, it dove down to the ground. There was some thrashing around and then the bird tried to fly away, but was unable to get more than a meter off the ground because it had a GROUNDHOG in its talons! It got about halfway across the field before landing. The bird with its catch just kept starring back in the observer’s direction. Finally it got up and flew back towards the nest but as it tried to gain altitude it was labouring to lift the chubby chuck. The OSPREY dropped its catch from about 3-5 meters high and the mammal hit the driveway with a thud. The WOODCHUCK was quite dead as it failed to move after being dropped.  However, the bird flew away without trying to retrieve it's prize.  Why would a bird who's diet consists mainly of fish and nesting so close to a river go after a big rodent? Even Arthur Cleveland Bent's Life Histories of North American Birds, a 26 volume comprehensive life history of every species of North American bird which has been my source for unusual behaviour since the day I bought these books in the 1960s, gives no mention of such behaviour. It does mention snakes, young ducks and frogs as possible foods other than fish, but ONLY in extremely rare cases. The migration is moving right along at Prince Edward Point where banding began this week at the Observatory. Bander in Charge, David Okines, has banded over 500 birds in their first week of operation. Present today -   PINE and YELLOW-RUMP WARBLERS, three species of swallow – BARN, CLIFF and TREE, 8 sparrow species comprising WHITE-THROATED, AMERICAN TREE, CHIPPING, FOX, SWAMP, FIELD and SONG SPARROWS, and DARK-EYED JUNCOS. Also present today, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, PURPLE and HOUSE FINCHES, PINE SISKIN, HERMIT THRUSH, RUBY and GOLDEN CROWNED KINGLETS, BROWN CREEPER, WINTER WREN,  YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, NORTHERN FLICKER, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, EASTERN TOWHEE, EASTERN PHOEBE, a 2nd year BALD EAGLE, TURKEY VULTURES, along with rafts of WHITE WING SCOTERS, and smaller groups of COMMON and RED BREASTED MERGANSERS. Certainly well worth making the trip this weekend, I would say. A kayaker paddling the mighty Black River from Milford for a distance of three kilometres, came across 10 MALLARDS, 8 BUFFLEHEADS, 5 CANADA GEESE, 2 WOOD DUCKS,  3 GREAT BLUE HERONS, 2 NORTHERN HARRIERS and a RED-TAILED HAWK. Another place paddling birders should visit, but do it before late May or the aquatic growth will stop you in your wake. In the Trenton and Carrying Place area today, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, along with a MERLIN bothering some birds at a feeder. Backyard birds at Wooler haven’t given up the feeders just yet. Reported there were DOWNY WOODPECKERS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, AMERICAN ROBINS and EASTERN PHOEBES. Some birds are feeding, others are nesting. A motorist today on Lake on the Mountain Road noted a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE  working away on a nest cavity in a dead tree limb. COMMON LOON today at Zwick’s Park (Belleville), a LESSER SCAUP, BONAPARTE’S GULLS and BELTED KINGFISHER. Along Airport Parkway, east of Belleville, 2 AMERICAN KESTRELS  and a VESPER SPARROW.  The first shorebirds arrived at the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands today – small numbers of SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. As well, recent arrivals are still present: BONAPARTE’S GULLS (30) and one NORTHERN SHOVELER. Numbers of waterfowl are much reduced, but there is still an interesting variety: BUFFLEHEADS, REDHEADS, GREEN-WINGER TEAL, BLACK DUCKS, GADWALL, RING-NECKED DUCKS, MALLARDS, CANADA GEESE and AMERICAN WIGEON. Better make some travelling plans for this weekend. It seems there is an opportunity to see lots of good stuff at various locations. By the way, Birder Pamela Stagg who submits her sightings from Kaiser Crossroad, summarizes her daily surveys of waterfowl at Kaiser Crossroad into a weekly report, which can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, April 16: The LARK SPARROW  was present again today at Lemoine Point Conservation Area. And not to be outdone by a pretty face, this FOX SPARROW showed up in a Narrow Street backyard today in Wellington Recent arrivals in the Kingston area have included NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS, AMERICAN BITTERN, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, LITTLE GULL, CAROLINA WREN and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. At Prince Edward Point today, 3 SURF SCOTERS, 400 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, and 2 PINE WARBLERS were spotted checked off. Equally good sightings yesterday there included 2 BROWN THRASHERS, 2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS (10 today), a PINE SISKIN and two PINE WARBLERS. A LITTLE GULL  was seen at the Glenora Ferry crossing early this morning and a CHIPPING SPARROW  was seen in the Carrying Place area. The season`s first VIRGINIA RAIL appeared at the H.R. Frink Centre, north of Belleville, this afternoon. Also on the property, two duelling YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS were having a very genteel match. Each one waited for the other the finish drumming before the other answered. Waterfowl spotted from the Black River Bridge today included one WOOD DUCK, 2 HOODED MERGANSERS, 6 RING-NECKED DUCKS. A CAROLINA WREN also turned up in that area, too. Waterfowl numbers are declining at the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands. No species numbered as many as 100, although numbers for RING-NECKED DUCKS (62), AMERICAN WIGEON (48) and GADWALL (12) are still high. There are modest numbers of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEADS, MALLARDS and BLACK DUCKS. Just one NORTHERN SHOVELER was present, but a PIED-BILLED GREBE was heard. Other species here and there seen by our reporter in the field, Pamela Stagg, included a NORTHERN HARRIER over the cattail marshes of Black River, a BROWN THRASHER along County Road 7 east of Lake on the Mountain, and CHIPPING SPARROWS  and FIELD SPARROWS in this same person`s backyard. Not bad for a Thursday. Now, let`s see what tomorrow brings. The Weekly Presqu’ile Provincial Park Bird Report by Fred Helleiner has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website. You can read this week`s Report by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, April 15: Once again, the LARK SPARROW turned up at Lemoine Point Conservation Area at Kingston. Despite the cold start to spring, some species are still arriving way ahead of schedule. An EASTERN KINGBIRD turned up on Big Island today, and an equally early LEAST FLYCATCHER was observed in the Forest Mills area. Also seen there along Lockridge and Dowdle Roads: HERMIT THRUSH, an AMERICAN BITTERN calling, PILEATED WOODPECKER, and NORTHERN FLICKERS. In the same area, but along Rattie Road, a slow drive there revealed LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, AMERICAN KESTRELS, EASTERN MEADOWLARK, TREE SWALLOWS, NORTHERN HARRIER, CANADA GEESE, SWAMP SPARROW, and TURKEY VULTURES. Another LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE  was seen yesterday at the Newburgh alvar in the Napanee Limestone Plain IBA. At the Aitken`s Road extension in east Belleville, seen today were RED-TAILED HAWK, SAVANNAH SPARROW, VESPER SPARROW and WOOD DUCK.  Near the west end of Black Road (Demorestville area), NORTHERN FLICKER and a single PURPLE FINCH showed up for one resident. Two birders passing through Northport today noted an unusual gathering of 6 OSPREYS flying in a group above a nesting platform. Prince Edward Point is off to a slow start, but birds seen today were BROWN THRASHER,  FOX SPARROW, a few RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, a kettle of eight TURKEY VULTURES with a RED-TAILED HAWK soaring with them. A COMMON RAVEN kept harassing them, circling and herding them into a tight group. HERMIT THRUSH and FIELD SPARROW  were also seen, and three species of swallow – TREE, CLIFF and ROUGH-WINGED.

Tuesday, April 14: More signs of spring with the appearance today of a MIDLAND PAINTED TURTLE at Prince Edward Point. SPRING PEEPERS, WESTERN CHORUS FROGS, LEOPARD FROGS and WOOD FROGS  are now calling in collective happiness and AMERICAN TOADS should be sounding their wavering trill almost any day now. PINE WARBLERS turned up again today, this time at Prince Edward Point. These are one of our earlier warbler species, and will soon be followed by incoming YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, PALM WARBLERS and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS. Then all hell breaks out in mid-May when the wooded areas in prime birding areas like Prince Edward Point, West Point (Sandbanks), Point Petre and Presquìle Park will be a chorus of new warbler arrivals – more than 25 species! A LARK SPARROW  was found at Lemoine Point Conservation Area at 6:45 p.m. last evening, associating with DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and was present again in the same spot this morning. Along the Millennium Trail at Consecon Lake, birds present there today were CANADA GEESE, RING-NECKED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEADS, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, AMERICAN ROBINS and NORTHERN HARRIER. SWAMP SPARROWS were in abundance and according to the observer, singing "lustily"! At Prince Edward Point, lots of kinglets, NORTHERN FLICKERS, and numerous LONG-TAILED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEADS, and mergansers in Prince Edward Bay and Lake Ontario. NORTHERN FLICKERS  were seen along North Big Island Road and four were spotted at Sandbanks along with 11 BARN SWALLOWS, TREE SWALLOWS and PILEATED WOODPECKER. In the Ameliasburgh area, equal numbers of GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS. Also seen were two each of NORTHERN HARRIER, BROWN CREEPER and RUSTY BLACKBIRD. The Gardenville Marsh along the Millennium Trail where yesterday it was heronville, today only a GREAT EGRET remained, likely the same individual that was seen yesterday. There were two exciting new arrivals at the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands today: 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and about 40 BONAPARTE’S GULLS. Numbers of RING-NECKED DUCKS (100+), BLACK DUCKS (46) and AMERICAN WIGEON (88) remain high. The figure for AMERICAN WIGEON is exceptionally high. Present in more modest numbers are WOOD DUCKS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEADS, MALLARDS, BUFFLEHEADS, NORTHERN PINTAILS, GADWALL and  CANADA GEESE.

Monday, April 13: After the cold temperatures and deep snow of this past winter, we never thought we’d be saying this – “The warblers are here!” Well, at least one anyway. A PINE WARBLER turned up today in a backyard east of Lake on the Mountain. And, if that wasn’t enough, the season’s first EASTERN TOWHEE  was there too! Two PINE WARBLERS also showed up today at Presqu’ile Park, at the lighthouse.  Kayakers on the Outlet River at Sandbanks found BELTED KINGFISHERS along the river. One birder walking a portion of the Millennium Trail across the Gardenville Marsh, not far from Carrying Place had good reason to exclaim, “Holy heron!” On approaching the bridge a pair of BLUE-WINGED TEAL flew in, his first this year. Then a GREAT BLUE HERON flew off, not unexpected. The next three herons were not expected! Two BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were standing in the open and then a well plumed GREAT EGRET walked into view. Finally an AMERICAN BITTERN flew from one patch of cattails to another. At 6:30 this morning, two SANDHILL CRANES put in an appearance at North Big Island Road, near Allison Road. A birder at Kaiser Crossroad at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning counted 28 BONAPARTE’S GULLS and a SAVANNAH SPARROW. Another SAVANNAH SPARROW bush-hopped ahead of me on a walk this morning east of 23 Sprague Road where I also came across two COMMON RAVENS nosily having it out with each other in spectacular aerial manoeuvres. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, BROWN CREEPERS, and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS are still being seen at Prince Edward Point. In fact, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS are turning up everywhere right now, often in sizable groups. Five were seen in Ameliasburgh today, another five at the Potter Creek Conservation Area (formerly Quinte Conservation Area) at Belleville, and as mentioned in yesterday’s report, an impressive count of 50 was made at Prince Edward Point. Joining them today at Presqu’ile Park were RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, said to be “everywhere”. Three CEDAR WAXWINGS and a RED-TAILED HAWK were also nice finds at Potter Creek. CEDAR WAXWINGS, HERMIT THRUSH and NORTHERN FLICKER (with one small area holding 10 birds of the latter) were reported from the Ameliasburgh area. And an early singing HOUSE WREN showed up near Sandbanks today. Today’s fine weather and temperatures really activated PURPLE MARTINS AND TREE SWALLOWS which were happily singing and chortling away at nest boxes. At West Lake, BUFFLEHEADS and scaup were  in small groups close to shore today doing their mating displays, with many already paired up. Thirty-nine CANADA GEESE  were loafing in a field at one residence on North Big Island Road, and a pair was strolling around our own yard on Sprague Road for most of the day. Also on North Shore Big Island Road, EASTERN PHOEBE, 11 COMMON GRACKLES, 2 MERLINS, RED-TAILED HAWK, a pair of HOUSE FINCHES  and, among the 8 or so RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 6 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. The ice made its way out of the Bay of Quinte today, and taking advantage of the open conditions were 5 COMMON MERGANSERS, 2 NORTHERN PINTAILS and 6 RING-NECKED DUCKS. At the Brighton Constructed Wetland today, a pair each of WOOD DUCKS and BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Today at Kaiser, numbers of RING-NECKED DUCKS (100+), AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS (76) and AMERICAN WIGEON (44) remain high. There are lower numbers of CANADA GEESE, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEADS, MALLARDS, NORTHERN PINTAILS and GADWALL. While BUFFLEHEAD numbers are modest (14), this is more than usual for Kaiser. WOOD DUCK numbers were also up (7).

Sunday, April 12: Folks were bustling around today getting their nest boxes erected as TREE SWALLOWS took advantage of the warm sunshiny day to seek out accommodation. Also being erected today were PURPLE MARTIN HOUSES. The species was noted today in ones and twos at Big Island, Smith’s Bay, and Black Road near Demorestville. Today, north of Frankford, Bata Island was alive with birds with BROWN CREEPER, NORTHERN FLICKER, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, EASTERN PHOEBE, SONG SPARROWS and numerous TREE SWALLOWS being noted. CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS and RING-NECKED DUCKS  were present in the Trent River at the north end of the island.  It was a perfect morning to be out wherever you chose to go with lots of activity and all birds in full song. Even WESTERN CHORUS FROGS and SPRING PEEPERS  were taking part in the Carrying Place area. Seen by one birder up that way were six CASPIAN TERNS, one BARN SWALLOW, two FIELD SPARROWS, three SAVANNAH SPARROWS, and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW in first year plumage. Three separate sightings of PILEATED WOODPECKERS excavating nest holes. SAVANNAH SPARROW also seen at Big Island. At Prince Edward Point today, a VESPER SPARROW  was among the more notable sightings with other highlights being 5 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, 10 SONG SPARROWS, 50 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 4 BROWN CREEPERS, 8 EASTERN PHOEBES, 4 NORTHERN FLICKERS, and a COMMON LOON. A Kingston Field Naturalists field trip in the Kingston area today yielded lots of OSPREY, a couple of GREAT BLUE HERONS, HOUSE FINCHES, 2 BELTED KINGFISHERS,  RED-TAILED HAWKS, BUFFLEHEADS, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, HOODED and COMMON MERGANSERS, numerous NORTHERN CARDINALS, and SONG SPARROWS. The group also found 7 WOOD DUCKS perched in some trees. Also seen, this RED-TAILED HAWK making off with a RED SQUIRREL. At  the Sheba’s Island causeway at West Lake today, a West Lake resident birding there watched as an aerial battle took place between two CASPIAN TERNS, each of which wanted a single successfully caught NORTHERN PIKE. I guess neither of them realized that pike season is now over. A lone PIED-BILLED GREBE turned up on West Lake, and at Wellington Harbour, two AMERICAN COOTS turned up together. There was welcome sunshine at the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands today and some of the waterfowl – CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS, AMERICAN WIGEON and AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS took advantage of the warmth to rest and forage on dry land, where they were obscured by vegetation and a fold in the hills. Any numbers for these species are, frankly, guesses, although AMERICAN WIGEON and AMERICAN BLACK DUCK numbers were high, perhaps around 50. The number of AMERICAN WIGEON is exceptional this year, as is the count for GADWALL, 20 today. Other species stayed in the water and could be counted more reliably. There were over 100 RING-NECKED DUCKS. Numbers for other species were low: REDHEADS, BUFFLEHEADS (2),  GREEN-WINGED TEAL (2), WOOD DUCKS, HOODED MERGANSERS and NORTHERN PINTAILS (4). The Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville is moving right along with MUTE SWANS, CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL,  RING-NECKED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED MERGANSER and AMERICAN WIGEON present, but all in very low numbers. Even a ho-hum farm pond along County Road 10 near Milford that hosted a Black-bellied Whistling Duck a few years ago, offered its share of waterfowl, including 3 CANADA GEESE, a BUFFLEHEAD, and two unidentified scaup and a female merganser. Yesterday, at the OSPREY platform at the head of South Bay, an OSPREY there was spending its free time trying to drive off a marauding COMMON RAVEN. And just to remind us of the winter that was, COMMON REDPOLLS are still coming to feeders in Wellington (4), and Belleville (12). Other interesting sightings included a SANDHILL CRANE near Fenwood Gardens along C.R. 28, and a COMMON LOON at Massassauga Point.

Saturday, April 11: Lots going on today, what with invading ice and marsh fires. High winds today and last night piled chunks of ice as high as the roof line of a house at Indian Point at the east end of Cressy. Anyone who has ever experienced this phenomenon knows there is no stopping the ice once it begins and there are startling videos on YouTube of ice pushing in the sides of houses and continuing its march inside the interior of houses. This pile of ice stopped within 25 feet of a house. On Big Island, the annual bizarre 50-year old ceremony of setting the marsh on fire took place at 2:00 a.m. this morning in extremely high winds, threatening homes along County Road 15 as a wall of flames continued until about noon. Arsonists are responsible for the fires. On a happier note today, the high winds and warmer temperatures brought in a few birds with the first PURPLE MARTIN of the season in the immediate Bay of Quinte area showing up along Lower Massassauga Road. Others will surely follow as temperatures continue their upward trend this week. A WILSON’S SNIPE  was heard winnowing over downtown Allisonville this morning, and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER spent the day in our yard at Big Island. At the Marshlands Conservation Area in Kingston, seen today were SONG SPARROWS, EASTERN PHOEBES, BROWN CREEPERS, FOX SPARROWS, 29 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, HERMIT THRUSH, SWAMP SPARROW, and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS - just a few of the highlights there noted by observers. A BELTED KINGFISHER was present at Wellington Harbour, and at Consecon Creek, birds seen there included 4 WOOD DUCKS and three AMERICAN KESTRELS. TREE SWALLOWS were seen throughout the County today, but still in relatively low numbers, certainly nowhere near the 200 seen at Trenton yesterday. An AMERICAN COOT  is still present at West Lake in Wellington, where today it was photographed munching on some aquatic vegetation. Non-bird critters noted today was the first LEOPARD FROG of the season at the junction of Babylon Road and Long Point Road and, of course, WESTERN CHORUS FROGS have been announcing their presence for several days now. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, singles of ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and SNOWY OWL,  WINTER WREN and another PURPLE MARTIN arrival were some of the highlights on Amherst Island today. And, ending this Report on a sad note, one of the founders and key figures in earlier years of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, David Hussell,  passed away suddenly as the result of a catastrophic hemorrhage stroke.

Friday, April 10: A bit drafty today out in the country and, especially, at Sandbanks Provincial Park where I did a little exploring, eventually retreating to the shelter of the Woodlands Campground where I came upon a a group of about a half dozen NORTHERN FLICKERS. A clear movement of flickers was noted today at the Marshlands Conservation Area in Kingston as well, so it was likely the west/southwest winds that ushered them across Lake Ontario. Winds also moved ice around today. One motorist travelling from Wellington to Picton noted that almost all of West Lake was open. On the return trip, ice had returned and was packed up near the Ceremet building along Highway 33. On Lake Ontario, much the same thing, with chunks of ice cascading in and piling up on shore. Winds may have contributed to a swan making an unscheduled landing on Cedar Street in Brighton, hitting the deck of the home full force and killing it late last night. The head area could not be seen in the attached photo to determine whether it was a MUTE SWAN or a TUNDRA SWAN. Since TUNDRA SWANS migrate at night and MUTE SWANS probably don’t move around much after dark since they are more sedentary, the bird was likely a TUNDRA SWAN. The swan has all the answers and, unfortunately, won’t be revealing any details anytime soon. EASTERN PHOEBES returned in full force at Marshlands Conservation Area in Kingston, along with the flickers, and a HERMIT THRUSH also arrived there today. A Howe Island resident has witnessed 85 SNOW GEESE (white morph) since Tuesday, the birds flying onto the island in the early morning and again in the afternoon. Winds may have been responsible too for today's sightings by two separate birders of a BLACK VULTURE in with a group of nine TURKEY VULTURES along County Road 13 at South Bay. Sightings of BLACK VULTURES in eastern Ontario are becoming more numerous as this southern species continues its range expansion. In Prince Edward County, there have been 13 sightings since the first bird was observed and photographed in 1997 by a birder who had been sitting in his car casually eating his lunch when the bird landed in a tree in front of him! TREE SWALLOWS have arrived on the Trent River between Norampac and #1 dam and about 200 birds were buzzing low over the water snatching insects. An EASTERN BLUEBIRD was seen today across from the Smuggler's Cove sign in a forested area by the house along County Road 13 . A WILSON’S SNIPE ignored the high winds along Fry Road today, and still managed to put on a commanding aerial display for one observer. At Prince Edward Point today, lots of NORTHERN FLICKERS, FOX, SAVANNAH, CHIPPING, VESPER SPARROWS arriving in flocks off the lake. Although wind makes birding difficult on days like this, it does work to our benefit by bringing numbers of them across the lake. Other birds looked for shelter. Waterfowl in the high winds on East Lake were concentrated near the headwaters of the Outlet River at Log Cabin Point. Noted today when I drove in to the Glendon Green Boat Launch off County Road 13, were equal numbers (about 70 each) of BUFFLEHEAD, RING-NECKED DUCKS and a handful of MALLARDS.

Thursday, April 09: Not a lot going on today, bird-wise. This COMMON MERGANSER was one of eight mergansers taking advantage of a small opening in the ice along the bayshore created by an outflow from the Cressy Marsh.  At Wellington Harbour, only a single RED-NECKED GREBE was present today (two had been seen earlier). Most of the ducks had vacated the harbour, although they can still be seen through a spotting scope out in West Lake – AMERICAN COOT, BUFFLEHEAD, LONG-TAILED DUCK, etc. The population continues at Kaiser Crossroad where expected species are REDHEADS, RING-NECKED DUCKS, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GADWALL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, BUFFLEHEAD, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, MALLARD and, of course, CANADA GOOSE. At Wellington’s Highline Mushroom Farm today, a SANDHILL CRANE was seen flying over. What do you call a flock of snipe? Whatever the name (I think it’s a “wisp”), there were 18 today in one concentrated group in a wet area with some CANADA GEESE on the north side of Nugent Road, just north of Camden East. An AMERICAN KESTREL was seen on Airport Parkway east of Belleville today, and two more along Fry Road and County Road 4 in Prince Edward County. The season’s first reported CHIPPING SPARROW  came from Amherstview. Birds of note seen today at Kingston’s  Marshlands Conservation Area -  FOX SPARROW, GREAT HORNED OWL, WINTER WREN, MERLIN and AMERICAN WOODCOCK. Three PINE SISKINS were seen at Lake Ontario Park in Kingston, and also in that city, a nice group of 20 HOODED MERGANSERS at at Doug Fluhrer Park. The Presqu’ile Provincial Park Weekly Bird Report by Fred Helleiner has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website, and can be read by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, April 08: The ice is out – well, working at it anyway – and it’s time to launch the kayak in the Outlet River at Sandbanks. Contending with small floating ice fields and a strong current, photographer and kayaker Marilyn Sprissler of Glenora enjoyed her first paddle of the spring season yesterday. The current is exceptionally strong in the river right now, since the build-up of water in East Lake has grown to such an extent that it recently breached the mouth of the river in the park which routinely seals itself with drifting sand in the late summer. Although a rigorous paddle at times, she did manage to see two BELTED KINGFISHERS  and a few ducks on yesterday’s paddle. If birders didn’t get out this morning to bird, then likely they never got out at all once the weather moved in by 11:00 a.m. This morning, 11 TUNDRA SWANS flew low over the Big Island Marsh, calling energetically as they made their way in the direction of Northport. The Hamilton Wetland west of Demorestville is still a bit slow in building up its waterfowl numbers, but present yesterday evening were GREEN-WINGED TEAL and HOODED MERGANSERS. Driving rain at Kaiser Crossroad this afternoon made a waterfowl count impossible, since it quickly blurred binoculars and eyeglasses. However, it was obvious that CANADA GEESE numbers were up substantially (possibly around 1,000) after a week when they’ve been largely absent. Duck numbers are still high and there is still a variety of species. The Harmony Road wetland, north of Belleville,  is showing a little open water. Today there were 18 MALLARDS, 2 CANADA GEESE and 1 GREAT BLUE HERON. An adult BALD EAGLE was seen over Adolphus Reach this morning and this afternoon, a GOLDEN EAGLE was spotted at Robinson Cove, at the northwest corner of Big Island. A dead BROWN CREEPER, likely a window strike, was found at a West Lake home near Sandbanks. More alive, was a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER  today at a feeder near the west end of Victoria Road in Ameliasburgh. In the Wilton area, 14 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were seen today as this species commences its northward migration through the area. COMMON REDPOLLS (13) still coming to a Belleville feeder & 5 in Napanee.  

Tuesday, April 07:  HOODED MERGANSERS seen and photographed  at Algonquin Provincial Park today, indicate that things are starting to loosen up a bit up there finally. Meanwhile, down here in the banana belt, duck numbers are still high at the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands. There are over 100 NORTHERN PINTAILS and RING-NECK DUCKS. AMERICAN WIGEON (52) and GADWALL (26) are high for their species. There were smaller numbers of CANADA GEESE, BUFFLEHEADS, REDHEADS, MALLARDS, WOOD DUCKS and AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS.  Prinyer’s Cove is starting to open up and there were 5 HOODED MERGANSERS present today, likely the same ones that were seen there on Saturday. RED-TAILED HAWKS, AMERICAN KESTRELS and EASTERN MEADOWLARKS were seen in the Madoc area. So, things are happening, but the migration may not get really moving until the temperatures become more like spring in a few days. Despite the reluctance of some species to put in an appearance, at least, in any great numbers, an exceptionally early LINCOLN’S SPARROW  was seen today in Belleville, the observer getting good looks at it before the bird disappeared. An EASTERN PHOEBE was calling from a backyard today east of Lake on the Mountain. COMMON GRACKLES in Napanee, a NORTHERN HARRIER on Big Island and a rather amusing sighting as I was returning from a long walk across the neighbouring farm. An OSPREY carrying a very large fish passed only a few metres in front of me, the fish so heavy that the bird was struggling to stay airborne, barely managing only a metre or so high off the ground. Some distance away, the bird finally collapsed with its catch of the day, presumably to consume right on the ground. One birder returning from a day in New York State a few days ago noted lots of GREAT BLUE HERONS standing on the ice along the St. Lawrence as well as upstate New York. Other miscellaneous sightings today included 2 HOODED MERGANSERS along Oliver Road east of Deseronto, 2 PINE SISKINS in Tweed, 12 COMMON REDPOLLS still at a Belleville feeder, a WINTER WREN and 30 (count them!) DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS at Kingston’s Belle Island on the Cataraqui River, and 8 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS at the Marshlands Conservation Area. An early season kayaker paddling this afternoon up and down the Outlet River at Sandbanks Park came across 25 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 1 MUTE SWAN, 8 MALLARDS and 2 BELTED KINGFISHERS. One of the more interesting wetlands to bird in at any time of the year is the Brighton Constructed Wetland along County Road 64. One does need an annual $5.00 permit to enter the constructed wetland legally and these are available online at www.Brighton.ca. Click on “tourism” and then “constructed wetland” from the side menu bar. Print off the form, fill it in and mail it to Brighton Public Works, 67  Sharp Road, Brighton ON K0K 1H0  along with the $5.00.   Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope in order to receive your permit in the mail. Well worth the expense. I was there several times last year. The permit expires on October 20th.

Monday, April 06: Spring is here, the high numbers of birds have disappeared from the majority of feeders, and now, it’s time for the clean-up staff to come in and spruce up the area under the feeders. A record number of SNOWY OWLS – an amazing 44 – were present today on Amherst Island as the species migrates through our area, heading north. The majority of the birds were on the ice off the south shore. Also productive was the centre of the island and Amherst Bay, where 13 birds were visible on the ice from one spot.  Two SANDHILL CRANES  were seen a few days ago west of Demorestville, and along County Road 12 near Sandbanks, the resident PILEATED WOODPECKER  dropped in once again for breakfast in the backyard. OSPREYS  today at Rankin Road at East Lake and at Baz Auto on Highway 2 east of Belleville. HOODED MERGANSERS and MALLARDS are starting to show up at the Hamilton Wetland along County Road 14 as conditions improve there. At Twelve O’Clock Point at the end of the Murray Canal at Carrying Place, there were lots of waterfowl comprising mainly of RING-NECKED DUCKS, along with GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, COMMON MERGANSER, MUTE SWAN,CANADA GEESE and one lone BUFFLEHEAD. If I had remembered to bring along my spotting scope, I likely could have found some additional species. A BELTED KINGFISHER, and 5 male RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were at Wellington Harbour and the usual species were also present, but farther out in the lake. A PEREGRINE FALCON was noted today on Desmond Road near Camden East. Just west of Quaker Road along C.R. 1 in the County, the season’s first GREAT EGRET was spotted.  Muscote Bay, separating Big Island from the mainland at County Road 14, has finally opened a bit. Present today were some 500 ducks, mostly LESSER SCAUP, but among them were 100 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 30 AMERICAN WIGEON, 20 REDHEAD, 6 COMMON GOLDENEYE, and 2 BUFFLEHEAD. Since the bay is still two thirds covered in ice, those numbers and the variety should increase in the next few days. All of us living on the Great Lakes, and even many inland lakes, know all about ZEBRA MUSSELS and QUAGGA MUSSELS, both of which arrived in Lake Ontario in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A huge drift of empty mussel shells was photographed today at Soup Harbour between Salmon Point and Point Petre. The empty shells were banked 4 feet deep for a kilometre, at least. High mortality this year Much the same situation occurs at the tip of Main Duck Island where incoming shells have completely filled and subsequently sealed off a former harbour area at the lighthouse. And finally, Pamela Stagg of Picton who hosts a program called The County Naturally on 99.3 County FM, reminds us that we are entering the dreaded season of the BLACK-LEGGED TICK, often referred to as the DEER TICK. It seems that Lyme disease in the County has reached a critical mass (25% of ticks are infected). If testing shows that the 25% level continues or grows, the Public Health Unit  will stop testing  ticks for Lyme and tell local doctors to assume that anyone bitten by a tick will have been exposed to Lyme disease (assuming the tick was attached for 24+ hours). “This is very scary stuff,” warns Pamela. Her program on ticks and Lyme Disease will be broadcast this Wednesday, April 8th at 12:35 pm. on 99.3 County FM. Those outside the listening area can live-stream it at 993countyfm.ca. Since birders will be out and about this season, especially at Prince Edward Point where ticks are rampant, plan to listen to this informative and timely program.

Sunday, April 05: There is certainly no denying that OSPREYS have returned to the Bay of Quinte region! Reports are coming in daily, with nearly every nest platform occupied. The RED-NECKED GREBE at Wellington as of today, has doubled in number. Today, two were in view for one Kingston birder as well as a Demorestville area photographer. Also present among the hundreds of both GREATER and LESSER SCAUPS, RING-NECKED DUCKS, CANADA GEESE, COMMON and HOODED MERGANSERS, were one BONAPARTE’S GULL  (first one to be seen this spring), a COMMON LOON, and the resident AMERICAN COOT. At the famous Kaiser Crossroad flooded fields, wind was again an issue, with ducks hiding in the vegetation to find shelter. The variety of waterfowl is there and now the numbers are coming up, except for CANADA GEESE (just two). There were over 100 ducks of the following species: NORTHERN PINTAILS, RING-NECKED DUCKS and MALLARDS. Numbers of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, REDHEADS, AMERICAN WIGEON and BLACK DUCKS were high for their species. There were also small numbers of GADWALL, BUFFLEHEADS and WOOD DUCKS late this afternoon. Point Petre today offered 3 HORNED GREBES ( 2 males and 1 female), 2 BUFFLEHEADS, 4 GREATER SCAUP and 25 LONG-TAILED DUCKS. For BUFFLEHEADS were also present in Smith’s Bay, along with a nice group of 50 REDHEADS, 25 RING-NECKED DUCKS, a couple AMERICAN WIGEON, 5 MUTE SWANS, 4 MALLARDS, and 50 GREATER SCAUPS. The Bay of Quinte off North Big Island Road didn’t fare so well, coming up with only a male and female COMMON MERGANSER. Yesterday 5 HOODED MERGANSERS were at Prinyer’s Cove and, on the other side of the County at the mouth of Consecon Creek at Wellers Bay, 30 LESSER SCAUPS  were counted. Meanwhile, just across the County Line, in the Napanee area, 2 SNOW GEESE were found, as well as a couple hundred CANADA GEESE, and two each of MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL and the first arrival of BLUE-WINGED TEAL. At County Road 8 at Sillsville, over 300 LESSER SCAUP were counted, a half dozen MUTE SWANS and four RING-NECKED DUCKS. Lots of action in the Barry Heights area of Trenton. A resident there was outside raking leaves when a commotion was heard down the street of the multiple calls of a PILEATED WOODPECKER. He watched what appeared to be three males chasing a female from tree to tree as they  bounded from tree to tree, all the while calling. They eventually worked their way towards where the resident was standing and into the big oaks on his property. They definitely had interest in the one bird, finally moving out of sight along the ridge but still  being heard. About two minutes later another one came in from the east calling, making a total of five! What a show, the resident said. The female bird must have had something special to attract that much attention. Other good sightings today, including several TURKEY VULTURES in the Beaver Meadow Conservation Area – were RED-TAILED HAWK at Big Island, 6 COMMON REDPOLLS at Camden East (they just won’t leave their bounty of food!), 5 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS at Kingston’s Lemoine Point Conservation Area, and 4 NORTHERN PINTAILS on Huff’s Island Road south of Belleville, and an EASTERN PHOEBE at Rednersville.

Saturday, April 04: An exceptionally early BALTIMORE ORIOLE arrival was noted yesterday on Highway 49, on the south end of the Quinte Skyway Bridge. According to the startled observers, the bird flew directly in front of their car! This is not the first time that this species has enjoyed an early arrival in this area. Birds of the Kingston Region by Ron Weir, provides an even earlier date, of March 12th in 2006, in Kingston. His book also mentions one that I saw in Adolphustown on April 3rd, 2003. There have also been a few early winter sightings, so it would seem that BALTIMORE ORIOLES are a tough species. A little more in keeping with the time of the year, the first WILSON’S SNIPE of the spring season was noted at Kingston, and 60 TREE SWALLOWS  were seen today at Belleville’s Victoria Park at the mouth of the Moira River. A BELTED KINGFISHER was noted at Black River, and more OSPREYS have returned – one at a nest in one of the light standards at the ball park east of Waupoos, and another to the nest platform along Highway 2 east of Belleville. One South Bay resident woke up to the arrival of “hundreds” of BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS comprising 95% males, which stayed around his feeder feasting on the gleanings on the ground. A NORTHERN GOSHAWK turned up today at the H.R. Frink Centre north of Belleville, and a MERLIN was present in the Camden East area. a  RED-NECKED GREBE  showed up again at Wellington where it has been for several days. On the waterfowl side of things, Picton Bay is finally releasing its hold on the ice due to today’s high winds. COMMON MERGANSERS have been present there all day today, as many as two dozen at once. Winds were so strong at Kaiser Crossroad this afternoon that observer shake was as much a problem as spotting scope shake. An unknown number of ducks were sheltering in the undergrowth to stay away from the worst of the wind. There were virtually no CANADA GEESE at Kaiser today. Apart from MALLARDS (about 100) and AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS (20), there was variety but generally low numbers. The exceptions were RING-NECKED DUCKS (110) and NORTHERN PINTAILS (104). While absolute numbers were low, there were higher-than-usual numbers of WOOD DUCKS (16), AMERICAN WIGEON (16) and GREEN-WINGED TEAL (40). There were small numbers of BUFFLEHEADS and REDHEADS. In Lake Ontario, at the south end of Kaiser Crossroad, there were between 250 and 300 REDHEADS all along the shoreline.  And finally in this evening’s Report, an appeal to help find CHORUS FROGS in Ontario. Of course, those who are part of the Marsh Monitoring Program of which I am coordinator for much of eastern Ontario, are already doing that through their amphibian surveys this month and next, but others can help too. If you’re able to identify WESTERN CHORUS FROG calls, you can help researchers learn more about the distribution and habitat of this species, which is threatened with extinction in central Ontario. Over the next month, please keep track of where you hear CHORUS FROGS and report your information online to the Ontario Chorus Frog and Marsh Bird Species at Risk Project. Bird Studies Canada is interested in learning more about where chorus frogs occur throughout Ontario, and we’re especially keen for reports from targeted locations along Lake Ontario. This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada. 

Friday, April 03: And the migration continues. OSPREYS  were seen today as well at nest platforms along County Road 8 near Kaiser’s Crossroad, and along C.R. 13 at the west end of South Bay. I had a chance to get in about an hour’s birding in the Point Traverse Woods where, in addition to some deep snow and running water, I found BROWN CREEPER, a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, SONG SPARROWS, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. In the open water close to the cliff edge, there were 80+ LONG-TAILED DUCKS and around 50 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS as well as a handful of GREATER SCAUP. No absence of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, COMMON GRACKLES or even KILLDEER. A few TREE SWALLOWS  were skimming over the surface of the water. Yesterday, several GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGETS  were present in the Point Traverse Woods, but these were absent today. Spring bird populations are always changing as was evidenced at the harbour. Yesterday, two pairs of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 3 pairs of HOODED MERGANSERS, a pair each of COMMON MERGANSERS, and RING-NECKED DUCKS and several bachelor BUFFLEHEADS were in the harbour. Today, everything there had moved out. Yesterday, also, there were 3 EASTERN PHOEBES, a FIELD SPARROW (1st arrival of this species), EASTERN MEADOWLARK and many SONG SPARROWS  at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory. At the former Ducks Dive Charters, 2 pairs of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were actively foraging, more GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and a NORTHERN SHRIKE. At South Bay, AMERICAN KESTRELS were present, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK today. A dead grey morph EASTERN SCREECH-OWL was found at one residence along that road. Three TREE SWALLOWS were in Milford today as well as a BELTED KINGFISHER.  Another 2 TREE SWALLOWS  were seen today east of Dorland, and a nice flock of 12 at Kaiser Crossroad. In the waterfowl family, 150 REDHEADS  were noted in Lake Ontario at the end of Kaiser Crossroad. Also at Kaiser today, there were small numbers of a wide spectrum of birds: CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAILS, HOODED MERGANSERS, GADWALL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and REDHEADS. The only species present in significant numbers today were WOOD DUCKS (26) and RING-NECKED DUCKS (114). Waterfowl at Wellington are widely scattered now as West Lake gives way to warmer weather (that may change as the thermometer dips to –5 on Sunday). Birds are where you find them, and one Belleville birder walking a portion of the Trail of Two Lakes near Ivanhoe had some good success since the trail follows a portion of Rawdon Creek. Here he found 28 MALLARDS, 7 HOODED MERGANSERS, 60 CANADA GEESE, 17 WOOD DUCKS and 2 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS. A NORTHERN RAVEN was heard along the trail and another distant one was calling at Point Traverse today. AMERICAN WIGEON are also turning up throughout the reporting area, and two were seen walking along the ice on Presqu’ile Bay yesterday evening. Other birds of interest today included an AMERICAN WOODCOCK south of Codrington, one RED-NECKED GREBE at Wellington at the end of the west jetty near the lighthouse, a HORNED LARK at South Bay, 8 COMMON REDPOLLS at a Belleville feeder, 8 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS and 2 CEDAR WAXWINGS on Elmbrook Road north of Picton, and the best sighting (hearing) of all to welcome in the spring – CHORUS FROGS  calling at Point Traverse as well as another three calling at Elmbrook!  Just in time for the start of the Marsh Monitoring Program in only 12 days! By the way, Pamela Stagg of Lake on the Mountain who contributes most of the Kaiser Crossroad sightings, has resumed her weekly summary of waterfowl sightings here, and can be found every Friday by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, April 02: Wow! It’s hard to know where to begin this evening’s report! With the warmer weather, sounds coming from the skies are mostly from CANADA GEESE, but one skein yesterday with unusual calls drew the attention of two West Lake residents who saw a skein of 600 SNOW GEESE fly over. Athol Bay has filled in again with ice, but at long last, the entrance into the Glendon Green Boat Launch off C.R. 18 at Sandbanks has melted enough that one can drive in. Today, there was a fair amount of open water and all of the Outlet River is now completely open.  Most notable on East Lake today at the the boat launch were the COMMON GOLDENEYES who were putting on their own special performance. There were 10 of them, but also present were 50 scaup, 13 BUFFLEHEADS, 4 COMMON MERGANSERS, 2 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 6 MALLARDS, 20 REDHEADS, and  2 MUTE SWANS.   At the Kaiser Crossroad wetlands today, noted were NORTHERN PINTAILS, TUNDRA and MUTE SWANS, while Cressy Lakeside Road just east of there offered both LESSER and GREATER SCAUP, , REDHEADS, BUFFLEHEADS and LONG-TAILED DUCKS. At Barcovan at the entrance to Wellers Bay, a nice flock of 20 NORTHERN PINTAILS  stood out from the estimated 1,000 ducks present. TRUMPETER and MUTE SWANS were present, joined by large numbers of CANADA GEESE. All three species of merganser were present. Common also were GREEN-WINGED TEAL and RING-NECKED DUCK. The lake held a COMMON LOON and a RED-NECKED GREBE. The Brighton Constructed Wetland today had 70+ WOOD DUCKS, 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, a couple GADWALL, as well as BUFFLEHEAD, MUTE SWANS, MALLARD and CANADA GOOSE. At the trail trestle over the Trent River beside the Jack Lange Memorial Trail in Trenton, seen were  singles of NORTHERN SHOVELER and GREEN-WINGED TEAL – both of them drakes. Two WOOD DUCKS  were present at the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville. Now, down to the passerines. Unfortunate news from Connie Crowe of The Birdhouse in Wooler who hosted a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER  for part of the winter at one of her feeders. It was found dead under a cedar tree not far from where the bird normally fed. Lots of small birds on the move today. TREE SWALLOWS along Airport Parkway at Belleville, and several at the Slab Creek Swamp off Station Road in Hillier. An EASTERN PHOEBE was reported from the Codrington area and anothernear Camden East. Also in the Strathcona and Nugent Road area, 2 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, NORTHERN HARRIER, COOPER’S HAWK, 8 WILD TURKEYS and 4 AMERICAN KESTRELS. A Trenton birder birding the Carrying Place and Consecon area today decided it was far too nice a day to be indoors. In Carrying Place, he found feeders that still had 50 COMMON REDPOLLS with much smaller numbers of PINE SISKINS and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES. In the afternoon the nest at the north end of Carrying Place held a returning OSPREY, and another OSPREY was observed catching a fish at Dead Creek in Carrying Place. As for blackbirds, smaller numbers of BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS now joined the many COMMON GRACKLES and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. Raptors included two RED-TAILED HAWKS, 10 TURKEY VULTURES, and singles of AMERICAN KESTREL, COOPER’S HAWK and NORTHERN HARRIER.  The Stinson Block also had an EASTERN PHOEBE, and a pair of COMMON RAVENS building a stick nest in an old barn. A singing  EASTERN MEADOWLARK today along South Big Island Road, and at Amherst Island – another EASTERN PHOEBE, EASTERN MEADOWLARKS and FOX SPARROW. But to remind us of winter, small numbers of SNOWY OWLS can still be found on Amherst island, and a week ago, there were an incredible 28 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS counted there! Twenty-six COMMON REDPOLLS still coming to a Trenton feeder, but only one at a feeder in Brighton where 20 species of birds were present for that resident’s final Project FeederWatch count which included 13 HOUSE SPARROWS and a COOPER’S HAWK doing his own private FeederWatch. An unexpected 12 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS  were found at the Slab Creek Swamp in Hillier. Six WILD TURKEYS and a PILEATED WOODPECKER  were noted along Glenora Road, east of Picton. And finally – be sure to check out the new Quinte Field Naturalists page on Facebook, and don’t forget to “like us”. You can find the Quinte Field Naturalists’ Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, April 01: My wife and I birded the Wooler, Brighton and Belleville area this moring coming up with two AMERICAN KESTRELS on Burr Road at Crofton, a NORTHERN HARRIER at Carrying Place, several TURKEY VULTURES south of Wooler, and one WOOD DUCK in Cold Creek along Teal Road just north of the village. At Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area, another TURKEY VULTURE  was seen, and a GREAT BLUE HERON was in a small cattail marsh along Hansen Road at Cedar Creek, north of Brighton, although there was precious little there to attract its attention.  DARK-EYED JUNCOS and at least a dozen AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS  were at Trenton’s Bain Park, and what appeared to be a distant MERLIN landed in a conifer at Rossmore beside the Norris Whitney Bridge. A MERLIN was also present today in Stirling and WOOD DUCKS  were seen on Rawdon Creek. Along both sides of the Trans Canada Trail between Stirling and Highway 62, AMERICAN WOODCOCKS and KILLDEER  were reported. And the first FOX SPARROW of the spring season was seen on Amherst Island, and right on time too as this is the week this species is expected back. So spring is coming, or has arrived, depending on how optimistic you are with a weather forecast that forebodes the possibility of freezing rain tonight and perhaps a trace of snow flurries for Saturday.  As though sensing this continuance of winter conditions, at least 30 COMMON REDPOLLS continue to visit a feeder daily in Belleville. The Hamilton Wetland along County Road 14, west of Demorestville, appears to be awakening. Seventeen CANADA GEESE, 7 MALLARDS and a GREAT BLUE HERON were seen there yesterday. At the south end of the Norris Whitney Bridge  at Rossmore today, there were many CANADA GEESE, and medium numbers of COMMON GOLDENEYE and SCAUP. A few HOODED MERGANSERS, COMMON  and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 2 PIED-BILLED GREBES, and some BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS in the parking lot. Along Airport Parkway, east of Belleville, a pair of AMERICAN KESTRELS that has nested there in the last few years, showed up today and were checking out the nest hole again. Another reminder about the RUSTY BLACKBIRD Spring Migration Blitz. This species has endured severe population declines. In 2014, the International RUSTY BLACKBIRD Working Group and its partners launched a three-year Spring Migration Blitz that challenges birders to scour the landscape for RUSTY BLACKBIRDS during this species’ northward migration. Year 1 was hugely successful, with 4750 birders submitting 13,400 checklists containing Rusty Blackbird observations. You can help maintain this momentum – be part of Year 2! Watch for RUSTY BLACKBIRDS passing through your area during this month. Please submit your sightings to eBird Canada using the observation type “Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz.” All RUSTY BLACKBIRD sightings are welcome, but whenever possible, please include the AREAS OF INTEREST for 2015 in your birding outings. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS arrive, on average, today, and the migration will continue into early May.



Last Updated ( Jul 28, 2015 at 08:48 PM )
Prince Edward County Bird List PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Jul 26, 2015 at 03:00 AM
Prince Edward County Checklist of Birds 
(January, 2015)

Because of its location in eastern Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County is a natural catch-all for migrating birds during both spring and fall. The points of land along the southern shore especially, provide excellent birding opportunities during the spring migration. Point Petre, Salmon Point, West Point (Sandbanks Provincial Park), and Huyck's Point have all been identified as important focal points to view migrating birds.

Of all the points of land sprinkled along the south shore of the county, Prince Edward Point, located at the southeastern end of the Long Point Peninsula in South Marysburgh Township, has been identified as the most important. It is a major staging area in spring and autumn for migrating birds. In fact, there is no other location on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario where densities and abundance of migrants are known to compare with those at Prince Edward Point.

If you have been birding in Prince Edward County we would appreciate a tally of your sightings. Please send updates or corrections to Terry Sprague, R.R. # 1, Demorestvillle, Ontario K0K 1W0 or e-mail to: . Only through your efforts can we learn even more about bird distribution and abundance in Prince Edward County.

The following checklist comprises all of the bird species (353) that have been recorded in Prince Edward County. The list was compiled from the records of the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, Sandbanks Provincial Park, The Birds of Prince Edward County by R. Terry Sprague and Ron D. Weir (1984), and from the files of Terry Sprague, the Kingston Field Naturalists, the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, and other observers in the county. All listed species have been confirmed.

For a printable copy in a PDF format, click HERE

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (July 13/10)
_ Greater White-fronted Goose
_ Snow Goose
_ Ross's Goose
_ Cackling Goose
_ Canada Goose 
_ Brant
_ Mute Swan
_ Trumpeter Swan
_ Tundra Swan
_ Wood Duck
_ Gadwall
_ Eurasian Wigeon
_ American Wigeon
_ American Black Duck
_ Mallard
_ Blue-winged Teal
_ Cinnamon Teal
_ Northern Shoveler
_ Northern Pintail
_ Green-winged Teal
_ Canvasback
_ Redhead
_ Ring-necked Duck
_ Greater Scaup
_ Lesser Scaup
_ King Eider
_ Common Eider
_ Harlequin Duck
_ Surf Scoter
_ White-winged Scoter
_ Black Scoter
_ Long-tailed Duck
_ Bufflehead
_ Common Goldeneye
_ Barrow's Goldeneye
_ Hooded Merganser
_ Common Merganser
_ Red-breasted Merganser
_ Ruddy Duck
_ Gray Partridge
_ Ring-necked Pheasant
_ Ruffed Grouse
_ Spruce Grouse (2015, undetermined origin)
_ Sharp-tailed Grouse
_ Wild Turkey

_ Northern Bobwhite
_ Red-throated Loon
_ Pacific Loon
_ Common Loon
_ Yellow-billed Loon

_ Pied-billed Grebe
_ Horned Grebe
_ Red-necked Grebe
_ Eared Grebe
_ Western Grebe (Nov. 01/08)

_ Northern Gannet

_ American White Pelican
_ Brown Pelican

_ Double-crested Cormorant
_ Great Cormorant

_ Anhinga (1904)

_ American Bittern
_ Least Bittern
_ Great Blue Heron
_ Great Egret
_ Snowy Egret
_ Little Blue Heron
_ Tricoloured Heron
_ Cattle Egret
_ Green Heron
_ Black-crowned Night-Heron
_ Yellow-crowned Night Heron (June 30/08)

_ White Ibis (Oct. 06/09)
_ Glossy Ibis

_ Black Vulture
_ Turkey Vulture

_ Osprey
_ Bald Eagle
_ Northern Harrier
_ Sharp-shinned Hawk
_ Cooper's Hawk
_ Northern Goshawk
_ Red-shouldered Hawk
_ Broad-winged Hawk
_ Swainson's Hawk
_ Red-tailed Hawk
_ Ferruginous Hawk
_ Rough-legged Hawk
_ Golden Eagle

_ American Kestrel
_ Merlin
_ Gyrfalcon
_ Peregrine Falcon

_ Yellow Rail
_ King Rail
_ Virginia Rail
_ Sora
_ Purple Gallinule
_ Common Gallinule (formerly moorhen)
_ American Coot

_ Sandhill Crane

_ Black-bellied Plover
_ American Golden-Plover
_ Semipalmated Plover
_ Piping Plover
_ Killdeer

_ Greater Yellowlegs
_ Lesser Yellowlegs
_ Solitary Sandpiper
_ Willet
_ Spotted Sandpiper
_ Upland Sandpiper
_ Whimbrel
_ Hudsonian Godwit
_ Ruddy Turnstone
_ Red Knot
_ Sanderling
_ Semipalmated Sandpiper
_ Western Sandpiper
_ Least Sandpiper
_ White-rumped Sandpiper
_ Baird's Sandpiper
_ Pectoral Sandpiper
_ Purple Sandpiper
_ Dunlin
_ Stilt Sandpiper
_ Buff-breasted Sandpiper
_ Ruff
_ Short-billed Dowitcher
_ Long-billed Dowitcher
_ Wilson's Snipe
_ American Woodcock
_ Wilson's Phalarope
_ Red-necked Phalarope
_ Red Phalarope

_ Pomarine Jaeger
_ Parasitic Jaeger
_ Franklin's Gull
_ Little Gull
_ Black-headed Gull
_ Bonaparte's Gull
_ Ring-billed Gull
_ Herring Gull
_ Iceland Gull
_ Lesser Black-backed Gull
_ Glaucous Gull
_ Great Black-backed Gull
_ Sabine's Gull
_ Black-legged Kittiwake
_ Caspian Tern
_ Common Tern
_ Arctic Tern
_ Forster's Tern
_ Black Tern

_ Thick-billed Murre
_ Razorbill

_ Rock Pigeon
_ White-winged Dove (May 14/08)
_ Mourning Dove
_ Passenger Pigeon (Extinct)

_ Black-billed Cuckoo
_ Yellow-billed Cuckoo

_ Barn Owl

_ Eastern Screech-Owl
_ Great Horned Owl
_ Snowy Owl
_ Northern Hawk Owl
_ Barred Owl
_ Great Gray Owl
_ Long-eared Owl
_ Short-eared Owl
_ Boreal Owl
_ Northern Saw-whet Owl

_ Common Nighthawk
_ Chuck-will's-widow
_ Whip-poor-will

_ Chimney Swift
_ Ruby-throated Hummingbird
_ Rufous hummingbird

_ Belted Kingfisher
_ Red-headed Woodpecker
_ Red-bellied Woodpecker
_ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
_ Downy Woodpecker
_ Hairy Woodpecker
_ American Three-toed Woodpecker
_ Black-backed Woodpecker
_ Northern Flicker
_ Pileated Woodpecker

_ Olive-sided Flycatcher
_ Eastern Wood-Pewee
_ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
_ Acadian Flycatcher
_ Alder Flycatcher
_ Willow Flycatcher
_ Least Flycatcher
_ Eastern Phoebe
_ Say's Phoebe
_ Ash-throated Flycatcher
_ Great Crested Flycatcher
_ Western Kingbird
_ Eastern Kingbird
_ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
_ Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Oct. 05/08)

_ Loggerhead Shrike
_ Northern Shrike

_ White-eyed Vireo
_ Yellow-throated Vireo
_ Blue-headed Vireo
_ Warbling Vireo
_ Philadelphia Vireo
_ Red-eyed Vireo

_ Gray Jay
_ Blue Jay
_ Black-billed Magpie
_ American Crow
_ Fish Crow (2013)
_ Common Raven

_ Horned Lark

_ Purple Martin
_ Tree Swallow
_ Northern Rough-winged Swallow
_ Bank Swallow
_ Cliff Swallow
_ Barn Swallow
_ Cave Swallow (2003)

_ Black-capped Chickadee
_ Boreal Chickadee
_ Tufted Titmouse

_ Red-breasted Nuthatch
_ White-breasted Nuthatch

_ Brown Creeper

_ Carolina Wren
_ Bewick's Wren
_ House Wren
_ Winter Wren
_ Sedge Wren
_ Marsh Wren

_ Golden-crowned Kinglet
_ Ruby-crowned Kinglet
_ Northern Wheatear (2003)

_ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

_ Eastern Bluebird
_ Mountain Bluebird
_ Townsend's Solitaire (2005) 
_ Veery
_ Gray-cheeked Thrush
_ Bicknell's Thrush
_ Swainson's Thrush
_ Hermit Thrush
_ Wood Thrush
_ American Robin
_ Varied Thrush

_ Gray Catbird
_ Northern Mockingbird
_ Brown Thrasher

_ European Starling

_ American Pipit

_ Bohemian Waxwing
_ Cedar Waxwing

_ Blue-winged Warbler
_ Golden-winged Warbler
_ Tennessee Warbler
_ Orange-crowned Warbler
_ Nashville Warbler
_ Northern Parula
_ Yellow Warbler
_ Chestnut-sided Warbler
_ Magnolia Warbler
_ Cape May Warbler
_ Black-throated Blue Warbler
_ Yellow-rumped Warbler
_ Black-throated Green Warbler
_ Blackburnian Warbler
_ Yellow-throated Warbler
_ Pine Warbler
_ Prairie Warbler
_ Palm Warbler
_ Bay-breasted Warbler
_ Blackpoll Warbler
_ Cerulean Warbler
_ Black-and-white Warbler
_ American Redstart
_ Prothonotary Warbler
_ Worm-eating Warbler
_ Ovenbird
_ Northern Waterthrush
_ Louisiana Waterthrush
_ Kentucky Warbler
_ Connecticut Warbler
_ Mourning Warbler
_ Common Yellowthroat
_ Hooded Warbler
_ Wilson's Warbler
_ Canada Warbler
_ Yellow-breasted Chat

_ Summer Tanager
_ Scarlet Tanager
_ Western Tanager (2010)

_ Eastern Towhee
_ American Tree Sparrow
_ Chipping Sparrow
_ Clay-colored Sparrow
_ Field Sparrow
_ Vesper Sparrow
_ Lark Sparrow
_ Lark Bunting
_ Savannah Sparrow
_ Grasshopper Sparrow
_ Henslow's Sparrow
_ Le Conte's Sparrow
_ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
_ Fox Sparrow
_ Song Sparrow
_ Lincoln's Sparrow
_ Swamp Sparrow
_ White-throated Sparrow
_ Harris's Sparrow
_ White-crowned Sparrow
_ Dark-eyed Junco
_ Lapland Longspur
_ Chestnut-collared Longspur
_ Snow Bunting

_ Northern Cardinal
_ Rose-breasted Grosbeak
_ Blue Grosbeak
_ Indigo Bunting
_ Painted Bunting (2004)
_ Dickcissel

_ Bobolink
_ Red-winged Blackbird
_ Eastern Meadowlark
_ Western Meadowlark
_ Yellow-headed Blackbird
_ Rusty Blackbird
_ Brewer's Blackbird
_ Common Grackle
_ Brown-headed Cowbird
_ Orchard Oriole
_ Baltimore Oriole

_ Pine Grosbeak
_ Purple Finch
_ House Finch
_ Red Crossbill
_ White-winged Crossbill
_ Common Redpoll
_ Hoary Redpoll
_ Pine Siskin
_ American Goldfinch
_ Evening Grosbeak

_ House Sparrow

Last Updated ( Jul 26, 2015 at 10:54 PM )
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