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Today's Environmental Rant PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Dec 05, 2016 at 03:00 AM

TODAY'S ENVIRONMENTAL RANT

I was leading a hike once on Main Duck Island, located some 19 km from the mainland of Prince Edward County, in Lake Ontario, when I came across a discarded Tim Horton's coffee cup. Whether boating from Kingston or Prince Edward County, it can take one to two hours to reach the island from the nearest Tim Horton's. Yet, here was a discarded cup on this remote island. It seems no matter how remote the location, these discarded cups seem to turn up. Belleville resident, Ian Dickinson, takes a look at this blight in our society. 
 
  

 
  NO MATTER HOW REMOTE THE LOCATION, THERE WILL BE A DISCARDED COFFEE CUP
 
 
contributed this week by Ian Dickinson of Belleville
 
                                                                   
 
There was a time when people drank coffee in cups. You held the handle between your thumb and forefinger and tried not to let you pinkie stick out.
 
Then came coffeemakers and mugs. A little more substantial, a little more coffee but just enough to enjoy and remove the morning jitters. A bonus was that you didn't have to worry about where your pinkie was.
 
Finally we came into the supersize generation. Supersize fries, supersize drinks (42 oz of pure calories) and of course supersize people.
 
Canadians love their Timmies. Extra Large Double Double is the constant refrain. Just give me 24 oz of caffeine and sugar. By a strange co-incidence, (according to Wikipedia) the average size of a human bladder is 24 oz. a fact that is probably not unknown to the marketers at Tim Horton's.
 
Now the Extra Large Tims is everywhere. Walking the trails at Quinte Conservation it appears that it is almost a requirement to have a leash in one hand and an Extra Large Tims in the other. Seems contrary to the spirit of 'taking a walk' in my opinion.
 
Discarded Tims cups are everywhere on the trails. This person decided that they would not throw their cup on the ground, so they stuck it in the branches of a tree.
 
On the way back from Brampton last weekend, not one but TWO separate people in front of me just rolled down their windows and chucked their Tims cup onto the shoulder of the 401. Maybe Tims puts some ingredient in their coffee that makes people stupid.
 
The final straw was at my son's convocation at Loyalist College last Friday. Convocations used to be somewhat formal and elegant affairs but that was long ago. There was a reception room outside of the Hall (actually the Gym) with free coffee where the parents could mingle and chat before going into the hall. The coffee was in those little Styrofoam cups and there was a garbage container at the exit to receive the empty cups. Somehow, someone learned that there was a Tims downstairs and off they went. As they came back with their Extra Large Double Doubles, the word quickly spread and more followed. Instead of depositing the empty cups in the container provided ... in they went to the Convocation Hall.
 
At the end of the ceremony at which the CEO of Kellogg's Canada talked about how to make a good first impression in the workplace, all of the parents and guests streamed out to meet the new grads. My wife and I were particularly proud to congratulate our youngest son who finally graduated with top marks  as a Biotechnology Technologist and is on his way to Trent to get his Degree.
 
Rolling in the aisles and under the chairs as we were leaving ... you guessed it  ... dozens of empty (and some not empty and leaking onto the floor) Extra Large Tim Horton's Cups.
 
It's not the end of civilization as we know it, but sometimes I think that it is  pretty damn close.
 
 
 

 
 
 
Readers comment on Discarded Coffee Cups:
 
Having read Ian’s rant I could not agree more. I find it utterly astounding the number of coffee cups, pop bottles and pop cans (not to mention the empty chip bags, grocery bags etc) that are regularly strewn along our roadsides, in our parks and conservation areas. It always amazes me that half way along a nature trail, deep into the woods I will find an empty bottle or can. I can never understand how, if a person were able to carry a full bottle or can deep into the woods, how they can not find the energy to carry an empty one out! Maddening really. I have been of the habit in the last couple of years of at least picking up the empty aluminum cans and tossing them in my city recycling box. I should have kept track but can say with some certainty that its probably now in the hundreds. - John Lowry, Belleville
 
I've sent the rent on to my dad who has collected bags full of team Hortons coffee cups along the edge of his property in Port Hope, and plans to make a big deal presenting them at Tim Hortons with media present. I told him to take a little child along to make it that much more dramatic – he is a well known environmental agitator at 88, and I think the contrast of having both him and a young child lamenting the impact of these dreadful non-recyclable cups on the environment might make some good news.  - Molly Mulloy, Mountain View
 
 
 
Readers comment on a recent Environmental Rant re A Speech Every Canadian High School Principal Should Give:
 
"Rarely do I disagree with you but having spent 31 years working in child welfare in Toronto I had a few concerns about this principal’s speech.  In the first place he did not acknowledge that there are 2 official languages in Canada but possibly only one of them spoken in his region.  This gives me some concerns about other possibly illiberal views.  Would he be comfortable with youth with unusual sexual identification dressing like who they felt like et al.  Having had a dyslexic child who had a couple of teachers who made him feel uncomfortable about himself I am not that trusting of the educational system. The most important thing is how he puts this into practice so that all young people feel equally safe and respected in his school."      
  - Sandra Goranson, Point Petre
 
 
"The recent demands for people to state 'Canadian values' is alarming. Many Canadians' religious beliefs have oppressed women.  And Aboriginals. I don't want those values to be enforced by a school principal such as this speaker.  The future will depend on real democracy, not the repressions of the past."
- Myrna Wood, Picton
 
 
Readers comment on a recent Environmental Rant re wind turbines:
 
"Once we collectively understand that biodiversity is not only 'nice' but critical to our own survival as a species, perhaps we'll find a way to live in harmony with our fellow species.  I think we're a ways off for that but quickly running out of time.  Apparently, scientists monitoring global temperatures and arctic ice are saying that the first six months of 2016 are the warmest on record.  Once the ice sheets melt and methane gas is released en masse in the arctic regions, we're in big doodoo. Already in April when I was seeding into dry ground, I recognized a real shift.  People are lamenting the drought we're going through but it seems clear, at least to me, that this is of our own making.  It is my hope that there is a mass awakening coming very soon and that we reassume our place within the natural order with humility and respect." - Bea Heissler, Frankford
 
 
 (send any comments to Terry Sprague, and I will post them in this space)
 
 
 



 
 
 
Last Updated ( Dec 05, 2016 at 11:56 AM )
Quinte Area Bird Report (ARCHIVED) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Dec 04, 2016 at 03:00 AM

 THE QUINTE AREA BIRD REPORT (ARCHIVED PAGE)

with daily reports from the last two months

 ( to see * today's Report * in its new, easier to read format, CLICK HERE )

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 04:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
An EASTERN PHOEBE that was seen today on the west side of the County, might think differently about his tardiness in migration if the weather forecast for tonight pans out. The bird was seen along the Millennium Trail north of Smoke’s Point Road near the Gardenville Marsh. In true phoebe fashion, it bobbed its tail up and down when it landed. A CAROLINA WREN can still be found on the Stinson Block with a little patience and intimate knowledge of its call notes and song. Also present today in that area were 12 CEDAR WAXWINGS, and singles of RUFFED GROUSE, BALD EAGLE,  PILEATED WOODPECKER and NORTHERN HARRIER. Five AMERICAN ROBINS were on Snider Road, just northeast of there. At Sandbanks Provincial Park today, tough going at the Lakeshore Lodge area although 16 CEDAR WAXWINGS  were seen. Another birder found a lone WHITE-WINGED SCOTER. Better luck at the Dunes Beach Day Use Area where West Lake produced 300 CANADA GEESE, 5 TUNDRA SWANS, 30 MALLARDS, 15 BUFFLEHEAD, 10 COMMON GOLDENEYE, and 20 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. At the MacDonald Day Use Area along County Road 12 at Athol Bay, 7 TURKEY VULTURES were basking in the sun on the beach. At Picton Harbour, a lone DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was hanging out with the gulls and MALLARDS.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
The Madoc Sewage Lagoon today had a few species including a nice collection of 320 MALLARDS. A single NORTHERN PINTAIL was there, long with a couple AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and 3 GREEN-WINGED TEAL. A RED-TAILED HAWK was also seen. The Level Three drought has also affected Dead Creek at Carrying Place with only a small channel of water left, utilized this afternoon by 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, which included one colourful male. The feeders today at the H.R. Frink Centre hosted a FOX SPARROW. Other birds on the property today included 7 CEDAR WAXWINGS and a PURPLE FINCH.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
At the Arab Lake Gorge in Frontenac Park today, a PILEATED WOODPECKER and a WINTER WREN were nice finds. Whether or not the sighting of a single COMMON REDPOLL at the Marshlands Conservation Area in Kingston is a harbinger of more of these colour boreal finches to come is uncertain, but feeder operators may want o keep checking their feeders. It was a good day there with 27 species noted, among them, both a GREAT HORNED OWL and 2 LONG-EARED OWLS. Also seen by a party of 11 birders were a BROWN CREEPER, COMMON GRACKLE, SONG SPARROW, 4 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and 15 TUNDRA SWANS. It was also a good day for another birder who was checking out the waterfowl at Bell Island off Montreal Street when he managed to ferret out a male EURASIAN WIGEON from amongst 110 AMERICAN WIGEONS. Swimming with the 150 or so CANADA GEESE  was a single CACKLING GOOSE.  It always pays to check over flocks of anything very carefully for that one special bird. Forty NORTHERN SHOVELERS – mostly males – were there, too, as well as a GREAT BLUE HERON, 4 AMERICAN COOTS and 75 AMERICAN ROBINS. It doesn’t appear that the BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was present anywhere today in its usual spot at the Hillview Pond at Collin’s Bay, but a BELTED KINGFISHER  did put in an appearance today. Thirteen waterfowl species were noted today at Cataraqui Bay with GREATER SCAUP hitting the 1400 mark at what was entered in eBird as an “accurate estimate”. Is that not an oxymoron? Also in high numbers were REDHEADS  at 260.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Some good sightings at Presqu’ile Park today during three hours of birding. Among the more noteworthy were 4 SNOW BUNTINGS, 1 PURPLE SANDPIPER (had been 3 at one point), a PEREGRINE FALCON, 1 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, 6 AMERICAN COOTS and a lingering  DUNLIN. At Cobourg Harbour, species of interest there were 54 BONAPARTE'S GULLS, 130 RING-BILLED GULLS, and 45 HERRING GULLS. Just on the east side of Port Hope, a species we seldom see during the winter months – a juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was seen flying over.
 
OTHER NEWS
The now famous CRESTED CARACARA made his scheduled appearance today at 8:40 a.m. It was perched in the top of a spruce tree at the intersection of Whitney Ave and Superior Street.

 


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 03:

FRONTENAC COUNTY
We start today’s Bird Report in Kingston where an immature BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON continues to delight birders with its presence at the Hillview Pond at Collin’s Bay. Also present there today were 10 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 5 MALLARDS. Elsewhere in the city, the Marshlands Conservation Area today had some good numbers including 700 CANADA GEESE, 37 TUNDRA SWANS, 39 COMMON MERGANSERS, 42 MALLARDS, 15 HOODED MERGANSERS and a lone WOOD DUCK. Across the road, at Cataraqui Bay, 13 waterfowl species, highlights being 16 TUNDRA SWANS, and a CANVASBACK. Miscellaneous sightings included 30 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES at Lemoine Point Conservation Area and a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and 2 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS at Verona.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Compared to spring when the Point Traverse Woods at Prince Edward Point are usually filled with warblers, thrushes and flycatchers, today only memories of spring months were present with the only living bird to appear was a male DOWNY WOODPECKER, almost embarrassed at seeing me, whereupon it quickly flew off. Along the roadsides though, things were more encouraging with an estimated 60 or more DARK-EYED JUNCOS encountered along the national wildlife area road edges. Also seen were both COOPER’S HAWK and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, and about 15 AMERICAN ROBINS in a single cluster. Eight WILD TURKEYS  were along County Road 10 near County Road 13. Other birders birding the northeast part of the County did a bit better. At Prince Edward Point Harbour, we noticed that only a few inches of water remained in the harbour with noticeable silty islands showing here and there where large boats customarily tied up at the government wharf. Much the same was found at Consecon today where the Level Three drought this year has reduced Consecon Creek to a trickle with little opportunity to see many bird species due to the lack of water. In the deeper water off Squires Street in the village, 50 CANADA GEESE, 10 MUTE SWANS, a TUNDRA SWAN, 10 BUFFLEHEAD, 3 COMMON GOLDENEYE and 100 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP were see along with 3 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS  still lingering due to the weather. On Bakker Road, a RUFFED GROUSE  was seen. In Ameliasburgh, at Roblin Lake today, a body of water that is seldom surveyed for waterfowl, 150 CANADA GEESE, 4 BUFFLEHEAD, 4 COMMON GOLDENEYE, 30 HOODED MERGANSERS and 18 COMMON MERGANSERS  were seen. A TRUMPETER SWAN was at Pleasant Bay, and other birds of interest there were 30 MUTE SWANS and 50 MALLARDS.  A GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was at Wellington Beach and an AMERICAN KESTREL was seen on Huff’s Island Road. 
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
CEDAR WAXWINGS numbered 22 along Aitkin’s Road on the east side of Belleville today where a lone SNOW BUNTING and 4 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS  were also seen. Over in Foxboro, a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW  was seen again.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
Two dozen NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 78 BUFFLEHEAD and 31 GADWALL were birds of note present at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons today, but the real show stopper was an immature male KING EIDER. No shortage of eiders this season so far, but a bit odd that so many are showing up on inland bodies of water, such as the one today at the lagoons and the three or four that were present for a few days in the Trent River at Campbellford. The lure of birding, I guess, is the thrill of the unexpected. At Springside Park in Napanee, 50 MALLARDS were present there in the river below the falls along the River Trail. Forty-seven RING-BILLED GULLS  were also at the river.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Birders continue to show interest in the A.K. Sculthorpe Memorial Woodland Marsh at Port Hope, in the hope that the GLOSSY IBIS which disappeared November 30th might stage an encore performance and be part of someone’s winter bird list. Only CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS, COMMON GOLDENEYE and an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK/MALLARD hybrid were present today. Port hope Harbour today hosted 120 CANADA GEESE and 100 BONAPARTE’S GULLS. At the Pine Street boat launch at Gosport (Brighton area) today some 300 BONAPARTE’S GULLS  were milling about the open waters and 45 MUTE SWANS. Also mixed in with the BONAPARTE’S GULLS were 2 LITTLE GULLS. Along the Presqu’ile Parkway today, a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was seen as well as a dozen AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES.
 
OTHER NEWS
The CRESTED CARACARA, whatever  its source, says one birder who posted an update on the OntBirds listserv today, definitely seems to be out of place in the Northern boreal mixed forest habitat. It appears that mornings are best at Michipicoten ( at Superior St. & Brock Ave., or Buck's Marina). Today, the rare bird was most active active between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., then it went into tall Spruce at the Marina ( almost hiding from being harassed by Northern Shrike, Ravens and Crows).

 


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 02:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A little bit of action today in the County. This juvenile MERLIN was found hanging out in a dead tree on the west side of the road near Closson Road and County Road 2, north of Wellington. Photo is by Daniel LaFrance of the Wellington area. Another MERLIN was once again along the Sprague/Monkman Trail at Big Island this morning.  On the Prince Edward County side of the Carrying Place area, some good sightings there including a late CHIPPING SPARROW that might very well remain in this area through the winter as this species is usually long gone by early November. Other good finds in that area were 4 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and singles of BROWN CREEPER. At South Bay today, a female RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was at a feeder there, and out in South Bay, 100 CANADA GEESE and 80 MUTE SWANS were present.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Another MERLIN in addition to the two seen in Prince Edward County, was seen west of Belleville at the Potter Creek Conservation Area where other species of interested included AMERICAN ROBIN and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Northumberland County birders seem to have given up on ever seeing the GLOSSY IBIS again at Port Hope, or the missing KING EIDERS at Campbellford and are directing their energies elsewhere. Back to dependable Presqu’ile Park they went and found some interesting species – perhaps not as profound as the eider or the ibis, but noteworthy just the same. An AMERICAN COOT continues to be seen in the channel  along the Presqu’ile Parkway. Three GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS  were here too as were 130 BONAPARTE’S GULLS, a COMMON RAVEN and 3 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS. In and around Presqu’ile Park today, only a few significant sightings including 300 CANADA GEESE, 140 MALLARDS, 3 female NORTHERN PINTAILS and 2 REDHEADS. One surprise sighting that did turn up today was this PIED-BILLED GREBE at the Main Park office, presumably grounded by the winds. Grebes are unable to take off from land, so this one was gently carried over to the marsh where it was released into some open water. Other noteworthy sightings around the Park included a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH at the Campground office feeders. Other sightings were SNOWY OWL, GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and 12 SNOW BUNTINGS.  An optimistic birder who did try his luck for the missing eiders at Lock 13 north of Campbellford came up 350 CANADA GEESE, 2 MALLARDS, 2 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and 6 RING-BILLED GULLS. Alas, no eiders anywhere.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Nothing too much reported from the Kingston area, although a few sightings north of Verona were noteworthy – RED-BELLIED and PILEATED WOODPECKER, NORTHERN SHRIKE and 4 BROWN CREEPERS.
 
OTHER NEWS.
The CRESTED CARACARA is still present in Michipicoten, just south of Wawa. Today, it flew out in front of one birder at the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Superior Street, and landed in a tall spruce on the same side as the marina. The tiny community of Michipicoten has probably never seen so many people at any one time! Numerous birders from this part of Ontario made the long drive to Wawa to catch a glimpse of this mega rarity. There is a very interesting blog about the CRESTED CARACARA sighting by Josh Vandermeulen which can be seen by CLICKING HERE.
 

 


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 01:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A handful of birders were out scouring the South Shore IBA for waterfowl this morning until noon. High winds hampered efforts, but there were a few noteworthy sightings. From Point Petre to Ostrander Point it was mostly LONG-TAILED DUCKS in small groups as well as a few COMMON GOLDENEYE and BUFFLEHEAD.  A group of 9 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS at the end of Simpson Road as well as an immature BALD EAGLE were good sightings as were a few flocks of CEDAR WAXWINGS (approx 40). In South Bay, 131 MUTE SWANS and a few RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, HORNED GREBES, WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS  and BUFFLEHEADS. Between Prince Edward Point and Timber Island were 2,200 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP mixed with 300 REDHEADS.  Around 1,200 LONG-TAILED DUCKS putting on a good show as they were harassed by an adult BALD EAGLE.  A flock of 38 SNOW BUNTINGS during the survey came onto the gravel road in the day use area. A NORTHERN FLICKER  was also seen.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
At Foxboro, a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was a nice way to start off the Winter Bird List, as well as the 20 AMERICAN ROBINS and a skein of 65 CANADA GEESE.  Twelve O’clock Point today yielded about 50 BONAPARTE’S GULLS foraging together back and forth low over the water.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
As might be expected, avid birders bustling around with a happy kind of madness, checked out the A.K. Sculthorpe Memorial Woodland Marsh this morning in the hope that the visiting GLOSSY IBIS might have returned so it could be entered on the winter lists of enthusiastic birders. However, binoculars and spotting scopes were poised, but no ibis could be seen. Two GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS along with the usual expected species were all the location could offer. Cobourg Harbour provided looks at 7 waterfowl species, among them 400 CANADA GEESE and 50 MALLARDS. Four hundred RING-BILLED GULLS were also there, and 300 were seen at the Port Hope Harbour, but very small numbers of other waterfowl species. As mysteriously as they came, the three KING EIDERS seem to have vanished from Lock 13 and from either side of the Ranney suspension bridge at Ferris Park, although they could very well be somewhere else on the Trent River. A late GREAT BLUE HERON was at the Garden Hill Conservation Area at Campbellcroft. Along the Presqu’ile Parkway this morning, an AMERICAN COOT managed to get on a birder’s list there along with 45 BONAPARTE’S GULLS that struggled in the wind as they flew low over the property. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and NORTHERN CARDINAL were also seen. In the Park itself a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER has been visiting a backyard at 83 Bayshore for close to a week now and was seen again this morning. It is mostly coming to a suet feeder in the backyard. Seven TRUMPETER SWANS were seen in company of 60 MUTE SWANS. Also seen, 2 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 180 MALLARDS, 350 CANADA GEESE, 300 LONG-TAILED DUCKS and lesser numbers of nine other waterfowl species. A light morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was spotted on Gull Island, as were a GLAUCOUS GULL and 85 SNOW BUNTINGS. Eight GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS and a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET also made it on the day’s list in the Park.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Twelve RUDDY DUCKS  were a highlight today at Sillsville at Hay Bay where a late DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT and 20 NORTHERN PINTAILS were nice additions to the Winter Bird List. Also a nice addition were 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, just east of there on Townline Road. A chance stop at the lakeshore across from Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area along Highway 33 produced a COMMON LOON.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
There was a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER hanging around a suet feeder on the north side of Verona. The Hillview Pond at Collin’s Bay did its part in the official start to this year’s winter bird list by contributing 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS  and the same number of GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Along Lakeshore Blvd. in the Reddendale area of Kingston, a few good observations including 2 GADWALL, 25 BUFFLEHEAD, 15 GOLDENEYE, 3 RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and a lone COMMON MERGANSER. Olympic view in the city produced an impressive start to the Winter Bird List in the form of an ICELAND GULL. North of there at Bell Park in the Great Cataraqui River saw 45 AMERICAN WIGEON and 20 MALLARDS. Over on Wolfe Island, birding was pretty good too with a PEREGRINE FALCON highlighting the list at Button Bay where other good sightings included 47 TUNDRA SWANS, 25 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and 60 MALLARDS.
 
OTHER NEWS:
Birders in the Wawa area starting their Winter Bird List were richly rewarded today with the rare CRESTED CARACARA returning for an encore this morning at 8:00 a.m. Of course, December 1st does mark the start of the Winter Bird Season for active birders. Josh Vandermeulen compiles a winter bird list in Ontario every year, the results of which can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/myyulvs  . Approximately 346 species of birds have been recorded in Ontario during the winter period, with usually between 195 and 220 species recorded in a given winter. Last winter 221 species were recorded – the second highest total after the 224 species reported in 2011-2012.  Josh will be providing updates to the OntBirds listserv until the end of February as the winter progresses. He says the caracara is a great start to the Ontario Winter List for this year, which is also the first winter record ever for this species in Ontario. The Quinte Area Bird Report will update readers as his information is received.
 

 

Wednesday, November 30:

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
It appears that the GLOSSY IBIS that showed up at the A.K. Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh in Port Hope on Saturday, may have moved on. An attempt was made this morning to locate it, although it was nowhere to be seen, but the bird had been known to fly off and return later in the day in the past. This time, it did not return, but tomorrow may bring fresh hope as December 1st is opening day of the winter bird list for dyed in the wool birders, and a GLOSSY IBIS  would make a great bird for the list. One birder travelling from Belleville, had to be satisfied with seeing a BELTED KINGFISHER instead. I don’t think anyone knows for sure how many KING EIDERS are toying with birders in the Campbellford area. Just seeing one is an event as eiders are not only rare on Lake Ontario, but even more so on inland waters. There may be as many as four, possibly five,  in the Campbellford area. Initially, three females were seen on the Trent River at Lock 13 a few days ago. Only one female was present there this morning. An immature male KING EIDER had been reported at Ferris Provincial Park, swimming upstream from the Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge. A Brighton birder drove up there today, but couldn’t locate the reported male, but did find two females about 400 metres downstream from the bridge. Whether these were the two missing females from the original location is not known. KING EIDERS are exceptionally rare inland from Lake Ontario so with at least 4 different birds in the Campbellford area alone, it makes one wonder how many are elsewhere on the Trent River or other inland waterbodies. Back down at Presqu’ile Park where the action normally takes place, was all but ignored today in light of all the excitement elsewhere, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK along the Presqu’ile Parkway was about the best that Park could do today. On the north end of Brighton, a FOX SPARROW appeared at a feeder there first thing this morning, and 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES were at a feeder in the south part of town. 
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The only significant sighting to come in from Prince Edward County today took place at the Hamilton Wetland along County Road 14, west of Demorestville, where 5 SANDHILL CRANES  were seen.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
At Kingston’s Olympic view today there were 5 COMMON LOONS and 6 TUNDRA SWANS. North of the city, on Sandhill Road, off Highway 15, a juvenile YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER  was seen.
 
OTHER NEWS: Birders within driving distance of Wawa are hoping that the rare CRESTED CARACARA which showed up recently will still be around for the start of the winter bird season. When last seen it was seen strolling across a lawn on Brock Avenue at 9:40 a.m., but wasn’t seen after 1:00 p.m. This is a super rare bird although there are previous sightings of the caracara in Canada. The CRESTED CARACARA IS a tropical version of a vulture, which normally reaches the United States only in Arizona, Texas, and Florida. How, or why, it travelled this far from its normal haunts in Mexico, Central America and northern South America is anyone’s guess.

 


Tuesday, November 29:

HASTINGS COUNTY
Three FOX SPARROWS  were the species of the day along Aitkins Road, at the north end of Elmwood Drive on the east side of Belleville. HOUSE FINCH, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, AMERICAN ROBINS and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS were other species seen here. In Foxboro, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 3 HOUSE FINCHES and 360 CANADA GEESE were noteworthy. A few birds today at the Kingsford Conservation Area, just west of the hamlet and north of Deseronto – GREAT BLUE HERON, RED-TAILED HAWK and a BELTED KINGFISHER.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A couple rare birds for this area continue to draw in local birders. The GLOSSY IBIS  is still being seen at the Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh in Port Hope. It first appeared November 26th and so far, has shown no sign of leaving its feeding area any time soon. Now birders are wondering if the vagrant will still be there on December 1st which the beginning of the Winter Bird Season for birders. During those three months, birders will be scurrying about, particularly on December 1st to build up their list of birds seen during the three lean months of the year. At Campellford, the three female KING EIDERS  are still hanging around Lock 13 on the Trent Canal. The Campbellford lock 13 is on Northumberland County Road 50, on the west side of the river about 2 km north of the bridge in Campbellford (exit 509 north on county road 30 from Hwy 401 to Campbellford) Public access and parking available at the lock, Today, they were swimming mostly on their own, but joined a few COMMON MERGANSERS  at one point. At Presqu’ile Park today, a Trenton birder walked out to Gull Island. A bit quiet today, although a late DUNLIN was seen inflight. Also seen out there were WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, BUFFLEHEADS and COMMON GOLDENEYE. The SNOWY OWL was still present today at Sabastopol Point, as was the YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER  coming to a feeder .
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
In Kingston today, at the Montreal Street Apartments, on the north side of Bell Island, 17 species were noted today, 11 of them waterfowl. Among the more noteworthy in terms of either species or numbers, were GADWALL (12), NORTHERN SHOVELER (10), NORTHERN PINTAIL (9), HOODED MERGANSER (35) and 3 AMERICAN COOT. Thirty-five BONAPARTE’S GULLS  were also present.

 


Monday, November 28:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Eight SANDHILL CRANES passed over the Green Point area yesterday at the extreme east end of the North Marysburgh peninsula along Hayward Long Reach. Today, an adult BALD EAGLE  was spotted to the north of Garrett Island in West Lake. Some good birds along Long Point Road near Prince Edward Point were BLACK SCOTER, COMMON LOON, 19 HORNED GREBES, NORTHERN SHRIKE and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. West Lake today at Wellington had 13 AMERICAN WIGEON, 50 MALLARDS, 10 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 2 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 1 GREATER SCAUP, 6 BUFFLEHEAD, 35 BONAPARTE’S GULLS and 11 RING-BILLED GULLS. South of Carrying Place a flock of hundreds of EUROPEAN STARLINGS had an all light beige leucistic individual.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
At a Carrying Place feeder, the EASTERN TOWHEE was still present, and given the nice weather, will likely hang around for some time. In Belleville, on the Parrott Riverfront Trail, a lone WOOD DUCK was there today along with a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. At Potter Creek Conservation Area on the west side of Belleville, a BELTED KINGFISHER was seen today.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
It seems to be the season of KING EIDERS this year. Three more, al females, have been present for three days now near Lock 13 on the Trent River at Campbellford, a rather unusual location to find this species. They are usually 200-300 metres from the lock exit. At Port Hope, the GLOSSY IBIS was present once again at the Sculthorpe Woodland Marsh. In fact, it was the only bird present there near noon today. A kilometre away from the Peter’s Woods Provincial Nature Reserve, north of Centreton, an unspecified number of EVENING GROSBEAKS visited some feeders. If you like CANADA GEESE, there were 1600 of them at the Garden Hill Conservation Area at Campbellcroft . Three CACKLING GEESE  were also present there. The SNOWY OWL was present again today at Presqu’ile Park.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES outnumbered everything else at Lemoine Point Conservation Area. One birder tallied 32 as he walked along the trails at noon. Walkers on the trails routinely bring offerings; hence, the numbers. Other woodland residents there were in more typical numbers, although 7 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES  was a noteworthy number.

 


Sunday, November 27:

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Once again, it was the GLOSSY IBIS that became the star attraction at Port Hope’s Sculthorpe Marsh, present for the second day in a row. If you needed a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL on your cumulative list of birds, then Cobourg Harbour was surely the place to be today – there were 17 of them! Among the 9 waterfowl species were 190 MALLARDS and 520 CANADA GEESE. However, despite the excitement over the GLOSSY IBIS, Presqu’ile Park was not to be overlooked where a SNOWY OWL was found on Sebastopol Island and three PURPLE SANDPIPERS were on Gull Island. Other good birds seen there today included a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER at a feeder, a SONG SPARROW at Salt Point, a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, 4 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, and 10 TRUMPETER SWANS.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The mild temperatures and welcome sunshine likely had much to do with the incredible birding activity in Prince Edward County today. In the Lakeshore Lodge area of Sandbanks Park, some great sightings there today including 2 female KING EIDERS, 150 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 2 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 1 GLAUCOUS GULL, and 1 TURKEY VULTURE. Also at Sandbanks, there were 3 COMMON LOONS and 10 SNOW BUNTINGS at East Lake. West Lake at the Dunes Day Use area off County Road 12, 1500+ waterfowl were present, among them 350 REDHEADS, 45 HOODED MERGANSERS, 26 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 11 LITTLE GULLS and 104 AMERICAN ROBINS. Another 513 AMERICAN ROBINS turned up at the Outlet Beach area, one flock of 250 passing over in a single group! Nine TURKEY VULTURES  were noted here as well. And, at the Glendon Green Boat Launch off County Road 18, a one WOOD DUCK was seen. Several observers visited Wellington Harbour today where they found AMERICAN WIGEON, 4 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 30 CANADA GEESE, 53 MALLARDS, 89 LESSER/GREATER SCAUP, 5 BUFFLEHEAD, and 5 RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. Betting on the mild weather continuing were 5 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS. Two RIVER OTTERS  were also seen. It was definitely a KING EIDER day as another one was spotted at Point Petre today, along with 5 HORNED GREBES, 130 AMERICAN ROBINS and an EVENING GROSBEAK. Over on King’s Road, 25 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and 5 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS  were seen. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS (13) were also seen at Waring Creek along County Road 12, along with 60 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, and a single BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD. A few miscellaneous sightings around the County today included a MERLIN along the Sprague/Monkman Trail at Big Island, 50 CEDAR WAXWINGS and a dozen AMERICAN ROBINS feasting on crabapples on Luck’s Crossroad near Picton, COMMON LOON on Hayward Long Reach, and responding to the spring-like temperatures was a pair of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS checking out a nest box in the same location.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
MUTE SWANS on the Bay of Quinte at Carrying Place’s Twelve O’clock Point continue to fluctuate in numbers. Today there were 89. A conservative estimate of 260 HOODED MERGANSERS were spread out over a few hundred metres of the bay in dense groups. Also present were 89 COMMON GOLDENEYES, 30 CANADA GEESE, 12 GADWALL, 118 AMERICAN WIGEON, 3 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 23 MALLARDS, 20 BUFFLEHEAD and 9 RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. The BONAPARTE’S GULL numbers continue to hover around 40-50 most days. A few of the 12 species of birds noted at the Potter Creek Conservation Area on the west side of Belleville today included 2 BROWN CREEPERS, a RED-TAILED HAWK and a RUFFED GROUSE. A feeder in the west end of Trenton now has a winter resident RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH joining the two WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. At the same feeder, a male NORTHERN FLICKER stopped by to check out the menu. And, on the east side of Belleville, a male NORTHERN HARRIER was seen skimming across a field on Airport Parkway around 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
A NORTHERN HARRIER on Desmond Road in the Camden East area and an AMERICAN KESTREL on Moscow Road were a couple of miscellaneous sightings from Lennox and Addington County. Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area had 31 MALLARDS and 4 COMMON MERGANSERS in the bay itself.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
AMERICAN KESTREL, 11 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and a FOX SPARROW were highlights at Lemoine Point Conservation Area today, while just east of there, at the Marshlands Conservation Area RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, PILEATED WOODPECKER and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET were seen there. At Kingston’s Elevator Bay, an hour spent there this morning yielded about a dozen waterfowl species, among them 1,000 each of LESSER SCAUP and RING-NECKED DUCK. Also present were 32 TUNDRA SWANS, comprising both adults and juveniles. Some good numbers south of Belle Island in the Great Cataraqui River – 400 CANADA GEESE, 100 AMERICAN WIGEON and 40 HOODED MERGANSERS and a BALD EAGLE. North of Verona today 4 PINE SISKINS and 50 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES were good sightings as we inch our way into the bird feeding season.

 


Saturday, November 26:

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
This time, it wasn’t so much Presqu’ile Park that highlighted the birding world today in Northumberland County, as it was the Cobourg and Port Hope area. At the A.K. Sculthorpe Memorial Woodland Marsh in Port Hope today, a GLOSSY IBIS was initially spotted at noon and was still there later in the day. It seemed quite content as it preened itself in the company of several MALLARDS. Not far away, at Cobourg Harbour, a few more surprises. At 9:00 a.m. this morning, there was a female HARLEQUIN DUCK working the rocks around the Cobourg lighthouse on both sides. Three RED-THROATED LOONS  was another good sighting there today south of the breakwater and visible only from the end of the headland looking east. No absence of birds at Presqu’ile Park with 44 species seen this morning by one observer – not a bad total for this time of year. Typically, the MUTE SWAN population is starting to build with 325 noted today. Six hundred LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 115 BUFFLEHEAD among the 18 species of waterfowl, highlighted by one each of COMMON LOON and RED-THROATED LOON. Other birds of note were one each of RED-TAILED HAWK and ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, 4 AMERICAN COOTS, 6 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS and a 1st winter GLAUCOUS GULL. Other species seen were 3 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and 45 CEDAR WAXWINGS.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The privately owned 2.3 km Sprague/Monkman Trail near the east end of Big Island was a sad remnant of this past summer’s bustling bird activity. An hour spent on the trail late this afternoon produced only 4 species, and all but one of those were birds heard or seen in the far distance. Only  3 AMERICAN ROBINS made their presence known along the trail itself as they munched away on the fruiting berries of European Buckthorn and Red Cedar. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH  continue to visit a feeder at South Bay.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Across from Parrott’s Bay Conservation Area, present were 9 GADWALL, 24 MALLARDS, 2 CANADA GEESE and 12 HOODED MERGANSERS. But, west of there, at the end of County Road 8 near the Lennox Generating Plant, a birder there hit pay dirt when a dark morph SNOW GOOSE was seen. It’s shaping up to be a pretty good fall so far for BARRED OWLS. One was seen today on County Road 41, south of Denbigh. On Amherst Island today, some good sightings there, including 20 COMMON LOONS in the ferry channel. The hawk population on the island was starting out a bit slow earlier this fall, but if today’s sightings are any indication, the population may be starting to build up. Seen today were 2 AMERICAN KESTRELS, a RED-TAILED HAWK, and a first or second year GOLDEN EAGLE being harassed by two COMMON RAVENS. Also seen, between 50 and 60 COMMON GOLDENEYES and lots of mergansers, and 100 SNOW BUNTINGS.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
In Carrying Place, at Twelve O'clock Point, some interesting species and numbers near and around the jetties at the mouth of the Murray Canal where it empties into the Bay of Quinte. Highlighting the list was a SNOWY OWL, the first of the season in the Bay of Quinte region. Twelve species of waterfowl, and among them were 100 COMMON GOLDENEYE, a female WOOD DUCK, 4 HOODED MERGANSERS,  6 GADWALL, 2 AMERICAN WIGEON, and 3 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS – likely the same three that have been there for the past month. A white morph SNOW GOOSE at Tremur Lake on the west side of Trenton, stood out prominently from the 1200 or so CANADA GEESE and 12 HOODED MERGANSERS. Other sightings today from Hastings County included a late GREAT BLUE HERON in flight over the 401 at Sydney Street, and about 10 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS east of Stirling.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
A dozen species noted today in the Great Cataraqui River just on the south side of Bell Island. AMERICAN COOTS  numbered 150 and also present were 45 BONAPARTE’S GULLS. In Sydenham, a COOPER’S HAWK was seen today, and a BARRED OWL was present this morning north of Verona, where 4 BROWN CREEPERS  were also seen. Olympic view at Kingston came up with 75 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 35 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and 3 COMMON LOONS.

 


Friday, November 25:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
At Carrying Place a well stocked feeder setup with a variety of food types had an impressive fifteen species present this morning. There were DOWNY WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, a male RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BROWN CREEPER (1), BLUE JAY, NORTHERN CARDINAL, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (1), AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, HOUSE FINCH and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. The highlight was a male EASTERN TOWHEE. Totally ignoring the fact that winter is on its way, was a GREAT BLUE HERON that was seen flying nonchalantly over Stuckey Road, southeast of Picton at 8:00 a.m. this morning. 
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
The CANADA GEESE that are normally at Tremur Lake on the west side of Trenton, approximately 1200 or so have found a new place to feed. It is on a large recently harvested corn field on the east side of the road from the Trenton Walmart. They are there most of the day then leave at sundown. Maybe they are also happy the Walmart store has reopened after the fire!
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
It is assumed that the female KING EIDER has moved on as it hasn’t been seen in several days now (last seen on the 20th). A check of the Amherst Island ferry dock at Millhaven at noon though did reveal a few species of waterfowl including 20 MALLARDS, 5 BUFFLEHEADS, 15 COMMON GOLDENEYES, and 5 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. Also seen were 2 COMMON LOONS and singles of HERRING and RING-BILLED GULL.
 
DURHAM COUNTY
Some good sightings today in the Oshawa area including two adult male HARLEQUIN DUCKS that were seen at the mouth of Duffins Creek in Rotary Park, Ajax, accompanied by some COMMON GOLDENEYES.  In Darlington Provincial Park, a WINTER WREN and 2 HERMIT THRUSHES were seen, the later enjoying a bumper crop of wild grapes. North of the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club, at Bessborough Park,  WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER  were seen.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Despite the misty rain and hazy conditions, a few birders were out and about in the Kingston area today. At Collin’s Bay, some good numbers of GREATER SCAUP (2100), estimated in groups of 100, and 300 REDHEADS. In lesser numbers were CANADA GOOSE (2), TUNDRA SWAN (1), GADWALL (20), MALLARD (30), HOODED MERGANSER (5), COMMON MERGANSER (20), RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (5), and 25 each of LESSER SCAUP and BUFFLEHEAD. Also present in the bay were 2 COMMON LOONS, 30 RING-BILLED GULLS and a single HERRING GULL. At Olympic view in Kingston, there was only a kilometre of visibility due to fog; however, in addition to some of the same species seen elsewhere in the city were 2 LONG-TAILED DUCKS and 4 COMMON LOONS. A comment made in yesterday’s Report about AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES  increasing in numbers this season, was reflected in 50 being seen just north of Verona where 2 each of BROWN CREEPER and CEDAR WAXWING  were also present. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE  was found at Wolfe Island today.

 


Thursday, November 24:

HASTINGS COUNTY
There was a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER today at a feeder west of Thomasburg, and a PILEATED WOODPECKER was photographed at Marmora as it feasted on berries. While the diet of PILEATED WOODPECKERS is mainly insects, particularly carpenter ants, they are also drawn to nuts, berries, fruit and even consume poison ivy berries. Behind the Belleville Walmart store, there were 35 CANADA GEESE present in the Moira River. No boreal species present yet at bird feeders in the lower Hastings area. Still time yet for a few to appear at local feeders. Tweed today had 13 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS as their numbers begin to increase, augmented by more migrants from the north as they arrive. Ten DARK-EYED JUNCOS were present at the feeder in Tweed, and that species seems to be enjoying good numbers this season as well. In Foxboro, another finch, but more of a local resident, the AMERICAN GOLDFINCH seems to be on the increase too as winter approaches. There were a dozen at a Foxboro feeder.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The RED-TAILED HAWK that frequents County Rd 4 was there again today, and the resident NORTHERN HARRIER that is a regular along Big Island South Shore Road was again present today.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
North of Millhaven today, a PURPLE FINCH at a feeder there, plus all expected feeder guests.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Olympic view in Kingston produced a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL today, along with low numbers of six species of waterfowl – CANADA GOOSE, GADWALL, MALLARD, LONG-TAILED DUCK, and COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. Also 2 COMMON LOONS. About half way along the lakeshore from the Beechgrove Complex to Lake Ontario Park, a late GREAT BLUE HERON was seen as well as an optimistic BELTED KINGFISHER. Other miscellaneous sightings in the Kingston area today included a NORTHERN SHRIKE on County Road 2 between Joyceville Road and Kinogama Avenue, and a RED-TAILED HAWK at the Canadian Forces Base.

 


Wednesday, November 23:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was at a feeder today on Victoria Road near the west end, just east of Snider Road. Another RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER showed up, too, at a feeder along Swamp College Road today near Wellington. Other birds there today included 6 or so PURPLE FINCHES, 15 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and a dozen AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES. Numerous  BONAPARTE’S GULLS were seen milling about the Wellington Harbour. There were at least two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS today at a Crofton feeder east of Highway 62. Some good species in the Stinson Block area where another two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were seen along with a WINTER WREN and a HERMIT THRUSH.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Still another two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were present today at a Carrying Place feeder where there was also a first year NORTHERN SHRIKE and a passing male NORTHERN HARRIER. The ten RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS present have been here all fall and will hopefully stay the winter like last year. The best bird however was a male EASTERN TOWHEE.  At Wyman’s Road and Highway 2 in the Marysville Road area, a PILEATED WOODPECKER was seen.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH coming to a feeder in Brighton is one of many that are being reported at local feeders so far this season. Along the Presqu’ile Parkway, a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW has been visiting feeders in the area. Other good species seen along the Parkway today were RED-TAILED HAWK, 3 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 35 HERRING GULLS, a dozen DARK-EYED JUNCOS and a RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
Around 50 SNOW BUNTINGS were seen on Amherst Island early this morning toward the east end of the island. 
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Interesting sighting west of Gananoque today when an unusual hawk was seen which turned out to be a hybrid  RED-TAILED/RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. Not far away, at Grass Creek Park, across from Howe Island, 2 immature BALD EAGLES  were seen. Other good sightings there were 30 AMERICAN ROBINS, 120 RING-BILLED GULLS, 65 HERRING GULLS and a COMMON LOON. At the Marshlands Conservation Area along Front Road a noisy skein of 2,000 CANADA GEESE, made a short flight from the north side of Front Road to Elevator Bay. A GREAT HORNED OWL was also seen in the conservation area.

 


Tuesday, November 22:

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
On Gull island at Presqu’ile Park today, a PURPLE SANDPIPER was seen, but it wasn’t the only shorebird to be seen out there today. Also present were 5 DUNLIN and a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, the latter bird showing some stress, continuously flapping its wings as it fed. A few LONG-TAILED DUCKS were behaving more like dabbling ducks with some of them in close to shore feeding in very shallow water, simply dipping their heads to reach bottom. Three GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS were also present, but more in keeping with the season was the sighting of 50 SNOW BUNTINGS  which circled the island for a few minutes, then moved off toward the mainland.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Odd. Nice day today, but no one out birding, compared to yesterday when the weather was less than pleasant. Even the only list to come in today from Prince Edward County was from yesterday. At an Allisonville feeder, over a dozen species noted including a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK. RED-BELIED WOODPECKER, 18 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES and 2 FOX SPARROWS were species of note.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
One Kingston resident took advantage of the fine weather today and explored Amherst Island, coming up with 31 species. Among them was a late DUNLIN, an immature ICELAND GULL and a RED-TAILED HAWK. Thirty-six TUNDRA SWANS, 10 of them immatures, were seen as the species builds up its numbers preparatory to spending the winter months in local waters. Two COMMON LOONS, and 10 or so other species of waterfowl were also noted.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Along Sandhill Road, off Highway 15, north of Kingston, two RED-TAILED HAWKS  were seen there along with RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE.
 
MY THOUGHTS ON OUR NATIONAL BIRD CHOICE
Only journalists who can’t tell a starling from a house sparrow are upset over the choice for our national bird, it seems. They can’t even spell “Gray” the way the name was designated by the American Ornithologists Union, the agency charged with the responsibility of species designation and official names, is an American organization, so American spellings are used (i.e. Gray Catbird, Clay-colored Sparrow, etc.) on the official Checklists, and those are the spellings we are supposed to use. It’s like changing the name “Jon” to “John” simply because we like it better.  I was elated over the choice, not only because I voted for the Gray Jay, but it truly represents Canada as it ranges right across the country. Even its scientific name Perisoreus canadensis . Now, you can't get more Canadian that that!  Also unfortunate is that the AOU was responsible some years ago in changing the name from Canada Jay to the rather bland name,  Gray Jay. Had it remained Canada Jay, I think more of the dissenters would have accepted the choice since almost everyone is familiar with the Canada Jay or Whiskey-Jack. Gray Jay? Not so much. Gray Jays seldom move from their place of birth, Algonquin Park being a stronghold for the species in Ontario and a favourite place for local folks to see them. Just hold out a bit of sandwich and they will come right to your hand. Gray Jays cache their food, hiding it in thousands of nooks and crannies which become their pantries 12 months of the year with the amazing ability to remember each one of those crevices. Since food is not an issue with Gray Jays as it is for many species that move about and migrate as food availability dictates, the Gray Jays have no need to leave their homes, so they tend to stay put in their place of birth. Gray Jays do occur now and then in the Bay of Quinte area, but it is very rare. Given their caching habits, it is not clear why they move out of their area and drift southward when it is clearly not in their nature to do so. Some say individuals may get caught up in migrating flocks of Blue Jays in the fall, and perhaps inadvertently move around with them. Others say, not likely; their claim is that Blue Jays and Gray Jays are mortal enemies.  So, what is the real answer
As for the choice  -  I couldn't be happier!

 


Monday, November 21:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Slow day today, but a few birders went out across the Quinte region despite the wind and persistent snow. Not much activity though in Prince Edward County. The increased activity at bird feeders due to the blustery weather has tempted a few uncommon birds to sample the fare offered. At a feeder along Highway 62 near Jericho Road, A FOX SPARROW made an appearance today. Just north of there at Crofton, 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS appeared at a feeder. On Big Island, a NORTHERN HARRIER erupted from a snow covered red cedar, shook itself off in flight, and resumed his hunt over the Big Island Marsh and adjacent meadows.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
There was a burst of activity at a feeder in the Barry Heights area of Trenton where MOURNING DOVE numbers hit 25, DARK-EYED JUNCOS  went from two to 20 almost overnight. New arrivals were four WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. Some movement in a snow covered flowering crab tree translated into a dozen CEDAR WAXWINGS and four AMERICAN ROBINS, all of them feasting on the tiny apples. A CAROLINA WREN that has been present in the area off and on, made a return visit today.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Predictably, the only activity in this county was at Presqu’ile Park where a TURKEY VULTURE flew east low over the woods. A WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW  was present at a feeder along the Parkway, along with a RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, one of many that turned up today elsewhere in the region. Waterfowl seen from the Parkway were 30 CANADA GEESE, 8 MUTE SWANS, 1 GADWALL, 12 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 125 MALLARDS, 6 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 3 BUFFLEHEAD and 16 HOODED MERGANSERS
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
A FOX SPARROW  was seen on Big Creek Road, south of Napanee, and on Townline Road just south of there, a flock of 120 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD feeding in a corn field, the majority of them males. More blackbirds in the same general area, at McIntyre Road and Townline Road, but these were RUSTY BLACKBIRDS – 17 of them feeding on the road. North of Millhaven today, another 52 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and a BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD suddenly descended on a bird feeder there, along with the regulars.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Olympic view at Kingston near noon, had 4 COMMON LOONS show up. Among the 10 species seen were two DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, probably not at all impressed with the weather. RED-BREASTED, COMMON MERGANSERS and HOODED MERGANSERS, and MALLARDS were other species seen. North of Verona, an adult BALD EAGLE floated low over a house in an east to west direction.

 


Sunday, November 20:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The majority of birders took advantage of the overcast skies this morning and enjoyed some birding before the snow and winds began, but others in our reporting area braved the stormy conditions and, incredibly, came up with some cool sightings. A lone SANDHILL CRANE braved the winds as it made its way from the Sprague/Monkman Trail south across the Big Island Marsh and continued to bugle as it disappeared out of sight. Mostly, the activity was at bird feeders as patronage doubled and, in some cases, tripled from what it had been last week. NORTHERN CARDINALS, 15 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were noted at one location at South Bay. At noon, as the snow commenced in earnest, 2 NORTHERN CARDINALS and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW  took renewed interest in a feeder on Victoria Road toward the west side of the County. At our own feeder on Sprague Road, Big Island, 11 species were documented for Project FeederWatch, among them 9 MOURNING DOVES, a female NORTHERN CARDINAL, 10 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and 16 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. Not sure where all the squirrels came from, but there was a pile of them.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Along Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville, a COMMON GRACKLE made an appearance in a backyard. At Foxboro, birds in a backyard there included 2 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and 7 HOUSE FINCHES.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Bird activity at a Napanee bird feeder was at a high ebb with the snow increasing the feeding frenzy. Lots of HOUSE FINCHES, DARK-EYED JUNCOS and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. A few good sightings this morning at Wilton Creek, Morven with RED-TAILED HAWK and AMERICAN KESTREL being seen. Along Highway 33, west of Millhaven, a few waterfowl were braving the choppy conditions along Adolphus Reach including 21 CANADA GEESE, 5 MALLARDS, 15 BUFFLEHEAD and 29 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
The early birder gets the bird. In this case, it was a HARLEQUIN DUCK at Presqu’ile Park at 9:00 a.m., an immature male with a small party of LONG-TAILED DUCKS around Gull Island. The bird was first seen on the north side of the bar connecting Gull Island with Owen Point, then flew off appearing midway along the south shore of Gull Island, then moved to the channel between Gull Island and High Bluff Island. High numbers of waterfowl despite the weather that was moving in, including 2500 REDHEADS, 65 BUFFLEHEAD, 175 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 35 GADWALL, 160 MALLARDS and 75 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS. And the productive morning continued with 3 DUNLIN and an immature PURPLE SANDPIPER  also present, an ICELAND GULL, a dozen GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, and escorting in the snowstorm – 125 SNOW BUNTINGS. Along the Parkway leading toward the Park, a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
In keeping with the weather, 10 SNOW BUNTINGS  were seen south of Batersea today. Wolfe Island was the pace to be though with a party of 8 KFN members coming up with 30 species this morning. Among the highlights were a SNOW GOOSE, 3 COMMON LOONS, a lingering DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, BARRED OWL, and 175 SNOW BUNTINGS making it on the checklist.

 


Saturday, November 19:

LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Despite the winds today, the female KING EIDER was still hanging in there, just east of the Amherst Island ferry dock at Millhaven.  East of Millhaven, along the waterfront off the former C.I.L. factory, a half dozen or so waterfowl species were present this morning, among them a CACKLING GOOSE. Also present were 600 CANADA GEESE, 12 MALLARDS, 60 COMMON GOLDENEYE, 45 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 8 BUFFLEHEADS and 2 HOODED MERGANSERS.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Vanderwater Conservation Area east of Thomasburg, – always a good spot to visit at any time of the year – did not disappoint today. In addition to the resident BARRED OWL, there were 2 PILEATED WOODPECKERS, a RED-TAILED HAWK, 1 COMMON RAVEN and 20 AMERICAN ROBINS among the dozen species checked off. In Belleville, a PEREGRINE FALCON  was seen perched in a tree along Keegan Parkway.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Presqu’ile Park at noon today produced a few good species including a first year ICELAND GULL. Three GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, 60 BONAPARTE’S GULLS, and 85 HERRING GULLS also turned up. Despite tomorrow’s dismal forecast, a lingering TURKEY VULTURE was seen passing over the “fingers” of the park near the entrance. Along the Presqu’ile Parkway, nothing too spectacular, except for a couple of SONG SPARROWS in the marsh, 16 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and singles of other species commonly seen at this time of the year.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Frontenac Provincial Park was the location today of a super bird – a grey morph GYRFALCON. The bird was seen along the Cedar Lake Trail Loop, and was observed hunting ducks over the pond and shrub wetland. Other good birds to turn up there today were 2 PILEATED WOODPECKERS, a BROWN CREEPER and a mob of 25 AMERICAN CROWS which flew over the parking lot as dusk was falling. The 16-km hike also produced 8 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 4 HOODED MERGANSERS and 3 COMMON RAVENS. With winter coming on, it was expected that an EVENING GROSBEAK would be seen during a walk by one birder along the Cataraqui Trail at Sydenham. The 6 km walk east from the Foodland parking lot also produced COMMON LOON, 5 COMMON RAVENS, and some 60 RING-BILLED GULLS. South of Brewer’s Mills, 2 NORTHERN FLICKERS were seen. 
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The only sightings to come in today from Prince Edward County was a PILEATED WOODPECKER at North Beach Provincial Park, and three COMMON LOONS in Adolphus Reach off Mosquito Lane, east of Lake on the Mountain.

 


Friday, November 18:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
It was a day for RED-TAILED HAWKS in Prince Edward County. RED-TAILED HAWKS  were seen today at Big Island, Mountain View, County Road 2, near County Road 1, Bloomfield, Sandbanks and Rednersville. Up to 25 MALLARDS  were along Wellington Beach today, as well as a BELTED KINGFISHER. Some of the popular areas, that once abounded in birds during the spring and fall, are becoming deserted as winter inches closer. One of them, North Beach Provincial Park, was deserted today, except for 93 CANADA GEESE and 4 MUTE SWANS and they were on the bay side of the Park.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
A BELTED KINGFISHER figured prominently in a life and death story near Trenton. A birder perched in a tree stand had a panoramic view when he spotted a BELTED KINGFISHER fly into a marsh area and land on a branch over the water and proceeded to wait for a meal. Also doing a bit of birdwatching was a COOPER’S HAWK that zoomed in and gave chase to the kingfisher as it sped to escape over the open water only three feet above the surface with the hawk in hot pursuit. As the hawk got uncomfortably closer, the kingfisher dove into the water with the hawk zooming on past. The kingfisher emerged from the water and flew away in the opposite direction. The hawk, realizing its mistake, cut back and resumed the chase. The sequence repeated two more times and the kingfisher, now sopping wet, was slowed down by the extra weight, and finally, the COOPER’S HAWK succeeded in making its catch. This whole episode happened in about two minutes. As we get ever so much closer to winter, this is  being reflected in higher numbers now of some of the more common species that might end up being feeder clientele at some point. Among these east of Belleville along the Airport Parkway were around 60 MOURNING DOVES. Some like AMERICAN ROBINS that may not have migrated yet or, conversely, may be contemplating exploiting the bountiful crop of fruit on some wild trees and bushes this winter, are also being seen such as 30 AMERICAN ROBINS in Foxboro. A WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, yet undecided whether or not to move on, was also present in Foxboro taking advantage of the fine weather today.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
At the North Wilkinson Tract off Pogue Road north of Colborne today, some good birds there including a PILEATED WOODPECKER, SONG SPARROW, BELTED KINGFISHER and 4 RUFFED GROUSE. Down at Presqu’ile Park, 225 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS led the checklist for ducks in terms of numbers, but the best bird today was a first year GLAUCOUS GULL on the shoal north of Gull Island. Four GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS and a single SNOW BUNTING were also see today. There was one very happy BUFFLEHEAD with 17 females at the Brighton Constructed Wetland this morning. Also present were 4 MUTE SWANS, 5 WOOD DUCKS, 12 MALLARDS, 13 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and 50 CANADA GEESE.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Day 14 for the female KING EIDER that has been seen every day east of the Amherst Island ferry dock on the Millhaven side. Also, an impressive total of 73 COMMON LOONS all visible from the ferry and the south shore. Amherst Island highlights included 78 HORNED GREBES off the south shore, a female BLACK SCOTER along with 30 TUNDRA SWANS off the tip of the Martin Edwards Reserve, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE near the parking area for that reserve. Raptors have been uncharacteristically scarce so far this fall on the island with only a NORTHERN GOSHAWK, 1 RED-TAILED HAWK and four AMERICAN KESTRELS being seen. At the Martin Edwards Reserve at the east end of Amherst Island, it was a pretty good day for one birder who counted 34 TUNDRA SWANS and 500 MALLARDS. Also answering the roll call were 550 CANADA GEESE, AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, REDHEAD, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, BLACK SCOTER, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED MERGANSER and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. Four GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS were also seen.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
PURPLE FINCH, NORTHERN CARDINAL, SNOW BUNTING and BROWN CREEPER  were noteworthy birds seen today near Snider Road, north of Verona. At Elginburgh, another action story, similar to the one at Trenton. In this case, a MERLIN was seen chasing a MOURNING DOVE at high speed north along Sydenham Road. The MERLIN  was about seven metres behind but the terrified dove who really wanted to live, was flying strongly. The outcome, however, was unknown. As the birder stated, “It’s a tough life out in the wild!”


Thursday, November 17:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The CAROLINA WREN that has turned up a few times in the Consecon area has given rise to some concern as to its future if this winter should happen to turn as severe as has been predicted. In the way of a bit of background, the CAROLINA WREN is a wren of the Carolinian forest zone of eastern U.S.A. that reaches the northerly edge of its breeding range in southern Ontario. The species is a permanent resident wherever it ranges, and as the species continues to push its breeding range northward, mild winters allow the species to build up in numbers, but a severe winter can knock the population down again. In 1972, I came a cross a pair nesting in a tree swallow house on Mary Street in Picton, the first recorded nesting since the species first appeared in the County in 1956. Since then, there have been several additional nesting records of CAROLINA WRENS nesting in Prince Edward County. I well remember the first CAROLINA WREN that came to our bird feeder one winter and who thrived on stale Timbits. When his supply ran dangerously low, I made an emergency run to Tim Hortons in Picton. I couldn’t help but smile as the lady behind the counter ever so delicately lifted each Timbit from the bin with a napkin and placed it in the box. I didn’t have the heart to reveal the identity of the intended customer!  With seven Tim Horton’s in Trenton, the Consecon wren should have little problem being well fed this winter, if someone should choose to do so!
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Waterfowl continue to gather at Twelve O’Clock Point at Carrying Place. Today there were 18 species of ducks, along with 4 PIED-BILLED GREBES and 25 AMERICAN COOTS. Once again, there were thousands of ducks beyond binocular or spotting scope range – probably scaup although a few may have been REDHEADS. Closer to shore, the large numbers translated into 400 REDHEADS, 325 AMERICAN WIGEON, 225 RING-NECKED DUCKS and 230 HOODED MERGANSERS. Mixed in were 13 RUDDY DUCKS and 45 BUFFLEHEADS. Mercifully, the 120 MUTE SWANS from yesterday had dropped sown to only 85. Also present were 30 RING-BILLED GULLS and 12 BONAPARTE’S GULLS.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Two hikers on the Doe Lake and Arab Gorge Trails in Frontenac Provincial Park yesterday reported neither hearing nor seeing any birds, but did come across two damselflies mating and hearing a Spring Peeper! Obviously, they were lured by the mild weather into an autumnal recrudescence mode, a state of mind that will surely cool by this weekend. A fair bit of birding activity in the Kingston area, incorporating some new locations that haven’t been mentioned before in this Report. One of them, Colonel By Lake, at Kingston Mills. At the Aragon Boat Launch at Colonel By Lake, 37 GADWALL  and 20 AMERICAN WIGEON were present, and a NORTHERN HARRIER  was seen. Farther up the shoreline, at the Casey Point Crown Land, a late DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was seen, some 60 LESSER SCAUP and 12 HOODED MERGANSER. a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, 5 BROWN CREEPERS, 4 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and 47 AMERICAN ROBINS. South of there, closer to Kingston proper, Belle Park had some good numbers of waterfowl including  220 AMERICAN WIGEON and 110 MALLARDS. Forty-seven NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 20 RUDDY DUCKS were also seen here. At Olympic view in Kingston, a highlight there was the sighting of 22 COMMON LOONS.
 

Wednesday, November 16:

HASTINGS COUNTY
There was a BROWN CREEPER along the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail in Belleville this afternoon, along with 21 MUTE SWANS, 30 BUFFLEHEADS, 20 COMMON GOLDENEYES, and 100 RING-BILLED GULLS, just to name a few of the species present. A BARRED OWL turned up at Vanderwater Conservation Area, east of Thomasburg today. At Roslin, just south of Vanderwater Conservation Area, 40 CEDAR WAXWINGS  were seen. Among the 12 species seen along Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville were an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, NORTHERN CARDINAL and 120 CANADA GEESE. CANADA GEESE also made it on the checklist at Tremur Lake, west of Trenton – actually 1200 of them! There was good birding to be had there at noon, with 6 TRUMPETER SWANS, 3 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 75 MALLARDS, 4 BUFFLEHEAD, 6 COMMON MERGANSERS and 30 HOODED MERGANSERS mixed in with the geese. Also present were a RED-TAILED HAWK, 25 AMERICAN ROBINS, and 3 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. South of there, at Twelve O’Clock Point in Carrying Place, there were 38 MUTE SWANS. Inside of 20 minutes, the number had burgeoned to 120! This is a favourite spot for MUTE SWANS in the fall. Also present here from the jetties at the east end of the Murray Canal were highs of 50 AMERICAN WIGEON, 140 BUFFLEHEAD, 20 HOODED MERGANSERS, 50 AMERICAN WIGEON, 30 REDHEADS, 40 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP, 20 MALLARDS, 10 GADWALL and 25 AMERICAN COOTS. Beyond binocular range to identify were at least 2,000 other ducks that stretched from Indian Island to the mainland at Trenton.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Between Carrying Place and Pleasant Bay, there were a good number of species worth mentioning. Birds seen were thirty AMERICAN PIPITS, 8 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, 5 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 4 BROWN CREEPERS and singles of RUFFED GROUSE, NORTHERN FLICKER, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, PILEATED WOODPECKER, MERLIN, NORTHERN RAVEN, and FOX SPARROW. A CAROLINA WREN was seen at 8:45. a.m. at the end of Glen Lane in the Stinson Block west of Consecon. This morning, a SANDHILL CRANE bugled its way over Sprague Road at Big Island.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A few species of note seen at Presqu’ile Park today were 5 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 10 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, NORTHERN CARDINAL, and a PILEATED WOODPECKER along the Jobes’ Woods Trail that seemed more concerned about a plane passing overhead than it was in the presence of a photographer. In the marsh at Calf Pasture Point, species seen were HERRING GULL, BUFFLEHEAD, MALLARD, MUTE SWAN. BUFFLEHEADS and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were present in Lake Ontario. In a Brighton backyard, present today was a flock of 27 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS that may thin out a bit in numbers when the weather turns colder and perhaps snowy by early next week. Six CEDAR WAXWINGS were also present, along with RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (1), 2 HOUSE FINCHES, 8 DARK-EYED JUNCOS and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW. Moving west to Grafton, 38 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS  were seen at the Calnan Road pond where a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET was also present, and a PILEATED WOODPECKER. At Wicklow Beach some good numbers there including 550 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 116 RING-BILLED GULLS, 78 BONAPARTE’S GULLS, 92 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 65 REDHEADS, to name only a few of the species seen, along with a single GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Lots going on in the Kingston area, and beyond today. At Olympic view along the lakeshore, 150 ducks were simply too far away to identify, but closer to shore were some 35 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 16 COMMON LOONS and a handful of other duck species. A lingering DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was also present. On the Great Cataraqui River, just south of Belle Island, species present there were CANADA GOOSE, AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, REDHEAD, GREATER/LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, PIED-BILLED GREBE, AMERICAN COOT, and another DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT enjoying the fine weather. Upstream, at the Lower Brewer’s Mills Lock, there were 45 HOODED MERGANSERS. A NORTHERN FLICKER was also seen. Farther north along the river, at the Upper Brewer’s Mills Lock, no waterfowl seen, but  there were 2 COMMON RAVENS. On Sunbury Road, a lone SNOW BUNTING  was seen, and another was seen today north of Verona. And over on the 401 across from Howe Island, a BALD EAGLE  was noted.
 

Tuesday, November 15:

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
It was a good start up Project FeederWatch week for a Presqu’ile Park resident as he had 4 EVENING GROSBEAKS as well as both a WHITE-THROATED and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW  to start off the season. For birders just wanting to see what was around in such fine birding weather, today had plenty to satisfy their needs in the Park with close to 40 species being present. The exceptional weather may have been responsible for at least two shorebird species still taking their chances on this weather continuing – 1 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and a dozen DUNLIN. The 50 HORNED LARKS that landed on Owen Point must have been influenced by the summer temperatures, too; likewise, 3 AMERICAN PIPITS, 2 BROWN CREEPERS, 8 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and 2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Offsetting their appearance were birds more typical of the season – 12 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 20 SNOW BUNTINGS, and 3 LAPLAND LONGSPURS. Certainly a good day to see a splendid variety of birds. Travelling west, Wicklow Beach between Brighton and Cobourg had 1,000 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS today, and a COMMON LOON. North of Port Hope, at the Garden Hill Conservation Area, birding was good there, too, with highlights being a FOX SPARROW, 1 WHITE-THROATED SPARROW,M 1 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET and 2 NORTHERN FLICKERS.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Lot of waterfowl today at Tremur Lake, on the west side of Wooler Road. There were large numbers of CANADA GEESE and MALLARDS. One goose had an almost white head and neck similar to one last year. Also present were sixty HOODED MERGANSERS, 12 COMMON MERGANSERS, 15 BUFFLEHEAD, four AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and six TRUMPETER SWANS - a lone adult and a family of five with three young. Fish are apparently plentiful given the success the Mergansers were having. A male BELTED KINGFISHER also took part.    
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
The long standing (swimming) KING EIDER  was present again in its customary location near the Millhaven ferry dock. Also a BELTED KINGFISHER there today to keep it company.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Two SWAMP SPARROWS and a WINTER WREN were highlights today at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area north of Kingston. Other species seen were BELTED KINGFISHER, 23 GADWALL, 40 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and a COMMON GRACKLE. In the Inverary area this afternoon, a FIELD SPARROW turned up for one birder, along with 5 WILD TURKEYS and 2 PILEATED WOODPECKERS. On Wolfe Island, bird of the day out there was a SNOW GOOSE. Also seen, a GREAT BLUE HERON and a RED-TAILED HAWK.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
It was a “freezing fog” morning in much of the County, but temperatures warmed up considerably to produce an excellent day. On the Sprague/Monkman Trail early this morning, a NORTHERN FLICKER  was seen, likely the same one that has been around for several weeks. Lots of AMERICAN ROBINS  feasting on a plethora of berries along a shrubby laneway. Otherwise, quiet for much of the 2.3 km route. Despite the incredible day today, weather-wise - sadly, no one else was out birding today in the County.

 


Monday, November 14:

 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A few species of waterfowl at Wellington Harbour these days. There were about 100 present yesterday – a dozen MALLARDS and the rest Scaup, along with a Brant. When the Brant wasn’t feeding, it spent much of its time harassing and threatening many of the nearby ducks. There were also several hundred CANADA GEESE in several separate gaggles, as well as 40 RING-BILLED GULLS, both species mostly loafing in West Lake behind the jetties on the east side of the channel. Several birders reported HORNED GREBES, with concentrations mainly at Little Bluff Conservation Area and at Point Petre. Twenty CEDAR WAXWINGS at Point Petre, BUFFLEHEADS at both Point Petre and Prince Edward Point, RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS at Little Bluff. At South Bay, 5 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS turned up, a species we haven’t heard much about this fall.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Moving on to Hastings County, some good species at the Potter Creek Conservation Area (AKA Quinte Conservation Area) today, one of the highlights being a BARRED OWL. Other good birds seen there this morning at day break were 20 AMERICAN ROBINS, 1 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, a FOX SPARROW and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. Not far away, at Zwick’s Park, 11 species – not bad for this manicured parkland. In addition to 60 CANADA GEESE, there were 2 MUTE SWANS, 30 MALLARDS, 10 BUFFLEHEAD, 12 COMMON GOLDENEYE and 1 COMMON MERGANSER in the Bay of Quinte. Thirty RING-BILLED GULLS  were also present.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
A female KING EIDER  continues to delight birders with its presence east of the Amherst Island ferry dock at Milhaven. The uncommon Arctic species has been present in the same location since November 5th.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
A few places of interest visited here today. Once again, the Hillview Pond at Collin’s Bay had the continuing juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, along with a RED-TAILED HAWK, 1 GREAT BLUE HERON, 14 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and 2 NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Some birding at Howe Island brought in 25 species, among them 32 BLUE JAYS, 2 COMMON RAVENS, 1 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL and a COOPER’S HAWK. North of Snider Road at Verona, a BELTED KINGFISHER  was making a last check on available cavities for the 2017 nesting season in a pit area. A PURPLE FINCH and a RUFFED GROUSE  also made it on the list of birds, compiled at daybreak.

 


Sunday, November 13:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A PILEATED WOODPECKER  has been making short work of a hydro pole off County Road 10 and Miller Road, north of Cherry Valley.Theories abound as to why PILEATED WOODPECKERS  attack hydro poles. One theory is that the vibrations transmitted by the conductors through the pole are mistaken by woodpeckers to be carpenter ants moving about inside. While this theory may be true at this time of the year when nesting isn’t on their minds, researchers believe that the prime reason is that a utility pole provides a broad view of the surrounding area, making the pole an excellent vantage point during the nesting season for announcing and defending territories. A bit of a concentration of waterfowl today at the west end of Consecon Lake where 70 MUTE SWANS were present (known for large numbers of this species), 400 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 100 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP, 3 TUNDRA SWANS, and a PIED-BILLED GREBE. Miscellaneous sightings around the County today included NORTHERN FLICKER, NORTHERN SHRIKE and BROWN CREEPER, all seen in the Carrying Place area this morning.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
MUTE SWANS  weren’t only at Consecon Lake today; there were easily 100 not far away at Twelve O’Clock Point in Carrying Place, in company with 12 other waterfowl species. Some of the higher numbers involved AMERICAN WIGEON (100), 25 each of MALLARD and REDHEAD, 15 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 25 HOODED MERGANSERS and 20 BUFFLEHEAD. A couple of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS were also present, a species not commonly found at this location. Other species present were 3 AMERICAN COOTS, 20 BONAPARTE’S GULLS and a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. Also in Carrying Place, at Dead Creek, 18 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 20 MALLARDS and 4 GADWALL were present.  Behind the Canadian Tire store in Trenton, the Bay of Quinte shoreline produced 24 CANADA GEESE, 21 MALLARDS, 40 COMMON GOLDENEYE, a BONAPARTE’S GULL, 60 RING-BILLED GULLS and 12 HERRING GULLS. Some would say it was hardly worth going to the H.R. Frink Centre for its 8 species, among them a NORTHERN CARDINAL, AMERICAN ROBIN and a RUFFED GROUSE. But, any bird outing is far more than just the thrill of the checklist.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
As of 11:30 a.m. today, the female KING EIDER was still being seen at Milhaven. The uncommon visitor was frequenting the area between the buoy and rougher water to the east near the Amherst Island ferry dock.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
REDHEADS everywhere at Presqu’ile Park today, involving an estimated 3,000 that were present at the Park’s Gull Island. Another 800 in almost a pure flock were off Salt Point on the Presqu’ile Bay side of the Park. Other good numbers today were 600 LONG-TAILED DUCKS and the same number of both GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, and 550 CANADA GEESE. Two WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and  a SURF SCOTER  were also seen at the Park today, along with 2 HORNED GREBES. Three PURPLE SANDPIPERS were on Gull Island – a single on the north side and 2 on the south side of the island. Other noteworthy sightings in the Park included 8 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 4 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 2 SNOW BUNTINGS, 12 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Some nice sightings at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area off Division Street. In addition to 100 GADWALL and 30 HOODED MERGANSERS being seen, 3 COMMON RAVENS and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were among the 15 species checked off near noon today. North of Verona today, a RUFFED GROUSE, 1 PURPLE FINCH and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were seen. And, at the Hillview Pond at Collin’s Bay, the BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was still present today.

 


Saturday, November 12:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Two EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were doing the spring thing at Wellington, checking out a possible nest site for the 2017 nesting season. Doubtless, a little bit of autumnal recrudescence kicking in to perpetuate this behaviour.  At Salmon Point today, a roadkill found by a motorist turned out to be a BARRED OWL.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Not much today from Lennox and Addington except for 27 SNOW BUNTINGS and a COMMON LOON on Amherst Island today. Just west of Croydon, 20 minutes northeast of Napanee, a NORTHERN GOSHAWK popped in for a visit and perched on an old maple tree next to a house at 8:30 a.m. this morning. And, the female KING EIDER  was still in its usual spot just east of the Amherst Island ferry dock at Milhaven.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
The only species of interest to come in from Northumberland County today was a late DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT at Port Hope Harbour. Late, perhaps, but not overly so as a few always linger in this part of Ontario until freeze-up, with the occasional individual trying to challenge the rigours of winter well into December. Nothing today from Presqu’ile Park.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Bell Park along the Cataraqui River in Kingston was the place to be today.One birder there walked from the parking lot out along the south side trail to the woods and point, then back and across the golf course and checked out the water in front of the Montreal Street apartments. His wanderings involved about 5 kilometres of walking, but t was not all for naught as he found 22 species, most of them waterfowl. Among them were 40 GADWALL, 90 AMERICAN WIGEON, 69 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 33 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 40 LESSER SCAUP, 27 BUFFLEHEAD and 50 AMERICAN COOTS. Also found, a BROWN CREEPER. Miscellaneous sightings around the city included a RED-TAILED HAWK along Gardiner's Road north, a GREAT BLUE HERON in the Cataraqui Woods Drive pond (Colin’s Bay Rd, north of Princess St.) Best bird of the day was a juvenile CROWNED NIGHT-HERON in the Hillview Pond off Bath Road near the Lemoine Point Conservation Area.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Lots of birding happening in Hastings County today, starting with a leucistic DARK-EYED JUNCO that showed up at a bird feeder this morning along Airport Road.  Moving on to Carrying Place, Twelve O’Clock Point had a pretty good showing of waterfowl this afternoon, with 13 species of waterfowl. REDHEADS came out on top represented by 200 individuals, followed by 80 AMERICAN WIGEON. But, even more noticeable were the 80 MUTE SWANS, the observer saying that this number was a conservative estimate where this location is known for its large numbers of MUTE SWANS. Sixty HOODED MERGANSERS were here, too, along with 2 AMERICAN COOTS. Just north of CARRYING PLACE, at Tremur Lake at the corner of Wooler Road and Telephone Road, the regulars were there – the five TRUMPETER SWANS and HOODED MERGANSERS – 40 of them. Also, 500 CANADA GEESE. Along the Grand Junction Trail which runs along the west side of the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, near there, 3 CEDAR WAXWINGS  were found as well as 22 MALLARDS. Farther up Highway 37, there was a RED-TAILED HAWK along the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course. And farther up Highway 37 still, the H.R. Frink Centre has slowed down considerably from its excitement of the summer and early fall season. However, there were a respectable 18 species there this morning at daybreak. Thirty-seven WILD TURKEYS highlighted the list, followed by BELTED KINGFISHER, PILEATED WOODPECKER and 2 FOX SPARROWS. A NORTHERN SHRIKE  was found at Potter Creek Conservation Area, at Highway 2 and Loyalist/Wallbidge Road.
 
 

 

Friday, November 11:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Many bird feeder operators along Snider Road in Ameliasburgh are hoping that one species seen this morning is, in fact, migrating out of the area. At 9:00 a.m., an estimated 2,000 EUROPEAN STARLINGS swirled around the road on the west side of the County as the birder approached them. A Trenton area birder who regularly birds the Consecon and Hillier areas of the County has noted that the RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (file photo by Bob Willis of Picton) has been very conspicuous this fall and are easily located by their “chuk” call. Because he is finding them in places where he didn’t encounter them this summer, he is wondering if it is possible that birds from further north are coming into this area particularly the County? The bird counts definitely show a good wintering population. Ron Weir in his Birds of Kingston has noted that there is a post breeding dispersal of individuals that move out of the more northern extremes of their range and wander around quite a bit. It is possible that some of the RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS that show up in the Bay of Quinte region are indeed some of these individuals that are seeking feeding areas that will sustain them through the winter. Speaking of which, one is appearing regularly in Allisonville, which is likely a resident bird rather than an out of town visitor.
 
HASTINGS
Except for a continuing RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH in a Tweed backyard, nothing else from Hastings County today.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Presqu’ile Park is trying to tell us something. In addition to 2 SNOW BUNTINGS, DARK-EYED JUNCO and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, species we normally associate with the coming winter months, there was also a SNOWY OWL on Sebastopol Island at Presqu’ile to further emphasize the point. Twelve GREAT-BLACKED GULLS, an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL and a juvenile ICELAND GULL were also present at the Park. Some nice sightings there. Also noted were 4 CACKLING GEESE, a NORTHERN SHOVELER, and 2 PIED-BILLED GREBES among the 42 species present.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Miscellaneous sightings on Amherst Island today included RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS (4) at the Martin Edwards Nature Reserve, 2 HORNED GREBES along the South Shore Road, 24 BUFFLEHEAD at the Sand Beach Wetlands, and 2 lingering DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS at the Stella ferry dock. The female KING EIDER was once again present at the ferry dock at Milhaven.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Accompanying the more regular visitors to a feeding station on Button Bay Road on Wolfe Island today was a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD. 

 


Thursday, November 10:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Despite the high winds today, a few birders were out to see what they could find. In the Consecon and Carrying Place areas, high winds kept the birds hidden although a few good species were seen. There were six CEDAR WAXWINGS and singles of RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (male), MERLIN, NORTHERN HARRIER, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, and 9 WILD TURKEYS. Speaking of WILD TURKEYS, a Fish Lake resident has had 16 WILD TURKEYS visiting her backyard making themselves at home, eating apples, crabapple tree fruit and generally lounging around much of the day. Photographer and well known wildlife artist Mia Lane said it was hilarious watching them hop up and down like jack-in-the-boxes under the crab tree trying to pick the berries off. Some good sightings at South Bay – 25 species, to be exact. Two TUNDRA SWANS were seen and that number will undoubtedly grow in the coming weeks. Twenty RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS  were seeking shelter in today’s gusty winds, a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT  was seen as well as a COMMON LOON, 25 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 20 LONG-TAILED DUCKS AND 12 BUFFLEHEAD. As might be expected, 30 MUTE SWANS  were also taking advantage of the somewhat sheltered conditions.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Along Belleville’s Riverfront Trail, a handful of species there, but good numbers, including 100 RING-BILLED GULLS, 40 MALLARDS, 25 CANADA GEESE, 30 ROCK PIGEONS and singles of HERRING GULL and GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH continues in a backyard in Tweed, reflecting the large numbers that passed through our area this fall, a few of them staying to sample the fare at local bird feeders.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
Brian Durell of Allisonville says that the female KING EIDER is still near the Milhaven ferry dock to Amherst Island. As Brian quipped in his e-mail, “If anyone is interested, the female king eider is still hanging around off the Millhaven ferry dock. (I suppose it is hanging around even if NOBODY is interested.)” Due to the winds, it was actually the only bird out on the choppy water, perhaps 50-75 metres off the dock. On Amherst Island, high winds and choppy conditions on the lake prevented an accurate count, but at least 15 HORNED GREBES  bobbed up and down in the high seas. All three species of merganser were present – COMMON, RED-BREASTED and HOODED. Also seen, a COMMON LOON. Along Desmond Road in the Camden East area, 4 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS turned up yesterday. 
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
A continuing and careful count of TUNDRA SWANS at Kingston’s Elevator Bay (Cataraqui Bay) today revealed 44 of these birds that in recent years have begun wintering over in the Kingston area, in even larger numbers.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Not much today at Presqu’ile Park due to its geographic location in the open lake and relentless winds. However, near the campground office the sheltered waters there offered 84 MALLARDS, 21 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 11 AMERICAN WIGEON, 5 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a single GADWALL.

 


Wednesday, November 09:

LENNOX and ADDINGTON
This female KING EIDER was once again present  at the Milhaven ferry dock along with 200 RING-BILLED GULLS, 2 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, 40 CANADA GEESE, 5 BUFFLEHEAD, 12 COMMON GOLDENEYE and one each of COMMON MERGANSER and COMMON LOON. East of Milhaven today, another COMMON LOON, 60 COMMON GOLDENEYE and 6 RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. A BELTED KINGFISHER  was also in the area. North of Milhaven, a COMMON RAVEN and 2 PURPLE FINCHES  were seen. At the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons, 8 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 125 BUFFLEHEADS were high points among the 10 species of birds present at noon.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was seen in the South Bay area today. SANDHILL CRANES were seen over Hagerman Farms just west of the Picton roundup a few days ago. On Big Island, one of two NORTHERN HARRIERS that seem to be resident birds in the area, was seen today. Project FeederWatch begins this weekend, and already feeder birds are ramping up for the season at our home. Already at 23 Sprague Road, Big Island, there are a dozen BLUE JAYS, 7 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, several DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 3 MOURNING DOVES, a couple AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, 3 HOUSE FINCHES, 3 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 2 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 2 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, and a NORTHERN CARDINAL. Let the season begin! All we need is a bit of snow, and the season will shift into high gear. 
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A visitor taking in the Christmas at Presqu’ile celebrations at Presqu’ile Park didn’t leave without noting a few birds in the area. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES were at the feeders by the Sightings Boards, along with BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, BLUE JAYS, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, and HAIRY and DOWNY WOODPECKERS. There was a MERLIN AT THE LIGHTHOUSE and a number of kinglets. At Calf Pasture Point, present were BELTED KINGFISHER, two NORTHERN CARDINALS, MUTE SWANS, MALLARDS and CANADA GEESE.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Ten species of ducks were present this morning in Cataraqui Bay, the most numerous being RING-NECKED DUCK at 250.  Other species present were GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON, REDHEAD, MALLARD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, both GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD and HOODED MERGANSER. Some 500 CANADA GEESE were also on hand, along with RING-BILLED and HERRING GULLS, TRUMPETER SWANS, and a lingering DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT.

 


Tuesday, November 08:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The Millennium Trail was much quieter today than it was yesterday. Between Blakely Road and Smoke’s Point Road, there was a  FOX SPARROW and an adult NORTHERN SHRIKE.  Along County Road 2, north of Wilson Road (north of Wellington), a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER  was seen.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Waterfowl are starting to gather at Twelve O’clock Point in Carrying Place near where the Murray Canal empties into the Bay of Quinte. Present there right now are 17 species of ducks, along with a dozen PIED-BILLED GREBES and 23 AMERICAN COOTS. Some high numbers have been 3500 LESSER SCAUP, 175 CANADA GEESE, 225 HOODED MERGANSERS and 40 MUTE SWANS. Just southeast of the jetty, an adult LITTLE GULL was feeding with 45 BONAPARTE’S GULLS. A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH continues to frequent a backyard in Tweed, and a RUSTY BLACKBIRD turned up there today.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A respectable 25 species were present yesterday at the Brighton Constructed wetlands beside County Road 64. No high numbers of waterfowl, but a dozen each of GREEN-WINGED TEAL and BUFFLEHEAD were good umbers given the somewhat restricted open water available here. Thirty-five CANADA GEESE and a WOOD DUCK flyover were also noted. Two RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS – a male and female – flew into a tree top in the southeast corner of the wetland, and a NORTHERN FLICKER, and a very tame MARSH WREN were also seen, and big flocks (475) EUROPEAN STARLINGS to the north and east of the wetland.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
The female KING EIDER  was present again this morning around 9:00 a.m. east of the Amherst Island ferry channel.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
The Kingston field Naturalists held their Fall Round-up last weekend. Three teams and several individual observers tallied 104 species. The most noteworthy were: KING EIDER, NORTHERN GOSHAWK, GOLDEN EAGLE, PURPLE SANDPIPER, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and TUFTED TITMOUSE. Some of these species were seen at Prince Edward Point and Amherst Island. Howe Island, just east of Kingston, was the place to go today if you wanted to see COMMON LOONS. There were 35 of them! A maximum count of 33 seen looking south and west from Lighthouse Lane, and two others elsewhere around the island. A lingering RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was found, along with a SNOW BUNTING, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and 4 RED-NECKED GREBES.

 


Monday, November 07:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A birder today walked the Millennium Trail from Highway 33 at Consecon to County Road 1, passing over Consecon Lake en route. Although the activity was slow there were still some interesting species among the more common ones. Seen were six WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, five YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, two of SONG SPARROW, PURPLE FINCH, COMMON RAVEN and PIED-BILLED GREBE and singles of FIELD SPARROW, PILEATED WOODPECKER, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and NORTHERN HARRIER. Yesterday, there was a NORTHERN SHRIKE.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
At Belleville’s Memorial Park, off Station Street this morning, four species were noted – 86 CANADA GEESE, 10 MALLARDS, 28 RING-BILLED GULLS and 6 ROCK PIGEONS.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
Yesterday, one male and three female EVENING GROSBEAKS appeared at a feeder north of Napanee. Also present for the past two weeks in the same backyard have been two FOX SPARROWS. At the mainland dock for Amherst Island ferry, the female KING EIDER was giving good views between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. this morning. It was again near the rocky spit just east of the ferry dock.
 
DURHAM COUNTY
A rare but unfortunate find in Oshawa yesterday. A roadkill juvenile PURPLE GALLINULE was found. This is the first for the Durham region since 1892 and only the 6th record for the Greater Toronto area. The specimen is on route to the ROM this week.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Visitors at a backyard  feeder in Brighton, water bath and simply on the ground were: BLUE JAY, DARK-EYED JUNCO, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and CHIPPING SPARROW, DOWNY and HAIRY WOODPECKERS, as well as NORTHERN FLICKER, AMERICAN ROBIN. MOURNING DOVE, PINE SISKIN, HOUSE FINCH, a few PURPLE FINCHES, and RED-BREASTED and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. In the Park yesterday, the same birder found a GOLDEN EAGLE, RUFFED GROUSE, GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 30 MUTE SWANS, TRUMPETER SWAN, 30 BUFFLEHEADS. At Owen Point, a BALD EAGLE and at Calf Pasture, a nice group of CEDAR WAXWINGS. Another birder in the Park yesterday pulled in over 40 species, among the more noteworthy sightings being 600 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, GREAT BLUE HERON, 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 11 HORNED LARKS, 2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS and 25 SNOW BUNTINGS. Still hanging in there were three shorebird species – 6 DUNLIN, 4 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS and a single BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER. At Salt Point in Presqu’ile Bay, 121 BUFFLEHEAD were present, and along the Presqu’ile Parkway, a COOPER’S HAWK and 9 RED-TAILED HAWKS were seen, along with a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and 3 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. At Cobourg Harbour last evening, among the few waterfowl species present there was a CACKLING GOOSE.
 

 

Sunday, November 06:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
After a long absence, one of  family of MERLINS made an encore visit this morning along the Sprague/Monkman Trail on Big Island. The family of five hadn't been seen in several weeks. Another was seen near Prince Edward Point. Also seen along the Big Island trail this morning was a NORTHERN FLICKER which has been almost a daily occurrence for some weeks. A pretty good list of birds early this morning at Prince Edward Point involving some 35 species. Notable among them was a WINTER WREN. Also, 3 PURPLE FINCHES, a FOX SPARROW, 4 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 2 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 17 CEDAR WAXWINGS and a lone SNOW BUNTING. Birds on the water included 100 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 4 SURF SCOTERS, 60 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 5 COMMON LOONS and a RED-THROATED LOON. Prince Edward Point and surrounding area seemed to be really hopping yesterday during the South Shore IBA Waterfowl Count when other birds of interest were noted as well. In addition to the GOLDEN EAGLE mentioned in yesterday’s Report, also seen were 96 CEDAR WAXWINGS, 1 lingering DUNLIN, 3 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, a SONG SPARROW, and 4 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. Over 100 LONG-TAILED DUCKS  were seen at Point Traverse, and farther up the road at the lookout near the former ducks Diver Charters, 4 COMMON LOONS and another 32 CEDAR WAXWINGS. Along Long Point Road, another COMMON LOON and 7 HORNED GREBES were birds of interest as were 2 BALD EAGLES and a dozen AMERICAN ROBINS  today. At Ostrander Point, another GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL there, and between Hilltop Road and Babylon Road at South Bay, MUTE SWANS are gathering once again with 46 counted. Miscellaneous sightings around the County included a NORTHERN SHRIKE at the Black River bridge, 69 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and a COMMON LOON at Little Bluff Conservation Area. A BRANT  was a highlight this afternoon at Wellington Harbour, along with a HOODED MERGANSER, PIED-BILLED GREBE, 211 GREATER SCAUP, 101 MALLARDS, 18 REDHEADS and a single NORTHERN PINTAIL.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
A bit of a flurry of activity along Atkins Road just north of Elmwood Drive on the east side of Belleville when 13 FOX SPARROWS were found in small groups along the fence rows. Other species of interest seen here today were 27 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, one each of WHITE-CROWNED and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 15 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 21 AMERICAN ROBINS, 700 CANADA GEESE in harvested agricultural fields and two representative's in the Accipiter family of hawks – SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and COOPER’S HAWK. North of Deseronto on the county line, at Deseronto Road and McCullough Road, a NORTHERN SHRIKE  was seen today.
 
LENNOX AND ADDINGTON
You never know what will appear in your backyard. A BARRED OWL did just that in a backyard near Odessa. Owner of the property, Helmer Nielsen, spotted something large perched on a limb just behind the house only 40 feet from his back door. Not sure what he was looking at in the darkness, he quietly retrieved his camera. Luckily, it remained while he took a few photos. Then, he summoned his wife, and both had a good, long look at the backyard visitor. A few minutes later, he looked out the window and the owl was gone. Ironically, he had been traipsing all over the Kingston area to get an owl photo, and ends up finding one only 40 feet from his back door! A birder today at Hay Bay accumulated a nice list of waterfowl comprising 18 species, if one counts the COMMON LOON and RED-NECKED GREBE. Some of the highlights were 140 NORTHERN PINTAILS (all in a single group), 4,000 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP (majority LESSER), 800 REDHEADS, 40 GADWALL and 20 AMERICAN WIGEON. Also seen, a BALD EAGLE,  and a dozen SNOW BUNTINGS. As expected, given the popularity of the female KING EIDER that has been present for a few days, and present again today,  there was some activity at Amherst Island. Species of interest there today included a GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 3 AMERICAN PIPITS. At the Glenora Ferry ramp on the Adolphustown side, 20 BONAPARTE’S GULLS  were seen, and another 8 were spotted today in the Napanee River just on the west side of town. A BALD EAGLE  was seen near Odessa. Twenty HOODED MERGANSERS  were at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons today, along with two NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 108 BUFFLEHEAD and 35 GADWALL.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
An AMERICAN WOODCOCK taking advantage of this week’s fine weather was seen on the north side of Verona today, along with 2 BROWN CREEPERS. In Kingston, at the Marshlands Conservation Area, RED-TAILED HAWK, FOX SPARROW and 30 HOODED MERGANSERS were good sightings there. At Cataraqui Bay, the 180 RING-NECKED DUCKS and 150 GREATER SCAUP were good numbers. Eight other species of waterfowl present, too.

 


Saturday, November 05:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
GOLDEN EAGLES  are moving today. Two were seen this morning at Prince Edward Point (there were 7 in 40 minutes, all below 500 feet, most at 300 feet flying over in the Oshawa area). A RED-TAILED HAWK was also seen at Prince Edward Point.  Along the privately owned Sprague/Monkman Trail west of 23 Sprague Road, Big Island, 23 species. Not bad for this time of the year. A few of the more noteworthy sightings were GREAT BLUE HERON, NORTHERN HARRIER, NORTHERN FLICKER, AMERICAN KESTREL, COMMON RAVEN, HORNED LARK, 12 AMERICAN ROBINS,  SONG SPARROW and NORTHERN CARDINAL.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
There was a flurry of birding activity in and on Amherst Island today after a female KING EIDER made its appearance near the Milhaven ferry dock, about 200 metres from shore and close to the rocky shoreline just east of the dock. As of 2:30 p.m., the eider was still present.   On the island itself, a PURPLE SANDPIPER was seen feeding along the shoreline on the Martin Edwards Nature Reserve at the east end of the island, and a male EURASIAN WIGEON was present just off the gravel point. A DUNLIN was also present with the PURPLE SANDPIPER. Also see at the Martin Edward Reserve were 4 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 3 COMMON LOONS (16 were seen near the Milhaven ferry dock). At the west end of the island along Emerald 40 Foot Road, species of note seen there were WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, SWAMP SPARROW, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, PILEATED WOODPECKER – one of each species- and 16 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. Three GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS were at the new Sand Beach Wetlands Conservation Area. A NORTHERN SHRIKE  was seen along Stella 40 Foot Road, and closer to Stella itself, a RED-TAILED HAWK made an appearance.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
A CAROLINA WREN that has been in the Barry Heights area of Trenton off Telephone Road since May appears not on a regular basis but showed up at midday today.  Along the old Grand Junction Railway bed trail (now called the River Front Trail) that runs parallel to the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, a nice list compiled there this morning included a family group of 6 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS. Also seen were a BROWN CREEPER, 2 FOX SPARROWS, 3 NORTHERN CARDINALS and a dozen CEDAR WAXWINGS.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Although there was some birding done at Presqu’ile Park, nothing too significant was seen except for 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and a MERLIN nearby. Meanwhile at the Garden Hill Conservation Area near Campbellcroft, 24 species chalked up there by a birder included a BELTED KINGFISHER, NORTHERN FLICKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, , 2 PURPLE FINCHES, and a small compact flock of PINE SISKINS.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
At Kingston’s Olympic view on the lakeshore, 5 SNOW BUNTINGS  were seen, along with a BELTED KINGFISHER, 8 COMMON LOONS, 17 COMMON MERGANSERS, and a couple LONG-TAILED DUCKS. At Princess Street near Gardiner’s Road, a RED-TAILED HAWK was seen.

 

Friday, November 04:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
No sightings to speak of from Prince Edward County today except for a few from the Gardenville area. A few flocks of AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS definitely herald the arrival of this winter species. A group of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were accompanied by two FOX SPARROWS. Singles of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET and PILEATED WOODPECKER were also seen.    
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
In Foxboro today, a late YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was seen. Other species included HAIRY WOODPECKER, and 2 each of HOUSE FINCH and PURPLE FINCH. At Twelve O'clock point at Carrying Place, about 15 BONAPARTE’S GULLS were sitting on the railings with a number of RING-BILLED GULLS.  Along the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail in Belleville today, yesterday’s GREAT BLUE HERON was still there, along with a dozen other species. A few of the more noteworthy sightings along the popular trail were 100 CANADA GEESE, 8 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 125 MALLARDS, 10 LESSER SCAUP, 23 COMMON GOLDENEYE and 175 RING-BILLED GULLS.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
Backyard birds on East Street in Napanee today included AMERICAN ROBIN, NORTHERN CARDINAL, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH and DARK-EYED JUNCO.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
While many of the traditional areas within the general Bay of Quinte area were a little sparse, the Kingston area, however, was quite busy with birders. A few interesting species at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, just north of the city of Division Street – 45 GADWALL, 150 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 15 HOODED MERGANSERS, GREAT BLUE HERON, PILEATED WOODPECKER, 2 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 8 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 6 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and a PURPLE FINCH. North of the city, in the Verona area, several small groups of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS are still around – today, numbering 60 in total. A PILEATED WOODPECKER was also seen. Over on Wolfe Island, the Button Bay area on the west side of the island yielded some high numbers of at least one species of duck – the REDHEAD, with an estimated 4,000 at a known location, and 3,000 CANADA GEESE. Twelve DUNLIN were present, a single AMERICAN PIPIT, a LAPLAND LONGSPUR, 8 TUNDRA SWANS and a late PALM WARBLER.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Nothing from within Presqu’ile Provincial Park today, except for the long standing (perching) CAROLINA WREN still singing from its usual spot along the bicycle trail in behind the woodyard marsh. Also, a GREAT BLUE HERON and a female EVENING GROSBEAK flying over the Park gate area. However, along the Parkway toward the Park, 21 species were documented by a Brighton birder. A half dozen AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, NORTHERN FLICKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and a SWAMP SPARROW were among the more noteworthy sightings.

 


Thursday, November 03:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Could have been the weather, or it could have been the time of the year, but very few birders in the field today, anywhere in the general reporting area. It could also be related to the tick situation as they are still very much in evidence, and will be until the first marked snowfall of the season. One friend today had an incredible 12 ticks on his clothing when he emerged from a trail in a conservation area. In Prince Edward County, a few scattered sightings today including a PILEATED WOODPECKER in a backyard at Crofton. Today in Demorestville Creek on Gommorah Road, there was a GREAT BLUE HERON, and two RED-TAILED HAWKS  were seen along County Road 5.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
A Belleville birder who is a regular every day at the H.R. Frink Centre at Plainfield laments that almost everything has disappeared from the marsh boardwalk area, compared to just a few weeks ago when the the marsh was alive with SORAS, VIRGINIA RAILS, SWAMP SPARROWS, MARSH WRENS and even a NELSON’S SPARROW. However, a walk along some of the interior trails should produce a variety of birds. A motorist driving in the Foster Ward area of Belleville mentioned seeing a GREAT BLUE HERON in the water along the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail>
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
An hour spent at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons produced 9 waterfowl species for one Kingston area birder. Among the more notable finds were 12 GADWALL, 2 AMERICAN WIGEON, 6 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 5 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 35 BUFFLEHEAD, 15 HOODED MERGANSERS and a RUDDY DUCK. Also seen there, 12 RUSTY BLACKBIRD, 3 SONG SPARROWS and a GREAT BLUE HERON. At Kingston’s Olympic View, a female BLACK SCOTER was present there. Nice grouping of COMMON LOONS  with 38 being counted.

 

Wednesday, November 02:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Hard to imagine with today’s temperatures that winter is on its way. It’s a very confusing mix of birds out there right now with migrants passing through and no real sense of what the next month or two will bring in the way of winter residents or visitors to our feeders. A BARRED OWL was seen in the County today, at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area (along the Whattam’s Memorial Trail)  at Picton where a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW also turned up.  A birder taking advantage of the magnificent birding from Consecon to Pleasant Bay, found a flock of 30 AMERICAN PIPITS as well as 25 CEDAR WAXWINGS, the latter hawking for midges which might be their last live meal for a while. Also seen were two each of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and EASTERN PHOEBE and singles of YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, NORTHERN FLICKER, BELTED KINGFISHER, CHIPPING SPARROW and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW. Yesterday, in addition to the species mentioned in last night’s Report, a survey of water birds at Sandbanks  affected by botulism revealed a few victims – 21 LONG-TAILED DUCKS and 2 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. Lucky survivors, not affected by the annual outbreak, included 77 CANADA GEESE, 93 MALLARDS, 2 COMMON MERGANSERS, 12 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and 2 COMMON LOONS. Other good sightings were RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, 2 NORTHERN FLICKERS, 1 BROWN CREEPER and 10 PURPLE FINCHES. At Point Petre, much the same with several WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and LONG-TAILED DUCKS, as well as a COMMON LOON affected by botulism there as well. Lucky ones were 62 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 23 COMMON GOLDENEYE and 4 BLACK SCOTER just to name a few of the other waterfowl encountered. Also seen were 2 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, 3 HORNED GREBES, 1 NORTHERN FLICKER, an AMERICAN KESTREL and an EASTERN PHOEBE cavorting with 16 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS.Fifty-three CEDAR WAXWINGS  were also at Point Petre, 10 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 9 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and 2 PURPLE FINCHES.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
A few places of interest visited today in the Trenton area, starting with Bain Park where SONG SPARROW, 37 MALLARDS, and a KILLDEER were among the almost dozen species checked off there. Behind the Canadian Tire store a single GADWALL was seen here, and at the town’s Centennial Park, not too many species there but some good numbers of those that were seen. The west end of the Bay of Quinte is known for its dependability as a focal point for AMERICAN COOTS, and today didn’t fail with 75 seen. Two PIED-BILLED GREBES  were also there as well as 50 COMMON GOLDENEYE and 25 BUFFLEHEADS. On the west side of Trenton, along Wooler Road, Tremur Lake did well with numbers of CANADA GEESE and HOODED MERGANSERS – 600 of the former and 100 of the latter. Two adult and 3 juvenile TRUMPETER SWANS  were there as well as 10 MALLARDS, 10 BUFFLEHEADS, and for a bit of excitement, a PILEATED WOODPECKER. 
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Presqu’ile Park today produced 52 species in just two hours of birding. Among the 20 waterfowl species were 2 TRUMPETER SWANS, A NORTHERN SHOVELER, 45 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 65 REDHEADS, 1 RED-THROATED LOON, 5 COMMON LOONS, and 1750 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. Other good sightings in the park included 40 HORNED GREBES, GREAT BLUE HERON, RED-TAILED HAWK, PILEATED WOODPECKER, 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and the resident CAROLINA WREN singing away in its usual spot along the bicycle tree at the back end of the wood yard marsh. Along the Parkway, 22 CEDAR WAXWINGS, 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, a SONG SPARROW and 2 SWAMP SPARROWS were noteworthy. At the Price Street canoe launch on Presqu’ile Pay at Gosport, an exceptional sightings was 130 DUNLIN nd 3 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS  still taking advantage of the fine weather. East of the Park, at the Brighton Sewage Lagoons, 7 species were enjoying the fine dining there including a MUTE SWAN, 1 AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, 8 MALLARDS, 32 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 20 BUFFLEHEADS and a single RING-BILLED GULL.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Some 300 GREATER SCAUP, 11 COMMON LOONS, a RED-NECKED GREBE and a COOPER’S HAWK were seen along the Wolfe Island ferry crossing.
 

 

Tuesday, November 01:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Some great sightings in Prince Edward County today. A few species suggesting the approach of winter, others perhaps migrating through, and one that is keeping one step ahead of Old Man Winter before it migrates, the latter being a VESPER SPARROW. Not rely late late, but time it was moving on. A few of the migrants included a BRANT feeding in Wellington Harbour near the dock with 60+ AMERICAN WIGEON, 6 NORTHERN PINTAILS and 2 PIED-BILLED GREBES, among other species. At Sandbanks Park, there were 2,000+ REDHEADS in West Lake. At the old Lakeshore Lodge site in Sandbanks, 60 PINE SISKINS were seen, likely tantalizing us as always with their possible winter presence at our feeders, but probably just passing through to warmer beaches south of here. Seventeen EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were seen at Point Petre, where other species of note included 2 PURPLE FINCHES, 9 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 4 BLACK SCOTERS and 3 HORNED GREBES. PURPLE FINCHES  - 9 of them – were also spotted in the Outlet area of Sandbanks, along with RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and 2 NORTHERN FLICKERS. Of particular interest were 2 BALD EAGLES, one of which had its legs dangling down as the eagles played in the wind, totally oblivious to two COMMON RAVENS that harassed the duo. Some 30 GREEN-WINGED TEAL were still at Beaver Meadow Conservation Area today along with FOX SPARROW and PILEATED WOODPECKER. At Picton Harbour today, RING-BILLED GULLS, MALLARDS and CANADA GEESE. Fifty DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 5 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 2 CHIPPING SPARROWS and 10 CEDAR WAXWINGS at Prince Edward Point. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and 3 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES at South Bay. In Greater Allisonville, birds of note seen there included RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, 2 FOX SPARROWS, 1 WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and 3 PURPLE FINCHES.  Elsewhere in the county, a NORTHERN FLICKER  early this morning near Sprague Road at Big Island, a MERLIN at Crofton, and RED-TAILED HAWK at Cherry Valley.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Fifteen FOX SPARROWS were present on the trail that parallels the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, north of Belleville where other birds of interest were 8 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and 3 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. East of Belleville, along Airport Parkway, 196 CANADA GEESE and 44 ROCK PIGEONS led the list of 16 species in terms of numbers. Only 1 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD  remained of the earlier high numbers that had been seen there last month.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
Some good species and equally good numbers at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons involved 500 CANADA GEESE, 30 BUFFLEHEADS and 18 HOODED MERGANSER along with a RUDDY DUCK. Ten species of waterfowl in all there that also included 8 GADWALL and the same number of NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Over on Amherst Island, the famous Owl Woods had 2 FOX SPARROWS, while elsewhere on the island itself, some interesting species seen were NORTHERN SHRIKE, RED-NECKED GREBE, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, one each of DUNLIN and PECTORAL SANDPIPER, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, 20 DARK-EYED JUNCOS and 8 CEDAR WAXWINGS.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
At Presqu’ile Provincial Park, some noteworthy species seen there on Gull Island were 2 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 1 DUNLIN all by itself, 2 SNOW BUNTINGS, and two TRUMPETER SWANS. Elsewhere in the Park, some 38 species seen by another birder included a BARRED OWL, COMMON GALLINULE, RED-TAILED HAWK, BELTED KINGFISHER, BROWN CREEPER, 4 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and 2 PURPLE FINCHES.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
The PEREGRINE FALCONS that have been seen all summer on the roof of the Princess Towers in Kingston would have done well to be present today. Lots of hors d'oeuvres for them today in the way of 52 ROCK PIGEONS! The 45 RING-BILLED GULLS and 4 EUROPEAN STARLINGS would have slid down easily, too! Three hundred RING-BILLED GULLS  were present today at Grass Creek Park, across from Howe Island where a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and a NORTHERN SHOVELER  were also seen.

 


Monday, October 31:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Well, the 2016 fall banding season has come to a close at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, until next fall. Just 334 days to go!  According to the PEPtBO website, it was a pretty good fall season for NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS, with 724 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS banded between September and the end of October (compared to 459 last fall). As well, 22 BARRED OWLS and 5 LONG-EARED OWLS were banded. While most nights had at least a few saw-whets, the night of October 10-11 was a big night with 167 banded in a single night. To see a detailed account of the owl banding this fall, CLICK HERE. At Beaver Meadow Conservation Area yesterday afternoon, a gathering of 40 GREEN-WINGED TEAL was of interest. Also seen, a NORTHERN FLICKER, 50 AMERICAN CROWS, 1 COMMON RAVEN and  a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. As winter creeps ever so much closer, waterfowl are starting to gather at Wellington Harbour and West Lake. Yesterday there were 8 species and a RED-NECKED GREBE. Among the ducks present were 307 CANADA GEESE, 31 AMERICAN WIGEON, 59 MALLARDS, 9 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 2 HOODED MERGANSERS and one lonely REDHEAD. Also seen was a GREAT BLUE HERON. Twenty SNOW BUNTINGS were seen a few days ago in the Waupoos area.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
The H.R. Frink Centre, north of Belleville near Plainfield, is slowing down. An hour and half spent there this morning produced only 9 species, among them 3 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and 14 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. It was a bit more promising at Foxboro with birds of note seen there being 2 FOX SPARROWS, 1 WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 6 HOUSE FINCHES and a PURPLE FINCH. At Belleville’s Victoria Park beside the Moira River, 200 CANADA GEESE were present early this morning, and also present in the waters of the river were 50 MALLARDS, a WOOD DUCK, 2 COMMON MERGANSERS and a PIED-BILLED GREBE. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and 100 RING-BILLED GULLS  were also there. In Tweed, a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH continues there, and a pair of WOOD DUCKS turned up on Little Otter Creek.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
The Napanee River below the falls in town had a few birds mid-morning today. Present were 35 CANADA GEESE, 27 MALLARDS, 10 RING-BILLED GULLS, 1 HERRING GULL,  and a WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, just to name a few of those in the checklist of 10 species.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A lingering EASTERN PHOEBE was at the Calf Pasture at Presqu’ile Park today. In the area of the Campground office, two RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were seen. However, much of the activity was in the marsh area of Presqu’ile Bay, on the north side of the road by the Camp office where 11 WOOD DUCKS were seen, as well as 11 AMERICAN WIGEONS, 5 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 85 MALLARDS, and 30 GREEN-WINGED TEAL. No other birds reported from within the park, but along the Parkway leading toward the Park, a nice list of 29 species was compiled. Among them were 14 RED-TAILED HAWKS, a BELTED KINGFISHER, 6 COMMON RAVENS, a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, 1 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, a late FIELD SPARROW and 3 PURPLE FINCHES.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Fairly large numbers of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS still persist north of Verona where 125 were seen early this morning at daybreak. Over on Wolfe Island, a few significant sightings over there today included 20 TUNDRA SWANS, WINTER WREN, COOPER’S HAWK, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, a blue morph SNOW GOOSE, 1 CACKLING GOOSE, a SAVANNAH SPARROW, 32 AMERICAN PIPITS, 4 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS and, if you like high numbers – 4,000 REDHEADS.
 
MISCELLANEOUS SIGHTINGS
An Oshawa birder had a real Halloween treat today when 14 GOLDEN EAGLES passed over his house. Twice he had a group of five GOLDEN EAGLES at one time! So far, this fall, he has counted 42 GOLDEN EAGLES passing overhead. A Pink-footed Goose is present in the large concentration of SNOW GEESE (60,000+) east of Casselman on the sod fields north of Lafleche Road. This is the same location the first record for Ontario  was discovered last year by Jacques Bouvier on October 30. Same bird? And, if you are looking forward to winter and what it will offer this year in the way of birds, there have been some promising signs these past few weeks. Six EVENING GROSBEAKS  were observed today flying toward the the town of Uxbridge, and just east of the town, 26 SNOW BUNTINGS flew over the observer’s house.  Winter can't be too far behind.
 

Sunday, October 30:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A five kilometre trek along several different wetland sections of the Millennium Trail this afternoon – Gardenville Marsh, Consecon Marsh, Slab Creek Wetland (Hillier) and the Hubb’s Creek Wetland off Danforth Road yielded a few species, but overall, a bit dismal, both weather-wise and in terms of species variety. AMERICAN ROBINS  were virtually everywhere we walked. Also seen and heard were SONG SPARROWS, 1 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, COMMON RAVEN, 80 MUTE SWANS (Consecon Lake), DARK-EYED JUNCOS (numerous small groups), 1 SWAMP SPARROW, GREAT BLUE HERON (Consecon Lake), WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and several small bands of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. Along Highway 33, 2 NORTHERN HARRIERS  were seen on the outskirts of Hillier. Pretty quiet on Smith's Bay but a few interesting sightings, according to a birder down that way. Observed were 50 MUTE SWANS on the bay, and a distant raft of ducks a little too far to identify. On land, a RUFFED GROUSE and a late OSPREY were seen.  Also spotted in the water was  a trio of RIVER OTTERS, always a pleasure to see. A bit farther south, a South Bay resident had RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, 2 each of RED-BREASTED and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and a dozen BLUE JAYS. Miscellaneous species seen today were RED-TAILED HAWK on County Road 4 and a MERLIN on Doxsee Road.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
An hour and a bit more by one birder at the H.R. Frink Centre yielded only 10 species this afternoon, with BELTED KINGFISHER and 2 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS being the only noteworthy birds seen. Another birder there today found a GREAT BLUE HERON. In Tweed a FOX SPARROW continues there as well as a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. At Foxboro, species of note seen there today were BROWN CREEPER, 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 8 HOUSE FINCHES and a single PURPLE FINCH.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A fair bit of action in Northuberland County, with lots of attention, as always, at Presquile Provincial Park. Thirty species were checked off by two birders from the Peterborough area, involving 160 MUTE SWANS, 100 MALLARDS, and a mere 4,000 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP. A few winter species were 20 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, 3 COMMON GOLDENEYE, a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER and 40 BUFFLEHEAD.  Twenty COMMON LOONS  were seen, 1 HORNED GREBE, 2 RED-NECKED GREBES and a RED-TAILED HAWK. Another birder there today managed 45 species including 400 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, mostly distant flocks out on the lake. Thirty-five HORNED GREBES, 6 RED-NECKED GREBES, a juvenile BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and 41 DUNLIN and 30 SNOW BUNTINGS  were other birds of note. From the parkette, located at the Brighton boat launch off Harbour Street, a COMMON GALLINULE  was seen there. Along the Parkway itself, a very vocal flock of 130 BRANT came in high from the north and descended into the water somewhere around Gull Island. A PURPLE FINCH, 5 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW  were also nice finds. At Gosport, 30 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and 2 AMERICAN COOTS were significant sightings. Over at the Brighton Sewage Lagoon, waterfowl noted there were 2 CANADA GEESE, 6 MALLARDS, 5 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 25 BUFFLEHEAD and 5 HOODED MERGANSERS. Heading west, Cobourg Harbour produced 27 species, among them a flock of 18 LONG-TAILED DUCKS off the east pier and a single WHITE-WINGED SCOTER. Other good birds were WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 5 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 1 HERMIT THRUSH, and a couple SNOW BUNTINGS. i
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
It was quite busy in Kingston and outlying areas today. The Marshlands Conservation Area, off Front Road, 22 CEDAR WAXWINGS and 25 DARK-EYED JUNCOS were species found in good numbers, but the bird of the day had to be a RED-EYED VIREO that hadn’t migrated yet. At Cataraqui Creek on the north side of Front Road, 12 waterfowl species were present there – CANADA GEESE (125), GADWALL (65), HOODED MERGANSER (14), 25 NORTHERN PINTAIL, and 20 AMERICAN WIGEON, to name just a handful of species. AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS  numbered 50 along the K & P Trail north of White Lake. REDHEADS numbered 1,000 at Elevator Bay, where 700 Scaup were estimated among the 12 species of waterfowl. Eight SNOW BUNTINGS were also noted here. And, north of Verona, some 40 DARK-EYED JUNCOS seen here.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
North of Amherstview, members of the blackbird family are still flocking – 60 COMMON GRACKLES, and  150 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS.

 


Saturday, October 29:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A few scattered sightings in Prince Edward Count. PURPLE FINCH at Black Road, and 20 DARK-EYED JUNCOS on Arthur Road in the Stinson Block. NORTHERN HARRIERS  seen today at Pleasant Bay and near the east end of Big Island. Some good sightings on Bakker Road – RED-TAILED HAWK, 1 EASTERN PHOEBE, 2 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, and 2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Two RED-TAILED HAWKS are regulars in the area of the hydro tower in the field off Center St near St. Theresa's Secondary School in Belleville. Twelve O’Clock Point today produced a good sighting of 2000+ of what appeared to be a mixture of RING-NECKED DUCKS and Scaup ducks in a large stretched out raft north of the point and to the west. As always, one’s success depends on the time of day, and whether or not a spotting scope is used. Another birder this afternoon identified 3 GADWALL, 20 AMERICAN WIGEON. an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, 50 MALLARDS, 10 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 5 COMMON GOLDENEYE and an AMERICAN COOT.  A FOX SPARROW  was seen at Tweed. Along the Grand Junction Railway Trail at Madoc Junction near Tuftsville Road, a RED-TAILED HAWK was seen there along with RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, 2 PILEATED WOODPECKERS and a SWAMP SPARROW.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Some good numbers of birds near Snider Road, just north of Verona early this morning. Leading the flock was a group of 100 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. A dozen GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and twice that number of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. Even the FOX SPARROW was seen as a group of at least 6, all clustered together in a stand of Prickly Ash. Twelve DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 6 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 3 BROWN CREEPERS and 3 RUFFED GROUSE  were all good numbers. A PILEATED WOODPECKER  was also seen.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Along the Presqu’ile Parkway this morning, 2 SWAMP SPARROWS, 1 SONG SPARROW, 2 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 1 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH.

 


Friday, October 28:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
It has been a good banding season for owls this fall, and totals will be given in this Bird Report once all the totals have been finalized. Awhile the concentration at night has been on the migratory NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, others like the BARRED OWL and LONG-EARED OWL have also shown up in the nets. Migration-wise, it was a rather slow day at Prince Edward Point with DARK-EYED JUNCOS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and both GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS representing the more common species noted. A total of 90 AMERICAN PIPITS were present in several flocks between Consecon and Huyck’s Point this morning.  Other birds of interest were EASTERN BLUEBIRD (9), RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (3), HERMIT THRUSH (2) and singles of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, EASTERN PHOEBE, CHIPPING SPARROW, MERLIN and COOPER’S HAWK. Along Black Road, a BROWN CREEPER  showed up in a backyard, but the real prize of the day came at Fish Lake when no fewer than 8 FORSTER’S TERNS came into view, the diagnostic black bill, orange legs, black eye-patch and and black edge on the outer wing clearly visible. The eight seen probably represents the largest number of this uncommon southern tern species in our area, usually observed in numbers seldom exceeding three to five. Also present at Fish Lake at noon were 10 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 12 NORTHERN PINTAILS, and several large flocks of RING-NECKED DUCKS, totalling 250. Twenty PIED-BILLED GREBES  were also present, as were 10 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP, 9 BUFFLEHEADS, and 35 HOODED MERGANSERS. A GREAT BLUE HERON and a LESSER YELLOWLEGS  were also present.
 
HASTINGS
In Foxboro today, 20 CEDAR WAXWINGS was noteworthy among the dozen or more species seen there. In Tweed, a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and a FOX SPARROW were birds of note there.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
The Amherstview Sewage Lagoons had a few good birds at noon today. Waterfowl species seen there today were 625 CANADA GEESE, 23 GADWALL, 3 AMERICAN WIGEON, 4 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 18 MALLARDS, 9 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 2 REDHEADS, 17 BUFFLEHEAD and 2 HOODED MERGANSERS. A RED-TAILED HAWK  was seen there.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
North of Verona, at Snider Road, some interesting species seen there very early this morning were a PILEATED WOODPECKER, BROWN CREEPER, CEDAR WAXWING and RUSTY BLACKBIRD. Tantalizing us with a promise of some good birds present in eastern Ontario this winter was the appearance of 3 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 20 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, a SNOW BUNTING, and 3 EVENING GROSBEAKS flying over.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Five CACKLING GEESE were among a few of the more noteworthy sightings along the Presqu’ile Parkway this morning along with 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 3 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, and a single LAPLAND LONGSPUR – all species reminding us of weather to come. A NORTHERN FLICKER, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, SONG SPARROW and 3 SWAMP SPARROWS  were also seen.
 

 


Thursday, October 27:

HASTINGS
Not too surprising that very little birding activity took place during today’s rain and wet snow. A few souls were out though and provided a little bit of material for today’s Report. A Trenton area resident checked out Tremur Lake off Wooler Road west of town today and found 75+ HOODED MERGANSERS. A pair of TRUMPETER SWANS that have shown up in the lake at about the same time every year for the last 4 years had 3 young with them. We wonder if they are the same two adult birds that could be found this summer on a small body of water along the Trans Canada Trail on the west side of Highway 62, just north of Ivanhoe.  These TRUMPETER SWANS stay for about a week or less, then depart. At Foxboro today, a CHIPPING SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and 2 PURPLE FINCHES. At Belleville’s Victoria Park on the Moira River, only three species noted – 11 MUTE SWANS, 4 MALLARDS and a half dozen RING-BILLED GULLS.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Wet and dismal in the County, but a few isolated sightings are noteworthy. There was an EASTERN PHOEBE at 23 Sprague Road this evening. This morning on the Sprague/Monkman Trail, west of Sprague Road, a few birds were seen before the skies opened up this morning, namely, several AMERICAN ROBINS, a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, NORTHERN HARRIER, and numerous CANADA GEESE flying over. At Wellington Harbour, not much there except for 5 MUTE SWANS and 45 MALLARDS. In Tweed, a FOX SPARROW and a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH were seen there.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
At Kingston’s Olympic view, ten species seen there included a BALD EAGLE, 3 COMMON LOONS, 2 COMMON MERGANSERS, 10 MALLARDS and 4 GADWALL.
 
WINTER FINCHES ON THE MOVE
A sighting two days ago in Algonquin Park causes bird feeder operators to rub their hands together in anticipation of at least one boreal species this winter. The cone crop for spruce is not good in the park, but the cedar crop is quite good. These may be birds commuting to better feeding areas or birds that have arrived to feed on the cedar crop. They seem to be increasing and it may be a good time to keep an ear out for them further south as well. I am speaking of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS. Individual birds have been noted all week, but a flock of 13 along the Mizzy Lake Trail suggests that this species may have eyes on areas farther south, hopefully, the Bay of Quinte area, in their search of food to sustain them through the winter. Also on the move have been chickadees and nuthatches and there have been numerous reports of these birds throughout southern Ontario this fall.   In Algonquin Park, there have been increasing numbers of BOREAL CHICKADEES, many behaving like migrants. Usually, resident BOREAL CHICKADEES in Algonquin travel in pairs within flocks of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and hang tight to conifers. A few days ago, there was a flock a flock of seven Boreal Chickadees traveling together silently through open hardwoods on the Mizzy Lake Trail. On the 21st, two small groups of BOREAL CHICKADEES were doing the same on the Old Railway Bike Trail. Every year at this time, birder extraordinaire, Ron Pittaway, researches the available wild food crop, and based on his findings, comes up with a winter prediction of what species are going to show up where. While it may not be the irruption we experienced during the winter of 2008 to 2009 when flocks of 100 or more WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS ravaged the countryside devouring the seeds from every spruce cone they could find in the Bay of Quinte region - based on Ron’s predictions, we may have at least a few. With any kind of luck, they might find our bird feeders. They like sunflower seeds, too!

 

Wednesday, October 26:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
I love my dog. She takes me out for a walk every morning on the Sprague/Monkman Trail that circles around a series of hay fields on the farm beside our house. This morning she slept in until 8:20 a.m. Had she not, I would have missed a small group of 10 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER that passed overhead in a tight flock, all of them uttering their familiar slurred whistles as they flew out of sight. I might have also missed a NORTHERN FLICKER that flew in front of me part way along the trail, as well as the NORTHERN HARRIER, although the latter is almost a fixture most days. A birder today walking in the area of the Millennium Trail at Chase Road at Hubb’s Creek encountered numerous flocks of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, as well as a group of around 10 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. All during this walk, a RED-TAILED HAWK accompanied the birder, soaring from field to field. Our roving birder in the Consecon area today found that numbers of passage migrants are definitely decreasing. Today, there were still small groups of WHITE-CROWNED and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, and GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS about. Other notable species included two each of FOX SPARROW, EASTERN PHOEBE and EASTERN BLUEBIRD, and singles of HERMIT THRUSH, WINTER WREN, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, NORTHERN FLICKER and COOPER’S HAWK. At Sandbanks Park today, HOODED MERGANSERS, WOOD DUCKS, CEDAR WAXWINGS and TURKEY VULTURES, just to name a few of the species that were sighted by one observer. There was a FOX SPARROW at Beaver Meadow Conservation Area. Two RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, 56 TURKEY VULTURES, 2 HERMIT THRUSHES and a PURPLE FINCH were a few of the highlights at Point Petre yesterday. At Prince Edward Point, an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was found. Some good sightings along Simpson Road in the South Shore Important Bird Area yesterday, including 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 90 AMERICAN ROBINS, 149 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 5 PURPLE FINCHES, an EASTERN PHOEBE, and a large vociferous group of 11 COMMON RAVENS that flew over. Just a quick mention of a guided walk I am doing on Sunday along the Millennium Trail, touching on a few wetlands along the way – Gardenville Marsh, Consecon Lake and Slab Creek. Bus leaves Hillier Hall at 12:30 p.m. Birds will be the focus. 
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
The tempo of bird activity appears to be slowing down at the H.R. Frink Centre with an almost unprecedented fall, due to low water levels, of shorebirds especially, along with rails and even a Nelson’s Sparrow a while back. Today, it was RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, and only 10 of them. Two SONG SPARROWS, 25 AMERICAN ROBINS, and a WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH were other sightings along with BLUE JAY, AMERICAN CROW and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A few birds around the Campground Office area today at Presqu’ile Park, among them 30 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 200 MALLARDS, 20 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 1 PIED-BILLED GREBE and a  GREAT BLUE HERON. 
 
DURHAM COUNTY
Eleven species of raptors seen today during the Cranberry Marsh Hawk Watch at Whitby. Look at these totals: TURKEY VULTURE (298), BALD EAGLE (3), NORTHERN HARRIER (16)  SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (14), COOPER’S HAWK (12), NORTHERN GOSHAWK (3, this is a minor eruption year); RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (16), RED-TAILED HAWK (165, many northern red-tails subspecies abieticola were noted), ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (3, 2 were light morph and 1 dark morph), GOLDEN EAGLE (3), PEREGRINE FALCON (2), Unidentified (2). Total individuals: 522. Observation time: 6.5 hours. Totals courtesy of Jean Iron who is the guest speaker Saturday evening at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory fund raising dinner, which is now sold out.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
The focus today in the Kingston area was on Elevator Bay along the lakefront where 26 species of birds were tallied. The bulk of them, of course, were waterfowl, fully 2800 of them. There were some 1200 GREATER SCAUP, 220 REDHEADS and 23 TUNDRA SWANS. Fifteen species of waterfowl in all. In lesser numbers were 6 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 2 COMMON GOLDENEYE, 2 BUFFLEHEAD and 2 LESSER SCAUP, with slightly higher numbers of GADWALL (35), AMERICAN WIGEON (40), MALLARDS (85), and 15 each of COMMON MERGANSER and RING-NECKED DUCK. An EASTERN BLUEBIRD  was seen at Lemoine Point Conservation Area yesterday.   
 

 


Tuesday, October 25:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
BALD EAGLES seem to be on the move, both as individuals planning to spend the winter in Prince Edward County, and others that are migrating through. An adult BALD EAGLE  was seen passing over the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville a couple days ago, and another was seen yesterday at daybreak until about 10:00 a.m. soaring along the Bay of Quinte shoreline at Big Island, along North Big Island Road. No eagles at Prince Edward Point today reported, but an early morning arrival paid off for one birder who found a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, in addition to an AMERICAN WOODCOCK, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and 12 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET. Last night, the same observer witnessed a few owls being caught at the Bird Observatory, namely, 12 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS and a LONG-EARED OWL, both species caught at the banding station and banded. Also seen was a BARRED OWL, RED-TAILED HAWK and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
A mix of winter birds, summer species and transients at Foxboro today, such as CHIPPING SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, HOUSE FINCH, PURPLE FINCH, BLUE JAY, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Despite the advance of cooler weather, Presqu’ile Park is still hanging in there with some good species and numbers. This morning, an immature GOLDEN EAGLE  was seen coming from the marsh over the Parkway, and also seen were 4 SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, 6 RED-TAILED HAWKS and 8 TURKEY VULTURES. Other good birds seen in the Park today were BROWN CREEPER, 2 WINTER WRENS, 3 HERMIT THRUSHES and a PURPLE FINCH. Along the Presqu’ile Parkway, an immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK, 6 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, and a steady movement of AMERICAN ROBINS coming from the park towards the Parkway – fully 275 of them. At the Garden Hill Conservation Area near Campbellcroft, north of Port Hope, 550 CANADA GEESE  were present, two of which had white crowns suggesting some domestic genes mixed in. Some 65 MALLARDS, 16 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, a dozen GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a couple RING-NECKED DUCKS were present, as were BELTED KINGFISHER and one HERMIT THRUSH. 
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
More good numbers of migrating birds, this time, 300 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS all heading west at about 200 feet in altitude just on the north side of Verona. Some isolated sightings around the city of Kingston included a BARRED OWL on Barrie Street in the city, and 12 SNOW BUNTINGS near the Beechgrove Complex along the lakefront.

 


Monday, October 24:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A CAROLINA WREN that was present yesterday in the Stinson Block area west of Consecon, was present again today, but not as cooperative as the individual that has been routinely present in a dependable location behind the wood yard marsh at Presqu’ile park since September. The individual at Consecon had to be lured out by the old time honoured technique known as “pishing”.  Making any small, repetitive noise in an effort to attract birds, while obviously not bird sounds, will cause birds to respond. The raspy quality of a pish is similar to alarm or scolding calls from many small birds, and those birds are accustomed to mobbing together to chase away larger predators; therefore, the pishing attracts a flock of small birds ready to chase an intruder. Many birders also believe, after watching birds respond to their pishing, that some species of birds have a natural curiosity and simply enjoy investigating unknown noises. Anyway, finding the Consecon CAROLINA WREN was fortuitous. The birder made some pishing sounds since this usually gets some attention. Right in front of him there were scolding sounds and other vocalizations he had never heard before. And then the bird came out right in front of him, quite agitated. Quite a surprise but he doubts it still is there contrary to the one at Presqu'ile.  At Prince Edward Point today, a bit of raptor movement with 2 juvenile NORTHERN GOSHAWKS, 6 BALD EAGLES, 5 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS, 31 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 2 COOPER’S HAWKS, 13 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS and 185 TURKEY VULTURES. Much quieter at Smith’s Bay raptor watching than at Prince Edward Point, but none the less seen were 4 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 2 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 1 NORTHERN HARRIER, and one high flying GOLDEN EAGLE. Birds on the move. A few waterfowl species of interest at Wellington Harbour- 12 BUFFLEHEAD, 6 PINTAILS, 1 AMERICAN BLACK DUCK and 13 AMERICAN WIGEON. At Fish Lake, BUFFLEHEAD there too – 9 of them, along with 30 HOODED MERGANSERS, and 7 NORTHERN PINTAILS. At the Hubb’s Creek Marsh off Danforth Road west of Wellington, a handful of birds seen there including 1 GREAT BLUE HERON and a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER. Two WHITE-CROWNED SPARRPOWS  at Picton Marina.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Waterfowl starting to gather at Carrying Place’s Twelve O’Clock Point. Present right now are lots of MUTE SWANS (113), 2 TRUMPETER SWANS and a single TUNDRA SWAN. Also present are around 200 AMERICAN WIGEON, 100 MALLARDS, 50 REDHEADS, 30 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 10 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP, and 20 BUFFLEHEADS. Of particular interest was a late OSPREY yesterday. We have a few late October sightings of OSPREY on record, but not many. Even a few in early November, but most have probably left the area by now. Along Airport Parkway on the eastside of Belleville, a good sighting there for this time of year was a NASHVILLE WARBLER. At the H.R. Frink Centre, the SORA  was seen again as of yesterday.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
On the Adolphustown side of the Glenora Ferry crossing, 2 BRANT howed up there early this morning. A COMMON LOON and 9 BONAPARTE’S GULLS were also seen, along with an encore in a movement of BLUE JAYS  with 45 being seen.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
It was a day for EASTERN BLUEBIRDS on the north side of Verona early this morning when 17 were seen in flocks of 9 and 8 flying over at a rather high altitude. Some good numbers back there with 115 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS seen in small flocks of 5 to 25 birds passing over from east to west. Twenty DARK-EYED JUNCOS and 25 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were also right up there with high numbers. Two AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, 1 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, 1 SONG SPARROW and 3 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS  also made it on the checklist.
 

 


Sunday, October 23:

LENNOX and ADDINGTON
A lone BRANT was seen today in the Napanee River, just on the west side of town. The Menzel Nature Reserve on Roblin Road, some 18 km north of Deseronto is normally hopping with birds during the migration and nesting seasons, but today contained very few birds. BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES numbered 16, AMERICAN ROBINS 24, and there were 15 DARK-EYED JUNCOS. WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BLUE JAY and AMERICAN CROW  were other species that turned up here this morning.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
The only sightings to come in from Hastings County today were 3 HERMIT THRUSHES at the H.R. Frink Centre, and a RUFFED GROUSE on Elmood Drive in Belleville.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Presqu’ile Provincial Park was in fine fettle this morning with a list of 56 species being tallied despite the windy conditions. RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS had increased in numbers substantially, at 300. GREEN-WINGED TEAL numbered 180, and there were 165 MALLARDS. Shorebirds are still hanging in there, albeit in small numbers with only a single SANDERLING, a juvenile DUNLIN and 4 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS making up the totals. Not many raptors, but all of them interesting. A PEREGRINE FALCON was chasing a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER and dive-bombing a COMMON RAVEN and a TURKEY VULTURE. Sometimes there is no accounting for size. A NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL was found in a roadside cedar near the Campground Office. The CAROLINA WREN that has been present since September along the bike trail behind the woodpile marsh, showed up again today. Some high numbers today included 300 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS at the causeway marsh at dawn, 20 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 20 SONG SPARROWS, 10 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, and as a further reminder that winter is acomin’ – 65 SNOW BUNTINGS. Birds didn’t slow down appreciably either along the Presqu’ile Parkway where birds of note there were RED-TAILED HAWK, 2 NORTHERN HARRIERS and a second year BALD EAGLE.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Three SANDHILL CRANES turned up along Benway Road in Hillier this morning.  Prince Edward Point was an amazing place to be today for raptor viewing, according to one birder who was there today. Counted were 300+ TURKEY VULTURES and RED-TAILED HAWKS.  A BALD EAGLE was seen just south of the South Bay Mariners Museum and 3 more at Prince Edward Point, as well as 2 GOLDEN EAGLES. A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was also spotted. On the privately  owned Sprague/Monkman Trail, a 2.3 km walk at this location on Big Island yielded only 18 species this morning, among them a NORTHERN HARRIER, 18 AMERICAN ROBINS feeding on a crop of berries long the fencerow, a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and 3 FOX SPARROWS in with the cluster of robins. A FOX SPARROW  was also seen this morning in the Consecon area, where conditions there were sunny, but a bit blustery which kept birds low and well hidden. There were small groups of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and ten EASTERN PHOEBES. Also present were singles of HERMIT THRUSH, and NORTHERN HARRIER. The best bird however was a CAROLINA WREN. This bird was seen at 9:30 a.m. in thickets on the north side of Stinson Block Road just east of Billy Bowman's Camp, #568.   Other species of interest in Prince Edward County were 2 FOX SPARROWS and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW at Sheba’s Island in West Lake, and 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Massassauga Point Conservation Area. GREATER YELLOWLEGS – 5 of them – at Fish Lake today along with 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS and 3 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. Ten PIED-BILLED GREBES (down from the 30 there last week), 1 COMMON LOON and 30 HOODED MERGANSERS also present. With the recent deluge of rain, water levels have risen at the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville, and enjoying it today were 200 CANADA GEESE and 100 MALLARDS.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Some good numbers of waterfowl at Belle Park along the Cataraqui River at Kingston, including 400 AMERICAN WIGEON, 250 MALLARDS and 200 GADWALL, 30 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 22 RUDDY DUCKS. North of Kingston, at Verona, 25 DARK-EYED JUNCOS  were counted there and a PURPLE FINCH. However, the real crowd pleaser was a WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, the first to appear so far this fall. What have I said about winter coming?

 


Saturday, October 22:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK that has been visiting a feeder along Kleinsteuber Parks Road  near the West Lake end of the road since being first seen yesterday, was at the feeder again this morning. Although very late, there is at least one October sighting, dating back to 2008 when one was seen at a Lake on the Mountain feeder on the 29th.  A pair of first-year BALD EAGLES caused great consternation among a flock of AMERICAN CROWS this afternoon as the big birds soared over Adolphus Reach near Lake on the Mountain. The eagles weren't disturbed by the occasional dive-bombing raid from the crows. One other birder noted a fair bit of raptor activity in the County today for such a windy day. Also several hundred RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS in flocks of 100 or 200 or so. At Wellington, a resident there hung out her peanut feeder and within two days attracted a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER. At 23 Sprague Road on Big Island, a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH dropped by.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Things are still happening at the H.R. Frink Centre, north of Belleville. Today, a few of the highlights were RUFFED GROUSE, BELTED KINGFISHER, MERLIN, WINTER WREN, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, SONG SPARROW and a FOX SPARROW – one of each species. Also, to remind us that snow may be on the way in a few weeks, 5 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS  were seen. A little more plentiful were COMMON GRACKLES, a flock of 200 seen over the wetland. At Foxboro, a half dozen HOUSE FINCHES, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and DARK-EYED JUNCOS were a few of the miscellaneous species present.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Near Grafton, 2 GOLDEN EAGLES  were highlights there, both birds showing the white in their tails with broad black terminal bands and white patches at the base of the primaries. A bit of raptor movement with other hawks seen being NORTHERN HARRIER, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (2), RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (1), RED-TAILED HAWK (10), and another reminder of winter in the offing – a light morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. Also noted were 6 other unidentified Buteo species and another eagle, likely another GOLDEN EAGLE. A few other noteworthy sightings there were HORNED LARK, 2 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, SAVANNAH SPARROW and a cloud of EUROPEAN STARLINGS (400). Farther west, at Port Hope Harbour, one each of SONG SPARROW, FOX SPARROW, AMERICAN PIPIT, and RED-TAILED HAWK. At Presqu’ile Park yesterday, one brave soul in steady rain chalked up 28 species, among them a WHITE-WINGED SCOTER AND 8 black scoters, ALSO 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, MERLIN, BELTED KINGFISHER, 3 NORTHERN HARRIERS, 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS  and a HORNED GREBE. And, today at Presqu’ile Park, the first NORTHERN SHRIKE of the season was spotted. 
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Two SURF SCOTERS  showed up today at Portsmouth Harbour in Kingston, long with 3 LONG-TAILED DUCK. Winter – it’s a comin’. COMMON LOONS  numbered 21, and a RED-NECKED GREBE  was also seen. A surprise visitor there was  jaeger species, either a PARASITIC or a POMARINE. The rare visitor was observed harassing LONG-TAILED DUCKS and COMMON LOONS approximately 2 km off shore in a small frenzy of activity at about 10:00 a.m. North of Kingston – actually, north of Verona, near Snider Road, a mixture of birds present there suggestive of both summer and winter, included a CHIPPING SPARROW and EASTERN PHOEBE still present offset by 32 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 20 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and a passing PINE SISKIN. Also present, a BROWN THRASHER, 2 BROWN CREEPERS and a WINTER WREN.
 
 

Friday, October 21:

HASTINGS COUNTY
Yesterday at Zwick’s Park, Belleville, on both east and west sides of the bridge, over a dozen species were noted there. Among the more significant sightings were 2 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 300 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, the same number of RING-BILLED GULLS, a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, and 7 AMERICAN COOTS. Some 30 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were found foraging for insets on the leaves of willows along the shoreline. At Foxboro, birds seen there today were some high numbers of COMMON GRACKLES, a continuing roaming flock of 3,000, perhaps 5,000 during an observation periods of an hour. Also doing their part to fill the skies were 250 EUROPEAN STARLINGS.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Understandably, not a whole lot of birding today due to the weather. Most of us were standing outside basking in the welcome moisture, the first significant rainfall anyone in the County has seen in quite awhile. Residents are hoping they can emerge from the current Level 3 drought conditions before the winter is upon us. The only birds reported today in between the raindrops were a NORTHERN HARRIER in Bloomfield and a GREAT EGRET still present at Pleasant Bay.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND
Nothing from Presqu’ile Park today but at Cobourg Harbour, a few good sightings including 4 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 125 RING-BILLED GULLS, an AMERICAN COOT and 100 MALLARDS. Also some news regarding the Brighton Constructed Wetland in view of possible future changes being made there. At the current time, there are no implications as to what affect this will have on the annual nesting of various species of birds, birding, or birders’ access to the wetland. Anyone who is interested in having input (in the future) or would like to receive information when and as the process proceeds - Please send an email along with your mailing address to: .  Vicky Kimmett is the assistant to the Municipality of Brighton, CAO

 


 

Thursday, October 20:

HASTINGS COUNTY
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” – Alfred Wainwright, A Coast to Coast Walk, A Pictorial Guide. John Ruskin said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather; just different kinds of good weather.” Belleville resident Kenzo Dozono is a firm believer in the popular saying as he was birding this morning at the H.R. Frink Centre, with umbrella in hand. He was rewarded with a photo of a VIRGINIA RAIL. Another birder  couple days ago, arriving at 7:45 a.m., also found a VIRGINIA RAIL  right off the bat, followed by an AMERICAN BITTERN, later finding a second bittern, and a third. Another birder that same morning mentioned he had seen 3 AMERICAN BITTERNS and also a SORA.  Other species were 150 CANADA GEESE (photo by Marc Favre), 2 MALLARDS, 1 GREEN HERON, 1 EUROPEAN STARLING, 30 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 1 BLUE JAY, 6 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 1 GREAT BLUE HERON, 3 AMERICAN CROWS and a PILEATED WOODPECKER. Also seen were 3 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 2 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and one melanistic (?) flying TURKEY VULTURE (completely black head, wing markings were definitely Turkey Vulture). Possible juvenile vulture – only the vulture knows for sure. South of Maynooth, an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was spotted today.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Some scattered sightings today in Prince Edward County. Two SANDHILL CRANES  were seen in flight near the junction of Fish Lake Road and County Road 5 late this morning. GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL AT Robinson Cove at the west end of Big Island. An optimistic GREAT BLUE HERON in a dry creek bed at Elmbrook. And, at the No Frills store in Picton this morning, a MERLIN perched in a steady rain atop the store roof.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Two days ago at the brighton Constructed Wetland, birds seen there included MUTE SWANS (3 juveniles and 2 adults), 4 GREEN-WINGED TEALS, 8 WOOD DUCKS, 2 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 12 MALLARDS, 20 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 2 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and  RED-TAILED HAWK. At Presqu’ile Park, even on hunting days, waterfowl can be seen, if one knows where to go. Over 300 waterfowl were present off the Marsh Boardwalk a couple days ago, mostly MALLARD, a few WOOD DUCKS and a pair of AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS. At Port Hope today, a BLACK VULTURE was seen feeding on deceased salmon in the Ganaraska River. 
 

 


Wednesday, October 19:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The Sprague/Monkman private trail along Sprague Road at the east end of Big Island had a bit of activity early this morning in patchy fog. Twelve to 15 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS enjoyed some conversational chatter from an oak tree, and just behind them, a NORTHERN HARRIER was seen momentarily before being engulfed by fog. Lots of AMERICAN ROBINS, a few YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, one or two RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS hidden by vegetation and fog, at least 4 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS  that announced their presence with vestiges of song, invisible CANADA GEESE in flight, and a few subtle invisible notes from an EASTERN TOWHEE. It’s a good thing I am sound oriented, as I could surely see very little this morning in the thick fog. At Fish Lake, 30 PIED-BILLED GREBES were spread out about the lake. A NORTHERN HARRIER  was also seen there.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
A MARSH WREN was a bit confused today when it was seen, not in a cattail marsh, but in a stand of Tamarack trees long Airport Road, east of Belleville. Also in the area, a FIELD SPARROW.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Birders are well known for their penchant for going where the birds are – swamps, sewage lagoons, sloughs, bogs....At Brighton, the sewage lagoons there revealed a couple WOOD DUCKS, a female REDHEAD, 7 BUFFLEHEADS, an incredible 35 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, and even 4 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS.  Not far away, at the Price Street Canoe Launch on the east side of Gosport, only one NORTHERN SHOVELER  was seen there, but did produce a huge number of GREEN-WINGED TEAL – 450! Two juvenile GREATER YELLOWLEGS  were also present.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
The autumn season is winding down but a couple locations in Kingston saw some birding activity today. A COMMON LOON was at Kingston’s Olympic View and a handful of other species such as over a dozen MALLARDS, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, AND 45 double-crested cormorants. At a regular birding spot north of Verona, a few species seen there at daybreak were HERMIT THRUSH, 4 PURPLE FINCHES (file photo by Derek Dafoe of Marmora), 10 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, 5 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 1 WINTER WREN, 3 PILEATED WOODPECKERS, and 5 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, just to name a few of the 24 species seen.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
A few birds north of Milhaven today including a COMMON RAVEN, 1 WINTER WREN and a small convocation of blackbirds – 12 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and 26 COMMON GRACKLES.

 

Tuesday, October 18:

HASTINGS COUNTY
With bird reports coming in via telephone, text messages, e-mail and eBird, now and then I slip up and forget someone. That I did on Sunday with a few sightings from the Potter Creek Conservation Area. A few birds seen there on Sunday were TURKEY VULTURE, BELTED KINGFISHER, 11 MALLARDS, 5 AMERICAN ROBINS, 1 RED-TAILED HAWK, 4 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and 7 AMERICAN CROWS that were busy harassing the hawk. My apologies to the observer who reported via text message. 
   
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, AMERICAN COOT, 20 DARK-EYED JUNCOS and a HERMIT THRUSH were amng some of the sightings today at Cobourg Harbour where 24 species of birds were seen, among the waterfowl, a CANVASACK. Two SANDERLINGS, a juvenile GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and a juvenile DUNLIN were the only shorebirds present today at Presqu’ile Park. Some good numbers of waterfowl included 175 MALLARDS, 225 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 200 RING-BILLED GULLS and 275 HERRING GULLS. Two BUFFLEHEADS – the first of the fall for Presqu’ile although others have shown up elsewhere, and singles of HORNED LARK, HERMIT THRUSH, SAVANNAH SPARROW, BROWN CREEPER and WINTER WREN. Among the singles was a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO that was flushed from the north ed of the trail that runs along the back of former Beach 4. It had been foraging at ground level, and flew up into the cottonwoods. Along the Parkway, 2 PALM WARBLERS, and one each of EASTERN PHOEBE, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET were good sightings there.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
North of Verona, just on the other side of Snider Road, a few interesting species there were 2 COMMON RAVENS, 1 WINTER WREN, 2 CHIPPING SPARROWS, 13 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, and 2 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
Lots of action here, despite the rainy, windy weather. On Amherst Island, the Sand Beach Wetlands in just a little over an hour, yielded a dozen species – EASTERN PHOEBE, 9 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, I SONG SPARROW and a SWAMP SPARROW being among them. A VESPER SPARROW  showed up on the island at 8:00 a.m. along with AMERICAN KESTREL,EASTERN PHOEBE and 4 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. By mid-morning, species numbers had increased considerably with 34 species being seen, among the noteworthy sightings being HERMIT THRUSH, NORTHERN HARRIER, 2 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, NORTHERN FLICKER, AMERICAN KESTREL and 3 COMMON RAVENS.
 

 

Monday, October 17:

HASTINGS COUNTY
An amazing shot of an AMERICAN BITTERN was taken this morning by Belleville resident Kenzo Dozono at the H.R. Frink Centre near Plainfield. According to Kenzo, he missed the first shot when the bird arrived only 15 feet away, then became startled when it spotted Kenzo, and flew off. However, the bird returned shortly, but Kenzo was ready with his camera, and took this photo without benefit of a zoom lens. Other birds seen this morning at the Frink Centre were SORA, VIRGINIA RAIL, KILLDEER, AMERICAN KESTREL, BELTED KINGFISHER, MERLIN, and a Yellowlegs that wasn't identified as to species. At Belleville`s Memorial Park, birds of interest there were 100 RING-BILLED GULLS, 1 GREAT BLUE HERON  and 2 HOODED MERGANSERS. On Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville, species of interest there were 5 CHIPPING SPARROWS, 1 FIELD SPARROW and both WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Thirty minutes spent along Marsh Road which crosses Sawguin Marsh between Huff`s Island and the Massassauga mainland, yielded a few species including a dozen WILD TURKEYS, and a movement of blackbirds – 60 COMMON GRACKLES and 150 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Today on Amherst Island, four hours of birding there produced 41 species of birds A plover species (BLACK-BELLIED  or GOLDEN) was present along with a GREATER YELLOWLEGS. Some good numbers of migrants including 120 AMERICAN ROBINS, 500 EUROPEAN STARLINGS, and a hundred DARK-EYED JUNCOS. Still around were 10 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. Other good sightings were 2 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, NORTHERN FLICKER, EASTERN PHOEBE, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, WINTER WREN, 2 HERMIT THRUSHES, 3 FOX SPARROWS and 24 PURPLE FINCHES.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Two locations, both near the village of Gosport, collectively, produced a couple dozen species. Highlights were PIED-BILLED GREBE, 40 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, BELTED KINGFISHER, 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, and a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Birders in the Kingston area were in an active mood today with several focal points being represented in their travels. A jogger at Lake Ontario Park hovered in one spot long enough to count 100 MALLARDS, but was back in gear before identifying some 300 hundred other ducks. Twenty DARK-EYED JUNCOS  were seen as were singles of WHITE-CROWNED and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, NORTHERN CARDINAL, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and 2 SONG SPARROWS. Farther along, Cataraqui Bay had 200 CANADA GEESE, 20 GREATER SCAUP, 15 AMERICAN WIGEON and 45 REDHEADS among the half dozen waterfowl species present. On the north side of Front Road, Marshlands Conservation Area did pretty well with its 150 GADWALL, 25 NORTHERN PINTAIL, 15 RING-NECKED DUCK, PIED-BILLED GREBE and GREAT BLUE HERON. Heading a bit north, the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area on the north side of Kingston, had a MERLIN, 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, WINTER WREN, and both WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. And much farther north, Snider Road north of Verona, hit the jackpot today with a small, loose flock of 40 BRANT, noisily cackling their way southwest at an altitude of about 600 feet. An AMERICAN PIPIT was also seen.

 


Sunday, October 16:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Birding friend Joël Coutu of Montreal was in Prince Edward County yesterday with a party of 14 Quebec birders. Their sightings have just now been posted on eBird, and they visited several locations which may be of interest to birders. At Beaver Meadow Conservation Area, it was a good day for WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, with 24 being seen. Also of interest were 3 GREAT BLUE HERONS and a MERLIN. At Sandbanks Provincial Park, some nice numbers of waterfowl including 150 REDHEADS and 500 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, GREAT BLUE HERON and an EASTERN PHOEBE were also seen in the Park. From the Glendon Green Boat Launch across from Log Cabin Point beside the Park, a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER  was seen, and a GREAT BLUE HERON. MUTE SWANS  are beginning to gather at this location with 22 being present. At Point Petre, a flight of 100 TURKEY VULTURES drifted by, and out on Lake Ontario 36 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. Somewhat of a surprise was the appearance of a RING-NECKED PHEASANT.  Other good sightings there were COMMON RAVEN, 2 EASTERN PHOEBES EASTERN MEADOWLARK, and 2 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS – the latter heralding the eventual arrival of winter in the not too distant future. Not far from there, in the Kelly Road and Salmon Point area, another flight – this time, a murder of 100 AMERICAN CROWS.  Twelve EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, a SAVANNAH SPARROW and 20 AMERICAN PIPITS, also noted. At Wellington harbour, the lingering 5 CASPIAN TERNS were there again today, roosting with gulls directly across from the dock. HOODED MERGANSER, PIED-BILLED GREBE and 7 NORTHERN PINTAILS, were also present.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
The only report to come in from Hastings County was a list of 19 species, seen along Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville. PILEATED WOODPECKER, 2 COMMON RAVENS,1 FIELD SPARROW and a LINCOLN`S SPARROW were among some of the good finds.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Two  locations today in the Kingston area, both off Railway and Montreal Streets along the Cataraqui River. The Douglas Fluhrer Park just down from the Cataraqui Canoe Club, had some nice waterfowl including 52 AMERICAN WIGEON, 2 GADWALL and a couple of RING-NECKED DUCKS, also 4 AMERICAN COOTS. Farther up the river at the Montreal Street Apartments, 2 GADWALL and 2 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and 9 RING-NECKED DUCKS  were seen there as well as 4 RUDDY DUCKS. A BALD EAGLE  was also seen.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON
A few birds of interest from Napanee`s Springside Park and the River Trail – 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, a SONG SPARROW and 37 MALLARDS. Wilton Creek at Big Creek Road continues to disappoint as a Level Three drought continues in the Bay of Quinte region with dry creek beds being the norm. Only eight species here with BELTED KINGFISHER being among the more noteworthy. From Mark Read who reports regularly for the Ontario Birds listserv, he reports that eight birders today on Amherst Island were rewarded with some good sightings of a variety of birds, many of which were waterfowl. Highlights included 2 BLACK SCOTER and 8 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER , neither particularly common in this neck of the woods. The group also encountered a flock of about 1000 GREATER SCAUP within which were a few LESSER SCAUP, COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD and REDHEAD. All 3 regular Mergansers were seen as were 2 HORNED GREBE. A single BONAPARTE`S GULL was the 'highlight' of gull scene and the only shorebirds encountered were 6 KILLDEER, 1 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 2 DUNLIN and a late SPOTTED SANDPIPER. Also seen in the Owl Woods were 4 AMERICAN WOODCOCK. Passerines were hard to locate due to the high winds but included PURPLE FINCH, HOUSE FINCH, BLUE-HEADED VIREO and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER.
 

 


Saturday, October 15:

FRONTENAC COUNTY
Today, we start off in the Kingston area, as that is where birding activity was the heaviest today. This TUNDRA SWAN was photographed in Elevator Bay to day by Helmer Nielsen of Kingston. Another four TUNDRAS  were seen today as well at Wolfe Island. TUNDRA SWANS  in recent years have been wintering more commonly in Kingston and Prince Edward County waters, but this is a couple weeks earlier than their usual arrival date. The majority of TUNDRA SWANS winter in the Chespapeake Bay area. Also seen at Elevator Bay were 10 CANADA GEESE, 2 MUTE SWANS, 30 GADWALL, 50 MALLARDS, 4 NORTHERN PINTAILS, and 90 REDHEADS. The 70 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES at Lemoine Point Conservation today wasn't a surprising number given how plentiful they are along the trails, many of them accustomed to be being hand fed. Thirteen YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 6 SONG SPARROWS and a NORTHERN FLICKER  were also noted here. East of there, at the Marshlands Conservation Area, there was a PILEATED WOODPECKER. At Snider Road, north of Verona, PILEATED WOODPECKER, 3 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, AMERICAN PIPIT, WINTER WREN and BROWN CREEPER  were all good sightings.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY.
An impressive sighting today on Amherst Island was a STILT SANDPIPER – actually four of them. The birds were seen in the Martin Edwards Reserve at the eastern end of the island. Also seen was an AMERICAN COOT, but the main focus of the trip for the observer was the aggregation of waterfowl, consisting of a dozen species. GREATER SCAUP numbered 340 with smaller numbers of others such as GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON and LESSER SCAUP, just to name a few. Twelve COMMON LOONS  were also present. Back on the mainland, the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons had a nice selection of birds including RUDDY DUCK, NORTHERN SHOVELER, PIED-BILLED GREBE, RED-TAILED HAWK and PECTORAL SANDPIPER.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Although a few October records exist in Prince Edward County for CASPIAN TERNS, the average departure date for our area is September 23rd, based on 53 years of records. Two late dates October 25th (1970) and October 30th (2010) are quickly on their way to being challenged by a lingering individual at Wellington that was seen today. Two PIED-BILLED GREBES and a GREAT BLUE HERON also put in an appearance at Wellington Harbour today. Twenty minutes at the Demorestville Conservation Area produced a few species this morning, mostly individuals of each species, best bird being a HERMIT THRUSH. A bit slow at Prince Edward Point today with 16 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, a RUFFED GROUSE, 6 COMMON LOONS and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK being the only noteworthy species seen.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
A bit slow, too, at Presquìle Provincial Park today with some of the more noteworthy sightings being an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, 5 PALM WARBLERS, 12 SWAMP SPARROWS, 10 SONG SPARROWS and an immature RED-TAILED HAWK – these seen along the Parkway coming into the Park. In the Park itself, two hours spent there netted only 19 species, with an AMERICAN WOODCOCK and a PILEATED WOODPECKER being of interest. Gulls outnumbered everything else – 600 RING-BILLED, 275 HERRING and a couple GREAT BLACK-BACKED.

 


Friday, October 14:

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Winter is most definitely on its way. A SNOW BUNTING, the first of the season, was seen yesterday and was also seen the same day by another observer. Couple locations within Presquìle Park that had sightings to report. The Marsh Board Boardwalk, a location from which we haven`t had any reports in a while, had WOOD DUCKS  today, along with AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, 20 MALLARDS, and a GREAT BLUE HERON, just to mention a few of the almost dozen species chalked up by one observer. The same birder, birding the Day Use Area long the Lake Ontario shoreline at noon found another GREAT BLUE HERON, 1 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A pleasant mornings birding in the Consecon area. Three species of warbler were present namely YELLOW-RUMPED, NASHVILLE (2) and MAGNOLIA (1). Also present were EASTERN PHOEBE (12), HERMIT THRUSH (11), BLUE-HEADED VIREO (2) and singles of BROWN CREEPER, EASTERN TOWHEE (male) and a first year YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. Kinglets were still common with about equal numbers of RUBY-CROWNED and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS. Not too much to report today from Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory with lots of GOLDEN CROWN KINGLETS, RUBY CROWNED KINGLETS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS. Most warbler species have moved through but the bird banders at the Observatory did have RUSTY BLACKBIRDS netted today. Owls have slowed up after what can best be termed Owl Armageddon on Tuesday when they had over 150 owls in one night! They have had 8 BARRED OWLS as well. CHIPPING SPARROWS are starting to turn up also.  One birder in the area though had  different story who explored much of the Prince Edward Point area. Among the 33 species one birder saw included a couple WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 5 EASTERN PHOEBES, one each of SWAINSON`S and HERMIT THRUSH, 33 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 4 PURPLE FINCHES and 2 FOX SPARROWS. West of there, along Long Point Road, more WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS in Prince Edward Bay – 13 of them. Five COMMON LOONS, 4 HORNED GREBES, and 2 MERLINS  also seen. Further along on Babylon Road, another MERLIN there, 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS, and a flock of about 200 COMMON GRACKLES.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
At Foxboro today, some good species there including BLUE-HEADED VIREO, both species of Kinglet, CHIPPING SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and four PURPLE FINCHES. In Tweed, a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was seen there today, and at Belleville`s Memorial Park, 25 MALLARDS, 75 RING-BILLED GULLS and a HERRING GULL that was attempting to take on something much larger than itself. A Salmon was having great difficulty trying to navigate the very low water conditions of the Moira River due to the drought conditions. If the salmon had dared to hesitate, the gull was ready to pounce, size no object.  Along the Kiwanis Bayshore Trail in Belleville,  a resident counted 78 MUTE SWANS along the bay shore this evening ... 4 years ago there were just a couple of pairs there.  Also assorted diving ducks starting to move in, mainly Scaup and REDHEADS.
 
LENNOX AND ADDINGTON COUNTY
At the Milhaven ferry dock, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS were paying little heed to the cooler temperatures. A COMMON LOON was also nearby. West of Milhaven, at Heritage Point, a cluster of 25 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS appeared along with a SAVANNAH SPARROW, 6 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and 2 NORTHERN CARDINALS. Ducks present were CANADA GEESE (26), MALLARDS (16), five COMMON MERGANSERS, and 3 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. Thirty-five HERRING GULLS and 145 RING-BILLED GULLS also present.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
At Kingston`s Cataraqui Bay, 8 TUNDRA SWANS were a significant sighting as they were two weeks ahead of their average fall arrival date. They were mixed in with CANADA GEESE, 5 GADWALL, 35 AMERICAN WIGEON, 16 MALLARDS, 7 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 45 REDHEADS, 2 GREATER /LESSER SCAUP, and 3 COMMON MERGANSERS.

 


 

Thursday, October 13:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A handful of birds from Prince Edward Point at noon today, including some 40 DARK-EYED JUNCOS. Numbers of this species seem to be thinning out a bit as the huge flocks of this week have been passing through, leaving only those that will consider our feeders as the sunny south this winter, with the majority continuing on their way to warmer climes. Two PURPLE FINCHES  were also seen at the Point, and 2 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS. At the Black River bridge at the cheese factory today, not much there compared to most days – just a few DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 4 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and a DOWNY WOODPECKER. It seems to be getting really late for CASPIAN TERNS, but 4 were still present at Wellington Harbour at noon today. Sixteen AMERICAN WIGEON, 3 NORTHERN PINTAILS and a HOODED MERGANSER  were also there. Other miscellaneous sightings around the County included 2 NORTHERN HARRIERS at Big Island, RED-TAILED HAWK flying over the Picton Clinic early this morning, EASTERN PHOEBE at Demorestville, and 6 TURKEY VULTURES on Wilson Road this afternoon.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Foxboro was the only location to report in today with its sightings of a RUFFED GROUSE, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, 5 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and 35 COMMON GRACKLES. A NORTHERN HARRIER  along Airport Parkway today.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Kingston, as always, due to no dearth of active birders, despite overcast skies this morning with lots of wind. Two birders on two separate days – yesterday and today  -  had good results at the the Montreal Street Apartments just on the north side of Bell Island along the Cataraqui River. Peaks were 100 CANADA GEESE, 12 WOOD DUCKS, 90 MALLARDS, 1 NORTHERN PINTAIL, 200 REDHEADS, 10 RING-NECKED DUCKS, 50 GREATER/LESSER SCAUP, 30 GADWALL, 250 AMERICAN WIGEON and 3 RING-NECKED DUCKS. Also in the waters off shore were 4 PIED-BILLED GREBES, 14 AMERICAN COOTS and a GREAT BLUE HERON. On the south side of Belle Island, many of the same species – 118 AMERICAN COOTS and 10 RUDDY DUCKS.   Along the same stretch of river, Doug Fluhrer Park, lesser numbers of the same species. Way down along the Lake Ontario shoreline, at Invista (Dupont Lagoons), some of the same species again, but joining this contingent were 22 TUNDRA SWANS, an indication that the southward migration of this species is well underway, although many will spend the winter in the waters of both the Kingston area and South Bay in Prince Edward County.

 


Wednesday, October 12:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
It has been an especially productive week for birds, in terms of both species and especially numbers. As one reader points out, it gives us hope when we tend to be concerned by the decline in songbirds. An example he gives is the abundance of HERMIT THRUSHES – still around yesterday and even today. The last few days, DARK-EYED JUNCOS (file photo by Daniel LaFrance of Wellington) have been around in seemingly unprecedented numbers. A HERMIT THRUSH  was also seen on Snider Road in Ameliasburgh Township, off Victoria Road toward the west side of the County, where other good sightings during a birder’s early morning walk of 2.5 km yielded a few DARK-EYED JUNCOS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, 2 PURPLE FINCHES, and 13 CEDAR WAXWINGS – all of them appearing to be juveniles of he year.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Joining the plethora of birds in one Trenton resident’s backyard this morning was a FOX SPARROW. Shorebirds – 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS – were at the H.R. Frink Centre early this morning, along with 10 KILLDEER. Other good finds at this popular conservation area near Plainfield included an AMERICAN BITTERN, 8 AMERICAN PIPITS, 2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and 2 SONG SPARROWS. At Foxboro, 50 COMMON GRACKLES  were seen there, still moving through. Two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and a couple  HOUSE FINCHES also seen here.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
At noon yesterday, at Cobourg,  there was an adult white morph SNOW GOOSE with large group of restive CANADA GEESE - all flew south then east after 10 minutes.
 

Tuesday, October 11:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Always lots of interesting action among birds, if we just take the time to observe, and enjoy. At West Lake today, near Sandbanks Park, a PEREGRINE FALCON was witnessed in hot pursuit of a ROCK PIGEON. We can only assume that the cooler temperatures slowed down the falcon enough for the pigeon to escape into a barn. The falcon cursed itself for being so slow by resting on a steel gate. At South Bay today, a NORTHERN FLICKER and 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES were nice finds. Meanwhile, on down at Prince Edward Point, birds were hopping with 29 species reported by one birder, albeit not in the large numbers that were experienced yesterday. Some 40 DARK-EYED JUNCOS were seen and other good birds seen were CHIPPING SPARROW, 3 HERMIT THRUSHES, 1 BROWN CREEPER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, 1 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL and a COOPER’S HAWK. Two lingering warbler species – MAGNOLIA and WILSON’S  were also seen. West of Demorestville, at the west end of Black Road, a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW  turned up there
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
At Carrying Place, along the south side of the Murray Canal to Twelve O'clock Point, the marsh side yielded nine GREAT EGRETS and one GREAT BLUE HERON. On the west side of Belleville, a DARK-EYED JUNCO who appeared to be a returnee from last winter made its first appearance of the fall season to a backyard and went straight to the sill of the patio door where the homeowner routinely places feed every winter. The same birder, frustrated that he had not yet seen a SWAINSON’S THRUSH in his travels, while others were reporting many dozens, only had to wait for the mountain to come to Mohammed as a SWAINSON’S THRUSH not only came to his backyard, but perched on a plant hook only 8 feet from his patio door! He didn’t know whether to be pleased or annoyed that the sighting came so easily after a lot of effort. On Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS  were once again present in a flock of 34. An AMERICAN PIPIT, WHITE-CROWNED and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, SONG and SWAMP SPARROWS and an AMERICAN KESTREL also seen. On the other side of Belleville, at Potter’s Creek Conservation Area, a RED-TAILED HAWK was a highlight there, along with a BELTED KINGFISHER and 3 CEDAR WAXWINGS. Along Fry Road, a COOPER’S HAWK was seen this morning.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Only 20 species noted at Presqu’ile Park, but a nice mix. SHOREBIRDS were still around today – 9 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 11 SANDERLINGS and 3 DUNLIN. Out on the lake, 13 HORNED GREBES  were counted and 2 TRUMPETER SWANS were out along Sevastopol Shoal at Gull Island where at least four, perhaps 6, TUNDRA SWANS represented some of the first fall migrants of this species.
 
LEEDS GRENVILLE COUNTY
The Rideau Canal, north from Kingston, offered a few species today. At Jones Falls, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, DARK-EYED JUNCOS and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS  were present. North of there, at Chaffeys Lock, the birding was a bit better with COMMON LOON, 5 PIED-BILLED GREBES, 2 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS and 2 PINE SISKINS being among the more noteworthy sightings.
 

 

Monday, October 10:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Holy Hermit ! exclaimed one birder after birding the Consecon area this morning. Surrounding him were about 35 HERMIT THRUSHES (photo by Bonnie Bailey of Camden East) , some of them in small groups. There were still three species of warbler namely YELLOW-RUMPED, ORANGE-CROWNED (2),  and one NASHVILLE WARBLER. Also present were AMERICAN PIPITS (25), BLUE-HEADED VIREO (4), EASTERN BLUEBIRD (3), GRAY CATBIRD (2) and one EASTERN TOWHEE. But, the avalanche of birds didn’t just start today; much the same was happening at Prince Edward Point yesterday where thousands of birds were flitting all over the place – mostly DARK-EYED JUNCOS, HERMIT THRUSHES there, too, and Nuthatches and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS (photo by Bonnie Bailey of Camden East). Birds have been moving everywhere. at Beaver meadow Conservation Area, a flock of EUROPEAN STARLINGS numbered 550. Three SANDHILL CRANES were also present. At Sandbanks Park, 75 TURKEY VULTURES  were seen in flight. Meanwhile, along Bakker Road on the west side of the County, it was business as usual with no major flights seen, but their absence was made up with some individual sightings like EASTERN PHOEBE, 5 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, 3 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. Snider Road, in Ameliasburgh Township, saw some activity today with 18 species noted during a one hour walk by a local birder (2.8 km). The four HERMIT THRUSHES  seen along this stretch of road was likely a reflection of the mass movement of this species currently taking place in the County. Another AMERICAN TREE SPARROW  (photo by Helmer Nielsen of Odessa) was seen to add to the two that were noted at East Lake yesterday. Winter, it’s a comin’ . DARK-EYED JUNCOS numbered 40 and there is certainly no shortage of this species right now as they continue to arrive from northern nesting grounds. Two LINCOLN’S SPARROWS, an EASTERN TOWHEE, 1 BLUE-HEADED VIREO and a RED-TAILED HAWK were other noteworthy sightings.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Three RUSTY BLACKBIRDS and 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS  were highlights at Potter Creek Conservation Area in Quinte West this morning. A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, 6 yellow rumped warblers AND 4 SONG SPARROWS also made it on the morning’s list.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Where to start? Presqu’ile Park, of course where 65 species seen there where some steep numbers there included 120 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 600 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 175 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 275 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 850 COMMON GRACKLES, and in lesser numbers were 35 TURKEY VULTURES, 35 EASTERN PHOEBES, 80 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and 20 HERMIT THRUSHES. Strangely, the MUTE SWAN didn’t enter the running at all in terms of high  numbers despite this species burgeoning in numbers at tis time of the year as winter approaches. Even the Presqu’ile Parkway leading toward the Park didn’t fail to produce some good numbers – 45 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 55 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 15 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 225 DARK-EYED JUNCOS. Also seen, a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK. Some  sightings from  Presqu”ile Provincial Park included a SURF SCOTER at Salt Point, a RED-EYED VIREO at Calf Pasture, and 1600 EUROPEAN STARLINGS passing over the marsh along the Parkway. At the Garden Hill Conservation Area on Ganaraska Road near Campbellcroft, one birder was able to pick out at least 3 CACKLING GEESE from a gaggle of 470 CANADA GEESE, not an easy task as not every birder is comfortable recognizing this species. Also counted here were 60 MALLARDS, 14 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 60 MALLARDS, 4 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 58 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and an adult male HOODED MERGANSER. A couple HERMIT THRUSHES  were also observed, along with 2 PURPLE FINCHES, MERLIN (local bird), BELTED KINGFISHER and a GREAT BLUE HERON.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
Down Amherstview way, at the sewage lagoons there, 2 COMMON GOLDENEYE ducks, the first reported sightings of the season, had arrived to join six other waterfowl species, including some 350 CANADA GEESE. Birds have thinned out somewhat at the Camden Lake Provincial Wildlife Area, north of Camden East, where 4 COMMON LOONS and 50 CANADA GEESE seemed to be the only representatives of waterfowl. Nearby Moscow Marsh did a bit better with its special bird of the day, a WILSON’S PHALAROPE. Congregating at this wetland were 250 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, and a GREAT BLUE HERON, NORTHERN HARRIER and a couple  WOOD DUCKS were also in the marsh. Away from the wetlands and into the drier habitat, the Napanee Limestone Plain along Nugent Road had EASTERN PHOEBE, 3 NORTHERN HARRIER, a MERLIN, FIELD SPARROW and 10 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS  to offer. And, finally, at Sheffield Conservation Area, south of Kaladar, things were a bit sparse with four hours spent in the field there producing only a dozen species. Among the more notable finds were 25 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 3 COMMON RAVENS, 1 RUFFED GROUSE, but interestingly, no YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
At Doug Fluhrer Park in Kingston, a raft of some 250 ducks near Bell Island, comprising AMERICAN WIGEON, GADWALL and MALLARDS was a good sighting along with a GREEN-WINGED TEAL and an AMERICAN COOT. At Verona, just on the north side of Snyder Road, it was a case of Man being Bird’s best friend. A birder there heard a COOPER’S HAWK calling in some deep woody vegetation. All the birds he had been watching suddenly dove into the bushes. Eventually a number of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and HERMIT THRUSHES started coming back out from the underbrush close to the birder, assuming that they were far safer if they clustered around the birder! In Kingston, 9 AMERICAN COOTS were spotted in the Cataraqui Creek, just north of Front Road, where 95 GADWALL, 1 NORTHERN SHOVELER and 4 NORTHERN PINTAILS  had also assembled. At Cataraqui Bay, just across from there, 60 REDHEADS and 70 GREATER SCAUP, and what would appear to be the first BUFFLEHEAD of the fall season were seen. And, at the city’s Olympic View, 6 COMMON LOONS were a highlight. Just a short distance north of Verona, a kettle of 150 TURKEY VULTURES had responded to the cooling temperatures  and were heading for Verona and, hopefully, much farther south. Six RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, a single PINE SISKIN, 2 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, 1 AMERICAN PIPIT, and an EASTERN BLUEBIRD were other good birds seen here. Back down in Kingston, a BARRED OWL turned up at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, just north of the city off Division Street.

 

 


Sunday, October 09:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Where to begin. On my own walk around the 2.3 km Sprague/Monkman Trail on Big Island, not many species, but some good quality stuff. At least 2 EASTERN TOWHEES were heard (file photo by Helmer Nielsen of Odessa), 3 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, a PILEATED WOODPECKER, several RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, and SANDHILL CRANE, just to name a few of the species encountered. But the real numbers were elsewhere. An estimated 300 COMMON GRACKLES, 150 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 70 BLUE JAYS and 20 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS made up the species list at at South Bay today. Some 300 DARK-EYED JUNCOS were also estimated going by. What didn’t represent themselves in numbers, did so by species – a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER made a brief appearance, as did 3 HERMIT THRUSHES, 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES and 5 PURPLE FINCHES. Yesterday, a PEREGRINE FALCON was seen there. Sandbanks Provincial Park produced fairly well too with 100 DARK-EYED JUNCOS passing through there, too. TURKEY VULTURES numbered 160 with other raptors seen including NORTHERN HARRIER, 4 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, a COOPER’S HAWK, RED-TAILED HAWK and a BALD EAGLE. A CASPIAN TERN was still flirting with late dates as were three EASTERN PHOEBES. Forty WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS  was an impressive number, and other good species were YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, 1 LINCOLN’S SPARROW and a PINE WARBLER. DARK-EYED JUNCOS were in evidence along Fish Lake Road, too, where 40 were seen. At another provincial park – North Beach, on the west side of the County, a few DARK-EYED JUNCOS  were seen there too, and right beside the Park, at Pleasant Bay, 40 BLUE JAYS were noted there. The first AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS  of the season were spotted at East Lake this morning. It’s just about the right time for this northern species to start showing up, although Prince Edward County does have sightings on file for previous years as early as late September. At the Demorestville Conservation Area, the first PINE SISKINS of the autumn season were spotted today. West of there, the Hamilton Wetland is but a shadow of its former self, due to this summer’s unprecedented drought. The three species seen there included 25 CANADA GEESE, 2 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and a COMMON RAVEN. And, at Wellington Beach, 15 species noted along this short stretch of beach and associated habitat included 2 AMERICAN WIGEON, 6 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, a COMMON LOON, 7 CASPIAN TERNS (too many for this late in the season, they should be moving on), and 2 BALD EAGLES. At a feeder east of Lake on the Mountain, a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH dropped by today for a handout.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Like Prince Edward County, Hastings County today and yesterday was aflutter with birds and watchers of birds. At the H.R. Frink Centre yesterday, birds of note appearing there were WOOD DUCK, RUFFED GROUSE, AMERICAN BITTERN, SORA, 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, BELTED KINGFISHER and a PALM WARBLER. Another example of feathered fall flocking was the sighting of an estimated 6,800 COMMON GRACKLES passing over Foxboro yesterday. Certainly no chance any time soon of that species becoming a Species at Risk. Along the Trans Canada Trail west of Highway 62 at Twiddy Road (south of Madoc), a WOOD DUCK was seen there along with BELTED KINGFISHER, RUFFED GROUSE, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. Yesterday, a Trenton resident was filling his water containers at Glen Miller when an OSPREY made a spectacular dive only 100 metres in front of him, coming up with a good-sized fish. As of yesterday, the RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD  was still coming to a Trenton feeder.  Birds are where you find them, even if they are to be found under a bridge – in this case, the Quinte Skyway Bridge at Deseronto. Not a huge list, but interesting to see what does lurk in such places, in this case, 8 CANADA GEESE, 2 RING-BILLED GULLS, 4 ROCK PIGEONS (to be expected!), an AMERICAN ROBIN and a single DARK-EYED JUNCO. I think I much prefer Presqu’ile Park to bird!
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Speaking of which, at Presqu’ile Park, a PHILADELPHIA VIREO and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER  were just two noteworthy species to be seen, along with WINTER WREN, BROWN CREEPER and a COOPER’S HAWK. Along the Parkway, 9 COMMON RAVENS were all flying in a strung out group from the north and into the Park. I remember in 1997, jumping up and down with excitement when I heard a raven calling at Thomasburg, south of Tweed, and remarking to my colleague, how unusual that seemed to be, that far south. Look at them now! Also seen along the Parkway were RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, SWAMP SPARROW, PALM WARBLER, and 23 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Not too much happening in the Kingston area today, but yesterday, there were two or three areas of interest visited by Kingston area birders. Lemoine Point Conservation Area produced this BLUE-HEADED VIREO (photo by Helmer Nielsen of Odessa). On Isle of Man Road, north of the city on Highway 15, a BALD EAGLE  was seen there. Also north of the city, north of Verona, lots of kinglets yet, mostly GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS with fewer numbers of RUBY-CROWNED. Bird of the day was a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER. Across from Howe Island, at Grass Creek Park, some nice sightings there including 37 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS flying over. RED-TAILED HAWK, 4 MARSH WRENS, a BLACKPOLL WARBLER, 2 GADWALL and a GREAT BLUE HERON were also seen.
 
SAD NEWS
In my persona library, I have both copies of The Birds Of Canada – the first 1996 edition, and the revised 1986 edition.  The talented national museum crew (Earl Godfrey, John Crosby, Stewart MacDonald) who produced both editions of The Birds of Canada have now all passed away. The last one to leave us was John Crosby, who illustrated The Birds of Canada (1966, 1986),and who  passed away peacefully in Ottawa early this week at the age of 91. John learned birding and sketching as a youngster in Toronto. He frequented the Royal Ontario Museum where he became good friends with ornithologist Jim Baillie and bird artist Terry Shortt who furthered his love of birds and art. John joined the staff of the National Museum of Canada in 1951 where he had access to research collections and an ornithological library. On museum field trips, John became familiar with Canadian birds from coast to coast and from Point Pelee to the High Arctic.  Quoting Dan Brunton in an email a couple days ago, "John put the appreciation of the bird before all else.  It was John's quiet appreciation for subtleties of appearance and behaviour that defined the nature of the creature just as surely as its field marks or DNA. Fortunately, John lived a long and exceptionally productive life and enriched us with his artistic skill and his gentle, encouraging nature."

 


Saturday, October 08:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Where the huntin’ is good, the birds will linger. Such is the case with an AMERICAN KESTREL that continues to find what it needs on Black Road, 5 km west of Demorestville. Also, a GREAT EGRET, and sometimes more than 1, continues to feed most days in Sawguin Creek along Highway 62 and Sawguin Creek south of Belleville. It’s a matter of who you know that enables one to gain access to Fish Lake near Demorestville. If successful, the effort can pay off in handsome dividends.I still remember the year I kayaked around the lake and was surrounded by wetland birds. The lake continues to produce as evidenced by the results of a pair of birders who viewed what they could see from the shoreline. Four GREAT EGRETS  were present as were 50 scaup, a dozen NORTHERN PINTAILS, 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and a COMMON LOON. But the real show stopper was a count of 40 PIED-BILLED GREBES, the number determined with the aid of a spotting scope.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
PIED-BILLED  GREBES  were also the order of the day at Kingston where close to the same number were seen Belle Park, along the Cataraqui River off Montreal Street. Identified as a known staging area, the grebes were also accompanied by 14 other species of of water birds, including 66 AMERICAN COOTS.  Some 500 AMERICAN WIGEON, 100 REDHEADS and 350 RING-NECKED DUCKS also provided a colourful variety to the rafts of waterfowl. Now that autumn is here, more attention is being directed to Invista (Dupont Lagoons) along Front Road tallied a checklist of 44 species of birds, about a dozen of these comprising waterfowl and other associated species. Fewer AMERICAN WIGEON here – only 85, compared to Belle Park’s impressive total, but there were 45 GREATER SCAUP, 125 MALLARDS and 6 CASPIAN TERNS (still seems a bit late for these to be around, but they seem to be hanging in there throughout our area. RED-TAILED HAWK, AMERICAN KESTREL, a single BARN SWALLOW, and five warbler species – COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, BLACKPOLL, PALM, YELLOW-RUMPED and BLACK-THROATED GREEN. Other sightings around Kingston included a PHILADELPHIA VIREO and six WILD TURKEYS near Kingston Mills, a first fall female CAPE MAY WARBLER along Sutherland Drive Park south of 401, and north of there near Brewer’s Mills on the Rideau, a BALD EAGLE, WILSON’S SNIPE, and a MAGNOLIA WARBLER.
 
LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
At nearby Amherst Island, lots of activity over there with 37 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, BROWN CREEPER, WINTER WREN and BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER seen in the Owl Woods toward the east end of the island. Elsewhere on the island, 2 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 6 LESSER YELLOWLEGS were good sightings as were 6 AMERICAN KESTRELS, 7 EASTERN PHOEBES, a MERLIN, 2 VESPER SPARROWS, a lingering HOUSE WREN, and both RED-EYED and BLUE-HEADED VIREO complementing the day’s list. At the ferry landing, birding continued with over 30 COMMON LOONS being noted.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
Moving on to Hastings County, and the famed H.R. Frink Centre, seen there were 22 AMERICAN PIPITS, an AMERICAN BITTERN, 150 CANADA GEESE, 1 VIRGINIA RAIL, a SORA and a BELTED KINGFISHER. Down in Belleville, at the Memorial Park off Station Street, a GREAT BLUE HERON was present there. One area getting some attention these days is the Callaghan’s Rapids Conservation Area at Marmora which hosted an OSPREY, BROWN CREEPER, 4 PURPLE FINCHES and 9 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
We move around a bit with our sightings from this county this time. At Lakeport, south of Colborne, not too many species, but more than made up by a passage of 150 BLUE JAYS and a PEREGRINE FALCON. In Cobourg, a female RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD  was still present as of yesterday, feeding on Black-and-blue Salvia. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and a WINTER WREN were also seen. At Presqu’ile Park where things seem to happen every day, a day’s birding that started well before daylight resulted in 59 species. The MUTE SWAN population is building as winter approaches with 225 present on the bay. GREEN-WINGED TEAL at 275 outdid them though as far as numbers go. BLUE JAYS  were on the go with 280 of them passing over. It pays to spend a lengthy time birding there as species just keep showing up the longer one birds. A CAROLINA WREN was heard singing enthusiastically (they seem to sing 12 months of the year!) near the bikle trail from behind the woodpile marsh. No lingering HOUSE WREN, but a MARSH WREN and a WINTER WREN were seen. Shorebirds are dropping in number and the only ones present were 2 SEMIPALMATED were seen near the north boundary of the Park, 1 lonely KILLDEER, and a juvenile SANDERLING. Technically a member of the shorebird family, an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was seen flying into the marsh at dawn. 

 


 

Friday, October 07:

LENNOX and ADDINGTON
Only one species reported from here – this somewhat late OSPREY (photo by Helmer Nielsen of Odessa) yesterday flying over Adolphus Reach at Adolphustown.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
After over two weeks of no RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS seen in one Barry Heights yard in Trenton, one juvenile came to the Red Fuchsia flowers yesterday but showed no interest in a feeder nearby. It sampled a few other plants in flower then left. Also present in the same yard have been 20 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES which have been regulars all summer, but over the last month have steadily increased to a swarm and the bird feeder operator says it has been getting expensive with daily filling of two tube feeders of nyger and three feeders of hulled sunflower.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
The only offerings from Prince Edward County came from North Beach Provincial Park and Prince Edward Point. At North Beach yesterday, more signs of an ongoing BLUE JAY migration with 50+ BLUE JAYS  noted moving. Not to be outdone were EUROPEAN STARLINGS  which numbered 150. There were 55 RING-BILLED GULLS, and also seen was a MERLIN and 3 BROWN CREEPERS. Lots of birds about this morning in the Consecon area. Those worth mentioning are as follows. Still three species of warbler present namely lots of YELLOW-RUMPED and singles of ORANGE-CROWNED and BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS.  There were two PURPLE FINCHES, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, EASTERN TOWHEE and singles of GRAY CATBIRD and BLUE-HEADED VIREO. Raptors included COOPER’S HAWK, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and an AMERICAN KESTREL having a midair dual. A drumming RUFFED GROUSE seemed confused about the time of the year! By comparison, a rather slow day at Prince Edward Point compared to earlier this week! The Bird Observatory banded over 400 birds on Wednesday, 200 yesterday, and today not so many. Birds banded today comprised mainly GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, a few RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, numerous BLUE JAYS. and a few warblers. The number of BLUE JAYS banded this fall was a record number – not surprising, given the high numbers that seem to be passing through wherever one chooses to go this fall.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Marshlands Conservation Area came through again with some nice sightings yesterday. Except for YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, no other warblers were encountered on the 4-km trail, but two YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS and 3 HERMIT THRUSHES  were noted, as well as a RUSTY BLACKBIRD, EASTERN PHOEBE, 2 NORTHERN FLICKERS and 2 WINTER WRENS. A lingering HOUSE WREN was heard chattering from within the shrubs on the west end of Lake Ontario Park, and a BROWN CREEPER was also seen. Over on Howe Island, a BALD EAGLE and 7 RED-TAILED HAWKS were spotted there, and also seen was a mumuration of 400 EUROPEAN STARLINGS, 150 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, and 60 COMMON GRACKLES. A bit of a noisy place with those three species. Other good numbers were 20 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and 25 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS.
 
LEEDS GRENVILLE COUNTY
At Portland, a bit north of Newboro on the Rideau Canal, a good day there yesterday with 33 species with some excellent numbers of some species. Particularly numerous were YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS  which numbered 60! At this time of the year, the diet of this normally insectivorous bird, changes with the temperature – first switching from a diet of insects, to spiders which is why we often see them around our window sills in the fall – then to a diet of berries like the fruiting berry of the Red Cedar which enables a few individuals to survive the winter. Twenty BLUE JAYS, 30 AMERICAN CROWS, 25 AMERICAN ROBINS, 25 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 50 EUROPEAN STARLINGS, and 30 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were other good numbers. Other good finds were MERLIN, BLUE-HEADED VIREO, 3 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS and 2 PURPLE FINCHES. Not too far away, at Westport, not a huge list but the 30 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were noteworthy.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
In Cramahe Township, in the general area of Castleton, two male EASTERN BLUEBIRDS  were seen yesterday. Down at Presqu’ile Park, a SAVANNAH SPARROW  and 15 SONG SPARROWS  were seen along the Presqu’ile Parkway. In the Park itself, some good birding there with a sprinkling of SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, SANDERLINGS and KILLDEER still running about on the beaches. The highlight was a LAPLAND LONGSPUR associating with three HORNED LARKS out on Gull Island. RED-NECKED GREBE, PILEATED WOODPECKER, WINTER WREN, both SWAINSON’S and HERMIT THRUSHES, and two lingering CASPIAN TERNS were other good sightings. The 32 DARK-EYED JUNCOS  were yet another reminder that winter is just around the corner! 
 


Thursday, October 06:

HASTINGS
Hastings County starts off our Bird Report for this evening with three popular locations in that county coming through with some interesting birds. This AMERICAN BITTERN and SORA  were both seen and photographed by Foxboro resident Tim Wheatley yesterday at the H.R. Frink Centre, near Plainfield. The SORA was near the beaver dam along the new section of boardwalk across the marsh and wasn’t the least bit nervous about having its picture taken. The Centre’s main attraction this fall, the NELSON’S SPARROW, was once again present, skulking about along the boardwalk. A WILSON’S SNIPE took flight and 3 LESSER YELLOWLEGS  were seen as well as the predicted BELTED KINGFISHER, a VIRGINIA RAIL, WOOD DUCK and BLUE-WINGED TEAL. At Foxboro, a flight of COMMON GRACKLES, numbering 500, were noted as they took flight from a roost. Along Belleville’s Airport Parkway, a LINCOLN’S SPARROW  was once again present. A WINTER WREN also put in an appearance, along with 1 NASHVILLE WARBLER, and both WHITE-CROWNED and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, and a BLUE-HEADED VIREO. And at Tweed, a resident there had an experience with two SANDHILL CRANES making an unexpected appearance in a hay field, announcing their presence known with their unique bugling call. A life bird is always a memorable experience for any birder.
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
BLUE JAYS continue their noticeable movement through the entire Quinte area, and hundreds were seen migrating at Prince Edward Point. Other species in good numbers included 25 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, 45 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and a dozen DARK-EYED JUNCOS. Although the juncos are suggestive of winter in the offing, there were still a few warblers about – an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, 4 BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS, a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, PALM WARBLER, and several YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Back to subtle hints of winter with the sighting of WHITE-WINGED SCOTER. Some raptor movement with a juvenile BALD EAGLE passing overhead along with 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 30 TURKEY VULTURES and, along nearby Gravelly Bay Road – 2 MERLINS there. Tuesday, according to a late report that arrived, was a good day for migrants at the Point with 432 birds of 32 species caught within the 6 hours of banding. Highlights include 6 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS and 3 NORTHERN FLICKERS. At Sandbanks, an EASTERN SCREECH-OWL was heard calling frequently in the night and again in the morning before sunrise.   A Trenton birder spent a few relaxing hours today in the Station Road area of Hillier, including the Millennium Trail at the Slab Creek Wetland. A few interesting observations. At the north end of Station Road there is a long row of Red Cedar trees laden with fruit and about 20 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were in the trees. Rather than getting insects they were eating the berries which bodes well for the early winter birding since there is such a bumper crop this year. The trail through the wetland was quite active with birds enjoying the offering of insects and other food. WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS were everywhere. Also present were about 10 WOOD DUCKS which squealed as they flew off and five EASTERN PHOEBES that were enjoying the bugs. Also seen was a lone BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, two GRAY CATBIRDS and three very rusty looking RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. A somewhat late OSPREY at Lake on the Mountain. East of there, a hapless SHARP-SHINNED HAWK continues to provide amusement for a feeder operator. This morning, it was mobbed by a flock of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. It tried to catch one of the chickadees and when it was unsuccessful, it went for a MOURNING DOVE and an EASTERN CHIPMUNK and with equal (lack of) success. Finally, the hawk spotted a PILEATED WOODPECKER on a dead tree. Seeing that the big bird was static, the hawk decided to attack the woodpecker. But the PILEATED spread its wings and showed its beak, making it pain to the hawk that it wasn't going to be breakfast. Defeated, the Sharpie flew off into the woods.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Lots of busy birding in Northumberland County. Near Grafton, the Calnan Road Pond had a GREEN HERON, WOOD DUCKS and HOODED MERGANSER with 2 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS perched in the top branches of a dead tree nearby. At the Keatings-Hoards Conservation Area on the trent River near Glen Ross, a nice sized flock of 50 AMERICAN PIPITS were seen – also, PILEATED WOODPECKER, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, PURPLE FINCH, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and 5 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. Some good sightings at the Murray Marsh Conservation Area – 2 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, 3 PILEATED WOODPECKERS, a WINTER WREN, 1 HERMIT THRUSH, 20 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, 25 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. The Murray Marsh is not all marsh!
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Birders in the Kingston area seem to have found lots of nooks and crannies where birds hang out. One of these, the Marshlands Conservation Area, I started visiting way back in the late 1960s, and it continues to be a favourite of mine. Seen there yesterday were a couple hundred CANADA GEESE, 150 GADWALL, 30 AMERICAN WIGEONS, 100 MALLARDS, 2 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, 3 NORTHERN PINTAILS and a RING-NECKED DUCK. But, it’s not all about waterfowl. The trail meanders through some nice wooded areas comprising a variety of tree species. A RED-EYED VIREO was seen preening along the trail. Also seen, 10 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET. Close by at Cataraqui Bay, a couple REDHEADS  were in the bay and 40 GREATER SCAUP. A lingering CASPIAN TERN also seen. However, much of the birding yesterday seemed to be concentrated in an area in and around CFB Kingston as well as across the Cataraqui River. At Butternut Creek Park, for instance, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, RED-TAILED HAWK, AMERICAN KESTREL and a PILEATED WOODPECKER  were all seen there. At nearby Lila Burke Park (Woods Landing), some 20 CEDAR WAXWINGS made it on someone’s checklist. On the other side of the river, just north of Belle Park, at McLean Park, an impressive 39 species were checked off in just one hour. Among the more noteworthy was a TENNESSEE WARBLER  foraging in a tangle of Virginia Creeper only a couple feet off the ground along a path to the water’s edge. Twenty-two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS  were counted, and a GRAY CATBIRD.  Ten  AMERICAN COOTS, 220 CANADA GEESE, 30 REDHEADS, 28 GREATER SCAUP, and 2 PIED-BILLED GREBES, just to name a sprinkling of the waterfowl present. BLUE-HEADED VIREO, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, 10 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER are other species that stand out in the list. At the Doug Fluhrer Park, off Rideau Street, near Highway 2, five PIED-BILLED GREBES  were seen there, but the eye openers were the 100 AMERICAN WIGEON and 40 AMERICAN COOTS.
 


Wednesday, October 05:

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY It was a good morning in the Consecon area today.  Some species were everywhere including AMERICAN ROBINS, BLUE JAYS, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS.  There were fewer WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, and all of these were first year birds. There were only four species of warbler: lots of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and singles of COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and both BLACK-THROATED BLUE  and BLACK-THROATED GREEN. Other migrants included EASTERN PHOEBE (8), YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (4), NORTHERN FLICKER (5), EASTERN TOWHEE (2), GRAY CATBIRD (2) and singles of EASTERN BLUEBIRD, HERMIT THRUSH INDIGO BUNTING, HOUSE and WINTER WREN, MERLIN, and AMERICAN KESTREL. Yesterday at Point Petre, a PEREGRINE FALCON was a highlight there. Four COMMON RAVENS and an AMERICAN KESTREL were also seen. And, at Sandbanks Park, a RED-TAILED HAWK was seen there. 

HASTINGS COUNTY
The only thing to come in from Hastings County yesterday was a report from Airport Parkway on the east side of Belleville. Among the 25 species present there 10 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 3 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, 6 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, a LINCOLN’S SPARROW, and 2 AMERICAN PIPITS. COMMON GRACKLES seem to be flocking and passing over everywhere these days, and a large flock of 110 flew overhead from the northeast, ignoring fields of corn occupied by a smaller group of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, and just kept flying.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Not surprisingly, Presqu’ile Park was a major focus of attention yesterday where 64 species were noted by a Brighton birder. Fourteen species of waterfowl were present, among them 8 GADWALL, 2 AMERICAN WIGEON, 2 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, a NORTHERN PINTAIL, 10 REDHEADS and 35 GREATER SCAUP. Also present, 8 HORNED GREBE. A few raptors present, including 18 TURKEY VULTURES, a juvenile NORTHERN HARRIER, 3 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS and a couple first year BALD EAGLES. Not too many shorebirds around, the main ones being 5 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 9 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, and a dozen SANDERLINGS. PEREGRINE FALCONS  are obviously on the move as, in addition to the Point Petre individual mentioned above, another was seen at Presqu’ile. Other good sightings from the Park included a HERMIT THRUSH, 15 AMERICAN PIPITS, 35 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, the same number of WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, 20 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 20 SONG SPARROWS, and 2 LINCOLN’S SPARROWS, just to name a few that stand out. Another birder found 40 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, in various flocks along the roadside. At the Calf Pasture in the Park, COOPER’S HAWK, BELTED KINGFISHER and 2 HERMIT THRUSHES  were seen.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Kingston’s Marshland Conservation Area produced a few good species yesterday, among them a BROWN CREEPER, 1 SWAINSON’S THRUSH, and a SCARLET TANAGER (possibly the same individual seen there a day earlier), and 15 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. At Belle Park off Montreal Street, some significant sightings there were 60 REDHEADS, 10 PIED-BILLED GREBES, 50 AMERICAN COOTS, 3 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, 1 WINTER WREN, 3 SWAINSON’S THRUSH and a HERMIT THRUSH. Four ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were at first thought to be Tennessee Warblers, but a more detailed look revealed these to be the less common ORANGE-CROWNED species. Other higher than normal numbers were 120 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, 30 SONG SPARROWS, and 75 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Fifteen RUSTY BLACKBIRDS  also showed up. North of Verona, a PURPLE FINCH was seen there – a species we no longer see in the huge flocks we once did back in the 1960s. A BROWN CREEPER  was seen there as well.
 

 

Tuesday, October 04:

LENNOX and ADDINGTON: This morning, I kayaked the Napanee River from Napanee to Strathcona and back again today, a total of 18 km over a six hour period. The river was alive with birds – at least 5 different BELTED KINGFISHERS, 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS, WOOD DUCKS everywhere, CANADA GEESE, and one juvenile DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT who travelled part of the distance with us always keeping a few metres ahead and repeating the performance as we returned. By the time we left him behind, we were able to approach him with our kayaks to within an incredible one metre. Two GREAT BLUE HERONS, SONG SPARROWS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, EASTERN PHOEBES, RING-BILLED GULLS, PILEATED WOODPECKER, RUBY-CROWNED and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and HOUSE FINCHES  were also encountered.

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A few sightings from Sandbanks yesterday including 100 BLUE JAYS, 2 COMMON RAVENS and a NORTHERN FLICKER.  During a nocturnal survey last night – actually shortly after midnight, an EASTERN SCREECH-OWL was noted. Species seen by a Kingston birder at the park yesterday included SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, RED-TAILED HAWK, NORTHERN FLICKER, WINTER WREN, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, 2 FIELD SPARROWS and an EASTERN TOWHEE. An adult PEREGRINE FALCON was seen migrating on updrafts with other raptors right into the low clouds. Toward the west side of the County, a walk along Snyder Road off Victoria Road yielded  an EASTERN PHOEBE, EASTERN BLUEBIRD, 3 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, an EASTERN TOWHEE and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. GREAT EGRETS have been uncommon in the west end of the Bay of Quinte. Today however there were four in the Dead Creek Marsh at Carrying Place in the afternoon.There was a noisy squabble near a feeder east of Lake on the Mountain. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK dropped by to check out possible prey at the feeder. A flock of BLUE JAYS wasn’t pleased though. They repeatedly mobbed the hawk, calling very noisily. The hawk, also yelling loudly, then turned on the closest jay. The screaming match ended in a draw, with all combatants withdrawing to other areas. There was still a RUBY THROATED HUMMINGBIRD  at a Bloomfield nectar feeder yesterday.  At Jericho Road off Highway 62, there was an AMERICAN KESTREL there and a flock of 200 EUROPEAN STARLINGS. Speaking of which, a  flock numbering approximately the same in size descended on a hay field at Sprague Road this morning.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
At Belleville’s Zwick’s Park yesterday, birds of note seen there were 4 MALLARDS, a GREAT BLUE HERON, 50 RING-BILLED GULLS, 1 GREAT BLCK-BACKED GULL, 12 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES and 15 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. At Belleville’s Memorial Park, 100 CANADA GEESE  were present  there, but the star attraction was a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON. In Quinte West, the Quinte Conservation Area did reasonably well with its 17 species, including some notable sightings such as GREAT BLUE HERON, CASPIAN TERN, BELTED KINGFISHER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and 2 NORTHERN CARDINALS.
 
FRONTENAC
Once again, Kingston and area were hives of activity yesterday with area birders scurrying here and there to their favourite pastures. Birders were at the Marshlands Conservation Area off Front Road during both morning and afternoon, collectively recording close to 30 species. Three YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, 2 BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, A BROWN CREEPER and a BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (with its “bay” flank markings still visible) were a few of the noteworthy sightings. A SCARLET TANAGER  was also seen. Up in the area of Centennial Drive, a location there had a COMMON RAVEN, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and a SONG SPARROW. At the Princess Towers in downtown Kingston, the long standing PEREGRINE FALCONS  were present yesterday, two birds flying about the towers and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Waterfowl continue to raft together at Cataraqui Bay where yesterday 15 CANADA GEESE  were present, 20 GADWALL, 100 AMERICAN WIGEON, a NORTHERN SHOVELER and 40 REDHEADS. At Olympic Harbour, COMMON MERGANSERS and COMMON LOONS were present, as were 250 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS (file photo by Terry Sprague), 4 COMMON LOONS, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK and a CASPIAN TERN.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Two AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS highlighted a list of 27 species seen at Presqu’ile Park yesterday. Other good finds were 4 MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, a BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA, 13 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, 2 MARSH WRENS and a HOUSE WREN. Forty-five BLUE JAYS  were counted and a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER  was also seen. At the Park’s Lighthouse and Bayshore Loop, birds present there yesterday were 3 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, a TENNESSEE WARBLER, 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and a possible CAROLINA WREN. West of the Park, Cobourg Harbour, a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was seen on the pier with a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL.
 

 

Monday, October 03: 

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY: At first, I thought the noise was coming from an approaching car on the wet pavement. Then, I realized that it was a flock of blackbirds, more than I had ever seen before in a single group. The wide column stretched for more than 2 kilometres in length and took at least an entire minute for them to pass, the spiralling column heading in a southwesterly direction. How does one estimate such numbers? 5,000? 10,000? As they passed overhead, the majority, if not all, appeared to be COMMON GRACKLES, judging from their calls. A separate flock of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS was already roosting and singing in the Big Island Marsh beside me, comprising perhaps 60-100 birds and seemed to have no interest in the passing flock. Yesterday’s sightings involved visits to three focal points for birders – Glendon Green Boat Launch at the Outlet River, South Bay, and a popular lookout spot along Salmon Point Road. At the latter location which overlooks Lake Ontario and Athol Bay, 100 BLUE JAYS flew over and other birds of note were 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 4 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, a BROWN THRASHER and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. At the boat launch across from Log Cabin Point at the headwaters of the Outlet River, seen were COMMON LOON, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, PILEATED WOODPECKER and 4 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS. And, down at South Bay, among 23 species seen there were 25 BLUE JAYS, a GREEN HERON, 1 BELTED KINGFISHER, 1 BROWN CREEPER, 1 MAGNOLIA WARBLER and a PALM WARBLER. Last evening, just as darkness was closing in, a resident at Milford had a GREAT HORNED OWL alight on a utility pole and perch there for a while. A YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER  on Luck’s Crossroad near Picton announced his arrival by crashing into a kitchen window. He lay flat on his back a couple of minutes and then took off. Other birds of interest in the backyard there were EASTERN TOWHEE, 3 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and 2 FIELD SPARROWS. 

LENNOX and ADDINGTON COUNTY
From one end of the county to the other, and in between. At Skootamatta Lake, a few birds seen there early yesterday morning were 2 COMMON LOONS, 1 BELTED KINGFISHER, 1 PILEATED WOODPECKER and a BROWN CREEPER. Down toward the other end of the county, just north of Milhaven, a BROWN CREEPER  was seen there, too. Also seen, 130 COMMON GRACKLES ( fewer than in my flock!), 2 each of SONG SPARROW and EASTERN PHOEBE, and 3 warblers – 1 NASHVILLE, 1 MAGNOLIA and a dozen YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Also yesterday, Desmond Road in the Camden East area, a juvenile YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER showed up, 2 EASTERN PHOEBES, 4 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Presqu’ile Provincial Park added to its laurels as a prime birding location by producing a whopping 83 species yesterday, beginning while it was still dark in the morning. Increasing daylight revealed 7 shorebird species, among them 3 juvenile BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 12 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 18 SANDERLINGS, 15 DUNLIN, a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER already moulting to first winter plumage, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, and a single GREATER YELLOWLEGS. On Gull Island, a NELSON'S SPARROW was singing its buzzy song from some smartweed at the east of the dry pond. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS  have been passing through for several days now, and 40 were seen on the island. Two LINCOLN’S SPARROWS, 20 SWAMP SPARROWS, a somewhat tardy SCARLET TANAGER, 3 HERMIT THRUSHES and a SWAINSON’S THRUSH  were also seen in the park. Included on the day’s checklist involving six hours of intense birding were 10 warbler species, among them a singing BLACKPOLL WARBLER near the base of Owen Point – a bit unusual to hear singing in the fall – must be autumnal recrudescence! Twenty YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS  were of interest as was an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. Other birds of interest was a PEREGRINE FALCON, 6 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, a GREEN HERON, 20 HORNED GREBES and a single PIED-BILLED GREBE. Waterfowl numbered 16 species, more along the lines of what one might encounter during the annual spring waterfowl festival. Some of the highlights were 6 MUTE SWANS, 2 TRUMPETER SWANS, 20 WOOD DUCKS, 12 GADWALL, 75 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, 6 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 45 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, 80 REDHEADS, 75 GREATER SCAUP and 20 LESSER SCAUP. Birding alone, one would imagine that he was exhausted by end of day, if only from ticking off the species on his checklist and establishing their numbers. The same birder spent a few minutes along the Presqu’ile Parkway where he found another 19 species, among them 2 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, 2 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, and an OSPREY.  At the Goodrich Loomis Conservation Area, north of Brighton, a DARK-EYED JUNCO was seen there by a Trenton resident.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
There was some hyper activity in the Kingston area yesterday with birders flitting about in at least 9 different areas throughout the day. A birder at Lake Ontario Park found a dozen species, highlights being 3 COMMON LOONS and a COOPER’S HAWK. At nearby Invista, the continuing EURASIAN WIGEON was still present, first see last month. Cataraqui Bay yielded 20 species, almost a dozen of them waterfowl, with 125 AMERICAN WIGEON, 2 NORTHERN PINTAILS, 35 GADWALL, 40 REDHEADS, 50 GREATER SCAUP, and 3 NORTHERN SHOVELERS being noteworthy. Moving right along west, Marshlands Conservation Area, birds seen there were RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, PILEATED WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH and 5 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. And down at the far end of Front Road, Lemoine Point Conservation Area, only 20 species, but among them, a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, BROWN CREEPER, 10 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, 3 GRAY CATBIRDS, and 8 and 7 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, respectively. Near the Cataraqui Cemetery, an adult female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was seen there. Moving north of Kingston, at Collins Lake Woods yesterday, 27 species seen there in the morning included 2 PILEATED WOODPECKERS, 2 HERMIT THRUSHES, GRAY CATBIRD, DARK-EYED JUNCO and an EASTERN TOWHEE. Moving right along, the Mott’s Wetland at Sydenham produced more than a dozen species, with 2 SWAMP SPARROWS, and 4 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS being birds of note there. And way up Verona way, RUBY-CROWNED and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, PALM WARBLERS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and CHIPPING SPARROWS were present there. Whew!
 

Sunday, October 02:

HASTINGS: We’ll jump all over with this evening’s Bird Report and start with the H.R. Frink Centre where this wandering BLACK BEAR was seen yesterday morning in the area of the Boardwalk. Photo by Tom Wheatley of Foxboro. The observer said the bear was small and not aggressive, and adding succinctly that the bear departed quickly, so  “it does not need to be shot dead!” Bird species seen numbered 23 and included WOOD DUCK, BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 5 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, and 2 each of GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS. Also seen, a BLACKPOLL WARBLER and and a PALM WARBLER. At the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course, no bear was seen there, but 3 WOOD DUCKS  appeared, as did this RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (photo below by Tom Wheatley of Foxboro), a NORTHERN FLICKER, 3 EASTERN PHOEBES, 7 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and a GRAY CATBIRD. Down at Belleville’s Memorial Park, 20 minutes spent there produced only a dozen species, but did include a NORTHERN CARDINAL, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and 2 CEDAR WAXWINGS. Lots of activity in Hastings County. Two hours at the Quinte Conservation Area in Quinte West beside Loyalist/Wallbridge Road yielded a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, GRAY CATBIRD, 15 CEDAR WAXWINGS, and 4 warbler species – 1 BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, 1 BLACKPOLL WARBLER, 1 BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER and 8 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. The big catch though was a late migrant SCARLET TANAGER – either a female or a male in first winter plumage. Five RUSTY BLACKBIRDS and a PURPLE FINCH were also seen. On the far east side of the city, at Airport Parkway, birds seen there included another YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (they’re everywhere right now), TENNESSEE and NASHVILLE WARBLERS, and a continuing INDIGO BUNTING.

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Nothing too alarming from Prince Edward County although I saw a RED-TAILED HAWK today at Allisonville as I was leaving a speaking engagement. Beaver Meadow Conservation Area still has pretty much the same stuff – MUTE SWANS (17 of them), CHIPPING SPARROWS, BLUE JAYS, lots of BLUE JAYS and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, with a GREATER YELLOWLEGS being a highlight. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS also present and a continuing NORTHERN HARRIER. Yesterday at Sandbanks Provincial Park, a RED-TAILED HAWK, COMMON RAVEN and a GREATER YELLOWLEGS. However, a repeat visit today, resulted in a first year PRAIRIE WARBLER being seen, something we certainly don’t see every day at Sandbanks.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
At Presqu’ile Park yesterday, some good species that turned up there were 4 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 10 SANDERLINGS, 20 DUNLIN and a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER. a MARSH WREN was also seen, as well as four warbler species – BLACK-AND-WHITE, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, YELLOW-RUMPED and BLACK-THROATED GREEN.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Two locations of interest in the Kingston – Lemoine Point Conservation Area, and Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, north of the city off Division Street. At the latter, 53 species were noted. Three hawk species – RED-TAILED, NORTHERN HARRIER and SHARP-SHINNED. The 100 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES  was not a surprising number given how they mob most visitors for handouts. Twelve WINTER WRENS was a high number. Three BROWN CREEPERS, A PILEATED WOODPECKER, 2 BLUE-HEADED VIREOS, 7 EASTERN PHOEBES ad 15 NORTHERN FLICKERS. All impressive numbers. At Lemoine Point beside the Norman Rogers Airport, some good species there too, including 11 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, 1 PALM WARBLER and an EASTERN PHOEBE.
 
DURHAM COUNTY
Lots of excitement there, centering around an ANHINGA soaring over a house in north Oshawa. The bird was approximately 300 feet up and slowly drifting southward. Just before the weekend, retired CWS biologist Chip Weseloh was observing GREAT EGRETS at Cranberry Marsh (at the east platform) and Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby, east of Toronto. Thursday evening, from about 5:50 to 6:50 p.m., there were 6 GREAT EGRETS foraging in the little bit of water that is left in Cranberry Marsh. At 6:50 p.m. all 6 egrets left the marsh, flying to the east towards Lynde Creek. He walked over to the creek (about 400m), accessing its shoreline through some heavy bush, and located the egrets (7 of them) roosting in a shallow water area, just north of the largest island in the creek at 7:00 p.m. Friday morning he arrived at the same observation point at 6:47 a.m.  and within 10 minutes noted 7 egrets in the shallow water and one in a tree on the immediate shoreline. Six of the egrets left their water roost at 7:05 and the other 2 left by 7:12. He hiked back over to Cranberry Marsh and, sure enough, all 8 egrets were there foraging in the small puddle of water. This is a wonderful example of how "closed" some of these foraging area-roosting site situations appear to be. It is not known  if the egrets that are at Cranberry in the morning stay there all day but they would, at least, appear to return by late afternoon. There are traditional egret roosts along Duffin's Creek in the Ajax Rotary Park and at the mouth of the Rouge River, a few kms to the west, and, occasionally, at Oshawa Second Marsh to the east. At Cranberry Marsh yesterday, a PEREGRINE FALCON was seen, and at Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby, a dozen species of waterfowl, among them 35 GADWALL. Also at Whitby, some attention at Thickson’s Woods where species of note there were WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, GREATER SCAUP and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.
 

 
Saturday, October 01:
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY: Birds were hopping this morning on the private Sprague/Monkman Trail at the east end of Big Island. Twenty-eight species were found on the 2.3 km groomed trail around the grasslands and the identity of many of those heard rustling around in the hedgerows were missed unfortunately. However, 8 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS  identified themselves by both sight and sound, and there were lots of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, although only 8 were seen. At one point there were four hawk species in view at the same time – 1 each of SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, MERLIN, AMERICAN KESTREL and NORTHERN HARRIER. Other good sightings were 7 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, both HAIRY and DOWNY WOODPECKERS, NORTHERN FLICKER, GREAT BLUE HERON, COMMON LOON in flight, EASTERN PHOEBE, and 1 HOUSE WREN (which should be departing in another week or two). At Prince Edward Point yesterday, volunteers at the banding station reported that the day started off a little slow but by 11:00 a.m., things had really picked up and one volunteer was extracting some 50 birds from one net lane! It was mainly YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, but there were also NORTHERN PARULA, PINE, PALM, MAGNOLIA, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, and BLACK-THROATED GREEN.  As well, there were BROWN CREEPERS, BLUE JAYS, and squadrons of TURKEY VULTURES flying past.  In the Consecon area, too, there were lots of migrants yesterday morning.  Unexpected were 12 warbler species. These included AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, as well as BLACK-THROATED GREEN, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, MAGNOLIA, YELLOW-RUMPED, TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, YELLOW, PALM and BLACKPOLL WARBLER. Worth mentioning is that the YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was by far the most common species and that the single YELLOW WARBLER was quite late (Sept. 24th is our previous latest date). Fortunately this bird was close and observed for some time so that a positive identification was possible. Other notable species were LINCOLN’S SPARROW, EASTERN TOWHEE, GRAY CATBIRD, WINTER WREN, RED-EYED VIREO, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, and EASTERN PHOEBE (which were plentiful). The drought this summer has left the Hamilton Wetland, west of Demorestville, in a shambles, with little remaining of the once vibrant wetland, except for blackened waste. However, it does seem to continue attracting GREAT EGRETS at their roost there, with 28 seen yesterday morning. Two SANDHILL CRANES  were also present. Other sightings around the County included a GREATER YELLOWLEGS at the Demorestville Conservation Area, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER along Black Road, and a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER north of Wilson Road along County Road 2 (north of Wellington).

HASTINGS COUNTY: A few scattered sightings worth reporting. East of Belleville, along Airport Parkway, species seen there this morning were YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, 3 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, and a continuing INDIGO BUNTING. Also this morning, at Belleville’s Memorial Park along the Moira River, species of note there included NORTHERN CARDINAL, SONG SPARROW, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and CEDAR WAXWING. 
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY A few things happening in Northumberland County where much of the attention, understandably, is focussed these days on Presqu’ile Park. Among the 30 species seen there yesterday, five species of shorebirds – 4 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 10 SANDERLINGS, 20 DUNLIN, and 1 BAIRD’S SANDPIPER. A MARSH WREN was still hanging about (I have even seen these tough little mites in early winter), and just a sprinkling of warblers. At Garden Hill Conservation Area, near Campbellcroft, 5 CACKLING GEESE turned up there yesterday with 270 CANADA GEESE, a resident TRUMPETER SWAN, , a NORTHERN SHOVELER and a PIED-BILLED GREBE. Of course, a MERLIN – they’re everywhere – GRAY CATBIRD and 5 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY At Lemoine Point Conservation Area yesterday in Kingston (beside Norman Rogers Airport), certainly one of my favourite areas to bird, 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were special sightings. Also RED-TAILED HAWK, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, PILEATED WOODPECKER, RED-EYED VIREO, and 2 GRAY CATBIRDS among the 30 species seen in the afternoon. Off Taylor Kidd Blvd., in the area of Princess Street, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS and 3 HOUSE FINCHES made it on a birder’s list. 
 

 
Last Updated ( Dec 04, 2016 at 09:30 PM )
Quinte Area Bird Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Dec 03, 2016 at 06:00 AM

 Downy Woodpecker. Photo by Daniel LaFranceDowny Woodpecker. Photo by Daniel LaFranceTHE QUINTE AREA BIRD REPORT


 

with sightings from the Bay of Quinte region, and beyond

 

*******

Please e-mail your sightings directly to   Terry Sprague


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


  SUNDAY, DECEMBER 04, 2016 
 
 
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
Eastern Phoebe. Photo by Ian DickinsonAn EASTERN PHOEBE  (file photo by Ian Dickinson of Belleville) that was seen today on the west side of the County, might think differently about his tardiness in migration if the weather forecast for tonight pans out. The bird was seen along the Millennium Trail north of Smoke’s Point Road near the Gardenville Marsh. In true phoebe fashion, it bobbed its tail up and down when it landed. A CAROLINA WREN can still be found on the Stinson Block with a little patience and intimate knowledge of its call notes and song. Also present today in that area were 12 CEDAR WAXWINGS, and singles of RUFFED GROUSE, BALD EAGLE,  PILEATED WOODPECKER and NORTHERN HARRIER. Five AMERICAN ROBINS were on Snider Road, just northeast of there. At Sandbanks Provincial Park today, tough going at the Lakeshore Lodge area although 16 CEDAR WAXWINGS  were seen. Another birder found a lone WHITE-WINGED SCOTER. Better luck at the Dunes Beach Day Use Area where West Lake produced 300 CANADA GEESE, 5 TUNDRA SWANS, 30 MALLARDS, 15 BUFFLEHEAD, 10 COMMON GOLDENEYE, and 20 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. At the MacDonald Day Use Area along County Road 12 at Athol Bay, 7 TURKEY VULTURES were basking in the sun on the beach. At Picton Harbour, a lone DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was hanging out with the gulls and MALLARDS.
 
HASTINGS COUNTY
The Madoc Sewage Lagoon today had a few species including a nice collection of 320 MALLARDS. A single NORTHERN PINTAIL was there, long with a couple AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and 3 GREEN-WINGED TEAL. A RED-TAILED HAWK was also seen. The Level Three drought has also affected Dead Creek at Carrying Place with only a small channel of water left, utilized this afternoon by 4 NORTHERN SHOVELERS, which included one colourful male. The feeders today at the H.R. Frink Centre hosted a FOX SPARROW. Other birds on the property today included 7 CEDAR WAXWINGS and a PURPLE FINCH.
 
FRONTENAC COUNTY
Long-eared Owl. Photo by Sydney SmithAt the Arab Lake Gorge in Frontenac Park today, a PILEATED WOODPECKER and a WINTER WREN were nice finds. Whether or not the sighting of a single COMMON REDPOLL at the Marshlands Conservation Area in Kingston is a harbinger of more of these colour boreal finches to come is uncertain, but feeder operators may want o keep checking their feeders. It was a good day there with 27 species noted, among them, both a GREAT HORNED OWL and 2 LONG-EARED OWLS (file photo by Sydney Smith). Also seen by a party of 11 birders were a BROWN CREEPER, COMMON GRACKLE, SONG SPARROW, 4 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS and 15 TUNDRA SWANS. It was also a good day for another birder who was checking out the waterfowl at Bell Island off Montreal Street when he managed to ferret out a male EURASIAN WIGEON from amongst 110 AMERICAN WIGEONS. Swimming with the 150 or so CANADA GEESE  was a single CACKLING GOOSE.  It always pays to check over flocks of anything very carefully for that one special bird. Forty NORTHERN SHOVELERS – mostly males – were there, too, as well as a GREAT BLUE HERON, 4 AMERICAN COOTS and 75 AMERICAN ROBINS. It doesn’t appear that the BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was present anywhere today in its usual spot at the Hillview Pond at Collin’s Bay, but a BELTED KINGFISHER  did put in an appearance today. Thirteen waterfowl species were noted today at Cataraqui Bay with GREATER SCAUP hitting the 1400 mark at what was entered in eBird as an “accurate estimate”. Is that not an oxymoron? Also in high numbers were REDHEADS  at 260.
 
NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY
Some good sightings at Presqu’ile Park today during three hours of birding. Among the more noteworthy were 4 SNOW BUNTINGS, 1 PURPLE SANDPIPER (had been 3 at one point), a PEREGRINE FALCON, 1 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, 6 AMERICAN COOTS and a lingering  DUNLIN. At Cobourg Harbour, species of interest there were 54 BONAPARTE'S GULLS, 130 RING-BILLED GULLS, and 45 HERRING GULLS. Just on the east side of Port Hope, a species we seldom see during the winter months – a juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was seen flying over.
 
OTHER NEWS
The now famous CRESTED CARACARA made his scheduled appearance today at 8:40 a.m. It was perched in the top of a spruce tree at the intersection of Whitney Ave and Superior Street.

 
 

 
 
To see previous posts of the Quinte Area Bird Report for the past three months,

 

 

 

Last Updated ( Dec 04, 2016 at 09:27 PM )
Picton Farm Supply PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Dec 02, 2016 at 06:00 AM

PICTON FARM SUPPLY

(contact information at bottom of page) 

* Updated Saturday, December 02, 2016 *

 



Picton Farm Supply - where good prices, excellent selection and customer service have always been our motto  

Please scroll down to see some specials and featured items!



 

Bryce Cronk. Photo by Terry SpragueYou can go into almost any store these days and pick up a bar of rendered suet for birds. But if you want a peanut butter suet cake, or a fruit and nut, or raisin crunch, or for those slow days at the bird feeder - high energy suet bars, then you have to go to Picton Farm Supply. It is about the first thing you see upon entering the store at 179 Talbot Street, just on the northern outskirts of town. Tray upon tray of suet cakes - a variety enough to rival the racks of chocolate bars at the local convenience store.

Picton Farm Supply celebrated its 25th year in business in 2012. For a facility that one would expect to spend more time concentrating its attention to feed mixes and agricultural supplies for local farmers, one might think that stocking supplies for birders would be a low priority. However, owner, Bryce Cronk, saw the exploding interest in birds, and especially bird feeding, years ago. Birding is North America’s second most popular hobby, and Bryce was determined to get in on the ground floor. The gamble paid off. There is no other location in Prince Edward County that stocks as many condiments for birds and birders as Picton Farm Supply.

Store displayOnce your eyes begin to travel beyond the trays of suet cakes, you soon begin to appreciate the burgeoning popularity of birds. Tucked in a corner of the store beyond the work clothes, halters, bag balm and treatments for mastitis, are bird feeders - at least a hundred of them - from basic garden variety models to the creme de la creme of bird feeders, the Droll Yankees. Although bird feeders are available in Picton in hardware stores, and even supermarkets, Bryce is an exclusive dealer in the Picton area for this popular line of feeders, so well built, they are guaranteed for a lifetime.

However, it is the bird feed that has made Picton Farm Supply the county’s first choice when seeking out locations from which to purchase feed. Bryce carefully and attentively listens to his customers when deciding on a formula for his premium mixes, and takes a dim view of so-called budget feeds. Bryce knows that people do not feed birds because they have to, but feed birds because they are eager to have the best variety of birdlife they can around their homes. "It doesn’t make sense to offer a budget feed if you want something better than budget birds at your feeders." Bryce listened to his customers, did his homework and came up with a mix that is not only black with sunflower seed - both black oil seed and large striped seed - but all the necessary ingredients, including peanuts, to attract a colourful clientele.

Quantity is no object. If you are just starting out with a bird feeder and want to experiment with just a small plastic bag of mixed feed, that can be arranged as he will sell you whatever amount you want. If you multi-task Bryce Cronkwith many feeders, he will sell you the jumbo bag, weighing in at a hefty 66 pounds. All ingredients in his popular mix can be purchased separately as well, including the option of buying bags of shelled peanuts or peanuts in the shell, or Nyjer seed. You can purchase a small bag of peanuts so small as to fit in your hand or a large bag that may require shuffling a few things around in your trunk, just to get it in. 

With summer feeding now as popular as winter feeding, Bryce says he now sells many tons of bird feed a year. "I think we actually sell more feed in the summer than we do in the winter," he laughs.

The importance of offering high quality mixed feed at our feeders, free from fillers and questionable seeds, cannot be emphasized enough. Disappearing are the days when we seek out budget feeds from big box stores that need to move their product quickly, and have no expertise in dealing with today’s sophisticated bird conscious public. Bird feeding is big business today, and serious birders take their hobby seriously. Bryce Cronk and his staff at Picton Farm Supply enjoy nothing more than swapping stories and discussing your needs.


PICTON FARM SUPPLY'S BIRD FOOD SELECTIONS !!


  • Black Oil Sunflower Seed (50 lb.)  $22.95  
  • Striped Sunflower Seed (50 lb.)    $22.95
  • Sunflower chips (50 lb.)                $51.95
  • Safflower Seed (50 lb.)                  $38.75
  • Deluxe Mixed Bird Feed (18 kg)    $22.95
  • Deluxe Mixed Bird Feed (25 kg)    $29.95
  • White Millet (50 lb.)                       $17.40
  • Peanuts, in shell (50 lb.)               $71.95
  • Peanuts, out of shell, (50 lb)         $41.50         

These are already bagged up and ready to go! However, smaller quantities are available in whatever amount you need. Be sure to look over their ever increasing variety of bird feeders, suet cakes (less expensive if you buy 12!), and all kinds of accessories to increase your enjoyment of the winter bird feeding season.


 BRAND NEW SHIPMENT OF BIRD FEEDERS!!! 

 

Drop in to Picton Farm Supply and see our new shipment of bird feeders, just arrived, for this coming winter! Sunflower seed feeders, nyjer feeders, unique shapes and sizes, even a three-in-one feeder in which you can offer a variety of seeds. There is no hard and fast rule as to which feeder is appropriate. Mostly it is a personal choice. The best method is to never depend on just a single feeder. Purchase a variety of feeders and place them at various locations around your yard. Then sit back and enjoy the show as birds arbitrarily decide which feeder they will frequent today. Remember - we don't feed birds because they NEED us; we feed birds because we want to see them around our premises, and there is nothing wrong with that. Except for days when there is heavy snow cover, or following a sleet storm, birds don't really need us (we need them!). Birds have been birds for thousands of years and they regard our offerings as nothing more than another stop in many that they make in the course of a day. Bird feeding is just downright fun, so come into Picton Farm Supply and pick out the feeder that appeals to you the most. And, don't forget - the secret to success is staying away from so-called budget feeds that are sold at big box stores. They are cheaper because these stores are interested only in capitalizing on a popular hobby, and moving product. At Picton Farm Supply, we listen to the customer, and offer a quality product that birds will consume with little to no waste. Just have a look at our premium mixed feed and you will note that it is black with sunflower seed, both striped and black oil. To attract a good variety of winter birds, you need to offer a quality product and we have that at Picton Farm Supply. Come in today and see for yourself and don't forget to include one or more of our new feeders.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 

















 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 PET SUPPLIES

Give your dog a pig's ear today! Look for the box of these natural dehydrated treats that dogs love in a cardboard box as soon as you walk in the front door. Only $1.25 each. We also stock an entire complement of Hartz pet care products, including Flea and Tick Spray, flea powder for cats, as well as collars, leashes, toys and pet food. We haven't forgotten your larger pets either. During the fly season we offer both equine and cattle fly sprays.

Pets bring us so much joy into our lives. Whether you are protecting them, feeding them or just having fun with them, Picton Farm Supply is the place to go for a wide variety of supplies for your special pets.  

 

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 We Stock The Whole Family of Squirrel Buster Feeders !

Mini:  $34.95

Peanut:  $71.95

Finch/Nyjer:  $71.95

Classic:  $71.95

Plus:  $112.95

Standard: $40.95 (photo on right)

 

Squirrel Buster Plus

Squirrel Buster Classic

Squirrel Buster Finch

Squirrel Buster Peanut

Squirrel Buster Mini


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Picton Farm Supply's wild bird feed and sunflower seed is also available at The County Depot, located at the corner of Highway 33 and Salem Road, at Consecon. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Phone 613-394-5818

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Picton Farm Supply

179 Talbot Street

R.R. # 8,

Picton Ontario

K0K 2T0

Phone 613-476-7507

NEW to Picton Farm Supply - we have an email address and would love to respond to any questions regarding the feeders we have in stock, feeders we are able to order, etc.  Feel free to email us at    with any questions you may have


Last Updated ( Dec 02, 2016 at 05:18 PM )
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December 5, 2016 1:31 pm