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Jul 21, 2017 at 03:00 AM

 Cedar Waxwing. Photo by Danield LaFranceCedar Waxwing. 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.  


  SATURDAY, JULY 15 - FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2017 
Certainly this past week proved that despite the commonly held belief that bird activity is at its lowest ebb this month and there is nothing of interest to see until the fall migration rolls around, there is actually plenty to see in the way of birds. Part of the reason could be the somewhat cooler temperatures for this time of year prompting some birds to break out into song that would otherwise be quiet. Also, the “fall” migration is, in fact, underway, evident by several species of adult shorebirds that began appearing en masse this week. Since Prince Edward County had the most action this past week, we will start there with both accompanying photos taken by Cecile and Morris Yarrow of Demorestville who seldom let a day go by when they aren’t out tracking down the latest birds to appear.
Northern Shoveler. Photo contributed by Cecile & Moris YarrowThe flooded agricultural fields on Huff’s Island Road, south of Belleville, continue to produce a variety of wetland birds and other species.  Early this week, there were 4 BLUE-WINGED TEAL, 2 WOOD DUCKS, 1 NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREAT EGRET, SORA, 7 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 4 WILSON’S SNIPE, 5 LESSER YELLOWLEGS. A nice sighting given the noticeable decline in swallow numbers in recent years was the sight of 50 TREE SWALLOWS. Proving there is strength in numbers, many of the swallows were chasing a MERLIN which made an error by trespassing into their air space. This must be the first  first mid-July in history when one has been able to count species of birds instead of rows of corn at the Kaiser Crossroad flooded agricultural fields. Last Friday, 25 species present there included an AMERICAN WIGEON, 13 MALLARDS, NORTHERN SHOVELER, a PIED-BILLED GREBE, 10 GREAT EGRETS, one of which was watching over this flock of 28 CASPIAN TERNS (photo below). As at Huff’s Island, a trespassing MERLIN here wasn’t made welcome either and was seen being chased by swallows. Also present at Kaiser Crossroad were 8 KILLDEER, and one each of SOLITARY SANDPIPER and WILSON’S SNIPE. Other areas in the County were also reaping good numbers of wetland birds, namely the Lighthall Wetland along the County’s South Shore IBA. During a survey conducted on Tuesday, some 30 species were tallied, among them GREEN-WINGED TEAL, WOOD DUCKS, LEAST BITTERN, an amazing 24 MARSH WRENS and a roosting flock of 60 TREE SWALLOWS. Also seen there were COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SWAMP SPARROWS and COMMON GALLINULE. A COMMON GALLINULE was also sitting pretty in Consecon Lake beside the Millennium Trail causeway yesterday where at least 2 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS were calling and a distant SCARLET TANAGER. CASPIAN TERNS, GREEN HERON, COMMON LOONS, BLACK TERNS, 15 WARBLING VIREOS, 20 BARN SWALLOWS, INDIGO BUNTING and 4 EASTERN KINGBIRDS were among the almost 40 species checked off during our 1 km trek to the site. Oh – almost forgot – at least 350 MUTE SWANS congregated in the section of Consecon Lake west of the trail. I don’t know, we stopped counting at 275 and they just kept floating into view, so we took what we had and added a few variables and unknowns and decided our figure would be a conservative 350. By comparison, the Hamilton Wetland west of Demorestville has been disappointing with only a handful of GREAT EGRETS present most days, perhaps a yellowlegs, or two, although a REDHEAD  did show up on the 18th. South Bay this week had COMMON LOON, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, RED-TAILED HAWK, and BELTED KINGFISHER. Along Snider Road off Victoria Road in the west part of the County, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, RED-EYED VIREO, 2 GRAY CATBIRDS, 3 FIELD SPARROWS and 2 YELLOW WARBLERS were birds of note on the 18th, while north of Wellington, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, CEDAR WAXWING, 7 ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, PILEATED WOODPECKER and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER were species noted just north of Wilson Road. As of mid-week, hay fields along Jackson`s Falls Road had not been harvested, translating into a flock of happy BOBOLINKS this week, 30 of them. Miscellaneous sightings through the week included a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO seen at the start of the Woodland Trail near the Main Gate parking lot at Sandbanks Park, 22 CHIMNEY SWIFTS entering chimneys in Picton one evening, and a GRAY CATBIRD on Black Road who knows a good thing when he sees it – an offering of grape jelly at a residence there west of Demorestville.
If you have never before seen a LEAST BITTERN, this week would have been the perfect week to take a shot at it at the H.R. Frink Centre north of Belleville. Two LEAST BITTERNS perched on the boardwalk railings for four consecutive days during the week. Also present at the conservation area were 2 VIRGINIA RAILS, ALDER FLYCATCHER, 2 MARSH WRENS, WOOD THRUSH, and OVENBIRD. Three EASTERN BLUEBIRDS  were at Tremur Lake this week, and another was at the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course nest boxes along Highway 37.  VESPER SPARROW and INDIGO BUNTING  were seen at Bronk Road and Harmony Road, and 2 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS were at Bronk Road hydro wires site. A WILSON’S SNIPE and 6 GREAT BLUE HERONS were sighted at the Harmony Road Wetland. At the Lion`s Park in Belleville, 2 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS have been seen this past week. Birds of note at Foxboro this week were GRAY CATBIRD, CEDAR WAXWING, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, and INDIGO BUNTING.  Over at Twelve O`Clock Point at Carrying Place, a LEAST BITTERN was seen in flight across marsh on south side of the Murray Canal, and 3 GREAT EGRETS, a GREEN HERON, 22 CASPIAN TERNS, MERLIN and a VEERY also put in appearances this week.
Two days ago, 3 LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES were seen on Nugent Road, and 16 BLACK TERNS and 9 COMMON LOONS were at at Camden Lake. Wednesday, a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD showed up along County Road 11 (Bridge Street) just east of Deseronto Road, and at Camden Lake on Wednesday, five COMMON LOONS including 2 juveniles and four 4 CASPIAN TERNS were highlights. At the Napanee Limestone Plains IBA, AMERICAN KESTREL, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, RED-EYED VIREO, and 7 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS were noteworthy sightings on the 19th. while at Sheffield Conservation Area yesterday, a COMMON LOON was seen, along with 14 RED-EYED VIREOS, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, VEERY, 2 GRAY CATBIRDS, 8 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, 2 CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS, 6 EASTERN TOWHEES and a SCARLET TANAGER. Over at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons on Wednesday, noteworthy sightings there included 2 GADWALL, PIED-BILLED GREBE, RED-TAILED HAWK, MARSH WREN, GRAY CATBIRD, AMERICAN REDSTART, 6 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS.
Great Egret watching over Caspian Terns. Photo contributed by Cecile and Morris YarrowCobourg Harbour last Friday produced 2 SANDERLINGS as the shorebird migration gets into full swing for another fall season. Also present were 25 CASPIAN TERNS, 5 COMMON TERNS, and a GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. While I have never found Ferris Provincial Park at Campbellford to be a prime birding location, it can produce a few nice birds. During the week SCARLET TANAGER, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, RED-EYED VIREO, OVENBIRD, EASTERN TOWHEES, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, and INDIGO BUNTING were observed. At Presquìle Park, 3 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS  were seen in the area of the Parkway, and last Sunday, a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, a moulting bird - maybe first summer to adult – was spotted flying north over the Y junction which was a bit unusual. The tail had banding similar to  an adult but the wings were in moult, although the crescent was visible. Beach 3 has become a nice little lagoon attractive to migrating shorebirds. Through the week, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, 3 KILLDEER, 4 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 3 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, 1 SOLITARY SANDPIPER, 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and 20 LESSER YELLOWLEGS were among the shorebirds present, in addition to 2000 RING-BILLED GULLS, 8 COMMON TERNS, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, 20 RED-EYED VIREOS, 5 NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, and 9 ORCHARD ORIOLES (2 family groups together). On July 17th, 2 each of STILT SANDPIPER (still present on 19th) and SANDERLING, 2 LEAST, 1 PECTORAL, 37 LESSER and 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 2 WILSON’S PHALAROPES were tallied. Also 55 CASPIAN TERNS. The full Presqu’ile Bird Report, compiled by Fred Helleiner, for the past week has been uploaded to the NatureStuff website and can be found by CLICKING HERE.
The Quinte Area Bird Report will be updated on Friday, July 28.
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Last Updated ( Jul 21, 2017 at 10:57 PM )
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July 26, 2017 6:41 pm