March 1 to July 30 - 1998

Grenadier Pond - July 29

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on July 30, 1998 at 20:02:40:

This morning at the north end of Grenadier Pond there were 7 shorebirds species: Lesser and Greater Yellowledgs, Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, and Killdeer. This is a much greater variety than I've seen here in past years.

I was also fortunate to see two Virginia Rails at the same spot. An immature walked along the shore less than 2 metres in front of me, and later I saw an adult run out from the cattails and bathe in a puddle between a log and the mudflats.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Humber Bay update - July 27

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on July 27, 1998 at 21:10:55:

The pace of construction at Humber Bay East has really picked up. Including dump trucks, there were at least a dozen pieces of machinery busy on the north shore this afternoon.

Somewhat surprisingly, the bird life has not been noticeably affected (yet). The male (Lesser?) Scaup which was in the Feeding Bay in early July is still there, and has been joined by a second one. Similarly, at least two of the female Common Goldeneyes are still around in the second bay east of the parking lot. Another positive sign was the 16 Caspian Terns in the Mimico Creek delta. There was also a Warbling Vireo stubbornly singing in the tree next to the construction entrance.

The Cormorants and the gulls (including a few Greater Black-backed) have really taken to the island east of the Feeding Bay, as well as the rocky north shore between there and the Humber River. It might be worth watching this area for rare gulls in the fall and winter.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Quinte Area Bird Report - July 26/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on July 26, 1998 at 21:05:58:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, July 26, 1998

There are signs of autumn about as TREE SWALLOWS begin gathering on the hydro wires around the Quinte area. On Tuesday there were fully 3,000 swallows on the wires along South Shore Road, Big Island, according to one observer from Belleville who arrived mid-morning. Many were in flight, he said, while others were on the wires and basking in the sun on the road. Other signs of autumn can be found at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons. The northwest pond on Thursday had 2 STILT SANDPIPERS, 25 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 20 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 10 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, 8 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, 2 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS along with SPOTTED SANDPIPER and KILLDEER. There were also 5 NORTHERN SHOVELERS and several MALLARD and GADWALL.

At least one of the LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES that presumably nested at a location in Ameliasburgh Township, south of Rednersville is still about. At 2:40 p.m. that day, one adult Loggerhead was hunting both sides of the road in the same area as usual.

Birders Albert Boisvert of Trenton and Sid Hadlington of Midland had a pretty good day of birding in Prince Edward County yesterday (Saturday). They explored some good birding habitat, covering Mowbray, Miller, Crowe, Mapul Layn and Reserve Army Roads to the dam near Charwell Point and on to Prince Edward Point. Included in their list of birds were 4 RED-TAILED HAWKS, about a dozen WILD TURKEYS, 3 BROWN THRASHERS, GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL, CASPIAN TERN, COMMON NIGHTHAWK, AMERICAN REDSTART, INDIGO BUNTINGS GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS and 10 EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. Not bad going for this time of year.

There is still plenty of activity at Quinte Conservation Area in Quinte West, west of Belleville. There have been the young and adults of both ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and BALTIMORE ORIOLES about, with FIELD SPARROW, EASTERN TOWHEE, RED-EYED VIREO, WARBLING VIREO, CEDAR WAXWING, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and BROWN THRASHER as species that can be depended on during any trek along the trails. Quinte Conservation Area is an excellent spot to visit whatever one's interests. Last month, several staff members discovered an EASTERN HOGNOSE SNAKE, an uncommon species in this part of eastern Ontario.

Quinte Conservation has just released it's schedule of day-long field trips as part of their "Quinte Fall Splendour" program of events. Destinations this fall include Depot Lakes Conservation Area ( 1 canoe trip and 1 hike), Menzel Nature Reserve, Sandbanks Provincial Park and a kayaking/paddling course and tour on the Moira River. Details can be obtained by e-mailing tsprague@bel.auracom.com

This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 02. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail your sightings to tsprague@limestone.kosone.com .

Re: CEDAR WAXWINGS AT MARIE CURTIS PARK???

Posted by Mike Boyd on July 22, 1998 at 14:22:10:

In Reply to: Re: CEDAR WAXWINGS AT MARIE CURTIS PARK??? posted by Jim Heffernan on July 19, 1998 at 17:51:07:

Hi, I thought I would also say thatI have seen a lot of Cedar Waxwings this summer, maybe more than usual, but this could be the fact I haven't birdwatched much during past summers. But, usually when I go out I see at least 30, usually in flocks of 3-5 though.

Mike

High Park - July 20

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on July 20, 1998 at 21:20:11:

At the mudflats near the north end of Grenadier Pond this morning I saw 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 5 Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 Solitary Sandpipers, 4 Spotted Sandpipers and 2 Killdeer. I noticed that there has been quite a bit of rehabilitation work done in this area since I last passed by in early June. It appears that the changes have been good for the shorebirds - it's not often I've seen this many in this spot, especially so early in the season.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Re: Pigeons

Posted by Richard on July 19, 1998 at 22:30:37:

In Reply to: Re: Pigeons posted by Jerry J. on June 04, 1998 at 23:12:57:

A friend of mine without the net had a pigeon(?) com to their home in Kincardine. It was stunned and after getting some food and water, will not leave. It has a tag on it's leg. What should they do? Is someone missing a pet?

Cockatiel (?) at Bluffers Park

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on July 19, 1998 at 21:47:57:

This evening I visited Bluffers Park and found an exotic bird sitting on the wide dirt path leading east from the easternmost parking lot. The bird was roughly 50 metres east of the parking lot. It was roughly the size of a Blue Jay, and was generally gray, except for a bold yellow crest, orange-red cheeks, and some white on the wings. I can only imagine that this is an escaped cage bird. It was quite tame, and appeared to also be very tired/weak - I doubt it will find much food down there.

Among the native birds in the area were several Common Terns, 2 Caspian Terns, a handful of Cedar Waxwings, and 5 Black-crowned Night Herons.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Quinte Area Bird Report - July 19/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on July 19, 1998 at 20:56:55:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, July 19, 1998

A two-hour canoe trip around Fish Lake east of Demorestville on Thursday produced a few interesting sightings. Wildlife Artist Mia Lane, from whose property we launched our canoe, had ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, HOUSE WREN, WOOD PEWEE and RED-EYED VIREO singing from her wooded yard. The lake itself produced GREAT BLUE HERON, COMMON MOORHEN, several COMMON LOONS, TREE SWALLOWS, MARSH WREN, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and SWAMP SPARROW. The swamp at Demorestville Creek which drains Fish Lake had GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, WOOD PEWEE, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, RED-EYED VIREO, DOWNY WOODPECKER, SWAMP SPARROW. Other birds seen along the shoreline included EASTERN KINGBIRD, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO, NORTHERN HARRIER, TURKEY VULTURE, GRAY CATBIRD and a family of BELTED KINGFISHERS. As a footnote, this report congratulates Mia Lane for being this year's recipient of "Art In the County's" People's Choice Award for one of her recent pieces. Mia moved to Prince Edward County from Adolphustown in 1996.

There was a RED-TAILED HAWK near Richardson's Campground at Sandbanks Provincial Park on Monday, along with a KESTREL east of the campground entrance, and a NORTHERN HARRIER coursing to and from over a nearby meadow, all raptors seen within a few hundred yards of each other. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, PILEATED WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, WOOD THRUSH and VEERY were also heard calling from the same location. Several WILD TURKEYS were also in the area.

An immature BALD EAGLE was seen just east of Coe Hill on Friday, and at Ivanhoe there were several TURKEY VULTURES circling above Highway 62. O'Hara Mill Conservation Area at Madoc had OVENBIRD, WOOD THRUSH, VEERY, RED-EYED VIREO, and RUFFED GROUSE today. During a guided hike along one of the trails during today's O'Hara Mill Pioneer Village Family Day, a pair of EASTERN KINGBIRDS was seen pursuing a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK.

The Amherstview Sewage Lagoons this week had 3 WILSON'S PHALAROPES, 35 LESSER YELLOWLEGS, several GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and a number of LEAST and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS. In contrast, Presqu'ile Provincial Park beaches were unusually poor on Wednesday, according to the Kingston Field Naturalists bird hotline, with only KILLDEER, SPOTTED SANDPIPERS and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER present. A pair of nesting BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS was found near the lighthouse.

The numerous reports of NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS around Prince Edward County appear to have subsided for now, although the individuals behind the fire hall at Stella, on Amherst Island, are still present.

This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 26th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Willowdale bird sightings

Posted by Leslie Kinrys on July 19, 1998 at 19:44:09:

Recently, it has been really quiet in our neighbourhood (Finch-Bathurst). But today it was "bird city." A Flicker was eating berries off one of our bushes and chasing away any young Robins that got in its way. The Grackles have discovered my birdfeeder and are chasing away the Sparrows and Mourning Doves. A Red-Winged Blackbird (male) also checked out the feeder. There were female Baltimore Orioles and a male Downy Woodpecker in our birch tree.

Leslie

Re: CEDAR WAXWINGS AT MARIE CURTIS PARK???

Posted by Jim Heffernan on July 19, 1998 at 17:51:07:

In Reply to: Re: CEDAR WAXWINGS AT MARIE CURTIS PARK??? posted by Marcel Gahbauer on July 18, 1998 at 20:57:35:

I agree with Marcel. Cedar Waxwings are not a rarity in the Toronto area.

I live up in Maple (think Canada's Wonderland) and have seen a few flocks this summer, although not recently. I have heard them more often than I've seen them. The area in which I live contains many mature maples and other native species. I believe I have seen them in the maples while they were in flower.

However, waxwings in general are social birds that will roam in search of food. Here today, gone tomorrow.

I'm certain I'll yet see more of them in my back yard this summer.

Re: CEDAR WAXWINGS AT MARIE CURTIS PARK???

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on July 18, 1998 at 20:57:35:

In Reply to: CEDAR WAXWINGS AT MARIE CURTIS PARK??? posted by JEAN-FRANCOIS HIC on July 17, 1998 at 22:17:49:

I haven't seen any at that location, but that's probably just because I don't go there much. Cedar Waxwings are actually not at all uncommon in the Toronto area in summer. They can be found in many of the larger parks, and tend to become more conspicuous as the season progresses. Recently I've seen them in several places along the Scarborough bluffs, so it is not at all surprising that they are also to be found further west along the lakeshore.

CEDAR WAXWINGS AT MARIE CURTIS PARK???

Posted by JEAN-FRANCOIS HIC on July 17, 1998 at 22:17:49:

Dears birders,

I think I saw 2 cedar waxwings at Marie Curtis. Was I dreaming? Has anybody else seen any in the vicinity???

Re: Un-identified Warbler

Posted by craig mclauchlan on July 15, 1998 at 07:45:29:

In Reply to: Re: Un-identified Warbler posted by John Miles on July 11, 1998 at 08:04:58:

I have jist gone over my records for the Toronto Iland for Palm Warbler for this spring and on April 29 98 I hade 1 mall Yellow Palm race (seen agane on may 2 98) than on May 3 98 I had 12 Palm Warbler including the Eastern race.I am in agremnt that your discripshon is of a Palm Warbler.All so you have found one of the best areas to bird in the spring (in the G.T.A) next to the Lesly St Spit for warblers and other migrents.

CRAIG

Quinte Area Birding Report - July 12/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on July 12, 1998 at 20:28:29:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, July 12, 1998

Not a whole lot of interesting stuff around this past week, although given the weather, one would expect to see flocks of ducks. On Tuesday, portions of Prince Edward County experienced a flash flood when up to four inches of rain fell in one hour. Creeks in Picton overflowed their banks, driveways were washed out and at Crofton a section of County Road 14 was flooded with several inches of water for several hours. Our front lawn, normally occupied by killdeer at this time of the year had several MALLARDS swimming happily about, and RING-BILLED GULLS milling around on the higher spots.

Elsewhere more normal birding continues with CLAY-COLOURED SPARROWS still being heard on Ostrander Road, off Babylon Road west of Prince Edward Point. The abundance of water this summer has also produced a number of GREAT BLUE HERON sightings in areas that would normally be dried up at this time of the year. A GREEN HERON was seen yesterday at Sandbanks, along with RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, WOOD THRUSH, VEERY, RED-EYED VIREO and WARBLING VIREO. MUTE SWANS continue to be reported from several lakes in the area, but it has been difficult to get a fix on who has been nesting where. MUTE SWANS with young have been seen, however, at Consecon Lake, Pleasant Bay and West Lake.

Although well out of the Quinte area, Bob's Lake, about 19 km west of Parham has a pair of YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS, according to Monty Brigham who e-mailed me with the information last week. He saw the pair on Tuesday, and indications are that the pair will remain for the breeding season. This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 19th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Quinte Area Birding Report - July 5/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on July 12, 1998 at 20:27:16:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, July 05, 1998

Wednesday produced a fair number of birds on the western shore of Prince Edward County. A pair of NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS that presumably nested at North Beach Provincial Park, could not be found, but there were plenty of CHIPPING SPARROWS, GRAY CATBIRDS, TREE SWALLOWS, SONG SPARROWS and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH about. A pair of EASTERN KINGBIRDS was found nesting in a roadside apple tree.

Pleasant Bay had at least 5 COMMON LOONS, one pair with two young. There were also GREAT BLUE HERON, MUTE SWAN, MALLARDS, and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. Huyck's Bay had little to offer although DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were passing over almost continuously.

There are also MUTE SWANS, many that nested this summer, in Huyck's Bay, Consecon Lake, East Lake and West Lake. Four were seen in flight off Scotch Bonnet Island on Friday. A SANDHILL CRANE turned up on Wednesday near South Bay. CLAY-COLOURED SPARROWS can be found near the far end of Ostrander Road, just off Babylon Road, west of Prince Edward Point. A LEAST SANDPIPER turned up at Wellington Beach Friday, but to date, not much in the way of shorebirds in Prince Edward County.

The best sighting this past week was a pair of LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES with young in Ameliasburgh Township. The exact location is not being revealed, but the site is being monitored.

Naylor's Common at Marmora on Thursday had lots of good stuff including BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, REDSTART, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, WOOD THRUSH, RED-EYED VIREO, SORA, LEAST BITTERN and an entire family of RUFFED GROUSE. The Marmora Mine, although at first glance just a 750-foot deep hole in the ground, is always a good spot for birding. The quarry itself had nesting EASTERN PHOEBE, ROCK DOVE and ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW. In the adjacent shrubs and trees, there were GRAY CATBIRD, KESTREL, BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE. An OSPREY nest on a pole on the far side of the mine did not appear to be occupied.

The Amherst Sewage Lagoons, had a STILT SANDPIPER on Wednesday, along with about 25 LESSER YELLOWLEGS and 40 LEAST SANDPIPERS. Amherst Island still has the NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD near the Stella fire station.

Although well out of what I have defined as the Quinte area for the purpose of this report, Second Depot Lake, north of Verona, had plenty of bird song Friday morning when I stopped in. Both VEERY and RED-EYED VIREO were singing within the campground, and there were vestiges of song from BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. Also calling were YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, WOOD PEWEE and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT

An interesting sighting last week involved an AMERICAN BITTERN being pursued and harassed by an EASTERN KINGBIRD on South Shore Road, Big Island. The bittern was first seen coming out of the marsh about 100 metres from the road, with the kingbird actually attached by its feet to the back of the bittern, wings held in an upright position in an effort to maintain balance, the bird constantly pecking at the bittern's neck. The bittern continued across the road unaffected by its passenger for another 50 metres with the kingbird releasing its hold and flying away.

This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 12th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

16 Mile Creek in Oakville

Posted by Mike Boyd on July 11, 1998 at 14:21:34:

Dear Fellow Birders

Hi, I walked down the 16 Mile Creek yesterday from Lower Base Line to Upper Middle Road. The best bird yesterday was a male and female Red-Bellied Woodpecker at Lower Base and 16 Mile, I regret I didn't stay long enough to see if they were nesting, but I did see the male feeding the female. They were on the north side of the road, they were originally in the dead tree on the other side of the river, but the male flew up stream and the female flew into the forest on the east side. Just down stream a bit I found a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers. The other good bird was a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo at Lyons Valley Park which is where the 16 Mile passes under Hwy. 5. The best section was north of Hwy. 5 where I found 2 Cooper's Hawks, a Sharp-Shin, of course lots of Yellow Warblers and Yellowthroats, but also a couple of Mourning Warblers and Redstarts, there were also Gnatcatchers, many Orioles and Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, Field Sparrow, Indigo Buntings, Red-Eyed Vireo, Catbirds, a lot of Waxwings!, 2 Wood Thrushes, many House Wrens, Rough-Winged and Bank Swallow, Great-Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Pewees, Solitary Sandpipers (already coming back!), and Spotted Sandpipers including one baby, just a little fluff ball. South of Hwy. 5 there was pretty much the same birds but less of them, except for House Wrens which were all over the place, there was also a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Alder Flycatcher, and a Scarlet Tanager.

Mike

Re: Un-identified Warbler

Posted by John Miles on July 11, 1998 at 08:04:58:

In Reply to: Un-identified Warbler posted by John Howell on July 10, 1998 at 15:15:57:

From the underneath the yellow throat and vent area with a pumping tail are typical field markings for a Palm Warbler. The belly if lighter than the throat and vent area would make it the "Western Palm" race while if the belly was yellow with no contrast in colour between the throat and vent area would make it the eastern "Yellow Palm" race which is normally found from Quebec east.

Un-identified Warbler

Posted by John Howell on July 10, 1998 at 15:15:57:

Can anyone help,

Although, being from the U.K. I have little experience of North American Warblers, I think I managed to identify all the ones I saw on a recent short bird-watching holiday to Toronto. All except one, that is. This was a fairly plain looking Warbler seen feeding fairly high up in the trees on the Toronto Islands (near Hanlan's Point).Obvious features however were a yellow vent and yellow under its throat, and it also persistently pumped it's tail. The date was May 4th. I know these details are fairly sketchy, but maybe there is someone who can shed some light. I know it was more than 2 months ago, but I have only just got on to the internet!

John Howell.

Re: Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on July 10, 1998 at 10:44:08:

In Reply to: Re: Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte posted by Gavin Edmondstone on July 08, 1998 at 19:58:37:

All three Red-necked Grebe chicks were seen this morning. The older two are approaching adult size but have no adult feathers yet. The youngest is still quite tiny but is getting some food.

Re: Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on July 08, 1998 at 19:58:37:

In Reply to: Re: Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte posted by Gavin Edmondstone on July 05, 1998 at 20:50:00:

The youngest chick is alive and well as of today.

Re: Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on July 05, 1998 at 20:50:00:

In Reply to: Re: Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte posted by Nick Avery on July 05, 1998 at 18:03:53:

A disadvantage is that the older siblings always get first crack at the food. I have yet to see the youngest chick get a fish and the little bird is getting frustrated.

This morning 2 Common Loons flew by.

Re: Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte

Posted by Nick Avery on July 05, 1998 at 18:03:53:

In Reply to: Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte posted by Gavin Edmondstone on July 03, 1998 at 21:17:45:

This morning the new chick was on the back of the adult on the nest. The adult decided it was time for a rest and got off the nest and dumped the chick into the water. The chick promply got onto the back of one of the older chicks.

They floated arround happily for 15 minutes or so. The advantage of having a big sibling!

Nick

Re: Help on what kind of bird did I see

Posted by John MIles on July 05, 1998 at 09:08:00:

In Reply to: Help on what kind of bird did I see posted by BernC on July 05, 1998 at 08:38:50:

What you are describing sounds very much like a Common Nighthawk. They are ground nesters and do have the white patch on the wings. Your size seems a little small as Common Nighthawks are more the size of a kestrel.

Help on what kind of bird did I see

Posted by BernC on July 05, 1998 at 08:38:50:

Hi everybody!!!

I was on a canoe trip last weekend north of Long Lake in Norfork County (North of Peterborough). The bird that I saw had the grace and shape of a Swallow but was big as a Blue Jay, but it streaked the sky like a little Hawk. The only markings that were noticable from below were a white 1-2" white bands on each wings were located at the joint. I was able to sight the ground nest, and they eggs were very similiar to a Quail eggs in size, colour and shape.

This was the first time seeing anything like this bird.

Thanks you in Advance for any insight!!!

BernC

Re: Humber Bay - July 2

Posted by Ian on July 04, 1998 at 00:47:35:

In Reply to: Humber Bay - July 2 posted by Marcel Gahbauer on July 03, 1998 at 08:24:19:

Whenever I've been down there birding in the past few months I've just refered to it as `That ugly scar on the shoreline'. I saw my first Harlequin duck in that bay two winters ago. Such a loss of habitat. Ahhh, progress.

Third Grebe Hatches in Bronte

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on July 03, 1998 at 21:17:45:

As strange as it may seem, at least 16 days after the hatch of the first 2 chicks, a third egg has hatched on the tire in Bronte Harbour. Derrek and Daphne Spindlow rescued the hatchling around noon today from gulls after it strayed from the nest towards shore. With the help of boaters the bird was returned to the nest.

I saw all 3 chicks this evening. The people developing the marina are very aware of the grebes and are willing to make some accomodations to keep them for next year. The Oakville Beaver featured the family on page 3 of its July 1 issue.

Humber Bay - July 2

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on July 03, 1998 at 08:24:19:

I went out to Humber Bay for about an hour to search for the Black Swan, but without any success. However, in general the park was quite productive - I found 36 species in total, which is quite high for this location in summer.

In the bay north of the parking lot, there were the usual Black Ducks, Mallards, Gadwalls, and Canada Geese. There was also a single male Am. Wigeon at the end of the feeding ramp, and a male Scaup (Lesser? - I didn't get a perfect view of this bird - has anyone else seen it?) near the middle of the water.

Like the north bay, the first bay east of the parking lot is now closed off to the lake (we should probably start referring to them as something other than bays, but nothing sounds right to me yet - any suggestions?). In this area, three fully-branched trees have been placed on their side in the water. The birds have taken to these new perches quickly - I counted at least 20 individuals on each of the trees. Most of these were House Sparrows and Tree Swallows, but I also saw Song Sparrows, Grackles, RW Blackbirds, a Cowbird, 2 Waxwings, and a few Rough-winged Swallows. I get the impression that the development of this area is still in progress, but if the shoreline is maintained as it currently is, this could be good for shorebirds in the coming months. The breakwater on the north end is already a popular loafing ground for gulls (incl Herring and G Black-backed) and terns (Caspian and Common) - it could also turn out to be productive in the fall/winter season.

The next bay east was where most of the Mute Swans and Canada Geese were. With them were 4 Common Goldeneyes - 3 females and 1 male which almost constantly bobbed its head under water but never dove. Songbirds in this area included a pair of Yellow Warblers, a singing Warbling Vireo, and a male Baltimore Oriole.

The rest of Humber Bay East was fairly quiet. I then briefly checked the north end of Humber Bay West, and found a female Hooded Merganser right up against the shoreline, roughly 50 metres east of the gazebo on the north shore.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Quinte Area Bird Report - June 28/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on June 28, 1998 at 21:24:02:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, June 28th, 1998

While bird activity tends to drop to a low ebb during the hot, sultry days of late June and into July - and there have been plenty of those this past week - there has been lots of bird song in wooded areas to date to keep birders happy. RED-EYED VIREOS, of course, continue with their monotonous phrases, as well as the plaintive calls of the WOOD PEWEE. These were both present on Monday evening during a conducted hike into the Albury Swamp at Apple Doorn Farms, east of Carrying Place. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS were singing and the star attraction, a nesting colony of GREAT BLUE HERONS were busy feeding their young. Just off the observation deck in the marshy swamp, a SORA casually walked around on the floating vegetation, calling repeatedly, and paying little attention to activities a mere stone's throw away. The wooded areas contained an orchestra of thrush songs. There were at least five different VEERYS, along with two WOOD THRUSHES and one HERMIT THRUSH, the latter an uncommon sight during the summer months in the Quinte area.

Quinte Conservation Area still has a good number of WARBLING VIREOS singing from the poplars near the Quinte Conservation office. There are still WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, FIELD SPARROWS, and WOOD THRUSHES singing at the far north end of the property. A BALTIMORE ORIOLE'S nest along the main trail has produced its young, and these were seen being fed by the parent birds by many hikers along the trail last week.

The dune area of Sandbanks Provincial Park, despite 26 degree heat on Wednesday afternoon had BANK SWALLOWS, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, TREE SWALLOW, with the vegetated areas containing GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, DOWNY WOODPECKER and one ORCHARD ORIOLE.

Albert Boisvert of Trenton had a couple of good days in Prince Edward County on Monday, and again on Wednesday. Birding in the Point Petre area he came up with BLACK TERN (3) and WOOD DUCK (2) at the dam at the marsh at the foot of Carwell Point Road. Maypul Layn Road had 3 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS, and there were CLAY-COLOURED SPARROWS singing at Point Petre 150 feet south of the Esterbrooke Road turnoff. CLAY-COLOURED SPARROWS were also found last week just off Babylon Road in Prince Edward County.

There were 4 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS on Airport Road and another 3 on Kelly Road, with a total of 10 being heard on Wednesday. Other sightings included COMMON SNIPE (2), LEAST FLYCATCHER, HOUSE WREN, MARSH WREN, OVENBIRD, INDIGO BUNTING (3), EASTERN TOWHEE (2), and 2 BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS (Point Petre and Kings Road)

There is also a pair of BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS in the black willow trees at the Big Island Marsh near the junction of South Shore Road and Sprague Road, and another pair in Glenwood Cemetery just off Prospect Avenue in Picton.

The two AMERICAN AVOCETS were still at the Amherstview Sewage Lagoons yesterday, but were not present today. Other shorebirds seen there included LESSER YELLOWLEGS, LEAST SANDPIPER and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER.

Amherst Island still has the NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD near the fire hall on Stella Road. GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS, WILLOW and ALDER FLYCATCHERS and UPLAND SANDPIPERS have also been seen on the island this past week. This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 5th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

bird references

Posted by Jean-Francois Hic on June 28, 1998 at 20:08:20:

I've been using the "Guide to Field Identification Birds of North America" however, I am now looking for a "complete" encyclopedia of North American birds, illustrated with actual photographs and now drawings. If you have any references corresponding to what I'm looking for, please send them to me to the above-mentioned e-mail address.

I have taken pictures of several birds which I am unable to identify. Could you tell me to whom I could submit these and how so that I may learn the identification of the birds caught on film.

East Point Park - June 28

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on June 28, 1998 at 17:45:49:

On a walk through East Point this morning, the best single spot was the small grove of willows at the southeast end of the new pond (south of the east parking lot). Here I saw a female Orchard Oriole, a pair of Gnatcatchers, and 2 Warbling Vireos (one adult, one young). Also in the general area were 2 Flickers, a House Finch (unusual for the park), and Yellow Warblers.

In the fields to the west, I saw a singing Meadowlark, several Phoebes (also mostly singing), 1 Thrasher, 1 Catbird, and many Yellow Warblers and Goldfinches. There was also a singing first year male Orchard Oriole on the west side of the pond (perhaps one of the offspring from last year's nest at this site?).

Out over Lake Ontario there were Common Terns and Ring-billed Gulls, but no waterfowl of any kind. Bank Swallows were abundant, but I only saw one Barn Swallow.

Re: Bronte Grebes Hatch

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on June 28, 1998 at 17:08:45:

In Reply to: Re: Bronte Grebes Hatch posted by Gavin Edmondstone on June 20, 1998 at 13:00:24:

The grebes are still remaining on the nest tire as there are 2 eggs which the birds are still turning. The 2 chicks are getting bigger and occasional make short dives.

A morning walk in Bronte Creek Provincial Park, east side, south of path from Upper Middle Road turned up a Pileated Woodpecker and several Wood Thrush.

Sweet Tooth Downy.

Posted by Gavin Wells on June 28, 1998 at 13:22:58:

The other evening my wife and I noticed a female Downy Woodpecker land on our hummingbird feeder(the feeder has a wooden frame).At first it appeared she was just curious however we were both amazed when the bird began to drink the nectar, we have never seen this before. We are wondering if any one else has had a similar experience?

Etobicoke Peregrine update - June 25

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on June 25, 1998 at 22:43:23:

The four Peregrine Falcon chicks at Islington and Bloor are now between 30 and 34 days old. They are all developing quickly, and appear to be perfectly healthy.

This weekend will likely be the last opportunity to view the whole family together via the video monitor in the north lobby of 3250 Bloor. If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to drop by and take advantage of this rare opportunity to see these rare birds up close.

Volunteers are urgently needed for the fledgling watch beginning on Monday morning (June 29) and continuing dawn-to-dusk for 10 to 14 days. The purpose of this watch is to monitor the movements of the chicks as they begin to fly, and to rescue them if they get into trouble (which they do with alarming regularity). If you would like to help out or know someone else who might be interested, please call the Falcon Watch Centre at (416) 684-0704 as soon as possible, or come out to the volunteer orientation meeting this Sunday (June 28) at 2:00 pm. The meeting will be held in the Falcon Watch Centre - please call the above phone numbers if you need directions.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Bizarre Starling

Posted by Andy on June 23, 1998 at 16:22:03:

We have a most unusual starling around our building. He has a very long bill that curves downward, much like a curlew. The bill is black, at least 2 inches long, and, apparently, quite functional as the bird has been seen for a few weeks now and appears to be quite healthy. If attempts to photograph it are successful, I'll post the image here for anyone interested.

Black-billed Magpie at Presqu'ile

Posted by Don Davis on June 22, 1998 at 11:53:37:

Last week, one of the Presqu'ile's more experienced birdwatchers (I won't name that person as I don't know if they'd want their name printed) reported seeing a black-billed magpie at Presqu'ile.

I have been told that this bird was seen flying and the view was not totally unobstructed. If this record is accepted, it will represent bird species 320 for Presqu'ile.

I heard this news Friday on the Toronto Rare Bird Hotline, so I am not sure what day the magpie was seen.

Don Davis Toronto, ON

Quinte Area Bird Report - June 21/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on June 21, 1998 at 21:20:10:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, June 21st, 1998

Prince Edward County seems to have been left out of the picture this past week, with rare and otherwise interesting birds being seen to the east and west of us, as well as to the north of us.

A BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE was seen last week at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, while to the east of Prince Edward County 2 AMERICAN AVOCETS turned up at the Amherstview sewage lagoons at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. Meanwhile at Petroglyphs Provincial Park on Wednesday, Albert Boisvert had an excellent morning with 13 species of warblers recorded, along with 4 thrushes, 5 of the flycatchers, (including OLIVE-SIDED), WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS , EVENING GROSBEAKS, CEDAR WAXWINGS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, PILEATED WOODPECKER, both HOUSE and WINTER WRENS, and a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK not far from the park.

Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area continues to be very productive. A walk along one of the trails on Friday yielded three separate OVENBIRDS calling - not bad for a species given to taking in large territories, WOOD THRUSH, WOOD PEWEE, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, RED-EYED VIREO and WARBLING VIREO.

The birding continues to be good at Quinte Conservation Area too with the above species, as well as FIELD SPARROW and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW being recorded on a daily basis.

The Scuttle holes at Latta on Thursday had ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, RED-EYED VIREO, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, RUFFED GROUSE, HOUSE WREN and EASTERN PHOEBE (nesting in one of the caves).

Sandbanks Provincial Park on Monday evening fared equalled well with RED-BREASTED and WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH showing up, along with RUFFED GROUSE, VEERY, and lots of CEDAR WAXWINGS.

Bird feeders in the Quinte area often turn out to be more productive in the summer than in the winter. Over ripe watermelon, muskmelon, oranges and a variety of other fruits have attracted numerous birds at our feeder. At Milford, Doug Parker has RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, INDIGO BUNTINGS, and both male and female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK coming to his summer feeders.

This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 28th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Re: Bronte Grebes Hatch

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on June 20, 1998 at 13:00:24:

In Reply to: Bronte Grebes Hatch posted by Gavin Edmondstone on June 17, 1998 at 20:26:53:

I checked on the grebes this morning. Still two chicks. One egg was visible.

Bronte Grebes Hatch

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on June 17, 1998 at 20:26:53:

Two chicks were observed at the Red-necked Grebe nest in Bronte Harbour this evening. Be warned that the Oakville Waterfront Festival is this weekend and it will be very busy and parking difficult.

Sam Smith / Marie Curtis - June 15

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on June 15, 1998 at 21:28:45:

Despite the ever-expanding construction at Sam Smith Park, the area continues to have interesting birds. Although I again failed to locate the Western Kingbird this morning, I had a productive outing nonetheless. The most surprising bird was a Swainson's Thrush, walking on the construction rubble just northwest of the small wetland on the north side of the bike path (north of the parking lot). Like the Magnolia Warbler I saw late last week, this is another surprisingly late migrant.

On the south side of the parking lot, near the top of a leaning willow, was a singing male Bobolink. Also out on the peninsula I saw five species of swallow (I missed only Bank), and the usual Mockingbirds. Other birds on the mainland included 4 Willow Flycatchers and a singing Yellowthroat.

Over at Marie Curtis Park, I was only able to find a single Red-necked Grebe, just southwest of the mouth of Etobicoke Creek. There was also a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in a tree northeast of the parking lot on the east side of the river - certainly not a place where I would have expected to see this species (at least not outside of migration).

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Re: More unusual birds at Sam Smith Park

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on June 15, 1998 at 12:39:41:

In Reply to: More unusual birds at Sam Smith Park posted by Marcel Gahbauer on June 11, 1998 at 22:08:21:

Marcel the Western Kingbird was at the 2 littl ponds (South East from wear you and I wear locking the last time this ponds are land locket and small ) on sat.June 10 1998 at 10:00 am i wachet it for 4:00 mint. in till a earstern Kingbird came and put the run to it. the Acadian flycatcher was not ther on sat but may still be around,it was esaly heard on monday night as i was liveing the park,and confermd for my self throw c.d,s and tapes the next day,I never saw the bird the bruch was to thick.

CRAIG

Quinte Area Bird Report - June 14/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on June 14, 1998 at 21:25:23:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, June 14, 1998

Quinte Conservation Area has lots of good stuff if one walks the 2 km+ to the wooded area at the back end of the property. There are several pairs of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, FIELD SPARROWS, RUFOUS-SIDED TOWHEE, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, and RED-EYED VIREO. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, there were BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and NASHVILLE WARBLER singing.

There is a pair of MOURNING WARBLERS on Amherst Island which may be nesting. There is also a pair of NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS on the island, near the fire hall. Young SHORT-EARED OWLS and the young of both COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER have also been noted. The Kingston Field Naturalists property at the east end of the island last week had BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, and FORSTER'S TERN. A female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was seen in the marsh south of the 2nd Concession, 1 km west of Emerald Road.

In Prince Edward County things have been pretty quiet except for the usual regulars at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area. These include SINGING RED-EYED VIREO, WARBLING VIREO, WOOD THRUSH, OVENBIRD, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and WOOD PEWEE. Prince Edward Point is but a fraction of its former spring activity, and shorebirds have all but dried up at Presqu'ile Park. There are two WILLOW FLYCATCHERS in behind Kenron Estates at Bayside, and ALDER FLYCATCHERS are singing in the tree growth and shrub growth of the Big Island Marsh.

A pair of BARRED OWLS is nesting in the Brighton area, but the owners of the property prefer not to give out the exact location.

Hikers along the abandoned railway bed in the county have reported lots of bird activity in the rural areas including GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, BOBOLINK, SAVANNAH SPARROW, FIELD SPARROW, EASTERN MEADOWLARK, and EASTERN KINGBIRD. The two pairs of MUTE SWANS are apparently still in the Consecon Lake crossing area and at least one of the pairs has been seen with young. The most profitable birding however along the entire 31-mile route is in the Slab Creek wetland, at Hillier. There is a splendid assortment of birds there in the wooded swamp and recent sightings by a group of Napanee area hikers included SCARLET TANAGER, NORTHERN CARDINAL, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, WOOD THRUSH, VEERY, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and WINTER WREN.

Quinte Conservation and Apple Doorn Farms will be hosting a "hike for herons" into the Albury Swamp on June 22nd, at 6:30 p.m. A tractor and wagon ride will provide transportation from the parking lot to the wooded swamp where a five-minute hike along the trail will take observers to the viewing platform and spotting scope. The only cost is a $2.00 charge for transportation to the swamp. The swamp is one of the larger heronries of eight known sites in the county. Insect repellent recommended.

This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 21st. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Banding of Etobicoke Peregrine chicks

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on June 14, 1998 at 20:56:55:

This Thursday (June 18) leg bands will be put on the four chicks at the Etobicoke nest. The chicks will be taken down from the nest, will be banded at the Falcon Watch Centre, and will then immediately be returned to the nest. The banding is scheduled to take place between 9 and 10 am, although if things don't run perfectly, there might be some delays. Everyone is welcome to attend the banding, and I'm sure it will be a memorable event.

Following the banding, three raptors from the Wild Bird Clinic at the University of Guelph will be on display. These are birds which are unreleasable, either due to physical disabilities or to being imprinted on humans. The birds scheduled to come on Thursday are an adult male Peregrine Falcon, a female Great Horned Owl, and a male Turkey Vulture. They will be present from 10 am to 3 pm (and possibly longer). While these are not wild birds as such, this visit provides a very rare opportunity to examine these incredible birds up close.

Both events are free, and take place at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation's Etobicoke Falcon Watch Centre, which is located in the north lobby of the East Tower of the Mutual Group Centre at 3250 Bloor Street West (just east of Islington Avenue).

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Re: Acadian Flycatcher reported @ Colonel Sam Smith park

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 13, 1998 at 18:05:10:

In Reply to: More unusual birds at Sam Smith Park posted by Marcel Gahbauer on June 11, 1998 at 22:08:21:

Dear Marcel,

Sorry to hear you missed the Western Kingbird at Colonel Sam Smith. I saw it with Roy Smith on Sunday, June 7th and managed to get a couple of photos of it in some pretty low light conditions - I'm not sure if they'll turn out very well. We also saw the second nest this season of the Northern Mockingbirds there. It held four eggs on both Sunday & Wednesday this week. On Monday I saw the one survivng juvenile bird from the first nest. Despite repeated visits I have not seen the Western Kingbird since.

On Tuesday June 9th I arrived home very late & received a message left earlier from Harry Kerr that several observers that day (Geoff Carpentier, Terrie Smith & Dennis Duckworth, I believe) had both seen and heard what they believed to be an Acadian Flycatcher (quite an exceptional rarity in Toronto) near the buried creek bed in the orchard at Colonel Sam Smith park (the old psychiatric hospital grounds).

Initially, my first reaction was to strongly doubt this report mainly because on Monday, June 7th I had seen an obvious and late Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (the likeliest empidonax to misidentify as Acadian Flycatcher in my view) which was both calling and singing occasionally near some conifers at the north end of the orchard. This report was being made about 100 m south of there. In addition, Acadian Flycatcher's very rare status in this area combined with the odd habitat and such a late date gave me many reservations about this sighting. I dismissed any thought of perhaps searching for this bird the next morning and went to bed.

The next day when I woke up I began to think about this report again. Although the date was very unlikely for a migrant Acadian Flycatcher, it also was for Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Alder Flycatcher, both of which I had seen there in recent days (along with Willow & Least Flycatchers too). This spring I did find empidonax flycatchers distinctly later in arriving and lingering later as migrants than usual. On top of this, these observers were experienced with Acadian Flycatcher and had heard the bird in question sing in a site where singing Willow Flycatchers would have been available for comparison. Although still doubtful about the report, I decided I would go down to the site and check it out myself. Perhaps I might even be lucky enough to get another chance to photograph the Western Kingbird if still present.

I arrived at Colonel Sam Smith park about 9:25 a.m. and the only birder I saw there then was Derek Spindlow, an old friend. He did not know of any reported Acadian Flycatcher but was there to try and relocate the Western Kingbird he had belatedly heard about. We birded the area around the marsh pond near the parking lot (where we heard singing and saw 2 Willow Flycatchers)& the woods north of the smokestack (where another singing Willow Flycatcher was foraging). All three gave standard FITZ-bew songs and were distinctly brownish-olive backed with moderate primary extension beyond the folded secondaries.

After about 20 minutes we made it up to the area near where the old former creekbed crosses the orchard and listened and watched for any other empidonax. For about 5 minutes there we heard and saw nothing other than American Goldfinches, Mourning Doves and Savannah Sparrows.

Suddenly about 40 metres south of us we heard an emphatic "PEET-sut" followed by 3 more songs which as we got closer sounded more like "PEET-seeup". The singing bird in question was in the densest little grove of trees singing from well above head height but very frustrating to get a good look at due to thick foliage. It was very skittish and we followed it south along this grove of trees. Near the southern end of this dense grove it did a high level flight back north and landed low (3 ft) on a dead branch, sang once more and stayed there for about 3 minutes whereupon Derek & I both observed the bird very well noting various useful identification aspects aloud. This was the only time this bird came into the open. On all subsequent times we followed it, it stayed high in the densest parts of the available foliage even though only limited groves offered this opportunity. Each time flushed, it did a high flight immediately to similar conditions. It was very difficult to relocate as it moved through the densest-leaved trees. Two other birders who had joined us by this point could not locate it in such foliage at all. I managed to take one photo of the bird but the overcast conditions of the approaching storm meant shooting at 1/90th of a second - not likely to be anything but a pitiful blurogram with a 600 mm lens!

First noticeable about this bird was that it was so overall richly greenish backed even on so overcast a morning, explaining why it was so difficult to pick out against leafy foliage. The entire back, uppertail coverts and particularly the crown and facial area were a homogeneous leafy green tone with complete absence of the olive brown tone to the back as on the obvious Willow Flycatchers we had seen earlier. It also seemed overall a larger flycatcher too.

The bird had quite a long bill which we only saw in profile which gave it quite an elongated, "pointy" appearance to the head. What we could see of the lower mandible suggested it was entirely yellow-orange in contrast to the dark upper mandible. We could not assess the shape of the bill from below at any point in our observations.

I mentioned to Derek to look at the relatively long projection of the primaries visible beyond the folded secondaries which we later compared in the field again to the still present Willow Flycatchers. (This also gave a good chance to review anew the differences in coloration).

The wing bars were a buffy white as were the tertial edges. This buff was nowhere near the bright cinnamon buff evident on fall Acadian Flycatchers. It also was visibly not a clean white. We noted very little else about the wings other than they appeared dark.

The bird's head seemed very greenish with a quite distinct even eye ring which, like the wing bars, also seemed tinged in buff tone.

Although the bird was quite uniformly one very greenish tone dorsally from head to rump, ventrally its color tone was quite variable as with most empids. The throat was a dull ashy white with no yellow or buff tones. Below this a smudgy, incomplete (centrally) olive breast band was present. The lower breast/upper belly was again ashy white, and the lower belly to the undertail coverts being a dirty light yellowish similar to the same area on an Ash-throated Flycatcher, but dirtier with a slight greenish tinge.

The angle of presentation and brevity of the best sighting precluded much evaluation of the tail.

Even when not visually observable in densely leaved areas the bird was relocated three times by its emphatic "PEET-sup" song. No call notes were heard from this bird by myself or Derek.

The total time we followed the bird was about 30 minutes. Direct visual observation might have been 5 minutes in total.

Shortly after we lost this bird on a long flight Harry Kerr turned up with an Acadian Flycatcher tape which we could compare to what we had heard from this bird. The song was precisely the same. It is one I am very familiar with having seen & heard this bird many times at Point Pelee, Rondeau, Walpole Island, Backus Woods, Wilson Tract, Deer Creek watershed, Niagara, etc. in Ontario as well as New York state, Virgina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Dry Tortugas and many other parts of the southeastern U.S. where it is the only breeding empidonax.

After Harry turned up with Jerry Guild we attempted to relocate the bird. I thought I had heard it once out in the orchard, but Harry stated it was him playing the tape. After a little more searching Derek & I had to leave. That afternoon Harry told me they briefly found the bird exactly where I thought I had heard it singing in the orchard (south of the path with the emergency phones) - I probably had not heard his tape after all!

After Derek and I left it appears this bird was only seen briefly by Harry Kerr, Jerry Guild and Theo Hoffman (to my knowledge) before others on the scene could not relocate the bird and wondered whether Willow Flycatchers now also present in the area were what all the fuss had been about.

I returned in the afternoon (5:40) and met Bob Yukich who told me that this was precisely the experience he, Dave Beadle and Ray Geras among others had had, which I suspect must have been both very frustrating and doubt-inducing.

I could not relocate the bird in the next two hours but I did see three empidonax in the same area which all gave either classic Willow Flycatcher song or call notes and looked similar to the Willow Flycatchers I had identified earlier that morning. None was skittish, on the contrary they were quite conspicuous. Several birders I did not know were still claiming one of these (which admittedly had an eye ring but was quite olive brown) was the Acadian Flycatcher. The source of many birders' frustration was thus apparent.

I have no doubt that the bird Derek & I saw in the morning was an Acadian Flycatcher but am rather dumbfounded by what it was still doing in an area of such unsuitable habitat at such a late date. Also confounding, I found it odd the bird was singing in unsuitable habitat - I have far more commonly heard migrants giving call notes only. This sighting was the reverse.

I will file a rare bird report with the Toronto Ornithological Club rarities committee.

Quite an unusual find for Mssrs. Carpentier, Smith & Duckworth! Maybe I should question my doubt reflex more often.

Late Magnolia Warbler

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on June 13, 1998 at 17:55:09:

Yesterday morning I saw a singing male Magnolia Warbler near Guildwood Parkway and Rowatson Road in Scarborough. This is the first warbler of any kind I've seen in this area in almost two weeks. I was quite surprised to find a migrant songbird passing through this late.

Re: Red-necked Grebes

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 12, 1998 at 15:01:24:

In Reply to: Red-necked Grebes posted by Ram Nambiar on June 12, 1998 at 11:25:40:

Dear Ram,

If, as you say, these Red-necked Grebes "are hooked onto this area" I suspect it is a non-breeding flock which may summer at this site without breeding this summer. But if they develop site fidelity to this location they may breed there in successive years. Keep watching for any attempt this summer which you may be missing though.

In case it interests you, Beth Jefferson of the Citizens Concerned with the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront has a pair of Red-necked Grebes acting similarly at the foot of 4th St. in Etobicoke as well.

Tommy Thompson Park - June 6-12, 1998

Posted by Tamara on June 12, 1998 at 14:19:54:

There were very few callers to the hotline this week. The birding activity at the park has declined a bit as we now enter into the summer - spring migration is finishing up and many birds are settling down for the summer to raise their young. Some of the birds that have been confirmed breeding at the Spit include: brown thrashers, spotted sandpipers, blue-gray gnatcatchers, Baltimore orioles, warbling vireos, eastern kingbirds, killdeer, mourning doves, tree swallow, and mallard ducks.

Shorebirds reported this week include: whimbrel, red knot, and ruddy turnstones on the endikement and: semi-palmated sandpipers, sanderling, and least sandpipers on the mudflats.

Other birds reported to the hotline include: 1 male and 2 female canvasbacks in the goldfish pond, a green heron was reported in the goldfish pond Sat. the 6th, loons were observed out on the lake, barn swallows south of the pedestrian bridge, a wood thrush on peninsula C, a great crested flycatcher, a red-tail hawk, and brown-headed cowbirds.

Staff continue to observe the coyotes on a regular basis. Other mammals observed this week were groundhogs and cottontail rabbits.

More wildflowers bloomed over the past week. Plants currently flowering are showy ladies slippers, vipers bugloss, chicory, Indian blanket flowers, ox-eye daisy, bittersweet nightshade, silverweed, orange hawkweed, asters, forget-me-nots, and buttercups.

Tommy Thompson Park is a unique natural area located at the foot of Leslie Street on the Toronto Waterfront. It is currently open to the public on Weekends and Holidays throughout the year. Admission and parking is free.

The Tommy Thompson Park hotline is in part supported by Environment Canada?s Great Lake 2000 program.

Tommy Thompson Park Wildlife Hotline (416) 661-6600 ext. 248

Red-necked Grebes

Posted by Ram Nambiar on June 12, 1998 at 11:25:40:

Friday, 11th June '98

On 3rd of May I reported sighting a 15 member Red-necked Grebes(Podiceps grisegena)flock in Etobicoke to two of the birding forums,-one in Toronto and the other in the US. I thought then that this migratory flock had simply stopped over here to feed and to rest but en route to their Prairie slough breeding destination. Instead,they stayed back exactly on the same coastal waters of the lake Ontario in Etobicoke, just below Marie Curtis Park(west of Etobicoke Creek).

Murray Spiers in his book "Birds Of Ontario" called the Red-necked 'a bird of surprise'. He was referring then to their showing up on the Lake Ontario waters in some years and not being seen for next several years. This small flock I have been seeing here for more than a month now is another instance of the unpredictable nature of these Grebes. From what I see, the Red-necks are behaving as though they are hooked on to this one location.

From the time I saw these Grebes here first to now, things have drastically changed around the area. The last couple of weeks witnessed an increasing number of speed boats. I watched these beautiful and unsuspecting Grebes diving for their lives and resurfacing farther away. Knowing full well it is a risky place to be in and will be even riskier in the days ahead, why are these grebes still hanging around to this area? Are they summer adults planning to raise a family nearby or is it simply a non-breeding flock?

In one of my daily visit to the scene two weeks ago, I heard one of them uttering a pig-like or a stallion-like cry. An hour observation daily is not enough to draw any conclusions but I didn't see any courtship ceremonies of 'dancing in the water with weeds dripping from their bills' and the like. Although a western species, Dr.Spiers,in the eightees, had reported to have seen some odd pairs of Red-necked Grebes nesting in the floating boxes in Burlington about 2O miles west from Etobicoke along the lake. Glenn Coady and couple of other birders have informed me few weeks ago that in late April of this year a pair of this Grebes had selected a floating tire in Brontie harbour to nest. If 23 days period is for the hatching in this species, the youngones should be out by now.

Here in Etobicoke, I have been searching with my scope for floating or stationary vegetable compost,marshy islets or even strange objects like a tire or box in the shore line. Not far from where the grebes are,is the raised rocky harbour like extention into the lake from the hydroplant nearby. I could see a lot of vegetable matter and odd items that had already been washed against the side edges and gaps of these rocks. Problem is that there is no access to this area unless you are a hydro employee.

Originally 15 inividuals, some days I have been seeing 1O grebes,other times 12. I wish I had more time to monitor their activities.

The floating Red-necks are sometimes about 1Ometers feet from the shore. At this time of the year their upper heads are dark and though not so obvious show miniature crests. The rich chestnut on the long necks and rosy yellowish breasts will not be overlooked even by a passerby, with the exception of the hot dogs riding the speed boats on them. From a distance the white cheeks of these grebes may give someone the mistaken notion these are those love lost honkers. I don't know if you guys have noticed. Summer adult Red-necks swimming with the neck raised are gorgeous looking from the side view. Close up straight front view, however, with their heads crouched and the blunt front face and both eyes are visible, they don't look like a bird but some reptilian creatures.

Good Birding, Ram Nambiar 3368 Hargrove Rd,Mississauga,9O5 828-4997,birder @echo-on.net, http://www.echo-on.net/~birder

Re: Flags on Shorebird

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 12, 1998 at 11:09:12:

In Reply to: Flags on Shorebird posted by Alfred Raab on June 05, 1998 at 21:52:10:

Alfred,

I forgot to mention that the flag colour will tell you at least the country in which the shorebird was banded. Canada is white, the United States is green. I don't know the colours for the many South American countries in which it may have been banded.

More unusual birds at Sam Smith Park

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on June 11, 1998 at 22:08:21:

This afternoon I tried for the third time to see the Western Kingbird, but again came away unsuccessful. Does anyone know whether it is still around, and if so, what part of the park it is most often seen in?

I also failed to locate the Acadian Flycatcher. However, at the point where the park road bends to the right (50+ metres south of Lakeshore), there were two very active Willow Flycatchers.

The best bird of the day was just to the west of here. There is a path leading west from the road at the bend, along which there are wooden poles. Past the third pole, on the north side, there are some bushes. In one of the honeysuckles, perched almost a metre above ground, was a Virginia Rail. There is no water in this area. I wonder whether it may have been disturbed by the construction which appears to be well on the way to destroying the small marsh north of the parking lot (where a Virginia Rail spent some time last summer).

The extent of the area under construction appears to be expanding by the day. Many large trees have already disappeared, and vast areas of field are buried under mountains of rubble and dirt. Fences are up around most of the creek area, and bulldozers are ripping away at the soil all around the little wetland, with trucks full of the soil driving across the creek bed. I should say that I don't know much about why the construction is occurring, or whether the final result will have any redeeming environmental features, but at the moment it looks awful.

Back to the birds: out on the peninsula, I saw 2 Mockingbirds, an immature Bonaparte's Gull, and 4 species of swallow (I missed Cliff and Rough-winged). There were also 2 female Hooded Mergansers in the marina bay.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Re: Flags on Shorebird & Where to Report Data

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 11, 1998 at 16:15:02:

In Reply to: Flags on Shorebird posted by Alfred Raab on June 05, 1998 at 21:52:10:

Dear Alfred,

You can report your data to Pawtuxent's Bird Banding Laboratory toll-free at 1-800-327-BAND or visit their web site at:

http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/default.htm

Due to recent cutbacks they concentrate on getting your data to the pertinent researcher first and feedback to you as the finder in the form of a recovery certificate will follow several weeks later. It does work, though slower now that their government funding is much reduced.

Re: Western Kingbird

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on June 10, 1998 at 07:23:04:

In Reply to: Re: Western Kingbird posted by Hugh Currie on June 07, 1998 at 18:41:52:

The western Kingbird is still being seen at the south east pond as of june 9 1998 all so jist in side the park near the first stop sing a acadian flycatcher was heard calling on june 8 1998 this bird might still be ther, best to lisin for it,s song after the costrushon ends for the day,it song is a esplosive peet-suh,2-4 times.goodluck

CRAIG

Re: Eastern Kingbird

Posted by Sandra Eadie on June 09, 1998 at 09:09:42:

In Reply to: Eastern Kingbird posted by Linda on June 08, 1998 at 22:53:14:

I think they are fairly common here. The other evening I walked on leslie St. Spit and saw more than 10 flying about and perching. Last year in migration a very large flock landed at Humber Bay Park in Toronto. They were very tired and sat on the ground. Sandra

Eastern Kingbird

Posted by Linda on June 08, 1998 at 22:53:14:

An Eastern Kingbird perched on my clothesline, in the back yard, tonight at around 7:30p.m. What a sight that was for me! I live around Gage Park, in Hamilton, just below the escarpment. Are they common in this area? Thank you, Linda.

Quinte Area Bird Report - June 07/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on June 07, 1998 at 21:52:43:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, June 07, 1998

There are still lots of opportunities in the Quinte area for some good birding. The far north end of the Quinte Conservation Area has at least two pair of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, along with ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, FIELD SPARROW and EASTERN TOWHEE.

Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area at Picton last week had WINTER WREN, WOOD THRUSH, OVENBIRD, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER. The above list was also present at the Frink Centre near Plainfield last Monday, in addition to VEERY, NORTHERN CARDINAL, WOOD PEWEE and RED-EYED VIREO.

There is a pair of RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS nesting at Prinyer's Cove. One of the birds is actively visiting a local bird feeding station.

Another SANDHILL CRANE was observed in flight over Sandbanks Provincial Park two weeks ago. An aerial tour over Prince Edward County today revealed GREAT BLUE HERONS nesting at the Albury Swamp where a hike is planned for June 22nd, and about 12 pairs nesting at the east end of the Cressy Swamp. Even at 1,200 feet, there were plenty of birds to be seen on our flight over the Quinte area, with 200+ DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS at Gull Bar, NORTHERN HARRIERS at the First Nations Airport, TURKEY VULTURES south of Kaladar, and a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK at Beaver Lake near Marlbank.

Presqu'ile Provincial Park on June 4th had 20 RED KNOTS, 50+ RUDDY TURNSTONES, 300-400 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, 30+ SANDERLINGS, 20+ DUNLIN and 4 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. And on Wednesday, there was a PIPING PLOVER at Victoria Beach in Cobourg. The bird was apparently not seen again.

This past week, Amherst Island has produced CATTLE EGRET, RED KNOTS, WILSON'S WARBLERS, and NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD. ARCTIC TERN and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER were seen on the Kingston Field Naturalists property, and there was a BLACK-NECKED STILT at the nearby Lennox Generating Station.

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists' monthly meeting will be held June 23rd, 7:30 p.m. at Macaulay Mountain. Guest speakers George and Gerry Elliot will be giving an illustrated presentation, "At the Edge of the Field" on the birds, plants, insects, and their environment. This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 14th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Re: Western Kingbird

Posted by Hugh Currie on June 07, 1998 at 18:41:52:

In Reply to: Western Kingbird posted by Alfred Raab on June 06, 1998 at 12:22:30:

It was still there Sunday. I saw it at 4:30 PM. It ranged between 50 & 150 m north of the parking lot over to 200 m to the NW

Kingfisher

Posted by Leslie Kinrys on June 06, 1998 at 22:29:27:

The Betty Sutherland Trail, which is north of York Mills and west off Don Mills, is accessed from Duncan Mill Road. Part of the Don River East branch flows through here. On June 2, I saw a Belted Kingfisher flying into this area. On the same day, I saw an Eastern Kingbird there. It is also a great place to see Red-Wing Blackbirds.

In my own area (Bathurst & Finch), I saw a Cowbird and Downy Woodpecker this week.

... Leslie

Pelican in Coote's Paradise

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on June 06, 1998 at 19:18:01:

The American White Pelican in Coote's Paradise (Hamilton) was there this morning. I saw it from near the high level bridge. This spot allows a large area to be scoped from one spot. A scope is needed as the distance is large. Also present were recently released Trumperter Swans.

The Red-necked Grebes in Bronte Harbour are continuing to incubate.

Western Kingbird

Posted by Alfred Raab on June 06, 1998 at 12:22:30:

Saturday morning,9:30am,June 6, 98, at Colonel Sam Smith park: 1 Western Kingbird, also a late Wilson Warbler.

Escaped Black Swan?

Posted by Ram Nambiar on June 06, 1998 at 09:03:50:

Saturday, 5th June,'98

Escaped Black Swan?

I was at the lake side just at the foot of Humber Park East yesterday. It was quiet unexpected. A saw a Black Swan(Cynus atratus)swimming and upending with the local Mutes.

Shiny red bill with a white band towards the tip of it, the head and the rest of the body in contrasting black, some wing feathers curled upwards, and its slow movements on Lake waters here made this large Australian(+Tasmanian) native one of a kind to me.

Several non-biders taking the waterfront stroll were curious about this strange visitor. Since I had the good fortune of seeing and photographing strue wild Black Swans in their natural habitat in Orbust Australia, about 35Okm east of Melbourne,during the visit to my sister there 8 years ago, I took the liberty yesterday of answering few of those Torontonians' questions about this Swan here.

Did this Swan escape from Metro Zoo or from an ornamental pond of some individuals in Toronto area? While the swan was doing the upending I could see clearly its grey legs. They were devoid of any tags. No tags on the wings. Did anybody report about its missing?

Good Birding,

Ram Nambiar Mississauga.ONT birder@echo-on.net http://www.echo-on.net/~birder

Flags on Shorebird

Posted by Alfred Raab on June 05, 1998 at 21:52:10:

I have seen and photographed a Semipalmated Sandpiper with bands on both legs and a flag on one leg. Who is banding these birds? Need address to send in report.

Re: Indigo Bunting

Posted by Ram Nambiar on June 05, 1998 at 20:08:37:

In Reply to: Re: Indigo Bunting posted by Glenn Coady on June 05, 1998 at 17:31:28:

Hi Glenn,

It is nice that the Oriole is getting its name back.The history behind that name cannot easily be forgotten. Lord Baltimore had been gone more than 35O years ago. He, in his grave in England, will be sleeping little better now after knowing he is still being remembered as long as this bird is existing as a species.

Yes, the Grebes are still there. I will be posting a report on them to Andy soon. Have you been to Lake side of Humber Park East? I saw a Black Swan today there swimming and upending with Mutes. A possible escapee from Metro zoo or from some farm where they are keeping them as an ornamental bird in their pond.

Thank you for writing Glenn. I put the names of each bird one under the other. But when it came in the webpage they were all in a straight line without even a comma. Since our readers are very intelligent I guess they will understand.

Ram Nambiar

Re: Indigo Bunting

Posted by Ram Nambiar on June 05, 1998 at 20:04:33:

In Reply to: Re: Indigo Bunting posted by Glenn Coady on June 05, 1998 at 17:31:28:

Hi Glenn,

It is nice that the Oriole is getting its name back.The history behind that name cannot easily be forgotten. Lord Baltimore had been gone more than 35O years ago. He, in his grave in England, will be sleeping little better now after knowing he is still being remembered as long as this bird is existing as a species.

Yes, the Grebes are still there. I will be posting a report on them to Andy soon. Have you been to Lake side of Humber Park East? I saw a Black Swan today there swimming and upending with Mutes. A possible escapee from Metro zoo or from some farm where they are keeping them as an ornamental bird in their pond.

Thank you for writing Glenn. I put the names of each bird one under the other. But when it came in the webpage they were all in a straight line without even a comma. Since our readers are very intelligent I guess they will understand.

Ram Nambiar

Re: Indigo Bunting

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 05, 1998 at 17:31:28:

In Reply to: Indigo Bunting posted by Ram Nambiar on June 05, 1998 at 17:08:22:

Yes Ram, I too prefer Baltimore Oriole which indeed the American Ornithologists Union re-split from its western counterpart the Bullock's Oriole recently.

Sounds like a nice place to bird as a local patch.

BTW, have the Red-necked Grebes you reported on BirdChat at Marie Curtis Park remained?

Indigo Bunting

Posted by Ram Nambiar on June 05, 1998 at 17:08:22:

Tue, June 5, '98

Indigo Bunting(Passerina cyanea)

It was in mid-May I saw and heard this colourful Indigo male singing from its treetop perch at Erindale Park woodlot. Although familiar with its long clear song(similar to that of Goldfinch)I heard this newly arrived migrant's voice somewhat subdued.

This morning not far from that general location but very close to Credit river water's edge bush I had the opportunity to see both this sparkling blue and his brown spouse less than 1O feet away from me.

It was their continuous rough 'chirp' 'chip' alarm, should I say 'scolding', calls and hysterical moves of those two dissimilar feathers that caught my attention first. Then the unforgettable blue in the open for few sends. Closer view of its head section revealed a rather purplish colour than blue.

The male quickly moved to the inner shades of the bush.Its head feathers were all puffed up, a sign of true anger towards me, the trespasser. I must have been close to their nest which the pair didn't approve. The female had some white hair like stuff in her beak, probably to reinforce the interior of her nest! I didn't want to be a spoiler. I turned back. Farther away I stopped and looked back and to listen. No more alarm calls.

The other avian novelties that are probably breeding in the thickets and woodlots of the park seen and most often heard now are:

Spotted Sandpiper Belted Kingfisher Yellow-Shafted Flicker

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Yellow Warbler Red-eyed Vireo Warbling Vireo Baltimore Oriole* Eastern Kingbird Eastern Phoebe Great Creasted Flycatcher Cedar Waxwing Catbird Purple Martin

*I hear taxonomists are bringing back its original name 'Baltimore' than the unfitting 'Northern'.

Good Birding,

Ram Nambiar Mississauga.ONT birder@echo-on.net http://www.echo-on.net/~birder

Leslie St. Spit - June 4, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 04, 1998 at 23:18:21:

I went out to the Leslie St. Spit this evening and although I detected virtually no passerines that I might still consider migrants, I did still see a nice mix of northbound shorebirds.

Almost all the shorebirds were on the lake side of the endikement.

They included: 6 Red Knots (part of the reason I've been going out here so frequently lately was in hopes of seeing some of these), 5 Ruddy Turnstone, 17 Dunlin, 19 Sanderling, 67 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 2 White-rumped Sandpiper.

The triangular pond had 1 Lesser Yellowlegs and 1 Semipalmated Plover but unfortunately NO Black-necked Stilt any longer.

I found a dead Bank Swallow on the endikement that I'll bet was recently hit by one of the trucks.

While out there I saw 23 people roller-blading, 6 cyclists, 2 others on foot, and 9 cars on route to the Aquatic Park Sailing Club. If this many people are going to use the park when it is officially closed, I'm going to regularly join them on evenings after the trucks have ceased dumping for the day.

A movie was being shot at the corner of Unwin Ave. & Leslie St. tonight. If it continues, I'd advise watching where you park as it was quite congested there.

Re: Pigeons

Posted by Jerry J. on June 04, 1998 at 23:12:57:

In Reply to: Pigeons posted by Sylvie on June 03, 1998 at 14:11:40:

Actually they are Rock Doves, but most people call them pigeons. My wife and I had the privilege to observe them from courtship stage till two Doves have fledged. They are a very messy birds. The nest is a mass of sticks and nothing else. When the chicks hatch they are pure yellow, just like a ducklings. But they grow fast. Very fast. Before you know it they have fledged. In my opinion, the Rock Doves are excellent parents. Both of them shared hatching and feeding responsibilities equally. Very impressive. Enjoy the experience.

Jerry.

Re: Marbled Godwit @ Nonquon Sewage Lagoons (Port Perry) - May 31 - June 1, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 04, 1998 at 14:34:51:

In Reply to: Re: Marbled Godwit @ Nonquon Sewage Lagoons (Port Perry) - May 31 - June 1, 1998 posted by Frank Pinilla on June 04, 1998 at 11:00:42:

One small correction in case Roy Smith picks up this data for the Toronto Ornithological Club database.

Frank's sighting was Wednesday June 3 (NOT June 4).

No disrespect intended - Typos have as nasty habit of getting into databases forever.

Thanks for the update Frank.

Re: Marbled Godwit @ Nonquon Sewage Lagoons (Port Perry) - May 31 - June 1, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 04, 1998 at 14:28:44:

In Reply to: Re: Marbled Godwit @ Nonquon Sewage Lagoons (Port Perry) - May 31 - June 1, 1998 posted by Frank Pinilla on June 04, 1998 at 11:00:42:

The Greater Yellowlegs was present when Gerry & I were there on Monday as well, and yes, this is a fairly late date for that species. It was with 3 Lesser Yellowlegs for direct comparison.

Gerry saw a silent dowitcher very briefly which we could not relocate to further identify - possibly your griseus Short-billed Dowitcher.

Re: Marbled Godwit @ Nonquon Sewage Lagoons (Port Perry) - May 31 - June 1, 1998

Posted by Frank Pinilla on June 04, 1998 at 11:00:42:

In Reply to: Marbled Godwit @ Nonquon Sewage Lagoons (Port Perry) - May 31 - June 1, 1998 posted by Glenn Coady on June 02, 1998 at 11:38:06:

I was up at Nonquon S.L. last night (Wednesday June 4/98) and the Marbled Godwit was still present in the westernmost pond along with an assortment of other shorebirds, including one griseus race Short-billed Dowitcher and a Greater Yellowlegs (this seems pretty late for this species, doesn't it?). Also present were ~100 Semipalmated Sandpipers, many Semipalmated Plovers, a few White-rumped Sandpipers, a Ruddy Turnstone and many Dunlin. This was all at about 7:45pm, thus I didn't really have time to check out the other ponds for the Wilson's Phalarope.

Pigeons

Posted by Sylvie on June 03, 1998 at 14:11:40:

I have been looking for information on nesting pigeons. I live on the 10th floor in the city of Toronto and there was 2 pigeons that kept coming to get fed. About one week ago, one built a nest under my BBQ on the ciment. Then, she destroyed it and rebuilt on the platform of the BBQ where the tant is. It is now 2 days that she has not move from there. I went to feed her and she's not taking the food or running away. Her nest also looks weird, like flat instead of the regular round nest I have always seen. If anyone has any info I would greatly appreciate. Are those city park pigeons called Rock Dove ? Thank you

Cattle Egret @ Leslie St. Spit - June 2, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 03, 1998 at 13:30:42:

I went out to the Leslie St. Spit last evening (June 2) to determine if the Black-necked Stilt was still present. As far as I could tell it was not. I did meet a birding friend from Guelph, Karl Konze, on the way out.

Almost predictably, the second powerful wind storm in three days produced another good bird though. About 7:00 p.m. both Karl and I had the good fortune to see a very close flypast by a Cattle Egret near the end of the endikement.

We also saw a 3rd-summer black-backed gull which I'm still puzzling over. It was a relatively large (equal to all Herring Gulls present) gull with a mantle shade slightly darker than an average graellsii Lesser Black-backed Gull. The primaries, though, were clearly darker than the mantle. The bird's head (particularly near the eye), nape, and sides of chest were extensively & finely streaked as in winter Lesser Black-backed. There were no white mirrors on any primary and the tail was white with only a faint speckling as vestige of any prior tail band. The bill was mostly dusky with a yellowish base with no red gonydeal spot evident yet. It was shorter and finer billed than all Herring Gulls available for comparison. In flight the entire wing was dark slate gray with some brownish in the greater and median secondary coverts. The legs were entirely pink although Karl felt they looked yellowish in some light conditions.

All the above marks among others are consistent for Lesser Black-backed Gull. The source of confusion was that the bird did not have the long attenuated look of most Lesser Black-backed Gulls caused by the combination of long primary projection in combination with a short tail. In fact, in comparison to available Herring Gulls it appeared to have shorter primary projection and an equally long tail. In flight it did not give the long, narrow-winged appearance of a typical Lesser Black-backed Gull but instead had very broad-based wings more typical of Great Black-backed Gull.

In terms of identification I think Great Black-backed Gull is ruled out by the above description, it might be a large male third-summer Lesser Black-backed Gull, or it might represent a Great Black-backed X Herring Gull hybrid or backcross. I think the middle possibility is the most likely.

I wish I'd had my camera with me for this one.

Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 3rd winter, not adult

Posted by Ramona Hernandez on June 02, 1998 at 21:25:06:

In Reply to: Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 3rd winter, not adult posted by Mark Cranford on March 02, 1998 at 23:32:45:

I am in search of a photograph of the King Eider I am a detailed artist and am interested in painting the Male. Any one that can help I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You Ramona Hernandez California

Re: Black-necked Stilt @ Leslie St. Spit - May 31 - June 1, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 02, 1998 at 14:33:59:

In Reply to: Black-necked Stilt @ Leslie St. Spit - May 31 - June 1, 1998 posted by Glenn Coady on June 02, 1998 at 11:22:07:

I neglected to mention that on Sunday May 31, 1998 after seeing the Black-necked Stilt we also saw 186 Ruddy Turnstones and 105 Sanderling - all on the armouring rocks of the endikement between the blue box and the base of the endikement on the lake side. One of the Ruddy Turnstones was a very freshly dead individual.

Marbled Godwit @ Nonquon Sewage Lagoons (Port Perry) - May 31 - June 1, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 02, 1998 at 11:38:06:

On Sunday May 31, 1998 a birder (Jean Iron, I believe) returning from the OFO field trip to the Carden Plain discovered a Marbled Godwit at the Nonquon sewage lagoons.

This bird was still present yesterday, June 1, in the second pond from the west (in the southeast corner). Gerry Binsfeld and I saw it at about 7:00 p.m.

The Nonquon sewage lagoon is found by going 4.5 km north of where Hwy 7A goes east from Hwy 12 until you reach the third road that runs east (Scugog 8th Line NOT Durham 8th Line). Turn right (east) and proceed 3.1 km to the east. Stop at the metal entrance gate on the right.

There were about 15 Black Terns foraging over the lagoons and we saw a male Purple Finch singing near the bridge before you reach the lagoons. Common Moorhens and Ruddy Ducks were present in the easternmost lagoon.

Black-necked Stilt @ Leslie St. Spit - May 31 - June 1, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on June 02, 1998 at 11:22:07:

I was a bit surprised that no one posted to this forum about the occurrence of a Black-necked Stilt on the Leslie St. Spit for the past two days.

This delightful find was made on Sunday morning about 8:30 a.m. by Larry Morse and was seen by scores of birders over the next two days. I'm not sure yet whether it is still there today but it was yesterday. It was seen in the large triangular pond on the left just beyond the bridge on Sunday and on the shallow ponds on the land bridge between the original Spit and the endikement yesterday.

Gerry Binsfeld and I returned from the Carden Plain to see it about 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and despite low light conditions I was able to get several good photographs using my scope.

The Leslie St. Spit, unfortunately, is officially closed Monday to Friday.

New Boards

Posted by Andy on June 02, 1998 at 09:06:43:

I have set up a group of forums in response to a bit of positive feedback (OK, *one* person thought it was a good idea) I received from a post below. The intent of the boards is to provide a meeting place for local naturalists to exchange information. Please have a look at the setup and give me some feedback. I can set up more/fewer individual boards.

If this idea flies, I will need some moderators for the individual boards. So, if you are interested in moderating one of the forums, please let me know.

Lastly, the boards will likely run a bit slowly right now as they are on our secondary server. Once moved to our new server, they should function speedily.

Zooboards

Re: Frogging Reports - URL's

Posted by Andy on June 01, 1998 at 08:59:18:

In Reply to: Frogging Reports posted by Andy on May 29, 1998 at 15:02:52:

Sorry not to have included the URL's. Here they are:

The Frogging Page is at: http://www.zoo.utoronto.ca/natalie/frogpage.html.

The Frogging Reports page is at: http://www.zoo.utoronto.ca/FUN/frogs.html

Re: Frogging Reports

Posted by Mark Cranford on June 01, 1998 at 07:14:36:

In Reply to: Re: Frogging Reports posted by Jerry on May 30, 1998 at 21:00:02:

You can find frogging reports through the UofT Zoology Home Page under Links or just use The following URL http://www.zoo.utoronto.ca/natalie/frogpage.html . Note the page contains lots of images and can take awhile to load

Quinte Area Bird Report - May 31/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on May 31, 1998 at 20:27:46:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, May 31, 1998

Not a lot to report this week, although that is to be expected since the spring migration is beginning to wind down. At prime birding locations in the Quinte area, this can be seen by the abundance of female warblers in comparison to males. Prince Edward Point still has some of the later arrivals including MOURNING WARBLER and BLACKPOLL WARBLER. There is a late YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER which can be heard daily near the north end of the Quinte Conservation Area. Other birds to be heard regularly there include WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and FIELD SPARROW.

Amherst Island had a MARBLED GODWIT on Tuesday on the northeast corner of the Kingston Field Naturalists property, followed by a CATTLE EGRET, just south of Stella, also on the island.

Visitors to Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area at Picton are guaranteed good success if one stays to the trails along the wooded escarpment. An hour hike there Saturday afternoon yielded plenty of singing WOOD THRUSHES, OVERNBIRDS, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, WOOD PEWEES and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS.

Although the excitement of the spring migration is all but over in Prince Edward County, birders are still out in full force. Belleville area birders birding the county early last week found RUDDY TURNSTONES at Sandbanks Provincial Park when they hiked up the beach toward the village of Wellington. On their return trip, they located a small colony of BANK SWALLOWS nesting in the dunes, as well as finding GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON in flight.

Other sightings reported around the county include NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD at Gull Pond, RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER at Pleasant Bay, LONG-EARED OWL at the Stinson Block and a singing WINTER WREN along Partridge Hollow Road. The two pairs of MUTE SWANS seen last week at Consecon Lake are believed to be nesting according to residents there.

Bird feeders around the county are reporting as good success this spring as during the winter, except with slightly different cliental. Surprisingly few feeders however reported ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and INDIGO BUNTING - usually regulars during the spring migration. Our feeders have BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, DOWNY WOODPECKER, HOUSE FINCH, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, MOURNING DOVE, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, and SONG SPARROW. Several CHIPPING SPARROWS come daily to a peanut butter/suet cake feeder.

This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 7th Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Summer Tanager sighting

Posted by Anthony Warren on May 31, 1998 at 20:21:30:

I saw a summer tanager on Saturday 30 May at 6:40am on the north side of Queensway between Glengarry and Rosemary roads in Mississauga. This is my first sighting this year. The bird alighted on the sidewalk about thirth feet in front of me and afforded a good view before flying into the adjacent woods.

Re: Frogging Reports

Posted by Jerry on May 30, 1998 at 21:00:02:

In Reply to: Frogging Reports posted by Andy on May 29, 1998 at 15:02:52:

What is the Frog Page URL. Or is it as secret as froggies life?

Till later, Jerry.

Frogging Reports

Posted by Andy on May 29, 1998 at 15:02:52:

The frogging page is now up and alive. You are invited to post there your reports, sightings, questions, etc., related to frogs. The title suggests only Toronto area reports, but we welcome information from anywhere in the province. Your input is requested.

I am also considering other such boards. E.g. general nature, wildflowers, fungi, nature photography. If you have any interest in these areas, please let me know.

Chukar in West Rouge

Posted by Elizabeth on May 29, 1998 at 08:15:37:

A male Chukar was sighted & heard in West Rouge, (that is part of the new Toronto) just south of 401 & west of Rouge Valley, May 27, 1998. As it turns out, this bird has been in the neighbourhood for a while. He was observed over a period of several days by a grade 2/3 class at the local school about three weeks ago. It is probably a released bird, or an escapee from the Zoo, but it is a beautiful bird with very distinct markings.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Re: Help for visiting birders

Posted by Howard on May 29, 1998 at 02:12:55:

In Reply to: Help for visiting birders posted by Andy on May 15, 1998 at 09:53:48:

Hi Andy No joy yet with my request though the 2 who have mailed me gave your address and one sugested that you might be able to arrange for one of your students to take us out for a couple of hours and also gave some useful informations on local sights. Many thanks for your help. Howard

Brant in Oakville

Posted by Mark Cranford on May 28, 1998 at 21:31:37:

I saw 3 Brant on the waterfront in Oakville at the base of Trafalgar Road this evening. They feeding close to shore.

Colonel Sam Smith Park - May 28

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 28, 1998 at 21:07:45:

Around 5:00 this afternoon I saw a flock of 16 Whimbrel approach the Sam Smith peninsula from the lake. They followed the edge of the peninsula south and west until they were out of sight. About five minutes later I saw another (more distant) flock of approx. 15 approach from the same direction - these may have been the same birds if they made a big loop out over the lake, or they could have been a second flock. Other interesting birds on the peninsula included Mockingbird, Bonaparte's and G. Black-backed Gulls, and Common Tern.

"Scout" hummingbird?????????

Posted by Linda Gendreau on May 28, 1998 at 16:50:57:

Is there such a thing as a "scout" hummer, meaning that one comes around to check out the food supply, and possibly comes back after letting others know???? I've seen my very first hummingbird hovering around one of my feeders last Sunday, but I haven't seen any since. I would love to get more information

Kingbirds

Posted by Leslie on May 28, 1998 at 10:47:46:

Today (May 27), I saw an Eastern Kingbird at York Mills and Don Mills in Toronto. I saw one last year, in this same area. There are lots of Red-Wing Blackbirds in this area and today I saw an irate male chasing a crow.

Leslie Kinrys

Nectar Drinking Wren

Posted by Gavin on May 27, 1998 at 22:05:14:

We have a hummingbird feeder up in our back yard which we watch regularly, we have noticed a HOUSE WREN visiting it once in a while. I have checked the feeder to see if I can see any insects gathering on it that the wren may be eating however I have not seen any as of now. Could the wren be drinking the nectar from the feeder or is he picking of the odd insect that he notices on the feeder? I have tried to see with binoculars if the bird is drinking or eating and I am unable to tell.

Lost Peterson Field Guide and Log Book

Posted by Chris Kaczynski on May 26, 1998 at 19:27:30:

My husband, Dan, was birding this morning, May 26 at Cranberry Marsh in Whitby. He was on the south lookout off Halls Rd. When he drove off, he accidentally left his green fanny pack on the back bumper of his pick-up truck. In the bag is a Peterson Field Guide and a small black binder with a log of all the birds he has seen this year. He returned to Halls Rd when he discovered it was missing, but couldn't find it. There were other birders in the area. If anyone has found it, please phone (905)428-7300 or e-mail chris.kaczynski@sympatico.ca

Thank you

Colonel Sam Smith Park - May 26, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 26, 1998 at 18:18:20:

My friend John Triffo & I visited the Colonel Sam Smith park landfill early this morning. We revisited the Northern Mockingbird nest that I had found on Sunday. The one chick from Sunday was no longer in the nest but had scampered down below the nest about a foot where it was being fed by both parents. The unhatched egg from Sunday had hatched but this bird was recently dead as of this morning but apparently untouched by predators. We secured photos of the nest and both chicks.

While there we saw two flocks of Whimbrel - one flock of eleven at 08:10 and a second flock of sixteen at 08:13. Both flocks came from the east and flew inland just to the east of the Lakeview Generating Station.

We did not see any Bobolinks as we did on Sunday. We did find a singing Brown Thrasher.

Re: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 4 chicks as of Tuesday morning

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 26, 1998 at 18:02:55:

In Reply to: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 3 chicks as of Monday morning posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 25, 1998 at 22:35:55:

I visited the Etobicoke FalconWatch Centre this morning and the fourth chick had recently hatched just before dawn. I would encourage all those interested to visit the centre in the east tower of the Mutual Group Buildings (3250 Bloor St. W.) near the Aberfoyle St. entrance. An excellent live video monitor of the eyrie is there and recorded playback of nest activity is available for viewing. Please remember to sign the guest book if you go.

Re: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - all 4 chicks now hatched

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 26, 1998 at 17:35:53:

In Reply to: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 3 chicks as of Monday morning posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 25, 1998 at 22:35:55:

The last egg at Etobicoke hatched shortly before dawn today. By early afternoon it was standing up alongside the older three chicks, and was getting its first feeding. All seem to be doing well so far, and are getting a diet of mostly starlings and a few house sparrows, six or more times a day.

Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 3 chicks as of Monday morning

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 25, 1998 at 22:35:55:

In Reply to: Re: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 2 chicks hatched as of Sunday afternoon posted by Glenn Coady on May 25, 1998 at 17:30:04:

At first light this morning, a third eggshell was visible in the nest - the chick must have hatched during the night. All three chicks were observed throughout the day and appear healthy. The fourth egg is expected to hatch within the next day or two.

Re: Quinte Area Birding Report - May 24/98

Posted by Sandra Eadie on May 25, 1998 at 20:50:19:

In Reply to: Quinte Area Birding Report - May 24/98 posted by Terry Sprague on May 24, 1998 at 20:07:59:

As a participant in the OFO trip on Saturday, I would like to say how great the trip was. I particularly like seeing the cliff swallows swooping in and out of their nests on the cliffs of the point.

The Point of Prince Edward County southeast of Picton is so remote.

After we left the group we saw a mocking bird and a blackpoll warbler by the road.

At Sandbanks we were lucky to see a Snipe, very close, rise up and touch the top of a tree for a few moments and then fly on for about 30 yards. I had never had such a good view.

Sandbanks had quite a few catbirds too.

Warblers in Parkdale

Posted by Cyril Almey on May 25, 1998 at 19:55:33:

Spotted a pair of Magnolia warblers and a pair of Mourning warblers in the tree in my backyard. It was raining and they were after insects in a honey locust tree adjacent to a paper birch.They often visit the birch on their migration north as the trees leaf out. It is unusual to see them this late in the season.

Colonel Sam Smith park - May 24, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 25, 1998 at 18:24:09:

Yesterday, May 24, 1998, I led an outing to Colonel Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke for the Citizens Concerned with the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront.

We saw 13 Whimbrel fly past out over the lake from east to west last seen over the Lakeview generating plant about 9:00 a.m. 1 Common Loon (still in winter plumage) was also seen off the south tip.

We also saw four Dunlin and a Semipalmated Sandpiper on the rocks around the extreme southeast coner of the landfill.

We all got to see a Northern Mockingbird nest which contained one nestling mockingbird and one unhatched egg.

Just east of the new marina building we saw a female and 3 male Bobolink which looked to be on territory as well.

Up on the grounds of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hopsital we saw 19 species of warbler including: a beautiful singing male Mourning Warbler, a male Canada Warbler, a male Magnolia Warbler, a male and female Cape May Warbler, a male Blackburnian Warbler, 2 Common Yellowthroats, 4 Yellow Warblers, 3 singing male Black-throated Green Warblers, 1 male Black-throated Blue Warbler, 1 male Wilson's Warbler, 9 singing male Blackpoll Warblers, 1 Tennessee Warbler, 1 Nashville Warbler, 3 male American Redstarts, 3 male and 1 female Bay-breasted Warblers, 2 singing male Chestnut-sided Warblers, 1 Black-and-white Warbler, 1 Northern Waterthrush, and 2 Ovenbirds. Five Swainson's Thrushes and 4 Red-eyed Vireos were also noted.

Mississauga Peregrine Falcon update - May 25, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 25, 1998 at 17:38:29:

At long last there is an update on the status of the Peregrine Falcons in Mississauga.

Mark Chojnacki reports that he saw two birds copulating within the "MEC" symbol on 2 Robert Speck Parkway around noon today. Later, he observed what must have been a prey item being plucked atop 1 Robert Speck Parkway. He suspects these birds may be nesting on one of the two buildings. It would seem a very reasonable assumption but should be confirmed.

I would appreciate any information relating to this pair at coady@ftn.net.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 2 chicks hatched as of Sunday afternoon

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 25, 1998 at 17:30:04:

In Reply to: Re: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 1 chick hatched posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 22, 1998 at 21:00:41:

Indeed, it seems Mark Nash's report was slightly in error. The first chick hatched about 7:30 a.m. Friday morning and the second chick shortly before 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The remaining two eggs had not hatched as of Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

Rouge Park - May 24

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 24, 1998 at 21:17:05:

This morning I took a short walk along the east side of the main Rouge River, south of Twyn Rivers. The most conspicuous birds were Indigo Buntings and American Goldfinches, both of which were singing from the tops of trees all along the trail. Along the river, I saw a Solitary Sandpiper, 3 Great Blue Herons, and at least 4 Kingfishers. Yellow Warblers and Yellothroats were also scattered along the edge of the river, and I saw a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in a Manitoba Maple overhanging the water. In the clearings I heard and saw both Mourning Warblers and House Wrens. In the forested areas, there were Veery, Wood Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, Redstart, Great-crested Flycatcher, and several others.

Quinte Area Birding Report - May 24/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on May 24, 1998 at 20:07:59:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, May 24, 1998

Things were a bit slow in the Quinte area over the past week, with indications that the spring migration is winding down. Indications were that the migration was steady, and except for two or three good days, there were few spectacular waves. The 41st annual Kingston Field Naturalists Spring Roundup which chalked up 203 species within the 24-hour period, occurred May 16-17 and there were some notable sightings in the Prince Edward Point area as part of the KFN effort. Overnight 16/17 May, the passage of migrants was very heavy and easily counted as the low cloud ceiling forced the birds to fly lower. Along the axis from Kingston to Deseronto and south to the Point, the rate of flight was about 60,000 per hour per km of front. Thrushes made up a significant fraction led by VEERY, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, and GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH. On the ground along the peninsula leading to Prince Edward Point during the following morning, there was an excellent variety of migrant passerines. Many accumulated within the National Wildlife Area to feed and rest. The brisk westerly winds that accompanied the passage of the front brought a small hawk flight of immature birds, typical of the time in May when the adult raptors are well advanced with their nests. Some 60 TURKEY VULTURES, 20 RED-TAILED HAWKS, a few SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, COOPER'S HAWK and a NORTHERN GOSHAWK along with a few BROAD-WINGED HAWKS and RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS passed by. Around noon, two separate flocks of waders passed over Point Traverse which were 12 RED KNOTS and 10 dowitchers all in breeding plumage.

Among the songbirds, 29 species of warblers were found, noteworthy among which were an ORANGE-CROWNED, PRAIRIE, 2 HOODED WARBLERS, and 2 YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS. Two RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS and TWO RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS were also there.

HOODED WARBLER was still around a week ago when Albert Boisvert visited the Point . There were lots of BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, and one BAY-BREASTED WARBLER. There was a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO on Babylon Road, and one YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT was seen and heard .

There were 3 ORCHARD ORIOLES at P.E. Pt. Monday evening for a hike conducted by Quinte Conservation.

The 2nd annual Prince Edward County Birding Festival took place throughout last week, but a synopsis of their field trips did not arrive in time for this evening's report.

On Thursday, Albert Boisvert was at Amherst Island and chalked up 8 WILSONS PHALAROPE, 13 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, LEAST SANDPIPER, WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, DUNLIN , BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER and SPOTTED SANDPIPER. Ducks seen were NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREEN-WINGED TEAL , BLUE-WINGED TEAL, WOOD DUCK , BLACK DUCK, GADWALL and MALLARD.

At Frontenac Provincial Park he found RED-SHOULDERED HAWK calling and was also treated to the song and sight of a LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH.

An 8-km stretch of the abandoned CNR railway bed in Hillier Township in Prince Edward County produced an interesting blend of bird sightings early Friday morning. The silver maple swamp near Hillier village that is drained by Slab Creek contained OVENBIRD, WOOD THRUSH, HERMIT THRUSH, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and RED-EYED VIREO. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was heard calling from a deciduous woods near Palmer-Burris Road, and VESPER SPARROWS were singing near County Road 1. At the Consecon Lake crossing, there were GREAT BLUE HERON, MALLARDS, and two pairs of MUTE SWANS.

The Ontario Field Ornithologists field trip to Prince Edward Point yesterday resulted in over 70 species seen, but no spectacular numbers or species. There were only 12 warbler species recorded with BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER and BLACKPOLL WARBLER being the most frequently encountered. A CERULEAN WARBLER was found by the Quinte Field Naturalists group. There was some hawk movement with 3 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS noted along with RED-TAILED HAWK, NORTHERN HARRIER and BROAD-WINGED HAWK. GREAT HORNED OWLS were found in the swamp some distance west of the Point. Other species found included BRANT, CASPIAN TERN, BLACK TERN, VEERY and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW.

A CERULEAN WARBLER turned up at Amherst Island last week, along with YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, MOURNING WARBLER, STILT SANDPIPER and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON. RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS have also been observed there, and one was seen today in Prince Edward County on King's Road. A COMMON NIGHTHAWK was seen by Brian Grimley at the small bridge toward the southern end of King's Road.

Main Duck Island, located some 12 miles off Prince Edward Point, which has the potential of being every bit as good for birds as the Point itself, was a huge disappointment when two members of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists journeyed out there by boat recently. What they saw could have been tallied just as easily in their backyard, according to their candid comments. This report has been brought to you by Quinte Conservation, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 31st. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Re: Colonel Sam Smith park - May 19, 1998

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 22, 1998 at 21:02:02:

In Reply to: Colonel Sam Smith park - May 19, 1998 posted by Glenn Coady on May 21, 1998 at 16:02:20:

This morning I couldn't find any shorebirds at the park, but the warbler activity was fairly good. Redstarts and Blackpolls were by far the most common, but there were also a few Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Wilson's, Tennessee, Yellow, and Chestnut-sided.

Re: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 1 chick hatched

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 22, 1998 at 21:00:41:

In Reply to: Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 2 chicks hatched posted by Glenn Coady on May 22, 1998 at 15:42:29:

Actually, as of 6:30 pm there was still only 1 chick hatched. In all of the excitement this morning when we discovered the chick, there was some miscommunication, and Mark thought there were two chicks.

However, chances are that by the time anyone reads this, the second chick will have been born. We are expecting that the remaining three eggs will likely hatch over the weekend. We will attempt to capture as much of the action as possible on videotape, and will make this available for viewing at the information centre (open from 8 am to 6 pm weekdays, and 10 am to 3 pm this Sunday only).

Peregrine Falcons in Etobicoke - 2 chicks hatched

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 22, 1998 at 15:42:29:

Just received word from Mark Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation that two of the eggs at the Etobicoke Peregrine Falcon eyrie hatched shortly after 7:00 a.m. this morning. They have video footage of this at the FalconWatch centre which can be viewed (3250 Bloor St. W.) on site.

Colonel Sam Smith park - May 19, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 21, 1998 at 16:02:20:

Beth Jefferson has e-mailed me to let me know that she saw 120 Whimbrel fly in and land at Colonel Sam Smith park in Etobicoke Tuesday evening at about 7:00 p.m.

Presqu'ile

Posted by Donald Davis on May 21, 1998 at 14:14:22:

PRESQU'ILE BIRD SIGHTINGS

Warblers and Whimbrel's Weekend was a complete success, with the number of species seen over the long weekend approaching, if not exceeding, 150! Park Naturalist Steve Laforest reports that the migration is a strange one. The arrival of blackpoll warblers usually signals the end of the migration, yellow rumps are readily seen. A Louisiana waterthrush was reported, but has not been confirmed. The same with a report of an Arctic tern.

This ucoming weekend (Saturday and Sunday May 23rd and 24th) will host the last of the spring birding program guided hikes, commencing both days at 10:00 am from the Beach #4 parking lot.

The Spring Art Exhibition in the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre will again be open this weekend. See some outstanding art based on Presqu'ile themes.

Birding highlights include:

May 18 - blackpoll warblers 
- white-rumped sandpiper 
- 2 brant 
- horned lark (unusual in the park) 
- male orchard oriole 
- a few whimbrels just outside the park 

May 17 - 4 sandhill cranes flying overhead - 5 black-crowned night herons - 9 short-billed dowitchers - 2 ruddy turnstones - 2 least sandpipers - 8 dunlin - 3 semipalmated plovers - 1 clay-colured sparrow - 1 Carolina wren

May 16 - red-bellied woodpecker (inspecting a tree cavity) - northern parula - 2 Philadelphia warblers - mourning warbler - hooded warbler - cerulean warbler - black-billed cuckoo - many scarlet tanagers - evening grosbeak - 3 blackpoll warblers - 2 northern waterthrush

May 15 - fox sparrow - 100 brant - yellow-throated vireo - Tennessee warbler - blackburnian warbler - pine warbler - golden-winged warbler - blue-winged warbler - Nashville warbler

May 14 - blue-gray gnatcatcher - clay-coloured sparrow - wilson's warbler - 30 brant - orchard oriole - American redstart

May 13 - whip-poor-whil - 20 wood thrush - Lincoln's sparrow - red-headed woodpecker - 2 blue-winged warblers - golden-winged warbler

May 12 - 3 red-necked grebe - golden-winged warbler

Donald Davis

Odd woodpecker behaviour

Posted by Andy on May 21, 1998 at 08:31:40:

Our sunflower tube feeder has become a favourite spot for a Hairy Woodpecker. He has been visiting for about a week now, merrily stuffing his face with seeds. Am just wondering how prevalent such odd behaviour is. I emptied the feeder to check for insects, but found none, so I'm sure it's the seed he's after.

Re: Tommy Thompson Park - May 9-15/98

Posted by Ray Mitchell on May 20, 1998 at 19:44:47:

In Reply to: Tommy Thompson Park - May 9-15/98 posted by Tamara on May 19, 1998 at 15:55:11:

On the 18th at tommy t saw Blackpolls-2, Blackthroated blue females-3, palm-1, Chestnut sided-4, magnolia-1, scarlett tanagers-3, Red bellied woodpeckers-2, philadelphia vireos-3, and the usual suspects in the water

Re: Flocks of Blue Jays

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 20, 1998 at 14:38:55:

In Reply to: Flocks of Blue Jays posted by Schuy Jones on May 17, 1998 at 08:01:42:

The Blue Jays you are seeing are migrants. In both spring and fall the many Blue Jays that do not overwinter in s. Ontario often migrate in sometimes very large flocks. In fall as many as 10,000 have been seen passing one point in a single day in Toronto.

The timing is just about right for migrant Blue Jays - indeed I saw about 200 over Colonel Sam Smith park before a walk I led there on Saturday morning.

Hope this is helpful.

Re: Impatient!!!

Posted by Mike Burge on May 20, 1998 at 10:09:05:

In Reply to: Impatient!!! posted by Linda on May 19, 1998 at 22:06:49:

We have had Hummingbirds and Orioles since the 13th May, but I have only seen the Hummingbird on the feeder a couple of times. I think they're just not too hungry. I'm sure they will come to your feeders soon. Be patient and you will be rewarded. Mike

Re: Swede going to Canada

Posted by Hugh Currie on May 20, 1998 at 08:15:15:

In Reply to: Swede going to Canada posted by Jan Henriksson on May 18, 1998 at 18:24:50:

Give me a call at 416-535-1902 when you get to Toronto. I do the Toronto & Ontario hotline (416-350-3000 ext2293)and I am retired so I have quite a bit of time. When will you come???

Impatient!!!

Posted by Linda on May 19, 1998 at 22:06:49:

It's me again....the one that lives around Gage Park, in Hamilton. I'm getting real disappointed......I'm trying so hard to attract hummers and orioles! No luck! I have mature trees, bushes, columbines and other red flowers, an oriole feeder, half of an orange on a peg, 2 hummingbird feeders (with fresh syrup, changed every 2-3 days).... What am I doing wrong????? I seem to attract the "regulars", cardinals, blue jays, etc. with sunflower seeds. I also have a big fuschia plant near one of the hummingbird feeder.....Oh, I forgot, I also put out grape jelly.....What more can I do?? (aside from moving to another neighborhoud) LOL......Thank you. Linda.

Tommy Thompson Park - May 9-15/98

Posted by Tamara on May 19, 1998 at 15:55:11:

Tommy Thompson Park Wildlife Hotline (416) 661-6600 ext. 233

If you would like to record your own wildlife sighting at any time during this recorded message, please press 5 on your touch tone phone and provide a detailed description of your sighting after the tone. To assist us, please include the date and time of your observation along with your full name and telephone number.

The following is an update of the wildlife in and around Tommy Thompson Park for the week of May 9th to May 15th, 1998.

Warblers on migration are still trickling through the Park this week. Although the numbers were not high, there were a variety were still observed. Species reported included: Palm, yellow-rump, yellow, northern parula, chestnut-sided, Nashville, hooded, northern waterthrush, and ovenbird. Shorebird migration has also been slow with only spotted sandpipers, least sandpipers, and dunlin being reported.

Also of interest this week was the sighting of 2 marsh wrens on the base Sat. May 9 and Sun. May 10. Although this is not a rare bird, it is not commonly observed at the Spit.

Other birds reported this week include: Baltimore orioles, a pair of hooded mergansers and a coot in embayment D, wood thrushes, swamp sparrows, mocking bird, least and great-creasted flycatchers, a bobolink, a woodcock on the base, red-breasted nuthatches, a veery, red-breasted grosbeaks, savannah sparrows, a warbling vireo, and a scarlet tanager.

Mammals reported this week include 3 muskrats observed near the pedestrian bridge and cottontail rabbits on the base of peninsulas A and C.

And finally a reminder that the Park will be open the Victoria Day Monday from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm.

Tommy Thompson Park is a unique natural area located at the foot of Leslie Street on the Toronto Waterfront. It is currently open to the public on Weekends and Holidays throughout the year. Admission and parking is free.

The Tommy Thompson Park hotline is in part supported by Environment Canada?s Great Lake 2000 program.

Colonel Sam Smith park - May 18, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 19, 1998 at 15:15:09:

Yesterday (May 18) I saw a flock of 29 Short-billed Dowitchers along with 32 Dunlin, 1 Ruddy Turnstone, 2 Least Sandpipers, 2 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 1 Spotted Sandpiper. The dowitchers were the subspecies hendersoni.

Warblers were also present in small numbers: Blackpoll Warbler - 3; Black-throated Green Warbler - 1; Magnolia Warbler - 1; Yellow Warbler - 2; Tennessee Warbler - 4; Black-throated Blue Warbler - 1; American Redstart - 2; Common Yellowthroat - 1; Bay-breasted Warbler - 1; Cape May Warbler - 1; Black-and-white Warbler - 1; Nashville Warbler - 1.

Re: Swede going to Canada

Posted by Jan Henriksson on May 18, 1998 at 18:28:36:

In Reply to: Swede going to Canada posted by Jan Henriksson on May 18, 1998 at 18:24:50:

I forgot to write when I'll be in Canada.

I'll arrive in Hallifax the 3rd of June and will go back on the 29th of June.

Today it's not exactly decided when I'll be in Toronto!

Jan

Swede going to Canada

Posted by Jan Henriksson on May 18, 1998 at 18:24:50:

Hi

I'm a 28 y/o Swede living in a town called Luleaa in the northern part of Sweden. I have an American girlfriend studying at York University in Toronto. Right now I am planning a “holiday” trip to visit her and to see a lot of Canada's nature and wildlife.

This letter is to find out if anyone is interested in doing some birding with me when I'm in your neighbourhood?

Some more information I am involved in forest issues in the SSNC in Sweden. The SSNC (Swedish Society for Nature Conservation) is the largest environmental NGO in Sweden. If you are interested in some of my work (non-profit) take a look at http://norrbotten.snf.se/tjuorre_english.html This make me also interested in forest. I would like to like to visit different types of old-growth forests. Do you have any suggestions of old-growth forests close to Toronto or elsewere??

Jan Henriksson

jan.henriksson@snf.se

Quinte Area Bird Report - May 17/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on May 17, 1998 at 21:08:54:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, May 17, 1998

Much better birding this weekend at Prince Edward Point for 26 members of the Catharine Traill Naturalists Club from the Cornwall area. While warblers weren't exactly hanging off the trees as they have been during some peaks, there was plenty to see with 16 species present. TENNESSEE WARBLERS and BLACKPOLL WARBLERS far outnumbered most other species except for YELLOW WARBLER. Others seen included NASHVILLE, NORTHERN PARULA (5), MAGNOLIA, CAPE MAY, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, BLACKBURNIAN, BAY-BREASTED, YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACK-AND-WHITE, AMERICAN REDSTART, OVENBIRD, and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. Bird bander Eric Machell banded 3 BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS, I GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER and one BREWSTER'S hybrid on Thursday. As of today, 2,048 birds representing 80 species have been banded at Prince Edward Point since April 12th.

The first CANADA WARBLERS showed up at Prince Edward Point on Saturday, and the first WILSON'S WARBLERS one day earlier. There was a CERULEAN WARBLER at the Point on Wednesday, and BLACKPOLL WARBLERS turned up on Thursday, just a few days early of their average arrival date for the Quinte area. Observers who turned out for the first day of the Prince Edward County Birding Festival managed to add both PHILADELPHIA VIREO and SOLITARY VIREO to the RED-EYED VIREO and WARBLING VIREO seen by the Cornwall group.

Three SANDHILL CRANES flew over the banding station on Friday. BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS appeared on Thursday, and there were RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS about on Wednesday. GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS were still around on Thursday which is a bit late for them. SCARLET TANAGERS first put in their appearance on Wednesday, and there have been good numbers ever since. Also good numbers of BLUE JAYS the last few days which seem to be experiencing a passage of some sort; there were constant strings of them flying over the Point Traverse woods yesterday. Members of the Kingston Field Naturalists on Wednesday added NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD and ORCHARD ORIOLES to the cumulative list of arrivals this week. They also found 150 scoters, of which 125 were WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and 25 were SURF SCOTERS.

Meanwhile at Sandbanks Provincial Park, things are still looking good. The road to West Point has been closed to vehicular traffic until the end of this month in an effort to lessen impact on this newly discovered migration point. Birders can still walk down there and take advantage of a trail which winds its way through prime birding habitat.

Elsewhere in the park, BLACKPOLL WARBLERS, AMERICAN REDSTART, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and CANADA WARBLER have been chalked up, along with 2 LINCOLN'S SPARROWS and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS.

And of course, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS are everywhere right now and bound to make a visit to area bird feeding stations.

There were EVENING GROSBEAKS in flight today at Consecon Lake, several TURKEY VULTURES circling over Danforth Road, and UPLAND SANDPIPER at Allisonville. There is a SEDGE WREN in Ameliasburgh Township, south of Carrying Place, and an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was observed at Amherst Island this week, and a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER at Prince Edward Point yesterday.

There were 1,150 BRANT offshore on Friday, but by today all were gone. This report has been brought to you by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 24th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Re: Outing announcement - May 17 - Lambton Woods

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 17, 1998 at 17:56:00:

In Reply to: Outing announcement - May 17 - Lambton Woods posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 11, 1998 at 19:27:56:

Unfortunately, there were rather few migrants to be seen along the Humber today. Only Warbling Vireos and Baltimore Orioles were numerous enough to be considered common, and over a period of almost three hours, we were able to find only 39 species.

To the north of the James Gardens parking lot, there was a Tennessee Warbler, a Magnolia Warbler, and a Black-and-white Warbler. Along the shore of the river were 2 Greater Yellowlegs and 2 Spotted Sandpipers. Purple Martins, Rough-winged Swallows, Barn Swallows, and Tree Swallows flew over the river.

Lambton Woods was extremely quiet - not even any woodpeckers or chickadees were to be seen or heard. The only noteworthy bird here was a Great-crested Flycatcher. Lambton Prairie was not much better. We found a Catbird singing on the slope, as well as a singing Chipping Sparrow, a Kingbird, and the only Chickadee of the day.

Re: Flocks of Blue Jays

Posted by Schuy Jones on May 17, 1998 at 08:05:21:

In Reply to: Flocks of Blue Jays posted by Schuy Jones on May 17, 1998 at 08:01:42:

Sorry. I should have given the location and time. Bloor and Spadina. From about 6:45 until about 8:30 a.m.

Flocks of Blue Jays

Posted by Schuy Jones on May 17, 1998 at 08:01:42:

Can anyone tell me why Blue Jays would be moving in large flocks, all in the same direction, at this time of year? We have been seeing several flocks of jays, from about 15 to 40 birds each, all flying east, each morning since this past Thursday, 8 to 10 flocks per morning. That's a lot of jays.

ruby-throats

Posted by Ian Woodman on May 16, 1998 at 10:59:27:

Just wanted to say that I saw our first ruby-throated hummingbird of '98 today at Guelph Lake. And I mean RUBY-throated. Thank you El Nino.

To Gavin and Janet. Re.: northern orioles

Posted by Linda on May 15, 1998 at 22:40:56:

In Reply to: Re: Northern Orioles posted by Gavin on May 15, 1998 at 13:29:46:

Thanks to both of you for replying to me....This is such a great site!!! Well, I just want to let you know that I will not give up on trying to attract the orioles!!! Right now, I have an oriole feeder with fresh syrup in it, I have half of an orange on a peg, and I also have grape jelly in a dish!!!! Someone else told me that they've heard that orioles like grape jelly!!! I'm willing to try anything!!! Hopefully, I will be rewarded..... Thank you again, Linda.

Re: Northern Orioles

Posted by Janet on May 15, 1998 at 21:51:24:

In Reply to: Northern Orioles posted by Linda on May 13, 1998 at 21:59:17:

There has been a northern on my hummingbird feeder here in Georgetown several times this week.

It's a gorgeous sight.

However, the hummingbird only goes to some low flowers, not the feeder.

Go figure.

Peregrine Falcons in Toronto

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 15, 1998 at 21:48:12:

Most of you are probably aware of the two pairs of Peregrine Falcons nesting at King and Victoria (downtown) and Islington and Bloor (Etobicoke). The Canadian Peregrine Foundation has installed a video camera overlooking the Etobicoke nest, and live images can be viewed in the public information centre located in the lobby of 3250 Bloor Street West (the nest building) beside the Aberfoyle Street exit. The centre is open 8 am to 6 pm weekdays, during which time someone (often myself) is there to answer questions about the birds and to play back videotape of some of the highlights we have observed. Outside of these hours, a television monitor facing the mall is left on, so that the nest can be observed at all times. The chicks are due to hatch before the end of next week. I encourage everyone to come down and have a look - they really are wonderful birds to watch up close. (Also check out the link to the Canadian Peregrine Foundation on the main page for more information on each of the nest sites).

This morning I observed a Peregrine Falcon at what may well turn out to be Toronto's third nest site. The location is 2200 Yonge Street (the southwest corner of Yonge & Eglinton). I watched a female Peregrine (which appeared to be an adult) leave the southwest corner of the roof to chase away a crow, and then return to the west side of the building, where I watched her for about twenty minutes. Although I didn't see a male during this time, her display of territoriality suggests the possibility of a nest. If there is a nest, actions need to be taken to protect it. If any of you happen to be in the Yonge / Eglinton area and see a male Peregrine, please e-mail me with the details of the date, time, and location of the sighting. Also, any report on the leg bands of the female (and the male, if there is one) would be greatly appreciated. I would love to spend the time out there myself looking for a new nest, but I've already got my hands full with the Etobicoke nest.

On that note, I should also mention that we are regularly observing an immature female Peregrine at the Etobicoke site (at least 5 times in the past 11 days). She always appears between 2:00 and 3:30 in the afternoon, and is usually chased away by one of the adults. We suspect that this is one the females raised here last year, but have yet to see her well enough to confirm this via leg bands. Again, reports of any sightings of leg bands of immature Peregrines in the west end would be very much appreciated.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Re: Northern Orioles

Posted by Gavin on May 15, 1998 at 13:29:46:

In Reply to: Northern Orioles posted by Linda on May 13, 1998 at 21:59:17:

Linda, I have had limited success attracting orioles to my backyard feeders. If you see orioles for most of the year in your neighbourhood try putting out a few hummingbird feeders(this has not worked for me however I am told it can work, also put out fresh fruit orange and apple halves. I have only had them try the apple halves up until today and only once or twice that I have seen. My guess is that there are so many bugs around thay may not be interested in substitute foods. Just remember to place the fruit away from where you may sit as it will attract other insects. Good luck.

Help for visiting birders

Posted by Andy on May 15, 1998 at 09:53:48:

Any chance of any of you helping a couple of British birders with a local trip, next month? Howard and Kate Broughton fly into Toronto on June 3rd, staying the 1st night at The Travelodge West, 5599 Ambler Drive, Mississauga and then picking up a motorhome next day to do a circuit of Lake Huron. Problem is that they can't get the motorhome out until 1300 hrs so they have a few hours to kill on the evening of the 3rd June and the morning of the 4th. So if any birder living nearby could show them his/her local patch and give them a brief introduction to North American birding, they would be very grateful.

Howard is a retired firefighter who is now masseur to Nottingham Forest football club so if any Forest fan birders want the low down on the team, then now's your chance.

You can E-mail Howard and Kate on Forestrub@aol.com

Re: Blue Grosbeak - Toronto Island

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 15, 1998 at 08:58:26:

In Reply to: Blue Grosbeak - Toronto Island posted by Glenn Coady on May 14, 1998 at 17:03:54:

Mark Cranford and I searched the nature reserve on Toronto Island for this bird from 7:00 p.m. until sunset with no luck.

However, we did see our first Common Nighthawk of the year over Centre Island.

Re: Outing announcement - May 17 - Lambton Woods

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 14, 1998 at 22:05:01:

In Reply to: Outing announcement - May 17 - Lambton Woods posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 11, 1998 at 19:27:56:

At Lambton Prairie today, I found Bay-breasted Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chimney Swift, Warbling Vireo, and over 25 other bird species. Butterflies included Tiger and Black Swallowtail.

In the Lambton Woods / James Gardens area I found 35 species, with the highlights being Great-crested Flycatcher, Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, Catbird, and Hairy Woodpecker. Warbling Vireos and Baltimore Orioles were numerous and conspicuous.

Hopefully these and many more birds will be present on Sunday.

Re: High Park - May 14, 1998

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 14, 1998 at 20:14:28:

In Reply to: High Park - May 14, 1998 posted by Glenn Coady on May 14, 1998 at 15:53:55:

I also visited High Park this morning (8:45 to 10:00) but was much less fortunate. I started at Colborne Lodge and Howard's Tomb, which I've often found to be productive for warblers etc. in the past, but the closest thing to a migrant that I could find was a male Goldfinch.

Things were a bit better around the floral flag. After having missed them repeatedly the past two years, I finally found the local Orchard Orioles - in fact I happened across them as they were copulating. Nearby I found my first Magnolia Warbler of the year, as well as a couple of singing Warbling Vireos. I also noticed that at least six Purple Martins have come back to the condominium along the shore of Grenadier Pond.

After that I again walked for a long time without coming across any interesting birds. Even the area around the allotment gardens was quiet. However, the woods between the allotment gardens and the compost heap were very productive: 1 Parula, 1 Black-throated Blue Warbler, 4 Y-R Warblers, 1 Cape May (singing near the top of a spruce by the compost), 2 Magnolia Warblers, 2 Ovenbirds, 3 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, 1 Wood Thrush, 1 Veery, and 3 Least Flycatchers. This is the first time this year that I've really seen anything even approaching a normal spring migration bird movement.

Blue Grosbeak - Toronto Island

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 14, 1998 at 17:03:54:

I have just learned that apparently Larry Morse has found a male Blue Grosbeak today in the nature reserve on Toronto Island

High Park - May 14, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 14, 1998 at 15:53:55:

This morning (May 14) at High Park was reasonably active. I saw my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the spring, a male Scarlet Tanager, 15 Baltimore Orioles, 10 Common Loons flying north over the park.

Other migrants present were 1 Northern Parula (a male singing just west of courts 4 & 5 of the Howard Park Tennis Club), 1 Blackburnian Warbler, 2 Black-throated Blue Warblers, 1 Black-throated Green Warbler, 4 Nashville Warblers, 3 Yellow Warblers, 1 Bay-breasted Warbler, 2 Common Yellowthroats, 1 American Redstart, 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Yellow-throated Vireo, 6 Warbling Vireos, 10 Red-eyed Vireos, 2 Swainson's Thrushes, 3 Wood Thrushes, 1 Indigo Bunting, 1 Lincoln's Sparrow, 7 Least Flycatchers, 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee, 2 Eastern Kingbirds, 2 Great Crested Flycatchers, 1 Bobolink, 1 Brown Thrasher, 3 Gray Catbirds.

I could not locate the Great Horned Owls that have been near the allotment garden lately.

High Park - May 13, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 14, 1998 at 15:30:37:

Last evening (May 13) I went to Rennie Park to follow up on a Louisiana Waterthrush seen there by two of my friends. Alas, I had no luck finding this bird.

However, I returned to High Park for the last hour of light and when I got almost to the allotment garden I noticed a large flock of 182 Brant flying overhead headed straight inland at 8:10 p.m. (of all times).

Northern Orioles

Posted by Linda on May 13, 1998 at 21:59:40:

I would very much like to attract orioles to my backyard.. I live near Gage Park, in Hamilton. Do I stand a chance, and if so, what can I do to attract them??? Also, are they here yet???? Thank you. Linda.

Northern Orioles

Posted by Linda on May 13, 1998 at 21:59:17:

I would very much like to attract orioles to my backyard.. I live near Gage Park, in Hamilton. Do I stand a chance, and if so, what can I do to attract them??? Also, are they here yet???? Thank you. Linda.

High Park - May 12, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 13, 1998 at 17:31:45:

Yesterday evening I visited High Park to check on a nesting pair of Eastern Phoebes I have been monitoring - they are curently incubating 3 eggs with no Brown-headed Cowbird eggs (YET!).

While there I also birded along Spring Rd. and I heard 5 Wood Thrush singing. Just northeast of the allotment gardens I flushed and relocated two Whip-poor-wills (a male & a female). They have such effortless moth-like low flight when they take off from the ground.

The juvenile Great Horned Owl I reported earlier was still in an old pine just south of the allotment gardens except now it looks much bulkier.

Re: High Park - May 10, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 13, 1998 at 11:11:50:

In Reply to: Re: High Park - May 10, 1998 posted by Craig Mclauchlan on May 12, 1998 at 12:14:55:

Yellow-billed Cuckoo is a species I seldom see in the Toronto Region in spring, and when I have the majority have been in the last week of May or early June. I do have a May 8 record from Humber Marsh #7 and a May 15 record for Etienne Brule Park. My habit of absenting myself from Toronto for destinations like Point Pelee, Rondeau, etc. usually in the period May 6-17 probably has skewed my records a bit toward later sightings but I do believe records before May 15 are nonetheless the exception in our region.

My daily walks in High Park have failed to turn this bird up again. I do believe this species is a potential breeder in High Park and in the past I have used tapes to census likely areas of the park (i.e. the area due south of the Howard Park Tennis Club) in June but so far with no success.

sparrows pecking windows

Posted by Glenys on May 12, 1998 at 22:41:36:

I have a friend who has been plagued with a sparrow pecking his windows. He has put up paper, etc, and done everything to prevent this bird from pecking his window. He just moves to the next one, and flies into it and pecks at it. Has anyone else heard of this wierd behaviour? It has been going on for two weeks now.

Where are the Nonquon Sewage Lagoons

Posted by Chris Kaczynski on May 12, 1998 at 20:29:24:

How do you get to the Nonquon Sewage Lagoons? I know that they are in the area where the Nonquon River crosses Scugog 8th Line Rd, but it is not clear exactly where they are. We have made one trip there, but only traveled along 8th Line around where the river goes under the road. Is this the right place?

Can anyone help? Thank you

Re: Hummingbirds?

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on May 12, 1998 at 12:22:53:

In Reply to: Re: Hummingbirds? posted by Glenn Coady on May 08, 1998 at 20:32:08:

I saw my first R.T.Hummingbird on sat. may.9.98 in north Toronto (Lawrence @ Mount pleasant)I think this is all monst right on time.

Re: High Park - May 10, 1998

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on May 12, 1998 at 12:14:55:

In Reply to: High Park - May 10, 1998 posted by Glenn Coady on May 11, 1998 at 15:03:44:

Glenn what is your earliest record of yellow billed cuckoo (next to this one) in the Tronto area?

CRAIG

Re: Hummingbirds?

Posted by Janet on May 11, 1998 at 21:44:12:

In Reply to: Hummingbirds? posted by Roni on May 08, 1998 at 14:07:52:

None here either in Georgetown, yet, with a feeder up for weeks, and pulmonaria blooming like crazy in the garden.

A year ago, when we had such a cool wet spring, one came and tapped its beak on the sunroom window, attracted by a cyclamen plant inside. That was around May 11 I think. I put the feed up in a hurry then!

Outing announcement - May 17 - Lambton Woods

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on May 11, 1998 at 19:27:56:

This coming Sunday, May 17, I will be leading a free walk at James Gardens / Lambton Woods for the local conservation group Song of Hope. Everyone is welcome to attend, although this walk will probably be particularly beneficial for less experienced birders.

The walk will meet in the James Gardens parking lot (off of Edenbridge) at 10 am. I will post a sign at the entrance to the parking lot, and also within the parking lot where we will gather.

The walk will probably last for roughly two hours. I plan to start in the James Gardens area, then travel south through Lambton Woods, up to Lambton Prairie, and then back along the Humber River. The details of the route will be dictated by the birds we see, which will hopefully include a wide variety of warblers, as well as vireos, hummingbirds, flycatchers and more.

Anyone unfamiliar with the James Gardens area can e-mail me for directions (by TTC or car).

Good birding,

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

High Park - May 10, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 11, 1998 at 15:03:44:

Yesterday morning I went to High Park to check on a nesting pair of Eastern Phoebes. While I was at the nest site I noticed a bird huddled in a bush out of the rain that was not entirely visible. When I went around to another angle to peer into the bush I noticed it was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, one of my earliest sightings of this species in the Toronto region.

Re: Hummingbirds?

Posted by Andy on May 11, 1998 at 09:48:28:

In Reply to: Hummingbirds? posted by Roni on May 08, 1998 at 14:07:52:

Check out the following site. In particular, the migration maps which illustrate the birds' progression north.

http://www.derived.com/hummers/

Quinte Area Bird Report - May 10/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on May 10, 1998 at 21:19:18:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, May 10, 1998

And the birds keep coming - at least up until today when a persistent rain put a dismal end to what had been an exciting week in the Quinte area. Eighteen species of warblers and 4 species of vireos are now back. A YELLOW-THROATED VIREO was seen at Amherst Island during the week, and a PRAIRIE WARBLER turned up on Wednesday at the Sandbanks Provincial Park's Visitors Centre.

Warm temperatures and cloudy skies resulted in a flood of spring migrants, escalating on both Tuesday and Thursday. Ken Edwards of Kingston saw all 18 species of warblers recorded to date at Prince Edward Point on Thursday, including CAPE MAY, NORTHERN PARULA and CANADA. Both GOLDEN-WINGED and BLUE-WINGED WARBLER were seen plus a BREWSTER'S hybrid, and good numbers of BLACK-THROATED BLUE and AMERICAN REDSTART. The Brewster's was singing a perfect BLUE-WINGED song then switching to 2 different GOLDEN-WINGED patterns, one on two levels and one all the same pitch. Other highlights on Thursday were 125 SURF SCOTERS, 3 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS, VEERY (2), LINCOLN'S SPARROW (3), WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (500), WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (75), NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (2), and one each of EASTERN KINGBIRD, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, EVENING GROSBEAK, EASTERN WOOD PEEWEE , and SOLITARY SANDPIPER. Others seen that day included GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, INDIGO BUNTING and OSPREY. The best find on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday was a TUFTED TITMOUSE hanging around the banding station.

Turning up on Tuesday at Prince Edward Point were LEAST FLYCATCHER, VEERY WOOD THRUSH, and AMERICAN PIPIT. There was ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK there on Monday along with CHIMNEY SWIFT and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER. There were WARBLING VIREOS and SOLITARY VIREOS today at the Point, and a YELLOW-THROATED VIREO showed up at Amherst Island early this past week.

There was a small flight of RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES noted today at both Prince Edward Point and Amherst Island. A SCARLET TANAGER was at Amherst today.

EASTERN PHOEBES have now been joined in the Quinte area by EASTERN KINGBIRD, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, LEAST FLYCATCHER and EASTERN WOOD PEWEE. There was a WINTER WREN today at Prince Edward Point, and HOUSE WRENS showed up at both Roblin and the Quinte Conservation Area on Monday. Roblin also had WHIP-POOR-WILL on Tuesday, and Big Island had BOBOLINK on Wednesday.

COMMON TERNS made their appearance in Prince Edward County on Monday and a BLACK TERN was seen flying over the Big Island Marsh on Wednesday, although the species was seen in the Kingston area as early as April 30th.

Although the peak of the spring migration is just beginning, some birds are well into nesting with some species already with young. Young MOURNING DOVES were their parents were seen at Quinte Conservation Area on Monday, and at Elmbrook, Joanne Dewey already has KILLDEER out of the nest and running about. Among the more interesting nesting birds this week is a pair of BLUE-GREY GNATCATCHERS at West Point. West Point today also had WILD TURKEY, YELLOW WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (part of a flight passing through the Quinte area today) and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW.

A GREAT EGRET, one of two that have been in Prince Edward County for the past week, was seen in flight over Cherry Valley today. Miscellaneous sightings over the week include EVENING GROSBEAKS and several SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS today at Prince Edward Point, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW at Sandbanks, EASTERN BLUEBIRDS at Milford, EASTERN SCREECH OWL at Hillier and a LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Prince Edward Point. This report has been brought to you by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Bronte Red-necked Grebes

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on May 09, 1998 at 16:30:05:

The Red-necked Grebes in Bronte Harbour now appear to be incubating on the only floating tire left in the harbour. Floating docks are now being installed.

There may also be Pied-billed Grebes nesting in the marsh north of the Lakeshore Road bridge. We have been hearing them for about a week but have yet to see one.

There was a large movement of Oldsquaw offshore.

Passerine migrants were a bit thin this morning but there was a Blue-winged Warbler in Bronte Woods.

Durham Region - May 7, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 09, 1998 at 00:28:13:

Yesterday, May 7, 1998, I birded with Gerry Binsfeld along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Durham Region from Oshawa to Whitby stopping at Oshawa 2nd Marsh, Oshawa Harbour, Bonniebrae Point, Thickson's Woods, and Lynde Shores Conservation Area. We both had to leave for work at noon and thus we didn't cover more areas - what a pity, it was shaping up to be a remarkable day.

Here is a list of the 98 species we saw:

Abbreviations: Oshawa Second Marsh - O2; Bonniebrae Point - BP; Oshawa Harbour - OH; Thickson's Woods - TW; Lynde Shores Conservation Area - LS

Common Loon 2 (O2) Pied-billed Grebe 1 (O2) Horned Grebe 1 (BP) Double-crested Cormorant 173 (O2) Great Blue Heron 5 (O2) Green Heron 2 (O2) Black-crowned Night-Heron 1 (O2) Mute Swan 2 (O2) Canada Goose 14 (O2 - 12;TW - 2) Green-winged Teal 2 (O2) Mallard 38 (O2) Blue-winged Teal 2 (O2) Northern Shoveler 1 (O2) Gadwall 7 (O2) Ring-necked Duck 2 (O2) Lesser Scaup 5 (BP) Common Merganser 2 (BP) Red-breasted Merganser 54 (O2 - 14;BP - 40) Turkey Vulture 2 (LS) Cooper's Hawk 1 (O2) Red-tailed Hawk 1 (LS) American Kestrel 1 (O2) Peregrine Falcon 1 (O2) Virginia Rail 1 (O2) American Coot 1 (O2) Killdeer 4 (O2) Lesser Yellowlegs 3 (OH) Solitary Sandpiper 1 (OH) Spotted Sandpiper 1 (O2) Least Sandpiper 3 (OH) Common Snipe 3 (O2) Little Gull 32 (O2 - 30;OH - 2) Bonaparte's Gull 494 (O2 - 181;OH - 313) Ring-billed Gull 70 (O2/OH/BP/TW/LS) Herring Gull 44 (O2/OH/BP) Great Black-backed Gull 2 (O2) Caspian Tern 41 (O2 - 13; OH - 28) Common Tern 50 (O2 - 37; OH - 13) Black Tern 5 (O2) Rock Dove 29 (O2/OH/TW/LS) Mourning Dove 18 (O2/TW/LS) Great Horned Owl 1 (TW) Whip-poor-will 1 (TW) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 (O2) Downy Woodpecker 3 (O2) Northern Flicker 2 (TW) Least Flycatcher 1 (LS) Horned Lark 6 (O2 - 2;LS - 4) Purple Martin 3 (O2) Tree Swallow 18 (O2 - 11;BP - 5;LS - 2) Northern Rough-winged Swallow 9 (BP - 3;O2 - 6) Bank Swallow 26 (BP) Barn Swallow 1 (O2) Blue Jay 11 (O2 - 9;TW - 2) American Crow 27 (O2/BP/TW/LS) Black-capped Chickadee 16 (O2/TW/LS) Red-breasted Nuthatch 1 (O2) White-breasted Nuthatch 3 (TW - 2;LS - 1) Carolina Wren 1 (TW) House Wren 4 (O2 - 2;TW - 1;LS - 1) Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5 (O2 - 2;TW - 2;LS -1) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2 (TW/LS) Wood Thrush 3 (TW) American Robin 34 (O2/TW/OH/LS) European Starling 65 (O2/OH/BP/TW/LS) Blue-headed Vireo 1 (O2) Warbling Vireo 1 (O2) Blue-winged Warbler 1 (LS) Nashville Warbler 2 (LS) Yellow Warbler 2 (O2) Chestnut-sided Warbler 1 (LS) Black-throated Blue Warbler 3 (TW) Yellow-rumped Warbler 15 (O2 - 6;TW - 4;LS - 5) Black-throated Green Warbler 1 (TW) Palm Warbler 1 (TW) Black-and-white Warbler 4 (TW - 3;LS - 1) American Redstart 1 (LS) Ovenbird 2 (O2/TW) Northern Waterthrush 1 (O2) Northern Cardinal 4 (O2 - 2;TW - 2) Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3 (TW) Eastern Towhee 1 (LS) Chipping Sparrow 16 (TW) Savannah Sparrow 9 (O2) Song Sparrow 23 (O2/OH/BP/TW/LS) Swamp Sparrow 4 (O2) White-throated Sparrow 188 (O2 - 75;TW - 55;LS - 58) White-crowned Sparrow 29 (O2 - 15;TW - 5;LS - 9) "Gambel's" White-crowned Sparrow 1 (LS) Dark-eyed Junco 2 (TW) Red-winged Blackbird 120 (O2/OH/BP/TW/LS) Eastern Meadowlark 1 (O2) Rusty Blackbird 1 (LS) Common Grackle 80 (O2/BP/TW/LS) Brown-headed Cowbird 22 (O2/OH/TW/LS) Baltimore Oriole 1 (TW) House Finch 15 (O2/TW/LS) American Goldfinch 6 (TW) House Sparrow 45 (O2/OH/BP/TW/LS) The highlights obviously were the 30 Little Gulls at Oshawa Second Marsh (groups of 10 and 11 seen in the air simultaneously) and 2 Little Gulls seen at very close range in Oshawa Harbour.

We missed a singing male Hooded Warbler at Lynde Shores C.A. that was found by Jim Fairchild and seen by many others but I did locate a Blue-winged Warbler there.

The "Gambel's" White-crowned Sparrow was not like some of the intergrade birds between gambelli and lecophrys that I have seen on the Hudson Bay coast. This bird had gleaming white lores and the black crown stripes narrower than the white ones with the black eye-line behind the eye quite narrow. The bill was quite distinctly yellow (like a kernel of corn) compared to the dusky pink bills of adjacent birds. I showed it to two others birders who had never seen one before - they both remarked how easy it was to pick out from the others. Unfortunately we did not have time to re-locate this bird for Gerry after we had split up to search for the Hooded Warbler.

Good Birding,

Glenn Coady

Hummingbirds, more info

Posted by Linda on May 09, 1998 at 00:13:04:

I've never had hummingbirds in my yard...but this year, I am trying real hard to attract them. I've had 2 feeders with water and sugar, hung, for the last 3 weeks....(I've changed and cleaned them weekly)...I have planted some Columbine, and yesterday, I planted some petunias. I live in Hamilton, near Gage park, is there anything else I can do, and do I have a good chance of having them this year????? Thank you. Linda.

Re: Hummingbirds?

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 08, 1998 at 20:32:08:

In Reply to: Hummingbirds? posted by Roni on May 08, 1998 at 14:07:52:

It has been my experience in 25+ years of birding in Toronto that Ruby-throated Hummingbirds' arrive on average about May 7th plus or minus a couple of days, so it is not unusual that you have not seen one yet - neither have I. I expect I should see my first this week, possibly tomorrow. I would be willing to bet that others that contribute to this list already have.

Re: Red-necked Grebes - watch for nesting!

Posted by Gavin Edmondstone on May 08, 1998 at 17:40:24:

In Reply to: Re: Red-necked Grebes - watch for nesting! posted by Glenn Coady on May 06, 1998 at 22:55:19:

The Red-necked Grebes have returned to Bronte Harbour. The harbour development is set to to proceed this summer however the developer is aware of the grebes and seems to be willing to accomodate them. For example the grebe's tire was left in place when the rest of the tires were removed. These birds have quite a following in Oakville.

Tommy Thompson Park

Posted by Tamara on May 08, 1998 at 14:24:13:

Tommy Thompson Park Wildlife Hotline (416)661-6600 ext 233

The following is an update of the wildlife in and around Tommy Thompson Park for the week of May 2nd to May 8th, 1998.

Warbler migration started to pick up this week and a few new species were observed. Callers reported observing palm, yellow, black-and-white, Nashville, black-throated blue, mourning, yellow-rumped, and northern waterthrush.

Shorebird migration is under way and as a result more of these species have been and will continue to arrive in the next few weeks. Spotted sandpipers have returned, and greater yellowlegs have been observed consistently on the mudflats. Other shorebirds sighted include solitary sandpipers in embayment D, and dunlin & least sandpipers on the mudflats. The best locations to view shorebirds are on the mudflats at the south end of the Park and embayment D.

Also of interest this week was the first sighting of a pileated woodpecker at Tommy Thompson Park. It was first observed early Saturday May 2 on peninsula B, then later in the morning on the base lands. It has not been sighted again.

Waterfowl of note include a red throated loon observed Saturday May 2 out on the lake, 22 common loons, blue-winged teal on the base, 1 ring-neck duck, a female harlequin duck, and red-necked grebes out by the lighthouse. Many other species of northern ducks are still present at the Park but their numbers are steadily declining.

Other bird species recorded this week include swamp sparrows, fox sparrows, white-throated & white-crowned sparrows, a snipe on the base, a female ring-neck pheasant, a red breasted nuthatch, Caspian terns, hermit thrushes, flickers, ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets, rough-winged swallows, woodcock, goldfinches, a sharp-shinned hawk, kestrels, eastern towhees, woodcock, and phoebes.

And finally..several callers have reported seeing groundhogs in the meadows surrounding the cells and out by the lighthouse. There have also been numerous sightings of eastern cottontail rabbits on peninsulas C and D.

Tommy Thompson Park is a unique natural area located at the foot of Leslie Street on the Toronto Waterfront. It is currently open to the public on Weekends and Holidays throughout the year. Admission and parking is free.

The Tommy Thompson Park hotline is in part supported by Environment Canada?s Great Lake 2000 program.

Hummingbirds?

Posted by Roni on May 08, 1998 at 14:07:52:

Hello, can someone who knows about birds please help. Our hummingbird feeder has been out for a few weeks and so far this year we haven't seen any hummingbirds. Usually we have them around all summer. Is it still too soon. They are usually here by now. Any suggestions?

Re: Birding in Oakville

Posted by Mike Boyd on May 07, 1998 at 21:23:47:

In Reply to: Birding in Oakville posted by Mike Boyd on May 04, 1998 at 21:18:46:

Dear Fellow Birders

Hi, today there were 2 Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks (male and female), 2 Northern Orioles, 4 House Wrens (one of them was nesting, 5 Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers (a pair them were nesting), 2 Chestnut-Sided Warblers, Yellow Warbler, and Warbling Vireo.

Mike

Toronto Island - May 6, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 06, 1998 at 23:28:01:

This morning I birded over on Toronto Island and although it was not as good as I had hoped it might be, I did see all the regular swallows, a Red-headed Woodpecker just west of the Lighthouse, a somewhat early Least Bittern perched up in a tree just north of the filtration plant, 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Wood Thrush, a Gray Catbird, one each of Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Ovenbird, & American Redstart. Ten Yellow-rumped Warblers, 3 Palm Warblers and 2 Northern Waterthrush were also seen. A young Mourning Dove was found in the Nature Reserve.

Re: Red-necked Grebes - watch for nesting!

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 06, 1998 at 22:55:19:

In Reply to: Red-necked Grebes at posted by Andy on May 06, 1998 at 16:32:02:

It seems that Ram Nambiar is not aware that Red-necked Grebes nested in two locations on western Lake Ontario last year. An excellent article outlining these nestings was published in the most recent issue of Ontario Birds (the journal of the Ontario Field Ornithologists) by Rob Dobos & Gavin Edmonstone. One of those two pairs at least, the pair at Bronte Harbour, are back again this year. I have heard nothing regarding the other pair as yet.

It would therefore be very useful to be watchful for nesting near Marie Curtis park. It would be a good idea to provide artificial nesting platforms pre-made to encourage them as was done several decades ago as they were diminishing on western Lake Ontario.

Thank you Ram, for making us aware of this development.

Red-necked Grebes at

Posted by Andy on May 06, 1998 at 16:32:02:

This was sent to me by Ram Nambiar:

It was couple of days ago that I posted to Gord Gallant(Web Master of Ontario Birding)the sighting of 14 Red-Necked Grebes in the Etobicoke lake waters at the foot of Marie Curtis Park.

Today I retunrned to the same place. I was surprised to see them all very close to the shore exactly the same place where I saw them as a flock on Monday. One difference though. One more is added to my previous count to make a total of 15 of them today.

I don't see any one of them diving for food but simply swimming. Are they resting after their migration this far before they can wing their way back to West?. More than 14 yrs ago Dr. Murray Spiers had reported some of the Red-Necks nesting in Burlington. In any case, it is strange why they didn't move away from the same location of the Lake in Etobicoke since Monday.

Any of the biders interested in seeing these large white cheeked Grebes, go west along Lakeshore and turn left on Marie curtis park(west of the creek). Near the woodlot close to the lake and waterfront Trail is the parking lot. Very near the shore is a tree. You will see them about 3o' away from shore.

Ram Nambiar 3368Hargrove Rd Mississauga.ONT 9O5 828-4997

birder@echo-on.net http://www.echo-on.net?~birder

Thickson's Woods and Lynde Shores

Posted by Barbara Mann on May 06, 1998 at 08:04:57:

Yesterday, Carol Sellers and I had a very productive day in these two areas east of Metro. Finally there were enough warblers to get excited about: 3 black-and-white, 2 black-throated blue, several black-throated green, 2 Nashville, blue-headed Vireo, 3 chestnut-sided, palm, and tons of yellow-rumps. Common terns were calling over Cranberry Marsh, and we had excellent looks at a female Pheasant feeding at the northern entrance there. Other highlights included a bobolink and rusty blackbirds. Savannah sparrows were singing everywhere, and we concluded that spring has sprung!

O.F.O walk on the Leslie st. spit

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on May 06, 1998 at 07:44:31:

the Ontario Field Ornithologists are having a free walk on the leslie st. spit on this coming sat.may 9 1998 lead once agen by Norm Murr,it leves the bace at 8:00 am and all are welcom, bring a lunch,water and walking shoes,this time of year any thing could be expect

Re: Birding in Oakville

Posted by Mike Boyd on May 05, 1998 at 21:50:22:

In Reply to: Birding in Oakville posted by Mike Boyd on May 04, 1998 at 21:18:46:

Dear Fellow Birders

Hi, today in the 16 Mile Creek in Oakville there was the first big wave of the season. The best bird was a singing Wood Thrush, heard this evening. Also seen were 2 Spotted Sandpipers (one of them was being chased and attacked by a Red-Wing Blackbird), 3 Chestnut-Sided Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, Pine Warbler, many Yellow-Rumped Warblers, 3 Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, 2 House Wren, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, White-Throated, Chipping, Field, and Savannah Sparrow.

Mike

Re: Location of Humber Marsh #7

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 05, 1998 at 15:27:17:

In Reply to: Re: High Park/Humber Marsh #7/Park Lawn Cemetery - May 3, 1998 posted by Barbara Mann on May 05, 1998 at 08:02:46:

Humber Marsh #7 is the marsh just south of Bloor St. on the east side of the Humber River. You can access it by way of a path on the west side of the property of the building immediately east of the Humber bridge on the south side (2561 Bloor St. W?)

Pelee Update

Posted by Tony Lang on May 05, 1998 at 13:04:36:

I borrowed the following post from BIRDCHAT. It is from Karl Konze, who I believe lives in Ontario. Mr Konze sent it to Alvaro Jaramillo, who forwarded it to BIRDCHAT, whereupon I repatriated it for people who will be heading to Pelee.

Cheers,

Tony Lang

From alvaro@SIRIUS.COM Mon May 4 15:56:51 1998

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 12:32:05 -0700

From: Alvaro Jaramillo

To: BIRDCHAT@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU

Subject: [BIRDCHAT] Pt. Pelee Migration Update, May 3nd 1998

>From: Birders_AT_PELEE-VISCENT%CCMAIL@pch.gc.ca

>Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 12:39:59 -0400 >Subject: Pt. Pelee Migration Update, May 3nd 1998 >Content-Disposition: inline > > > Fairly heavy rain tailed off by 7:00 am with only occasional drizzle > until 10:30 am. Song was mostly limited to White-throated Sparrows, > Black-throated Green Warblers, Carolina Wrens and Ruby-crowned > Kinglets. At the Tip, 1 Common Loon, 8 Willets, 1 American Pipit and > Sedge Wren greeted the first wave of birders. The Willets put on a > great show flying around and landing on the Tip several times. > > Tilden's Woods has been quiet so far today, but other parts of the Park > have produced pockets of warblers, mostly Yellow-rumped, Black-throated > Green, Nashville, Palm and Black-and-white. Most birders found > Blue-headed (Solitary) Vireo and Hermit Thrush. A few Catbirds, > Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and a Great Crested Flycatcher were reported. > A LeConte's Sparrow sang early along the bike trail opposite the staff > bunkhouse and has been seen by several birders later in the morning. > > Good birding. > > > Dave Martin and Sarah Rupert > > -------------------------------------------------------------------- > 1998 FESTIVAL OF BIRDS Schedule of Events > -------------------------------------------------------------------- > > * MORNING BIRD HIKES (6:45am) daily during May. 5 dollars/person. > > * AFTERNOON HIKES - BIRDING PLUS (2:00pm) from May 1-25 (Thursday to > Monday only) 5 dollars/person. > > * BUSHNELL SPORTS OPTICS BINOCULAR CLINIC > May 8-10, 10:00am - 2:00pm. Free. > > * BIRD IDENTIFICATION WORKSHOPS by the Park's Expert Birders. Everyday > at 1:00pm between May 1-25. Free. -Workshops cover > what's around, what's hot, various ID topics and > birding resources > > * SPECIAL DEMONSTRATION (May 8-9, 10am - 3pm and May 10, 10am - 2pm) > PETE THAYER will be demonstrating "Thayer's Birds of > America, v.2.0" and "Birder's Diary" CD ROM's. > > * EVENING THEATHRE PRESENTATIONS (7:30pm at the Visitor Centre; 5 > dollars per person; refreshments provided by the > Friends of Point Pelee and Pelee Island Winery. > Attendance limited to 100 people. Reservations can > be made by calling (519) 326-6173. > > Saturday, May 9 1998 > COSTA RICA by BARRY GRIFFITHS (Quest Nature Tours) > > Wednesday, May 13 1998 > WARBLER IDENTIFICATION by JON DUNN > > Friday, May 15 1998 > THE EDGE OF THE ARCTIC by BOB TAYLOR > > Saturday, May 16 1998 > BIRDS OF EVERYWHERE by BOBBY HARRISON > > * BOOK SIGNINGS (11:00am - 2:00pm) > > DONALD and LILLIAN STOKES (May 7) > Featuring Stokes' "Bird Gardening" > > GERALD E. WALDRON (May 9) > Presenting, "The Tree Book" > > JON DUNN (May 13) > Jon will be signing his "Peterson's Guide: Warblers > of North America" following his presentation. > > ROBERT TAYLOR (May 15 and 16) > Featuring his book, "Great Gray Owl" > > JIM FLYNN (May 8, 9, and 17) > Jim will be signing the new Keep The Songs Alive > poster featuring his stunning photography. > > ARTHUR MORRIS (May 18) > Featuring, "The Art of Bird Photography" > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------- > > ***This update is brought to you by the FRIENDS OF POINT PELEE (FOPP) > and POINT PELEE NATIONAL PARK. Don't forget, all FOPP members receive > 10% off all merchandise at the Nature Nook Bookstore.*** > > > >

Alvaro Jaramillo "It was almost a pity, to see the sun Half Moon Bay, shining constantly over so useless a country" California Darwin, regarding the Atacama desert.

alvaro@sirius.com

Helm guide to the New World Blackbirds, Birding in Chile and more, at:

http://www.sirius.com/~alvaro

Late Rusty Blackbirds in Glen Stewart Park

Posted by Tony Lang on May 05, 1998 at 12:41:41:

This morning I was conducting a warbler survey in Glen Stewart Park as part of a monitoring program that started in the 1970s. The Glen Stewart count is the oldest, started by Fred Bodsworth in 1970.

In any event there was a flock of 7 Rusty Blackbirds foraging in and adjacent to the main watercourse in the ravine (black, no iridescence and one of them still had some rusty on it. Every bird had a yellow iris). They soon moved up to the tops of the trees (migratory restlessness?).

There were also:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1 Black-throated Green Warbler Black-and-white Warbler - male Ovenbird - 1 White-throated Sparrow - 9

There was no sign of the Yellow-rumps, Palm Warbler or Blue-throated Vireo that I saw or heard on previous days.

Re: Holland Landing Sewage Lagoons

Posted by Barbara Mann on May 05, 1998 at 08:06:22:

In Reply to: Holland Landing Sewage Lagoons posted by David Worthington on May 03, 1998 at 19:57:34:

Dave: Would you mind describing the location of these sewage lagoons and what the best way is to access them? Many thanks, Barbara.

Re: High Park/Humber Marsh #7/Park Lawn Cemetery - May 3, 1998

Posted by Barbara Mann on May 05, 1998 at 08:02:46:

In Reply to: High Park/Humber Marsh #7/Park Lawn Cemetery - May 3, 1998 posted by Glenn Coady on May 04, 1998 at 15:11:59:

Glenn: Could you describe exactly where Humber Marsh #7 is and how you access it? Many thanks. Barbara.

Lestlie Spit

Posted by Mike Boyd on May 04, 1998 at 21:26:49:

Dear Fellow Birders

The best birds on Sunday were 4 Dunlins, along with a Brown Thrasher, Hermit Thrush, many Common Terns, C. Loon, Savannah Sparrow, 4 Juncos, Barn, Tree, Rough-Winged, and Bank Swallows, and many Oldsquaw and a few G. Scaup still present.

Mike

Birding in Oakville

Posted by Mike Boyd on May 04, 1998 at 21:18:46:

Dear Fellow Birders

Hi, on Saturday on a field trip with the South Peel Naturalists' Club to Bronte Provincial Park (east) we had 6-7 Yellow-Rumped Warblers, a Palm Warbler, White-Crowned, White-Throated, and singing Chipping, Field, and Vesper Sparrows, a Bobolink, flyby Loon, and a Woodcock. Later that day at the 16 Mile Creek near the Glen Abbey Golf Course there was a singing Chestnut-Sided Warbler, along with Pine Warblers, 2 Gnatcatchers, male and female Wood Duck, Woodcock, and 2 Brown Thrashers. Also a Blue-Headed Vireo was present on April 26 and 30, along with 5 Yellow-Rumps on the 30.

Mike

hummers

Posted by Linda on May 04, 1998 at 19:32:19:

Any sightings of hummingbirds in Hamilton yet??? Thanks.

Chimney Swifts - College & Elizabeth St. - May 4/98

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 04, 1998 at 17:51:41:

Just a few minutes ago I saw & heard 2 Chimney Swifts above the northwest corner of College St. & Elizabeth St. In the past I have seen them nest in the chimney of the former church on the southwest corner of Grenville St. & Elizabeth St.

High Park/Humber Marsh #7/Park Lawn Cemetery - May 3, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 04, 1998 at 15:11:59:

Yesterday I spent a very pleasant day birding High Park, Humber Marsh #7 and Park Lawn Cemetery.

Highlights included:

High Park:

1 adult Great Horned Owl with 1 recently fledged young near the allotment garden

1 Chestnut-sided Warbler near Colborne Lodge

1 Greater Yellowlegs at north end of Grenadier Pond

1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker near Howard Park Tennis Club

1 Eastern Phoebe nest

1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher along Wendigo ravine

1 Red-eyed Vireo along Wendigo ravine

3 Palm Warblers near the allotment garden

1 Northern Waterthrush along Spring Road

Humber Marsh #7:

All the expected swallows including Cliff Swallow

2 Northern Rough-winged Swallows beginning to nest

2 adult Great Horned Owls with three VERY recently fledged young

1 Nashville Warbler & 1 Black-throated Green Warbler

1 House Wren

1 male Wood Duck

1 Virginia Rail

Park Lawn Cemetery:

1 Great Crested Flycatcher

1 American Redstart & 2 Palm Warblers

1 Northern Mockingbird

Chipping Sparrows everywhere

5 singing Dark-eyed Juncos still present

2 Blue-headed Vireos

I also visited the Etobicoke Peregrine Falcon eyrie. The female was incubating 4 eggs. The male was present on one of his new favourite hunting perches on the "L" of the LAVA logo on the south side of the west tower.

Re: Virginia Rail in Toronto Park?

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 04, 1998 at 14:50:08:

In Reply to: Virginia Rail in Toronto Park? posted by David Robinson on May 04, 1998 at 13:18:38:

Certainly during migration anything is possible. There have been records of Virginia Rail, Sora and even Yellow Rail ending up in the downtown Toronto canyons of glass and steel - they get disoriented by the lights just like the passerines. At least in this instance it sounds like it wasn't fatal attraction. I suggest you contact the volunteers from the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) by searching for them on the internet.

Virginia Rail in Toronto Park?

Posted by David Robinson on May 04, 1998 at 13:18:38:

One of my co-workers at the office told me that he and his wife saw what they are SURE was an immature Virginia Rail in the park along the south side of Cumberland St. in the Bay/Bloor area. Anyone else seen this bird?

Pelee - May 2/3, 1998

Posted by Andy on May 04, 1998 at 11:13:59:

Songbirds are slowly trickling in. With the exception of white-throats and RC Kinglets, it was a one- or two-of kind of weekend. Yellow rumps in small numbers and a few black and whites. Even so, we got Louisiana Waterthrush, Pine Warbler and Mockingbird. We missed the hooded and blue-winged, and likely a few others (as we left mid-day). Viewing conditions are still ideal as the trees have not leafed out as I had heard. Toronto is probably 1-2 weeks ahead of Pelee leaf-wise. Unfortuntately, it was misty and foggy, so gull/waterfowl viewing was very poor, although Horned Grebes were very cooperative at the tip by staying close to shore.

Please post Pelee reports here as I know a number of people planning first-time and return trips over the next two weeks.

Quinte Area Bird Report - May 03/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on May 03, 1998 at 21:56:35:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, May 03, 1998

Although we experienced some fine weather this past week, not many new species have shown up in the Quinte area since last weekend's report.

All species of swallows are now back in Prince Edward County, including BANK SWALLOW. This morning there were WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, NASHVILLE WARBLER, HERMIT THRUSH, FIELD SPARROWS and PALM WARBLER at Prince Edward Point. Last weekend, a SOLITARY VIREO was present, and there were still a few FOX SPARROWS about.

The Bucknell's slough off Wesley Acres Road today had only a small puddle of water left in the far corner with only a pair of MALLARDS - quite unlike last weekend's flurry of GREEN-WINGED TEAL and GREATER YELLOWLEGS.

The shorebird population seems a bit better at nearby Amherst Island where WILSON'S PHALAROPE, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, DUNLIN and UPLAND SANDPIPER have been seen. The REEVE that was seen there in the grassy margins of the south pond on the Kingston Field Naturalists property on Monday, was last seen on Tuesday. It was seen in approximately the same location as last week's SMITH'S LONGSPUR. The EURASIAN WIGEON continues to be a regular sighting in the marsh just to the south of the 2nd Concession at the west end of the Island.

Quinte Conservation Area currently has plenty of FIELD SPARROWS, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and BROWN THRASHER singing, along with scattered numbers of CEDAR WAXWINGS, and on Wednesday a pair of WOOD DUCKS turned up in Potter's Creek.

The Big Island Marsh has AMERICAN BITTERNS, and both SORA and VIRGINIA RAIL calling, and plenty of SWAMP SPARROWS.

The GREAT EGRET, possibly two, continue to turn up in swampy areas around the county. One was seen today in Consecon Creek at Melville.

West Point, at Sandbanks Provincial Park, which is rapidly gaining a reputation of being a "little Prince Edward Point," had 8 TURKEY VULTURES there yesterday, WILD TURKEY on Friday, and an OSPREY on Thursday. The pair of OSPREY at the new nesting platform at the junction of Massassauga Road and County Road 28 are actively adding material to their nest. They seem to be showing no interest in the nearby hydro pole from which their nest was moved this past March.

This report has been brought to you by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 10th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Holland Landing Sewage Lagoons

Posted by David Worthington on May 03, 1998 at 19:57:34:

For anyone who is wondering about the conditions of the Holland Landing Sewage Lagoons I visited there on Saturday . Three of the ponds are full to almost overflowing and the other was also high but did have a small amount of shorebird habitat around the outside. The only birds I saw were a few Canadian Geese, ~5 Blue winged Teal, 1 Green winged Teal, 2 Gadwall and 6 (1 F & 5 M) Wood Ducks. There was a Yellow rumped Warbler singing in the woods at the entrance but otherwise nothing else of note.

Outings Announcement - May 16 & 24, 1998 - Colonel Sam Smith Park

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 01, 1998 at 17:14:22:

I will be leading walks on behalf of the Citizens Concerned with the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront (C.C.F.E.W.) on both Saturday, May 16th from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. and on Sunday, May 24th from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. at Colonel Sam Smith Park at the foot of Kipling Ave. Both days we are meeting in the Colonel Sam Smith Park parking lot and will bird both the park and the adjacent former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital grounds.

The walks are free and all are welcome.

Hope to see you there.

Re: Where is Bonniebrae point?

Posted by Glenn Coady on May 01, 1998 at 15:41:05:

In Reply to: Re: Where is Bonniebrae point? posted by Tyler Hoar on April 28, 1998 at 12:57:27:

Yes, take Simcoe street over the creek, past the lights and turn right (west) onto Henry St. which turns into Lakeview Park Ave. Follow west on Lakeview Ave. to the first or second left-hand turns (southbound) which are Kluane Ave. and Birchcliffe Ave. respectively. Follow either to the parking area on the high bluff point overlooking the lake just to the west of Oshawa Harbour.

Voila! Bonniebrae Point

High Park - April 30, 1998

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on April 30, 1998 at 20:17:17:

In Reply to: High Park - April 29, 1998 posted by Glenn Coady on April 29, 1998 at 14:59:34:

This morning I found 1 male Black-throated Green Warbler and 5 male Yellow-rumped Warblers between the compost heap and the allotment gardens in High Park. Most of the warblers were singing. There was also a Field Sparrow near the theatre site.

Marcel

Toronto Iland birding

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on April 29, 1998 at 21:35:28:

I spent the day on the Tronto Iland today I had 61 speches and the true fell for spring,hear are some hilights W.T.Spariow 152,Hermit Thrush 173,N.Flicker 32,N.Mocking 1 Yellow rumped Warbler 19,B.Thrasher 9,A.Bittern 2, N.Waterthrush 1,Palm Warbler 1,Purple Martin 2,Spotted Sandpiper 1.A great day with the true feling of much moor to come.

Good Birding CRAIG

High Park - April 29, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 29, 1998 at 14:59:34:

Ahhh yes, at long last some warbler activity!

This morning in High Park I saw Black-and-White Warbler, Pine Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, and four Yellow-rumped Warblers. Bring on the rest, my eyes are starving!

Re: Where is Bonniebrae point?

Posted by Tyler Hoar on April 28, 1998 at 12:57:27:

In Reply to: Where is Bonniebrae point? posted by Chris K. on April 27, 1998 at 20:13:52:

Bonniebrae Point is just west of Oshawa Harbour/Lakeview park. From the 401 take the simcoe st exit. Turn south on simcoe and after a few kilometers you will approach the harbour. you drive over Oshawa creek and go through the lights. Take the first right past the lights. Then follow this road through the park and turn left at the first or second streets heading towards the lake. Both roads rise up a hill and end at the same parking lot at the top of the point.

Sorry I can't remember names of the roads to make things easier.If you have travelled into the subdivison on the west side of lakeview park you have gone to far. Birds of interest over the last few days are Adult Laughing Gull flew east friday evening. flights of red-necked and horned grebes in the evening. Common and Red-throated loons in the morning. On the 27th 2 forsters terns flew west. 28th morning 4 black scoters flying east and the first flock of Brant (17) flew eastward.

Tyler Hoar

Where is Bonniebrae point?

Posted by Chris K. on April 27, 1998 at 20:13:52:

I've heard Bonniebrae point mentioned many times in birding reports. I know it is in Oshawa, but where exactly is it?

Thanks in advance.....

Leslie St. Spit - April 26, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 27, 1998 at 17:44:27:

Yesterday afternoon I visited the Leslie St. Spit. There were very few passerine migrants except for 2 Hermit Thrushes and a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

Notable sightings however were 2 1st-summer Iceland Gulls and 1 1st-summer Glaucous Gull at the blue box (seen from great distance by scope), 4 Dunlin, 2 Least Sanpiper and an Upland Sandpiper seen at The Flats, and adult male & female Harlequin Ducks seen off the Lighthouse. This is the first migrant Upland Sandpiper I have seen in Toronto in several years.

At the first hardpoint of the endikement I saw a large Peregrine Falcon flow past low right in front of me. It proceeded down along cell 1 & 2 low over the water with Oldsquaws furiously diving for cover as it advanced. I later found it up on a pole near cell 3 and was able to get exceptional scope views. It was a young female anatum-like Peregrine (about 1 year old) and was not wearing any bands at all! It flew in from the east. Makes me wonder how many of these nesters we are missing. This is the second time in a year I have seen an unbanded young Peregrine in Toronto which cannot be accounted for by the known local nests.

Another encouraging sight on the Spit was that I saw the T.R.C.A. guard refuse entrance to 4 groups with dogs a policy which I have felt they have been inconsistent in applying in the past.

Quinte Area Bird Report - Apr. 26/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on April 26, 1998 at 21:09:02:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, April 26, 1998

Despite somewhat cooler temperatures this past week, migrants continued to arrive in the Quinte area. Sandbanks Provincial Park on Thursday had BROWN THRASHER singing at 7:00 a.m. east of the Main Gate, and several PINE WARBLERS and plenty of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS calling across from the administration office. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were also present today at Prince Edward Point, along with PINE WARBLER and plenty of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS. There were NASHVILLE WARBLERS and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS there early this week, along with three early WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, CAROLINA WREN, and a lingering COMMON REDPOLL. There was a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD near the banding station on Monday. The mockingbird at Big Island continues to be seen where it has been since last October.

Two GREAT EGRETS were present in Prince Edward County this past week - one near the Ducks Unlimited weir at Gull Pond, and another the same day in Consecon Creek, just off Highway 62, north of Bloomfield. Another (likely the Gull Pond individual) was present today in the south end of the marsh at Little Bluff Conservation Area, just in from the entrance to the property. A SANDHILL CRANE was present today in a field off Victoria Road, and a pair of MUTE SWANS was also seen today at Beaver Meadow Wildlife Management Area. The Bucknell's slough off Wesley Acres Road today had numerous GREEN-WINGED TEAL, CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS, GREATER YELLOWLEGS and one PECTORAL SANDPIPER.

Among the more interesting arrivals at Amherst Island last week were a SMITH'S LONGSPUR at the Kingston Field Naturalists property Tuesday and Wednesday, and an EURASIAN WIGEON on Tuesday. The latter was still there today.

Joanne Dewey who was responsible for the recent report of an ICELAND GULL at Deseronto, continues to keep her eyes on the skies while commercial fishing with her husband. On Wednesday, it paid off again when two flocks of SNOW GEESE flew over with about 350 birds for each. Most were blue morphs with maybe 10% whites.

A new colony of GREAT BLUE HERONS has been discovered by Peter Williams at Fish Lake, containing about 6 nests. This brings to eight the number of known heronries currently active in Prince Edward County. This latest heronry can be seen from Potter Road.

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists annual general meeting will be Tuesday, April 28th, at 6:00 p.m. in the Picton Town Hall. Guest speaker Mike Ogilvie from Charleston Lake Provincial Park will speak on reptiles.

This report has been brought to you by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 03. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Humber Bay - April 24

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on April 24, 1998 at 21:25:31:

Humber Bay was actually quite disappointing this morning. The most interesting waterfowl were 5 Am Wigeons, a pair of BW Teal, the male Hooded Merganser, and a handful of Bufflehead and C. Goldeneye. 7 Caspian Terns were back, but no Common. Song birds were very few in number - on the hill south of the ponds there were 2 male YR Warblers, 2 Swamp Sparrows and a Savannah Sparrow, but otherwise there was little other than Starlings and Robins.

The one interesting observation I made was of a Grackle at the east end of the north bay at Humber Bay West. The Grackle waded into the water and ducked its head under the surface. I thought it was just bathing, but it came up with a ~4 cm minnow. It carried the fish over to the rocks on the shore, pinned it into a crevice, and proceeded to eat it. I've read previously that Grackles will sometimes pick their food out of the water, but this is the first time I've seen it.

Marcel

Re: Which Pelee Sites are Good? - Hillman's Marsh

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 24, 1998 at 18:03:53:

In Reply to: Re: Which Pelee Sites are Good? posted by Tony Lang on April 24, 1998 at 10:33:27:

Dear Tony and all,

With regard to Hllman's Marsh - one way I describe access to it that usually gets everyone there intact is to think about going from Leamington. When you are on the main north-south street through Leamington coming down from the Hwy 401 turn left (east) at the intersection where the Heinz ketchup plant is on the southeast corner. Follow east to the marsh you can't miss it.

From the park go north always along the road that stays closest to the east beach when you finally reach an area you must turn left you are at the southeast corner of the marsh.

Two other points - oldtimers often refer to the area as Stein's Marsh just to make matters more confusing. They also refer to the famed "purple house" on the road that forms the north boundary of the marsh just west of the east beach. This bohemian house has not been painted purple for over 10 years but many of us still use it as a landmark reference which I'm sure confuses the hell out of those more recently familiar with the site who overhear our directions to something.

Hopefully some of this info will help keep your trip less tormented than your previous experience with Clive's book.

Best of luck on your Pelee trip!

Re: Which Pelee Sites are Good? - Hillman's Marsh

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 24, 1998 at 18:02:28:

In Reply to: Re: Which Pelee Sites are Good? posted by Tony Lang on April 24, 1998 at 10:33:27:

Dear Tony and all,

With regard to Hllman's Marsh - one way I describe access to it that usually gets everyone there intact is to think about going from Leamington. When you are on the main north-south street through Leamington coming down from the Hwy 401 turn left (east) at the intersection where the Heinz ketchup plant is on the southeast corner. Follow east to the marsh you can't miss it.

From the park go north always along the road that stays closest to the east beach when you finally reach an area you must turn left you are at the southeast corner of the marsh.

Two other points - oldtimers often refer to the area as Stein's Marsh just to make matters more confusing. They also refer to the famed "purple house" on the road that forms the north boundary of the marsh just west of the east beach. This bohemian house has not been painted purple for over 10 years but many of us still use it as a landmark reference which I'm sure confuses the hell out of those more recently familiar with the site who overhear our directions to something.

Hopefully some of this info will help keep your trip less tormented than your previous experience with Clive's book.

Best of luck on your Pelee trip!

Re: Which Pelee Sites are Good?

Posted by Tony Lang on April 24, 1998 at 10:33:27:

In Reply to: Re: Which Pelee Sites are Good? posted by Glenn Coady on April 23, 1998 at 16:37:20:

Halleluiah! Thanks Glen, this information is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks also for posting it at the web page so that other can benefit. I know that others will appreciate it.

I broke my promise and looked at Goodwin's description of Pelee in the first edition. I quickly regretted it. I bogged down in the description of the route to Hillman's marsh. I looked back and forth between the text and the map included in the book and could not reconcile them. Finally, I realized that there was the word "west" in place of "east". Soon the images of other disastrous attempts to make sense of Goodwin's instructions and maps came flooding back into my mind. I shook myself free of the catatonic state I was slipping into. I had to avoid being overwhelmed by the horrors of the memories. I found an old Pelee checklist I had bought on a previous trip and was comforted by the fact that the small map on it explained more than Goodwin's map and the 3 or 4 pages of text combined.

Re: T.O.C. walk on the Leslie st .spit

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 24, 1998 at 10:28:27:

In Reply to: T.O.C. walk on the Leslie st .spit posted by Craig Mclauchlan on April 24, 1998 at 07:39:50:

Just a note for those who might be confused by the acronym. T.O.C. refers to the Toronto Ornithological Club.

T.O.C. walk on the Leslie st .spit

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on April 24, 1998 at 07:39:50:

ther will be a T.O.C. walk on the Leslie st spit on April 25 98 starting at the bace at 8:00 in the moring it will be lead by Norm Murr (his storey of the black Vulture a first for the G.T.A will be told im sher)and all are welcom to jone in on this free walk.Bring a lunch,water and sterdy walking shoe,s he tell,s me wear going to do the holl spit and with the early spring anything may show up (maby even the Black Vultur).

CRAIG

Re: Red-necked Grebe Migration

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on April 24, 1998 at 06:56:37:

In Reply to: Red-necked Grebe Migration posted by Tyler Hoar on April 23, 1998 at 17:19:28:

The Red-necked Grebes can also be seen further west along Lake Ontario. On Monday morning I went out to Guildwood Park, and saw more than 90 of them on the lake, many of them near shore.

Re: Which Pelee Sites are Good?

Posted by Mike Boyd on April 23, 1998 at 22:56:38:

In Reply to: Which Pelee Sites are Good? posted by Which Pelee Sites? on April 22, 1998 at 11:31:26:

Hi, I found this report by Glenn Gervais on the current conditions of Point Pelee, and a few sightings. Hope this may help.

http://www.ais.org/~alb/pelee98.html

homing pigeons

Posted by valerie hake on April 23, 1998 at 18:48:48:

Iam an researcher that is doing work on homing pigeons and how radio waves affect their navigation. would like to talk to other researchers that are working wtih pigeons.

Red-necked Grebe Migration

Posted by Tyler Hoar on April 23, 1998 at 17:19:28:

Well The Grebes are now in full migration. We conduct a lakewatch here in Oshawa at Bonniebrae pt. Our highest one day total last year for Red-necked grebes was 811. However on the 21st 847 were recorded and last night the 22nd 1008 were recorded. All these birds were flying westwards. The movement of grebes usually start around 6:20 pm and goes till dusk. This year our strongest flight have occurred around 7:15 pm. These birds only seem to move along the north shore when there is a south wind to a weak north or west wind. Also smaller numbers of horned grebes are moving west as well. 77 on the 21st and 174 on the 22nd.

Tyler Hoar thoar@durham.net

Re: Which Pelee Sites are Good?

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 23, 1998 at 16:37:20:

In Reply to: Which Pelee Sites are Good? posted by Which Pelee Sites? on April 22, 1998 at 11:31:26:

Dear Tony,

I don't profess to be an expert on Point Pelee National Park, but I have been going there for over 20 years now - here is my $0.02 anyway.

You asked about excellent sites outside the national park for birding in Essex county. Let me preface my remarks on this by saying that the park has been very proactive at promoting such sites to reduce the people pressure on the park's ecosystems. They have excellent handouts on these areas at the park visitor centre.

Essex County is blessed with many excellent birding areas. Here in no particular order are some of my favourites:

Hillman's Marsh - immediately northeast of the park between it and Wheatly - this area is a marsh which Ducks Unlimited manages the water level for primarily ducks. While it is excellent for ducks, it is also good for shorebirds, larids, owls, rails, herons, sparrows, and Bald Eagles are very often present. This is a good place to go when passerine activity experiences that mid-day lull and you are looking to leave the park. Untold numbers of rarities have been found here in the past and this was one of the surest and easiest places in Ontario to see King Rail at one time.

Stoney Point (Tremblay Beach Conservation Area & adjacent sewage lagoons to the south) and Ruscom Shores Conservation Area are both good passerine traps (surrounded by ploughed fields) and are good for similar species to Hillman's Marsh but in addition are good for Yellow-headed Blackbird (not as good as previously as the marsh chokes on phragmites & loosestrife now), rails, Least Bittern. Rarities like Purple Gallinule & Black-necked Stilt (among many others) have occured here. I am also convinced that the numerous times I have seen King Rail here are undoubtedly Walpole Island and St. Clair NWR birds still in passage. Black Terns are still present. Cattle Egret turns up here more than most places. Ruscom shores can be very good for shorebirds (or not).

Three sewage lagoons are excellent for waders - Essex, Harrow (usually the best), and Kingsville. Kingsville is no longer open (hence why it was removed from Clive Goodwin's 2nd Ed. to the Ontario Birdfinding Guide) to birders. The local O.P.P. officer lives in the house next to its southern access road and I hear he issues citations to trespassers periodically to enforce no trespassing.

Comber Sewage lagoons seldom has water levels any more that attract shorebirds as in the past when it was regularly drawn down. However the woodlot to the west of the lagoons is an excellent passerine migrant trap and I would rate it definitely worth doing. The restaurant/gas bar (eat here and get gas :^) on the northeast corner of Comber's main intersection keeps a sightings book.

Wheatly Harbour is good for larids, herons, and many rarities have been turned up there. The provincial park is good for passerines as a change from the park. So is the Kopegaron Woods on the way there.

Another excellent site worth a visit is the Arner Townline between Hwy 18 and the lake. The creek system here is very good for migrants and there is a resident nesting pair of Bald Eagles on the east side of the road which you can't possibly miss.

The Onion Fields are good for Ring-necked Phaesant, Black-bellied Plover (ocassionally Golden Plover), Ruddy Turnstones, very rarely Buff-breasted Sandpiper (far more likely in fall), loafing gulls, The dykes in the area are attractive to Glossy Ibis.

One of the most underbirded areas outside the park is the Sturgeon Creek watershed at its many access points such as behind the Pelee Days Inn, or from Sturgeon Woods Campground. The docks around the marina on Sturgeon Creek are great places for close looks at Bonaparte's Gulls and Forster's Terns.

The Marentette Beach area (private road) is often good for late lingering winter/spring birds, particularly ducks.

If you have time to go even further Holiday Beach Conservation Area can be good for waterbirds and the Amherstburg Sewage Lagoon often turns up something good that lingers - and very few people ever visit it.

As to your questions about areas in the Park:

The strategy of doing the tip in the morning and working your way north has best success after pre-dawn showers or in foggy conditions. It can be good at any time though as the draw of the tip is its concentrating effect. When the tip is long (it's not right now) it attracts many loafing and resting gulls and shorebirds (until the first idiot walks right to the end - which is why many like to check it in the morning). The other phenomenon that draws many to the tip is the potential for often spectacular reverse migrations often on cold fronts particularly with north winds. People will endure many unproductive trips to the tip for the hope of that one massive fallout you will reminisce about for decades - these events are rare but unforgettable. You are better to bird the morning up EAST Beach (sun at your back instead of in your face - reverse true in evening of course).

The Sparrow Field is found northeast of the tip train loop where the trail up East Beach bends west to the main road. Birding from the north end of the Sparrow Field up to the 1/2-way stop can be quite a productive solitude some days and on others choked with birders.

Other locations I favour in the afternoon in the Park are Sleepy Hollow, White Pine, Blue Heron, Northwest Beach and the Administration Bldgs at the north gate. DeLaurier Trail can be good for finding a different mix of birds from the locations listed above.

The dyke on the north edge of the park can sometimes be good on the way to the Onion Fields and during mid-day the Visitor Centre Parking Lot is a good vantage point for birds (hawks, cranes, vultures, ibis. etc) that fly over as it is one of the largest non-marsh open areas. The cactus field north of the group campground can be very good particularly for sparrows.

Hope this helps maximize your trip - good luck!

Which Pelee Sites are Good?

Posted by Which Pelee Sites? on April 22, 1998 at 11:31:26:

I would like to go off on a tangent about Pelee and ask what sites in the national park and Essex County are worth visiting? And at what times of day and weather conditions, if any?

Are the Stoney Point marshes still worth visiting, or has the invasion of purple loosestrife driven out the Yellow-headed Blackbirds and Black Terns?

Are the Comber sewage lagoons still worth visiting? How about the "onion fields"?

Where in the park is the legendary "sparrow field"? Is it still worth visiting?

Does the traditional strategy of going to the tip of Point Pelee at dawn and walking northwards work? If so, should you walk through the woods or along the west beach? Do these strategies only work under certain weather conditions?

What spots in the park north of the visitor centre are worth visiting? Also, what time of day and under what weather conditions (if any)?

I would like to make the best of my time there, so if there are sure bets, I would be grateful knowing about them. If there aren't, then I would welcome that information too. I'm not going to consult the bird-finding guide for Ontario since I have found that to be more of a hindrance than a help too many times in the past.

Cheers,

Tony Lang

Re: Mandarin Duck

Posted by Chris Clark on April 20, 1998 at 15:12:50:

In Reply to: Mandarin Duck posted by Ian Woodman on April 13, 1998 at 13:21:37:

I live in the apartments looking out over the basin where he stayed. He used to show up for days or even weeks in a row. However, we haven't seen him since last winter.

Although we'd like to believe that he's still alive and found himself a female wood duck who liked him (Wood ducks being the closest relative over here) and that he moved off with her, the truth is that I think he succumbed to the weather or a predator last winter. Either that, or he migrated south and decided not to migrate back north. However, the mallards he hung around with don't migrate, they over-winter and live off bread crumbs so I don't know where the Mandarin would have gotten the idea to migrate from.

He was arguably the most beautiful bird my wife and I have ever seen in person. Plus, we like ducks. :)

-- Chris

Quinte Area Bird Report - April 19/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on April 19, 1998 at 21:17:47:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, April 19, 1998

And the fine weather continues. West Point on Monday had 3 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, both GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HERMIT THRUSH, WINTER WREN and BARN SWALLOW. All species of swallows have returned to the Quinte area, including PURPLE MARTIN, and only Bank Swallow remains unreported. BROWN THRASHERS have also returned.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS are being reported throughout the county, and a few other early arrivals have also shown up including PINE WARBLERS at Sandbanks Provincial Park, Prince Edward Point and Amherst Island. A SOLITARY VIREO was seen last week at Amherst Island. A PINE WARBLER was at the Frink Centre today. On Tuesday there were 30 COMMON LOONS, HORNED GREBES, 11 RED-NECKED GREBES and one EARED GREBE in alternate plumage just offshore from the first parking area at the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area. There were also 3 SNOW GEESE at the Point on Tuesday. A SNOW GOOSE was also seen at Amherst Island migrating high overhead with a flock of CANADA GEESE. At least one TUNDRA SWAN continues to be present in the Big Marsh at the west end of the Island. MUTE SWANS in Prince Edward County have been observed at East Lake, West Lake, Consecon Lake and South Bay. In some cases the same individuals may have been involved in these sightings.

COMMON SNIPE and AMERICAN WOODCOCK have long returned to Prince Edward County, and at Amherst Island, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, DUNLIN and UPLAND SANDPIPER have also made their appearance. There were three MARSH WRENS singing in the Big Island Marsh on Monday, and several VIRGINIA RAILS were calling today from the marsh at the Frink Centre at Plainfield.

The two nesting OSPREY have returned to their nesting site at the east end of Amherst Island on the Kingston Field Naturalists property, occasionally harassed by a late lingering SNOWY OWL. OSPREYS have also returned to the nesting site at Massassauga Road in Prince Edward County, and appear to have accepted their new nesting platform, erected during the winter.

Bird banding under the auspices of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory got under way last weekend with nearly 20 volunteers showing up to lend a hand. In their first day they banded nearly 30 birds and over 50 the following day. A great lead into a hopefully fantastic season. This report has been brought to you by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 26th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Pelee?

Posted by Andy on April 19, 1998 at 20:35:08:

Any reports from Pelee? I'm wondering how the migration is advancing this year, given an early-ish spring. Has anybody been out? Any prognostications for first week in May?

Arrivals in Dufferin County

Posted by Mike Morris on April 19, 1998 at 13:57:05:

A few new arrivals just north of Orangeville include Eastern Bluebirds, Field Sparrows, and American Woodcock. No sign of any warblers yet.

Leslie St. Spit - Ring-billed Gulls now on eggs - April 12/98 egg date

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 17, 1998 at 17:35:43:

Further to my posts about the excellent flocks of gulls out near the blue box on the endikement of the Leslie St. Spit, I forgot to mention that on Sunday April 12 Roy smith & I located a single Ring-billed Gull egg (earlier than the earliest date listed by Peck & James from the Ontario nest record scheme - but I'll bet CWS biologists have had earlier dates for eggs not recorded in the nest record scheme).

This means that by now many of the birds in that colony will have laid eggs and thus a trip to the blue box at the tip would now be ill-advised. Certainly many of the birds that have been loafing at this tip can still be seen by scanning the lake in the morning.

Re: Tundra Swan migration

Posted by Brian Bell on April 17, 1998 at 14:19:28:

In Reply to: Tundra Swan migration posted by Timo Korpijaakko on March 26, 1998 at 10:22:23:

The symbols of Spring are hanging out in McIntock Bay on Marsh Lake, Yukon. Both Tundra and Trumpeter.

Re: Owls

Posted by Melanie Price on April 15, 1998 at 20:40:51:

In Reply to: Re: Owls posted by Tyler Hoar on December 31, 1997 at 12:03:22:

I am a high school junior currently taking an environmental science class. We were given the option to do an assignment on these owl invasions and I am curious to know. If you could get back to me with some more information on this outbreak, I would really appreciate it. Thank you, Melanie Price.

King City - April 10, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 15, 1998 at 19:12:05:

Friday Gerry Binsfeld and I found a Northern Shrike at the monastery on the west side of Keele St. about 2.5 km north of the King Sideroad in King City.

Given that the date is one where either Ontario shrike could occur we were careful to rule out whether it might be a Loggerhead Shrike now very seldom reported in the Toronto Region (in fact critically endangered in Ontario).

This bird was definitely an adult Northern Shrike.

Leslie St. Spit - April 12, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 15, 1998 at 19:05:02:

Sunday I returned again to the Leslie St. Spit to photograph gulls.

I saw very few interesting birds on the way out the endikement but I did meet Roy Smith out between cells 1 & 2. He told me he had done the blue box area earlier but saw no "white-winged" gulls out there. I told him of my experience of late with them was that they often appeared in the afternoon and asked if he'd like to join me to re-cover the area. He did and what a feast of white-wings we had - some were obviously arriving just shortly after we got there.

We saw:

6 Iceland Gulls (2 adult, 4 1st summer)

3 Thayer's Gulls (1 adult, 1 2nd summer, 1 1st summer. The adult bird we re-located several times and I was finally able to photograph it full frame using my scope)

3 Glaucous Gulls (1 adult, 2 1st summer)

We also saw a dark first-summer bird we suspected might be a Lesser Black-backed Gull but different (certainly a larger individual) than the bird I photographed the previous day. At the time I felt we should leave it unidentified but now I am very confident it was indeed another first summer Lesser Black-backed Gull (very short, finer bill than nearby Herring Gulls; outer wing - primaries and all primary coverts uniformly dark with no trace of lighter area in the inner primaries as on Herring Gulls; inner wing dark showing both dark secondary bar & dark greater secondary coverts - although inner greater secondary coverts with pale central areas; tertials a solid brownish gray with a thin light edging but no internal light markings or notched light edges ; a very dark blackish bill with no hint of pinkish base yet ; a residual amount of former dark "ear patch"; a very short tail compared to adjacent Herring Gulls; greater coverts very plain gray without much appreciable light barring except on inner few coverts; a very rounded and smaller head profile compared to adjacent Herring Gulls; shorter-legged appearance; mantle/scapular feathers too dark gray; very grey "vested" appearance to sides of upper breast)

Roy and I also saw both the male and female Harlequin Ducks off the north terminus of the endikement and entering cell 3.

I was surprised to have found no loons or grebes out there.

Leslie St. Spit - April 11, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 15, 1998 at 18:03:15:

Saturday, April 11, 1998 I returned to the Leslie St. Spit this time by myself.

Once again a virtual bonanza of "white-winged" gulls were to be found at the blue box at the end of the endikement - it would appear they are most easily found here in the afternoon though I expect access to this site will soon be impossible as the Ring-billed Gulls should start laying eggs soon. Anyway, Saturday afternoon I saw:

4 Iceland Gulls (1 adult, 1 2nd summer, 2 1st summer 1st summers photographed)

1 Thayer's Gull (2nd summer)

3 Glaucous Gull (all 1st summer - one photographed)

1 Lesser Black-backed Gull (photographed)

On my wanderings around the Spit I also saw a Sora on peninsula D, a Short-eared Owl at dusk on the endikement opposite peninsula B, and 12 American Woodcock calling and flying at various points while walking off the Spit at dusk.

At sunset, the full moon was just rising in the east and looked as huge and orange as I've ever seen it - quite a fine way to end the day at the Spit which I practically had to myself by this time!

Re: Birding in Oakville

Posted by Mike Boyd on April 14, 1998 at 21:23:46:

In Reply to: Birding in Oakville posted by Mike Boyd on April 13, 1998 at 22:25:22:

Dear Fellow Birders

Hi, today in the 16 Mile Creek there were 2 Bank Swallows and 2 Field Sparrows. And I forgot to add a Hermit Thrush to the birds seen at Bronte Prov. Park.

Mike

Hermit Thrush in Muskoka

Posted by Barbara Taylor on April 14, 1998 at 11:25:45:

I saw my first Hermit Thrush of the year near Bracebridge on April 12. That's the earliest arrival date I have for my records over the past few years.

Birding in Oakville

Posted by Mike Boyd on April 13, 1998 at 22:25:22:

Dear Fellow Birders

On Saturday I went birding in the east end of Bronte Prov. Park, the best bird was a Pileated Woodpecker, other birds seen were numerous Golden-Crowned Kinglet, 6 Flickers, 2 Mockingbirds, and a Meadowlark. On Sunday at Bronte Harbour there was a flyby of 15 Cormorants and at Bronte Marsh there were at least 22 Black-Crowned Night-Heron in the willow trees on the north side. Today in the 16 Mile Creek near the Glenn Abby Golf Course there was a singing Pine Warbler.

Mike

Mandarin Duck

Posted by Ian Woodman on April 13, 1998 at 13:21:37:

Has anyone seen the Mandarin Duck that was living in Toronto harbour near the foot of Spadina? I have not seen it since summer '97. It was a year-round resident since '94 when I first saw it.

Quinte Area Bird Report - Apr. 12/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on April 12, 1998 at 21:06:13:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, April 12, 1998

Migrants continue to arrive in the Quinte area. BARN SWALLOWS, VESPER SPARROW and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER were at Prince Edward Point on Tuesday, and on Wednesday there were 4 BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS present. HERMIT THRUSH and CHIPPING SPARROW were seen on Amherst Island on Friday, and a FIELD SPARROW showed up Thursday at an Elmbrook feeder. A SWAMP SPARROW was calling from the Big Island Marsh this evening.

An OSPREY has returned to a 5-year nesting site at County Road 28 and Massassauga Road that was moved recently from a hydro pole to a nesting platform nearby. The ICELAND GULL that was seen in the Bay of Quinte near Deseronto last week was in the same area again on Thursday.

Albury Swamp on Friday had plenty of bird activity for a scheduled hike organized by Apple Doorn Farm and Quinte Conservation in which 52 people showed up. The open water contained 70+ AMERICAN WIGEON, along with scattered numbers of CANADA GEESE and MALLARDS. The heronry on a small islet in the middle of the swamp had a few GREAT BLUE HERONS about. One heron nest contained a female RED-TAILED HAWK while the male circled high above the heronry. There were plenty of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS calling from the adjacent woods. Other birds present were PILEATED WOODPECKER, SONG SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, HAIRY WOODPECKER and MOURNING DOVE.

There are lots of WILD TURKEYS about these days in Prince Edward County with large numbers being observed along County Road 10. There were 10 in a field south of the Ridge Road on Saturday.

A BELTED KINGFISHER was seen at Prinyer's Cove on Wednesday, and partial albino AMERICAN ROBIN can be seen along Main Street West in Picton, across from the O.P.P Station.

Still a few signs of winter about though. About 24 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were in the Plaza Square/Woodland Acres area of Belleville on Tuesday. And a late SNOWY OWL was seen Wednesday along 401 just north of Shannonville. This owl has also been seen along 401 at Marysville, Deseronto and Napanee over the past several days. This report has been brought to you by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 19th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Re: Owls

Posted by Max on April 10, 1998 at 10:29:05:

In Reply to: Re: Owls posted by Chris Clark on December 23, 1997 at 11:52:16:

DO IT MORE ABOUT SNOWY OWLS!!!!!!!!!I THOUGHT THE REPORT SUCKED!!!

Re: Owls

Posted by AirSmash9 on April 10, 1998 at 10:27:03:

In Reply to: Re: Owls posted by Chris Clark on December 23, 1997 at 11:52:16:

Loggerhead Shrike Sighting

Posted by Don Davis on April 09, 1998 at 20:35:14:

Dr. Dennis Garratt of Cobourg has reliably identified a loggerhead shrike at Presqu'ile Provincial Park on April 3/98. Dr. Garratt notes that he has also seen other loggerheads west of the park. A report is being submitted to the O.B.R.C..

I was most impressed by the quality of Dr. Garratt's report and his detailed observations.

Last weekend, about 80 species of birds were spotted in Presqu'ile. A red-headed woodpecker was seen on the previous Monday.

Don Davis Toronto

Secretary Board of Directors The Friends of Presqu'ile Park

Book Review of "Ashbridge's Bay" - The Beach Town Crier

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 08, 1998 at 16:00:02:

In Reply to: ** NEW PUBLICATION ** George Fairfield's "Ashbridge's Bay" posted by Glenn Coady on April 06, 1998 at 15:02:35:

There is a review of George Fairfield's "Ashbridge's Bay" in the current issue of The Beach Town Crier (Apr. 98) on page 3 written by Town Crier staffer Louise Picot.

Re: ** NEW PUBLICATION ** George Fairfield's "Ashbridge's Bay" - ALSO a Heritage Toronto Lecture

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 08, 1998 at 11:07:55:

In Reply to: Re: ** NEW PUBLICATION ** George Fairfield's "Ashbridge's Bay" posted by David Robinson on April 07, 1998 at 09:58:36:

Dear David and all,

Yes indeed, "Ashbridge's Bay" is currently available from Open Air Books & Maps (25 Toronto St. - below the Druxy's 416 363-0719) and will soon be available in more stores in the Kew Beach area.

The editor, George Fairfield, will be giving a lecture on Ashbridge's Bay as part of Heritage Toronto's lecture series on April 30th at 12:00 noon at their headquarters located at 205 Yonge St. Admission is free

Re: ** NEW PUBLICATION ** George Fairfield's "Ashbridge's Bay"

Posted by David Robinson on April 07, 1998 at 09:58:36:

In Reply to: ** NEW PUBLICATION ** George Fairfield's "Ashbridge's Bay" posted by Glenn Coady on April 06, 1998 at 15:02:35:

Thanks for posting this review Glenn, are there any bookstores stocking it? How about the F.O.N.

Mississauga Peregrine Falcon

Posted by Mark Cranford on April 07, 1998 at 07:37:19:

I've been following up reports of Peregrine Falcons at Square One (Burnamthrope and Hurontario) in Mississauga. On the last four evenings I have observed a single Peregrine perched for the most part in the sunlight at the top of #1 Robert Speck (NE corner Hurontario and Robert Speck). Other recent reports have been of a single bird.

Earlier sightings (maybe a month ago) were of a pair. It would be very exciting if this is the case and the pair began nesting. It would be a modern day first for Mississauga and continued evidence of the Peregrine recovery in eastern North America.

If any one has located a nest or seen a pair of falcons in the area, I'd greatly like to hear of it

Mark Cranford Mississauga cranford@netcom.ca (905)279-9576

** NEW PUBLICATION ** George Fairfield's "Ashbridge's Bay"

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 06, 1998 at 15:02:35:

All serious students of birds, ornithology or local history in Toronto will be interested in the newly published book:

Ashbridge's Bay - an anthology of writings by those who knew and loved Ashbridge's Bay.

Edited by George Fairfield

Published by the Toronto Ornithological Club

Ashbridge's Bay was one of the greatest freshwater marshes of Eastern North America. It covered most of what is now the eastern waterfront of the City of Toronto. The marsh provided a home for a myriad of wild creatures and a staging, resting and feeding area for huge numbers of waterfowl.

Through the writing of twenty-four people who knew the marsh we follow the story of this great wild area from 1793 to 1997. Among the writers are: Lady Elizabeth Simcoe, Ernest Thompson Seaton, Wellington Ashbridge, James L. Baillie, Hugh Halliday, Robert Taylor, Fred Bodsworth, Otto Devitt, Gerry Bennett, Richard M. Saunders, Donald Burton & George Fairfield.

Some 70 drawings, photographs and maps enhance the text. Artwork and photographs are included by Barry Kent MacKay, Peter Burke, Robert Taylor and Greg Sadowski.

Naturalists, historians and those who want to know more about our wild heritage will find this book a fascinating read.

Ashbridge's Bay was perhaps the most famed birding locale the Toronto area ever had. More than half of the known specimens of Cory's Least Bittern ever collected were taken there. Ron Pittaway and Peter Burke have contributed an excellent chapter on the Cory's Least Bittern to this book.

The book is a splendid study into the history of the marsh, through first-hand accounts and reminiscences, a cautionary tale of how such a magnificent asset was so wantonly and easily lost, links the legacy of the lost marsh to the emergence of the Leslie St. Spit and highlights the possibilities for the future with the Waterfront Trail, and the redesign of the lower Don River area and the Greenwood Race Track site.

Although the marsh was lost pehaps a Phoenix is indeed rising from the ashes here. To quote editor Fairfield: "The fight for Ashbridge's Bay is not over yet!"

Those interested in purchasing the book can contact:

Toronto Ornithological Club c/o 332 Sheldrake Blvd. Toronto, ON M4P 2B8

The price is $20.00 + $3.00 shipping per copy.

Make cheques payable to the Toronto Ornithological Club

This is a book that I highly recommend - Glenn Coady

Leslie St. Spit - April 5, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on April 06, 1998 at 13:04:22:

Yesterday, April 5, 1998 I birded out on the Leslie St. Spit in the afternoon with Gerry Binsfeld. We noted a first year male Black Scoter in one of the endikement cells and an impressive number a white-winged gulls loafing at the end of the endikement on the beach below the blue bin. These included 9 Iceland Gulls (1 adult, 1 second-winter, 7 first winter), 4 Thayer's Gulls (1 adult, 2 second-winter, 1 first winter) and 3 Glaucous Gulls (1 adult, 2 first-winter). All the sub-adult birds were in moult toward their succeeding summer plumage. This is the first time I have seen four Thayer's gulls in the same location in Toronto in a day - a sighting I expect I will not soon repeat!

A flock of 30 goldeneye in the furthest endikement embayment consisted of 3 adult males, 6 young males and 21 female Common Goldeneye. No bird remotely resembling a Barrow's Goldeneye was seen by us yesterday. We saw no other goldeneye anywhere but this flock of 30.

We did see an adult male Barrow's Goldeneye the previous Saturday (March 28) at this location. It was found by a group from the Toronto Field Naturalists. Although we saw it fly out into the lake when the strong cold front (100 km/hr winds) passed, it was re-found the next day. In addition, others reported both male and female 1st basic Barrow's Goldeneyes there on the Sunday (March 29) as well. Other birds we saw on the Spit yesterday were a Fox Sparrow and an American Woodcock. Passerine migrants were few as we had expected with several days of mostly northerly winds.

Quinte Area Bird Report - Apr. 05/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on April 05, 1998 at 20:16:29:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, April 05, 1998

Despite the somewhat cooler weather this past week, birds continued to put in an appearance in the Quinte area. There were 5 TURKEY VULTURES and five EASTERN MEADOWLARKS at Salmon Point last Sunday, along with a couple of NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Hiscocks Shores, just south of Carrying Place, had WOOD DUCK and BLUE-WINGED TEAL. COMMON SNIPE have shown up throughout the Quinte area , and a SANDHILL CRANE was present at the Long Point Peninsula toward Prince Edward Point. Point Traverse on Tuesday had large numbers of OLDSQUAW, as well as WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, HORNED GREBE, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and COMMON LOON.

South Bay residents the same day were treated to massive numbers of GREATER SCAUP (in the thousands) with lesser numbers of AMERICAN WIGEON, REDHEADS, COMMON GOLDENEYE, MALLARDS, BLACK DUCKS and both COMMON and HOODED MERGANSERS.

Commercial fisherwoman Joanne Dewey who watches the skies as well as the waters, had an ICELAND GULL drift over her husband's fishing vessel in the Bay of Quinte near Deseronto yesterday.

There was an especially strong flight of CANADA GEESE on Monday. Along one nine kilometre stretch of road near Demorestville, an estimated 3,500 geese in 12 separate strings were sighted. The same strong flights were noted at Pleasant Bay where 1,100 were counted in a matter of a few minutes. Also on Monday, Sandbanks Provincial Park had plenty of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, TURKEY VULTURES, EASTERN PHOEBES, as well as BROWN CREEPER and WINTER WREN. Also found at Sandbanks were wood frogs, leopard frogs, spring peepers, turtle tracks in the dunes, mourning cloak and comma butterflies - incredible sightings for what was then the end of March!

There were six FOX SPARROWS at Prince Edward Point on Tuesday, along with BROWN CREEPERS, 2 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, COMMON SNIPE, RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, and SAVANNAH SPARROW. Smith's Bay had a NORTHERN GOSHAWK , also on Tuesday, and large numbers of TURKEY VULTURES.

On Amherst Island, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and WHITE-THROATED SPARROW were recorded last week. The ceremonious burning of the Big Island Marsh which normally takes place most years at 2:00 in the morning by vandals, was ablaze again this year on Saturday, leaving about 500 acres a blackened waste. Wetland migrants will be displaced by this most recent act, making observation from traditional viewing points more difficult. Despite the blackened stubble, an AMERICAN BITTERN was calling this evening.

This report has been brought to you by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 12th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Re: Trumpeter Swans

Posted by Lyndsey Leatherman on April 05, 1998 at 18:36:57:

In Reply to: Trumpeter Swans posted by Gavin Edmondstone on January 02, 1998 at 18:51:04:

I am considering buying some swans for our pond. If you have any information you can send, or anything at all, e-mail me at lyndseyl@hotmail.com or lynnl@erols.com. I would really appriciate it!!!!!

Re: Trumpeter Swans

Posted by Lyndsey Leatherman on April 05, 1998 at 18:36:19:

In Reply to: Trumpeter Swans posted by Gavin Edmondstone on January 02, 1998 at 18:51:04:

I am considering buying some swans for our pond. If you have any information you can send, or anything at all, e-mail me at lyndseyl@hotmail.com or lynnl@erols.com. I would really appriciate it!!!!!

Re: White barred Red-Wing Blackbird?

Posted by stevesbirt@aracnet.net on April 05, 1998 at 15:00:01:

In Reply to: White barred Red-Wing Blackbird? posted by Pete Ware on April 03, 1998 at 13:44:39:

In all likley hood it was a young redwing you saw Not to be confused with the immature.I myself have seen many with this white bar in place of the red.

White barred Red-Wing Blackbird?

Posted by Pete Ware on April 03, 1998 at 13:44:39:

Among the usual flocks flying through the Thomasburg area (25 k's north Belleville) this spring was an unusual blackbird. This one was roosting with the Evening Grosbeaks in the trees and swooped down to the ground to peck at the sunflower seed. He wasn't far away, and with binoculars, he clearly showed a white rectangular shoulder patch. I didn't get a good look as he flew away.

Would anyone know what this is?

Re: Eagle

Posted by Tony Lang on April 02, 1998 at 08:34:24:

In Reply to: Re: Eagle posted by David Dunham on March 30, 1998 at 11:09:17:

I agree with David that Bald Eagles are not exceedingly rare in this, especially during migration (right now!). The occasional eagle is also seen in winter. They have increased in number over the last 20 years since DDT use was curtailed. They have begun to recolonize parts of southern Ontario, but have yet to return to nesting on Lake Ontario. I'm sure many people are looking forward to that day. However, the shoreline is so heavily developed, that were are few suitable areas left.

I may have seen your eagle this morning. I saw a large bird flying toward the QEW about 1 km northeast of the interchange of the QEW and Burloak in Oakville (at about 07:55 h). As it got closer, I could see that it was not the right shape for a Great Blue Heron, but was a raptor. Soon I could see the all white head of an adult Bald Eagle. It flew over the highway only about 30 m above me!

Bluebirds

Posted by Gerry Mielke on April 01, 1998 at 22:40:59:

I live in the country between Hamilton and Guelph. On March 31 both the male and female Eastern Bluebird were back, checking out the box in which a family was successfully raised last year.

Colonel Sam Smith - 31/03/98

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 31, 1998 at 21:37:44:

In Reply to: Colonel Sam Smith - 29/03/98 posted by Glenn Coady on March 30, 1998 at 14:51:56:

Today there was a single Ruby-crowned Kinglet with the many Golden-crowned Kinglets in the spruces west of the small creek. Also, near the south end of the creek there were 2 Fox Sparrows, and there were 2 more near the northeast end of the park.

I was also surprised to see that among the Oldsquaw in the marina bay, there were several (both males and females) which were already in full summer plumage. This really is a strange spring!

Marcel Gahbauer

Speaking of Swallow-tailed Kites

Posted by Mark Cranford on March 30, 1998 at 18:02:32:

Speaking of swallow-tailed kites, if the weather continues you should get yourself over to the Hawkwatch at Beamer. Yesterday it was awesome. Get the details from the Toronto Hotline and yes I saw a Golden Eagle but I want more.

SWANS

Posted by kevin empey on March 30, 1998 at 16:43:32:

I saw 20 swans in idle water alongside Airport road this afternoon. They were there between 1:30 and 3:00....

They are at 15000 Airport Road, which is north Caledon, just south of Glen Echo Nursury. They are on the east side of airport road.

I could not identify any yellow of the Tundra swans, so wonder if they are Trumpeters.

They were mostly preening, so very few "resting" poses.

I also saw a Mockingbird at Lambton woods this morning.

Colonel Sam Smith - 29/03/98

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 30, 1998 at 14:51:56:

Yesterday afternoon I saw 2 Eastern Bluebirds on the old Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital grounds at the foot of Kipling Avenue. Later I saw an American Pipit out at the end of the landfill at Colonel Sam Smith Park.

Certainly balmy temperatures for March - bring on the Swallow-tailed Kites!

Re: Eagle

Posted by David Dunham on March 30, 1998 at 11:09:17:

In Reply to: Eagle posted by darren on March 29, 1998 at 09:51:11:

Bald Eagles are not truely rare here, in the restricted use of that term, but are not seen as frequently as we would like!. They are always a welcome sight on an outing.

Re: 3 Barrow,s Goldeneye on the L.st.spit

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on March 30, 1998 at 09:58:48:

In Reply to: 3 Barrow,s Goldeneye on the L.st.spit posted by Craig Mclauchlan on March 29, 1998 at 17:24:27:

the 1 st.winter barrow,s goldeneye was a male ofcoyrse and I havent seen the 3 plumage,s of this species in Ontario befor i have seen them in B.C in one day.

CRAIG

Re: Lake Ontario sightings - March 28

Posted by Tony Lang on March 30, 1998 at 09:47:52:

In Reply to: Lake Ontario sightings - March 28 posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 28, 1998 at 17:51:10:

I was out briefly the next day (Sunday the 29th) at Ashbridges Bay. However, there were no recently arrive migrant passerines. There were, however, two first winter ICELAND GULLs and one AMERICAN COOT in the marina harbour.

Re: Tundra Swan migration at Grand Bend

Posted by Alexandra Eadie on March 30, 1998 at 08:52:25:

In Reply to: Tundra Swan migration posted by Timo Korpijaakko on March 26, 1998 at 10:22:23:

My friend and I drove to Grand Bend on Lake Huron on Sunday to see what we could see. The web site said there would be lots of Tundra swans there. The drive took just about 2.5 hour from Toronto. According to local counters t there were about 10,000 Tundra swans in the former Thedford Bog (now farmers' fields), just south of Grand Bend. It was a beautiful day and an amazing sight. The sound from all the swans was lovely too. We are lucky this year that there is no snow on the roads and so the driving is easy. Alexandra

Quinte Area Bird Report - Mar. 29/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on March 29, 1998 at 19:56:47:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, March 29, 1998

Prince Edward County is often subject to abrupt weather changes, but this past week beat all. Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area last weekend saw several dozen children tobogganing down the ski slope enjoying six to eight inches of snow; yesterday there was green grass, temperatures hitting 25 degrees, and the area alive with the songs of TREE SWALLOWS, EASTERN PHOEBE, SONG SPARROW, NORTHERN FLICKER, AND EASTERN MEADOWLARK. King's Road had EASTERN PHOEBE one day earlier, and an EASTERN MEADOWLARK had been seen near Fish Lake on Tuesday.

GREAT BLUE HERONS have shown up at King's Road, Quinte Skyway Bridge, Consecon Lake, Huyck's Bay, Prinyer's Cove and East Bayshore Park at Belleville.

On Monday with plenty of snow still about an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was seen at the four-way stop at the West Lake Sector of Sandbanks Provincial Park, sitting in the yet unmelted snow from that weekend's storm looking not to impressed with the weather! By mid-week they were everywhere with 5 or 6 performing nuptials at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area Friday evening.

Four LOGGERHEAD SHRIKES were seen fighting on Friday in the Selby area, and NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS are present at Amherst Island and again at Big Island. The Glenora area had an immature BALD EAGLE on Tuesday, along with two TURKEY VULTURES. Both a male and female RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER are coming to a feeder on the north shore of Consecon Lake.

Waterfowl have appeared in good numbers, but widely scattered. There were 8 MUTE SWANS at the causeway to Sheba's Island, at West Lake on Friday. Waterfowl enthusiasts expecting to up their lists at the Bucknell's slough off Wesley Acres Road have experienced disappointment this spring. Five GREEN-WINGED TEAL were there Friday, but the pumps to drain this agricultural field along with the extremely mild weather has all but dried it up for this year. Elsewhere though, there were RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS this weekend at West Point, OLDSQUAW, BUFFLEHEAD and COMMON GOLDENEYE in Athol Bay and MALLARD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, CANADA GOOSE and BUFFLEHEAD in East Lake. There was an AMERICAN COOT in Wellington Harbour on Friday, and NORTHERN PINTAIL, RING-NECKED DUCKS, AMERICAN WIGEON, COMMON and HOODED MERGANSERS, BLACK DUCKS and MALLARDS at Beaver Meadow Wildlife Management Area on Saturday.

Despite the warm weather, there are still winter birds to be had. Two weeks ago, bird bander Joanne Dewey banded a HOARY REDPOLL at her feeder at Elmbrook, north of Picton. On Amherst Island a week ago, owls were still around, comprising SHORT-EARED, LONG-EARED, GREAT HORNED, and NORTHERN SAW-WHET. Twelve RED CROSSBILLS were at a Halloway feeder, just north of Belleville on Wednesday, and there were 60 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS at Quinte Conservation Area also on Wednesday, and over 100 at Kenron Estates at Bayside. There was a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK near Fish Lake on Tuesday.

This report has been brought to you by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, and will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 5th. Our thanks to contributors who make this report possible. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

3 Barrow,s Goldeneye on the L.st.spit

Posted by Craig Mclauchlan on March 29, 1998 at 17:24:27:

At 7:30 this moring the male barrow,s Goldeneye was reefound on cell #3 of the lestlie st spit by 3 others and my self then shortle after a femal barrow,s was found no wear near the male yet on the same cell,I disided to stay at the bird and wate for the others that I new wear coming, another birder came along locking for the bird and discribing a goldeneye that not long after should up in frount fo us and was a 1st winter barrow,s goldeneye this made 3 seprit bird,s so it payed off to spend 3houer,s wating with a bird so others may see it,I had never seen the 3 plumage,s of this species befor gerat day

CRAIG

Re: Strange duck

Posted by David Dunham on March 29, 1998 at 12:02:49:

In Reply to: Strange duck posted by darren on March 29, 1998 at 09:54:55:

The 2 duck species with really long tails are the Oldsquaw and Common Pintail. Both also have a lot of white, but neither has a specialised crest (most birds can elevate crest feathers to a small degree). If the white was largely on the chest and neck, Pintail is likley. If there was a lot of white on the body it may have been an Oldsquaw.

Strange duck

Posted by darren on March 29, 1998 at 09:54:55:

The other day while looking out of work {water plant in oakville) I saw a starnge looking duck..I was hoping someone could help It was 60% white witha crest and a long tail which it kept pointing upwards...there were two of them and they flew away before i could get a good look.

Eagle

Posted by darren on March 29, 1998 at 09:51:11:

Im not a dedicated birder... but I work at the Oakville water plant and for the last 2 years , the first week in Feb we have seen a bald eagle. He only stays for a day or 2 then is gone. I think this is very rare ? Has anyone seen one along the western shore of Lake Ontario?

Lake Ontario sightings - March 28

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 28, 1998 at 17:51:10:

I bounced along the Lake Ontario shoreline today, hoping to find some early migrants. Overall numbers were disappointingly low (especially the ducks), but there were at least one or two good birds at each stop. Here are the highlights:

East base of Leslie Spit - 1 Fox Sparrow, 1 Swamp Sparrow, 2 Tree Sparrows, 4 Killdeer, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Arkendo Park (Winston Churchill / Lakeshore) - 1 Phoebe, 6 GC Kinglets, 8 Common Mergansers, 1 Oldsquaw. The King Eider, unfortunately, was nowhere to be seen.

Burloak, Appleby, Walker's, Guelph Line lookouts - very few ducks - only a few Bufflehead, Goldeneye, and Red-breasted Mergansers at each site.

Venture Inn - 2 White-winged Scoters, 3 Surf Scoters, 2 Am. Wigeons.

Hamilton Harbour (Eastport Drive) - 11 Ruddy Ducks, 4 Bufflehead, 1 Cormorant. Hundreds of Ring-billed Gulls were everywhere - on the islands, on the fences, on the road, and swimming on the water by the hundreds; however, I didn't see any other gulls (or early terns) among them.

Lasalle Park - 8 Coots, 40-50 Scaup (including several Lesser), 1 Horned Grebe. This was the only place where I saw any Scaup today, which I found surprising.

Rattray's Marsh - 2 female Hooded Mergansers, 1 WB Nuthatch, 2 Goldfinches, 2 GC Kinglets.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Re: Tundra Swan migration

Posted by Tony Lang on March 27, 1998 at 08:21:17:

In Reply to: Re: Tundra Swan migration posted by Gerry Mielke on March 27, 1998 at 03:03:36:

You're right, the web address is incomplete. Insert www. between the // and the hay. You also have to delete the >

Re: Tundra Swan migration

Posted by Gerry Mielke on March 27, 1998 at 03:03:36:

In Reply to: Tundra Swan migration posted by Timo Korpijaakko on March 26, 1998 at 10:22:23:

I tried to check out the website specified re: Tundra Swan migration but was unsuccessful. What is the full address?

Humber Bay - March 26

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 26, 1998 at 19:27:58:

Humber Bay this morning was less than overwhelming, but there were a few interesting sightings nonetheless.

The Mockingbird was not at its usual place at the east end of Humber Bay East today (although 3 Golden-crowned Kinglets were). However, two Mockingbirds were along the park road, not far south of the bus loop, near the orange fence on the west side. They were darting in and out of the trees, chasing each other for short distances but always returning to perch near one another. I don't know whether this was a courtship display between a male and a female or a territorial dispute between two males, although I suspect it was more likely the former.

Most of the waterfowl were also engaged in active courtship, with the exception of the geese and Gadwalls. Unfortunately some of the males haven't yet quite mastered the art of selecting an appropriate mate. Several of the Mallards were courting female Black Ducks; the male Hooded Merganser in the feeding bay was doing his best to win over a female Common Goldeneye; and one poor Bufflehead was pouring all his efforts into impressing a partly submerged rock. Other waterfowl in the area today included 10 Wigeon (feeding bay), 4 Shovelers (Mimico Creek delta), ~15 Gadwall, and ~50 Oldsquaw. I didn't see any Scaup, Redhead, or Ring-necked Duck.

The most surprising find of the day was the group of 3 Meadowlarks near the east end of Humber Bay East - I've never seen them here before in any season. Red-winged Blackbirds, Grackles, Robins, Song Sparrows, and Cowbirds were common throughout the park, and many were singing. I also finally saw my first Killdeer of the year in the marina parking lot at Humber Bay West. One of the three imm. Black-crowned Night Herons which wintered north of Lakeshore Blvd. on Mimico Creek was visible today.

Marcel Gahbauer gsteve6@ibm.net

Re: Hermit Thrush - migrant or winter resident

Posted by Gavin Wells on March 26, 1998 at 19:27:55:

In Reply to: Hermit Thrush - migrant or winter resident posted by Mark Cranford on March 11, 1998 at 20:23:30:

Mark, I would also be interested inthe answer to this this question. I located a Hermit Thrush at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton March 22/98. I had also located a Hermit Thrush the day before new years in a location not that far from where the bird in March was seen. The March bird was with a flock of Robins eating Sumac berries.

Re: Tundra Swan migration

Posted by Tony Lang on March 26, 1998 at 11:04:46:

In Reply to: Tundra Swan migration posted by Timo Korpijaakko on March 26, 1998 at 10:22:23:

I haven't seen the web site, but I did see a skein of swans flying north over the interchange of the QEW and highway no. 10 at about 17:05 h yesterday (25 March). They were in a "V" formation at about 100 m above the ground. Although I couln't stop on the QEW to confirm their specific identity, I suspect that they were Tundra Swans.

Tundra Swan migration

Posted by Timo Korpijaakko on March 26, 1998 at 10:22:23:

For an excellent Web site with info on the annual tundra swan migration, see < http://hay.net/~tpurdy/ >

Lynde Shores C.A. - 21/03/98

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 23, 1998 at 07:22:17:

Saturday morning Gerry Binsfeld and I saw 2 Rusty Blackbirds among a large Red-winged Blackbird and Common Grackle flock at Lynde Shores Conservation Area. We also located a Northern Saw-whet Owl just west of the parking lot

Ashbridges Bay - 21/03/98

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 23, 1998 at 07:19:23:

Saturday my friend Gerry Binsfeld and I had a 2nd-winter Thayer's Gull and a 1st-winter Iceland Gull among 160 Ring-billed Gulls on the parking lot at Ashbridges Bay.

Quinte Area Bird Report - Mar.22/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on March 22, 1998 at 21:26:04:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, March 22, 1998

Prince Edward County was transformed this past weekend into what some would claim to be a "winter wonderland." But it was anything but for any early spring migrants that had arrived in the Quinte area, such as the woodcock and killdeer that have already shown up. There was a NORTHERN FLICKER along East Lake Road on Tuesday along with the usual complement of WILD TURKEYS are all over the place in Sandbanks Provincial Park, with 12 being seen.

Bird feeders everywhere were bustling this weekend with RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, COMMON GRACKLES, MOURNING DOVES, and who could overlook massive numbers of EUROPEAN STARLINGS. COMMON REDPOLLS are still present in good numbers and patronizing feeders throughout the Quinte area. The sudden snow storm was tough going for all birds. At our feeder, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK that hadn't been present all winter, swooped in picking off an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.

Prior to the snowstorm, close to 60 AMERICAN ROBINS were present in a large tree in the Quinte Conservation Area on Thursday - all singing. It would be difficult to describe the din!

On Monday, Quinte Conservation Area also had 40+ BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, all of them feeding on buckthorn berries.

The snowstorm forced the cancellation of the Quinte Conservation's waterfowl outing to Albury Swamp today due to high snow drifts preventing vehicular traffic to the site. The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists waterfowl watch at Wellington Harbour, however, proceeded as planned with 10 members identifying nine species of ducks including 100 CANADA GEESE, 25 MALLARD, 50 GREATER SCAUP, 35 RINGED NECKED DUCK, 10 REDHEAD, 20 CANVASBACK, 10 GOLDENEYE, 2 BLACK DUCK, and 20 BUFFLEHEAD. One GREEN-WINGED TEAL that had been seen on Tuesday could not be found.

On Tuesday, Pleasant Bay had 10 HOODED MERGANSER and 20-30 COMMON MERGANSER, while the Consecon area (Consecon Lake and Weller's Bay) produced 30+ COMMON GOLDENEYE, 20 COMMON MERGANSERS, 30 BUFFLEHEAD, 8 AMERICAN WIGEON, 30+ REDHEAD, 30+ RING-NECKED DUCKS, and 200+ CANADA GEESE.

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County as we once again don our parkas and snowshoes, and see what else is out there.

This report will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 29th. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Burlington Lakeshore

Posted by Mike Boyd on March 22, 1998 at 17:35:00:

Dear Fellow Birders

Hi, on Friday I walked along the Lakeshore from Bronte Harbour to LaSalle Park. In Bronte Harbour there was 4 Coots, 3 Ring- Necked Ducks, 13 Greater Scaup, 3 White-Winged Scoter, 400 Oldsquaw, and about 60 C. Goldeneye. In Bronte Woods the best bird was a juvenile Northern Shrike, it was seen near were the absent Barred Owl is usually found. Also seen was a Kingfisher, 45 Cedar Waxwings, and a C. Redpoll. Off of Shoreacres there were 5 White-Winged Scoters and about 350 Common Goldeneye, which were scared off when a helicopter passed overhead, which created quite a site. Off of Walker's Line there were a few White-Winged Scoters and a Black Scoter. At Sioux Lookout there were only C. Goldeneye and 5 White-Winged Scoters. Off of Guelph Line there was a raft of scoters containing 30 Surf Scoters, 10 Black Scoters, and 7 White-Winged Scoters. At Venture Inn there was a Killdeer, 3 A. Wigeon, and 3 Coots. And at LaSalle Park there was a Pied-Billed Grebe, 25 Coots, 5 Ring-Necked Ducks, 2 Redheads, both Scaup, a singing Song Sparrow, but the Trumpeter and Whooper Swans were absent. In total I had 48 species.

Mike

Remaindered Peterson Guides

Posted by Tony Lang on March 18, 1998 at 08:33:10:

I stumbled across a store that has some Peterson Field Guides remaindered for $12.99. The name of the store is "Dynamic Books" and it's on the upper level of Gerrard Square shopping mall in Toronto (one block east of Carlaw). They also have a table set up on the ground floor. They have Eastern Birds (lots of copies), Western Birds (1), Advanced Birding (1), Hawks (1), and a few others. They also have Peter Mathieson's "Wind Birds" and a few others in the same series, e.g., Hilty's book on the natural history of some neotropical birds. These are $5.99 each.

Re: Quinte Area Bird Report - Jan. 25/98

Posted by Brant on March 17, 1998 at 14:51:06:

In Reply to: Quinte Area Bird Report - Jan. 25/98 posted by Terry Sprague on January 27, 1998 at 05:40:53:

I can't find you!!!

Quinte Area Bird Report - Mar. 15/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on March 15, 1998 at 20:31:31:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, March 15, 1998

Nothing like a good cold snap to bring the spring migration almost to a stop. However, the cold and the snow storm of Saturday morning returned most Quinte area bird feeders to their former activity. COMMON REDPOLLS continued to dominate feeders throughout the weekend, with flocks numbering upwards of 100 encountered on the weekend in the rural areas at Black Road near Demorestville, and Wilson Road north of Wellington.

AMERICAN WOODCOCK were displaying in the owl woods on Amherst Island last week, and one was heard performing its nuptials at Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area, east of Picton, on the eve of the snow storm.

For the most part last week, it was waterfowl that the majority of birders spent their time observing. There were plenty of CANADA GEESE on Pleasant Bay today, but nothing compared to the 10,000 that are currently in the Wolfe Island area.

Prince Edward Point last week had scattered numbers of both COMMON and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, scaup, OLDSQUAW and COMMON GOLDENEYE, and SNOW GEESE were present at Amherst Island. The flooded agricultural field on Wesley Acres Road which was just beginning to show promise a week ago, was frozen solid this weekend. In contrast, West Lake had opened up even more and the numbers of COMMON GOLDENEYE and COMMON MERGANSERS were even more scattered than they were last week.

There were 4 MUTE SWANS and a TUNDRA SWAN at Consecon Lake today, and small numbers of scaup and COMMON GOLDENEYE could be seen in the small areas of open water in Weller's Bay.

Good numbers of RED-TAILED HAWKS were present today with individuals encountered on Jericho Road, Christian Road, Pleasant Bay Road and Partridge Hollow Road. Two flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS numbering 75 and 100 respectively were seen along Chase Road and Closson Road.

A few interesting field trips coming up. David and Yvette Bree will be hosting a waterfowl watch at Wellington Harbour on Sunday, March 22nd, at 10:30 a.m., sponsored by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists. E-mail dbree@post.kosone.com for more information. Also that day, Quinte Conservation and Apple Doorn Farms will be hosting a hike into Albury Swamp to check out this important waterfowl staging area, at 1:00 p.m. Terry Sprague will be leading that hike.

And the dates have been set for the 2nd Annual Prince Edward County Birding Festival - Saturday, May 16 to Saturday, May 23. Mark these dates on your calendar and support us if you can. Schedule of events is available by contacting the E-mail address which follows.

This report will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22nd. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Petticoat Creek sightings

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 15, 1998 at 16:42:15:

In Reply to: Early spring bird walk posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 11, 1998 at 08:46:55:

On today's walk at Petticoat Creek Conservation Area, we found a total of 28 species. Among the more interesting birds were Common Redpoll, American Goldfinch, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers, Common & Red-breasted Mergansers, and Gadwall. In terms of spring birds, only Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles were present, but none of them were singing.

The best bird of the day actually made its appearance before the walk. It was a Woodcock which I discovered in the bushes near the southwest end of the park (in exactly the same area where the White-eyed Vireo was last November).

Hermit Thrush - migrant or winter resident

Posted by Mark Cranford on March 11, 1998 at 20:23:30:

This Monday, I dredged up a Hermit Thrush in some thickets at the base of Joshua Creek in Oakville (have not seen King Eider since Thursday last). The weather was still mild with brisk winds from the west. I could not relocate this bird on Tuesday. Since a lot of birders have been working this area of late, I am wondering if anyone else noticed this bird? If not, could this bird be an early migrant? Does any one have any ideas on how to separate a migrant from one that has over-wintered.

Early spring bird walk

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 11, 1998 at 08:46:55:

This Sunday (March 15) I will be leading a free bird walk at Petticoat Creek Conservation Area in Pickering. The walk is being put on by Song of Hope, a local conservation / habitat restoration group. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The early spring migrants (Robins, Grackles, R-W Blackbirds, Song Sparrows) will almost certainly be easily seen and heard. As well, we should be able to find some 'winter birds' that are still lingering. Hopefully we'll also turn up some more unexpected finds.

We will meet at 1:00 pm. in the parking lot at the south end of Whites Road. The walk will probably last for approximately two hours, but that depends to some extent on how much we see and what the weather is like.

Marcel Gahbauer

Re: Humber Bay & High Park

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 09, 1998 at 15:17:28:

In Reply to: Re: Humber Bay & High Park posted by Jerry on March 02, 1998 at 20:18:51:

A friend of mine, Paul Denhartog of Etobicoke, sent me good photos of a bird at Humber Bay Park which was present from January until March 2 (and could still be there) which very much matches the description Jerry gives.

I do not think there is much chance that it is the result of a Canada Goose X Snow Goose hybridization since there is so little evidence of any Snow Goose features in the bird.

I think this bird is likelier the result of a cross between a Canada Goose and a white domestic goose of Greylag-type origin.

Wild Turkeys in Bolton - March 8, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 09, 1998 at 14:47:44:

On Sunday I birded the area north and west of Bolton with friends Karalee & Ebrahim Patel looking for Wild Turkey and Bohemian Waxwing.

Although we encountered only Cedar Waxwing (to Karalee's dismay) we did see three male Wild Turkeys on Centreville Creek Rd.

While Wild Turkey is widespread throughout this area there is a feeder out front of the house at 17799 Centreville Creek Rd. where they very regularly appear. We did note, however that the house has recently sold and wonder whether the new owners will continue to feed birds (or tolerate birders and the attendant traffic).

Lambton Woods - March 7, 1998

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 09, 1998 at 11:34:14:

Saturday evening (March 7) at dusk I heard both an Eastern Screech-Owl and an American Woodcock calling at Lambton Woods just north of the railway bridge over the Humber River. Spring is nigh!

Quinte Area Bird Report - Mar. 08/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on March 08, 1998 at 20:44:00:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, March 08, 1998

While the spring migration in Prince Edward County can't quite compare with the early tree swallow sighting in Peterborough on Feb. 12, there were a few interesting arrivals during this past week. COMMON GRACKLES seemed to arrive in Prince Edward County virtually overnight with well distributed populations of them showing up on Tuesday. Elsewhere, there have been increasing numbers of EUROPEAN STARLING, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD and AMERICAN ROBIN.

KILLDEERS showed up on Sunday with one at Big Island and three at the Quinte Conservation Area, just north of the county. Flights of CANADA GEESE occurred throughout much of the week, although most were small in number, with the largest seen west of Belleville today, comprising 50 - 60 individuals.

Quinte Conservation Area also had six BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS with a flock of thirteen CEDAR WAXWINGS. Other sightings there included RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 6 MALLARDS, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and BROWN CREEPERS. Three TUNDRA SWANS in the Bay of Quinte at the Norris Whitney Bridge on Thursday may have been the same individuals that have been present since last week at Barcovan Beach. West Lake at Wellington on Saturday had increasing numbers of COMMON GOLDENEYE, COMMON MERGANSERS, both GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, CANADA GEESE and MALLARDS.

The flooded agricultural field south of Bloomfield on Church Camp Road toward Wesley Acres, one of the richest areas to find dabblers in the early spring, is already showing signs of promise. Over 50 MALLARDS were there Saturday, along with six BLACK DUCKS.

Prince Edward Point this past week had OLDSQUAW, COMMON MERGANSERS AND WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS.

There was an AMERICAN WOODCOCK on Amherst Island this past week, and many owls including SHORT-EARED, LONG-EARED and SNOWY are still present.

There are GLAUCOUS GULLS, ICELAND GULLS and one LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at the Napanee Dump.

The Big Island Marsh has had up to 7 NORTHERN HARRIERS in view at one time throughout this past week. A RED-TAILED HAWK was seen on Matthie Road in the county on Saturday.

WILD TURKEYS in varying numbers from 20 to almost 200 have been seen on Ridge Road, and at East Lake and Black River.

This report will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15th. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com

Re: Kestrels in the city

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 07, 1998 at 17:28:13:

In Reply to: Kestrels in the city posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 07, 1998 at 13:32:13:

Dear Marcel,

As you note, American Kestrel has always been a relatively common bird in the Toronto region and I do concur with you that in the last five years the prevalence of nests in the downtown core has certainly increased.

Last year, in a radius of a mile from Bay St. and College St. I witnessed eight active nests or territories (Whitney Block, University College, Church & Wellesley, Toronto General Hospital, Robarts Library - failed I think, St. Patrick & Dundas, Carlton & Sherbourne, Yonge & Bloor - Radisson Plaza hotel). I saw young kestrels at five of these sites and suspect that all but the Robarts site were successful. Their nesting at this density level does surprise me a bit.

As well, at both the 18 King St. E. and Islington & Bloor Peregrine Falcon eyries where I participated in monitoring young peregrines we saw Peregrine Falcons interact with local territorial American Kestrels. I'm sure you probably did as well.

I certainly do not remember so many obvious pairs of urban nesting American Kestrels downtown when I was a student at U. of T. and the Michener Institute in the late '70's and early '80's when I was also an active birder. Though I'm sure my acuity in finding falcons has probably increased with three season's of monitoring peregrines, I also helped in the early '80's Peregrine releases at both the Whitney Block and the Canada Life Assurance Tower so I feel my impressions of a true increase are not biased by experience.

It might be interesting to see if abundance estimates were made for downtown Toronto atlas squares during the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. I believe the original data is stored with the Long Point Bird Observatory/Bird Studies Canada.

I think it likely that American Kestrel is further ahead of the Peregrine Falcon in reclaiming and repopulating former range. The Merlin is also ahead and inexorably repopulating its way southward to here again some day. Strickland (1997) has documented its success story in reclaiming Algonquin Park; from the "first" nest in 1978 to being a widespread common inhabitant today. Watch for the little "bullet-bird's" reappearance here too in the coming decade.

It would be also interesting if someone might have personal experience with American Kestrel nesting densities in Toronto in the pre-war, pre-DDT era.

Literature Cited

Strickland, D. 1997. Success screaming in our ears. The Raven 38(7). Also reprinted in Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch Newsletter No. 16, February 1998.

Kestrels in the city

Posted by Marcel Gahbauer on March 07, 1998 at 13:32:13:

Kestrels are of course far from a rare sight in the City of Toronto, but lately I've been seeing them far more frequently than in the past. In the past few weeks alone, I've spotted single kestrels at Markham & Finch, Markham north of Eglinton, Eglinton & McCowan, Guildwood Park, Wellesley & Parliament, Eglinton & Don Mills, and Warden & St. Clair.

It was what I observed yesterday, though, that made me think about the number of Kestrels that are around. I was walking south on Spadina, just below Bloor, when I heard a Kestrel directly above me. It was diving at a steep angle toward the roof of a building on the west side of Spadina, where a second Kestrel was perched. These two performed a remarkable aerial chase, and were eventually joined by a third Kestrel. The light was poor and I couldn't tell whether the birds were males or females, but from the way they were interacting, my guess is that a lone falcon had stumbled into the territory of a pair, and was being chased out. The third bird eventually disappeared, and the other two settled down side by side on a chimney.

The interesting thing is that I've gone past this area several times a week for the last four years, and this is the first time I have seen a Kestrel here. The male I saw near Wellesley and Parliament was also the first I've seen in that area. It seems to me that the Kestrel population is increasing, especially in the inner city. Has anyone else noticed this too?

Truly ASTOUNDING Oldsquaw numbers in Oakville last weekend

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 06, 1998 at 19:22:55:

Last Saturday, February 28th, my friend Gerard Binsfeld and I were birding the Oakville lakefront primarily to see the King Eider and to watch for potential early northbound migrants. What struck us after a few stops in east Oakville (about 2:15) was a very large Oldsquaw flock strung out over a couple of miles which we estimated to be approximately 25,000 birds found about a mile off Joshua Creek and extending some two miles to the west. Beyond the Oldsquaw lay a flock of 2500 White-winged Scoter not mixing with the Oldsquaw.

The Oldsquaw flock mostly stayed on the water with some birds joining the flock from the east and some leaving the flock to the west. The flock had diminished to about 10,000 birds by the time we left about 45 minutes later.

The next day, (March 1 about 12:40) Gerry and I returned to the same area to show the King Eider to his wife Gwen, who up until now had been unable to get time to see it. After watching the bird for about 25 minutes, both Gwen & I left to get cameras and a better vantage point from which to photograph the eider. Just as we were reaching the car we could hear Gerry loudly shouting for us to come quickly back. Convinced he had found some wonderful rarity, we rushed back to him. When I asked him what was all the excitement for, he motioned well out over the lake (about 2-3 miles) to the southwest. There, all in the air at once, was the largest single flock of ducks I have ever (or expect will ever) seen on the Great Lakes. After our initial simultaneous exclamation of "Holy sh*t", we got down to trying to assess the flock size by counting, sampling and assessing flock dimensions. From visual counting and sampling of the birds in the air (up for about 5-6 minutes), I estimated the flock to contain about 80,000 birds which appeared to be entirely Oldsquaw. When the birds finally began to land back on the lake with the typical violent splash & crash of the Oldsquaw, the surface of the lake out there almost seemed as if it had been brought to a boil. I must say this was quite a visual feast! Once all the flock had returned to the water I again tested the estimate which I found to be reproducible. Next, we used maps to estimate the flock size as an oval flock about and quarter mile deep (400 m) by roughly 5 miles long. By this time birds began leaving the flock both to the east and west and deeper into the lake. Before too many dispersed we put our scope at 96X on the flock to better assess individual birds (which were tightly packed) and whether more than just Oldsquaw were involved. In 10 minutes surveying the now diminishing, but still huge flock, we found it to be nearly purely Oldsquaw with small numbers of White-winged Scoters (maybe 150) and even smaller numbers (25) of Common Goldeneye. No scaup were observed with the flock.

As I'm sure Oldsquaw were entering and leaving the area throughout the day, which we witnessed when we resumed our efforts to photograph the king eider, I would suspect a truly huge number were moving or staging on the lake last weekend. Palmer (1976) cites a spring 1960 King Eider flock in the Bering Sea which had similar (a bit larger) dimensions to this flock (several hundred yds wide by 8 miles long) which was estimated to contain at least 100,000 birds.

To put this figure into perspective, back in January about 57,000 Oldsquaw (if memory serves) were found on the entire Canadian shoreline of L. Ontario on the mid-winter waterfowl inventory. Clearly, either more escaped detection then, which were staging on the lake last weekend, or birds are cycling around the lake, or significant numbers of Atlantic wintering birds (not a huge number as I recall) have entered L. Ontario in the interim. Any other thoughts?

Have there been other recent sightings of large Oldsquaw numbers elsewhere on the lake? This flock was larger by a factor of about 4-6 than any of the largest Greater Scaup or White-winged Scoter flocks I have seen on western L. Ontario. It literally dwarfed what I recall as the impressive late Oct./early Nov. flight of Oldsquaw I saw at Netitishi Point on James Bay in 1996 - and I was very impressed by that!

Literature Cited

Palmer, R.S. 1976. Handbook of north American Birds - Volume 3 - Waterfowl, Part 2. Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

Corrections to URLs cited in my March 6/98 post

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 06, 1998 at 02:02:23:

In Reply to: Further supposition on aging the Oakville King Eider posted by Glenn Coady on March 06, 1998 at 00:41:30:

Two corrections to the URLs I cited in my last post:

A typo occurred when I listed the web URL for Ron Pittaway's excellent review of plumage, age and molt terminology from the Ontario Field Ornithologists' web page. It can be found at:

http://www.interlog.com/~ofo/plumages.htm

The web version of Carney's guide to species, age and sex identification of ducks using wing plumage is more reliably accessed using the URL:

http://www.npwrc.org/resource/tools/duckplum/duckplum.htm

Scroll down and then click on King Eider to view the photos

Further to displays that go "Pow"

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 06, 1998 at 01:00:34:

In Reply to: Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 3rd winter, not adult posted by Tony Lang on March 04, 1998 at 09:52:06:

Right you are Dr. Lang!

Cramp & Simmons in Birds of the Western Paleartic have a beautiful series of illustrations on page 608 of male King Eider displays.

One of those illustrated is of the bird rearing up in the water doing a wing flap while pointing the bill straight up to display the inverted V. "Pow"

Another, called a pushing display involves the floating male bird retracting its neck so that the bill points to the water so that a vertex view of its crown is pointed at the female so that she sees the extensive blue-grey crown above the prominent black-framed orange bill shield above the striking red bill. "Pow, pow, pow"

Further supposition on aging the Oakville King Eider

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 06, 1998 at 00:41:30:

In Reply to: Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 3rd winter, not adult posted by Mark Cranford on March 02, 1998 at 23:32:45:

Dear Mark, Tony & others,

I am slightly puzzled by your post Mark. You seem to be proposing that the bird is in its 3rd winter yet not adult, which contradicts what you have cited in Madge and Burn (1988). Third winter is definitive alternate according to them. I think I understand your meaning though as I shall summarize below.

Cramp, Simmons et al (1977) is a useful text for King Eider as you suggested but it can be misleading as I shall elaborate on below. No, if you are truly serious about eiders you would be well advised to speak/read German, Russian or Danish as most of the best papers on aging eiders from large skin series are from the era of the collector and were published in those languages. Most of the subsequent English references rely heavily on those earlier ones (Schioler, Uspenski, Portenko, etc.).

It will be interesting if Pyle's new Handbook to the Identification of North American Birds will cover ducks when part 2 is published - some new aging information might be forthcoming in it.

One problem with some of the sorting out of aging criteria from specimen series is the need for specimens to be of birds of known age. Otherwise you get into problems of circular reasoning - i.e. features referenced to a 2nd winter specimen require that the specimen itself was originally properly aged. It seems the museum work of the early part of the century involved large enough series of birds in enough variation of plumage, geography and season that problems around circular reasoning were sorted out without much trouble - even though the remoteness of the King Eider's range presented formidable challenges I'm sure.

Much I'm sure was learned from captive birds at waterfowl collections but whether it remains entirely relevant to wild birds who can say? Nearly all the references I have reviewed are consistent on the plumage sequence in male King Eider which could be summarized as:

Downy young >> Juvenile >> Basic I >> Alternate I

>> Basic II >> Alternate II >> Definitive Basic >> Definitive Alternate

For those who wish to be more familiar with the above plumage and molt terminology see Humphrey and Parkes (1959) or the excellent summary of their approach by Pittaway (1995) which can also be accessed on the web at the Ontario Field Ornithologists' wonderful site at:

http://www.interlog.com/~ofo/plumage.htm

Thus, the bird reaches definitive alternate plumage in third winter. The best reference I could find on the sequence, timing, duration and extent of molt in the transition of the above plumages was far and away Palmer (1976) in his Handbook of North American Birds (vol. 3). Also quite excellent was Parkes (in Todd 1963). Both summaries are consistent as is Cramp, Simmons et al (1977). Madge & Burn (1988) was only marginally useful but also consistent.

I said Cramp, Simmons et. al was misleading mainly because of the illustration of a bird in Alternate II (second winter) depicted on plate 82, bird number 4. This plate, though an accurate depiction of a second winter male is but one scenario for how a bird may look during the course of its second winter and likely how it might appear early in second winter. This plumage is worn from 2nd fall through the winter and into third summer during which time the bird's head and body appearance can vary quite dramatically with some birds finally attaining an appearance not unlike adults (or similar to the Oakville bird).

All the references I have cited in both this post and my previous post are consistent in asserting that the key to separating 2nd winter birds (Alternate II) from adults (Definitive Alternate) lies in the pattern of the white forewing patch (or absence of same) formed by the lesser and median secondary coverts. The description of the differences varies slightly in the various references cited. In adults (Definitive Alternate), the lesser and median secondary coverts of the upperwing are close to entirely white. In some 2nd winter males the white patch can be nearly entirely absent with these feathers nearly entirely dark. A very good photo illustration of this can be found in Carney (1992) which can also be conveniently viewed at the following web site:

http://www.npwrc.org/resource/tools/duckplum/kngeider.htm

Keep in mind that in Alternate II (2nd winter) the birds are sporting a retained Basic II wing (i.e. no intervening wing moult in fall) from the prior summer. Despite this though, some advanced birds already can exhibit a prominent white wing patch. Most of the references do concur, though, that this is mostly confined to the median secondary coverts and not including the lesser coverts to any great degree. The Oakville bird is white on both the lesser and the median secondary coverts although feathers in both these tracts are margined in black or dusky according to both my field notes and my photos which I now have back. This, I think, does not bode well for this bird being in Alternate II (2nd winter) plumage. Johnsgard (1978) states that "Subadult males in their second year resemble adults, but the median wing coverts are margined or shaded with dusky coloration" If the bird is also not sporting a pure white forewing patch it is also not consistent with an adult (Definitive Alternate). Is it possible that Alternate III is not always Definitive Alternate for male King Eider?

To put it another way, is it possible we have a bird here who technically has attained "age of majority" (third winter) but whose age gets questioned by birders due to a more youthful appearance (incomplete white forewing, poorly developed bill processes, slightly shorter falcate secondaries, cheek not quite as malachite green as expected). This is what I think Mark is suggesting when he calls it "3rd winter, not adult". Correct me if I'm wrong, Mark.

Palmer (1976) suggests that there is enough individual variation among males that some birds don't reach Definitive Alternate plumage until Alternate IV (late bloomers so to speak). The National Geographic Field Guide - Scott (1983) comments that the bird reaches adulthood in 4th year. Is the Oakville bird a late bloomer in its third winter? I think it is likely. If the bird remains until May (not unprecedented) and its bill processes continue to develop I'll think it even more likely.

A good photo by Peter Osenton of a male King Eider that is similar to the Oakville King Eider in many respects can be found on the web at:

http://www.mbr.nbs.gov/id/htmsl/h1620pi.jpg

Several sources allude to the fact that male King Eiders do not all attain "perfected plumage" in the first year of adulthood but none more eloquently or descriptively than Norton (1900) writing almost a century ago in the Auk. I would encourage those interested to read it (I have a copy if you want to) if only to see how even a description of a bird can be both technical and lyrical - truly a beautiful piece of writing and a century later perhaps illustrative of a dying art. One more aside: It is interesting to compare my photographs to my written description of the bird in my field notes. While, for the most part, the notes are borne out by the photos, there are some minor discrepancies which impresses on me the value of the photos versus a sight record alone. It also reminds me of the classic line delivered by Richard Prior (forget the film) when his wife catches him in bed with another woman: "Who 'ya going to believe? Me or your lying eyes" :)

Literature Cited

Carney, S.M. 1992. Species, age and sex identification of ducks using wing plumage. United States Dept. of the Interior, United States Fish & Wildlife service, Washington; also on Northern Prairie Wildlife Resource Home Page http://www.npwrc.org/resource/tools/duckplum/duckplum.htm

Cramp, S., Simmons, K.E.L. et. al. 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East & North Africa (Birds of the Western Palearctic) - Volume 1, Ostrich to Ducks.

Humphrey, P.S. and K.C. Parkes 1959. An approach to the study of molts and plumages. Auk 76:1-31.

Johnsgard, P.A. 1978. Ducks, Geese and Swans of the World. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London.

Madge, S and H. Burn 1988. Waterfowl - An identification guide to the ducks, geese and swans of the world.

Norton, A.H. 1900. On the perfected plumage of the King Eider (Somateria spectabilis). Auk 17:16-18.

Palmer, R.S. 1976. Handbook of North American Birds, Volume 3, Waterfowl - Part 2. Yale University Press, New Haven and London. Pittaway, R. 1995. Plumage, molt and age terminology. OFO News: 13(1) Feb. 1995.

Scott, S.L. (ed.) 1983. National Geographic Society Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Washington, D.C.

Todd, W.E.C. 1963. Birds of the Labrador Peninsula and adjacent areas. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.

Uspenski, S.M. 1972 Die Eiderenten. A Ziemsem Verlag, Wittenberg Lutherstadt

Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 3rd winter, not adult

Posted by Tony Lang on March 04, 1998 at 09:52:06:

In Reply to: Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 3rd winter, not adult posted by Mark Cranford on March 02, 1998 at 23:32:45:

I can confirm Glen's observation of less than clean white upper- and under-wing coverts. I saw the same through a 22x scope at about 50 m. The bird flapped its wings several times during the course of preening.

Mark point that knob size might show noticeable variation is well taken. I wouldn't be surprised if there was noticeable variation in its size. It's got to be a sexually selected character (i.e., based on female choice), and sexually selected characters in many birds exhibit variation (for that matter, so do naturally selected characters).

Does anybody have any of Johnsgaard's waterfowl books?

Speaking of mate choice, I was struck by the conspicuousness of the black V on the bird's throat while it was preening. I would be willing to bet that it is used in signalling during courtship displays that involve pointing the bill skyward to shoe the V to the hen (or to a rival drake). Meadowlarks use their contrasting black V and yellow breast in signalling. They are cryptic until the stand erect and "Pow!" they are visible to the male or female that they are trying to get the attention of.

Presqu'ile Sightings

Posted by Andy on March 03, 1998 at 11:26:51:

This report from Donald Davis: Presqu'ile Provincial Park Bird Report for March2, 1998

Christine Martin, Senior Natural Heritage Education Leader at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, reports that there are about 19,000 ducks from 12 species in Presqu'ile Bay. These include:

4000 oldsquaw 
4000 lesser scaup 
3000 common goldeneye 
2500 greater scaup 
2000 redhead 
2000 ring-necked ducks 
1000 canvasback 
200 bufflehead 
125 common mergansers 
13 wood ducks 
3 gadwall 
3 pintail 
Other noteworthy sightings include 2 sharp-shinned hawks, 2 pileated woodpeckers and a barred owl.
Don Davis 
Toronto, ON 

donald_davis@stubbs.woodsworth.utoronto.ca,internet

Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 3rd winter, not adult

Posted by Mark Cranford on March 02, 1998 at 23:32:45:

In Reply to: Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 2nd winter, not adult posted by Glenn Coady on March 02, 1998 at 19:43:22:

I think you're right the bill suggests that it's not quite a full adult but it must be close. Madge in Waterfowl - an Identification Guide to the Ducks, Geese and Swans of the World states that full adult male plumage is acquired by third winter. Many readers here must remember an immature male eider off Vineland last March (at least I assumed it was an immature male). If memory serves that bird lacked the blue head and had only limited white on the breast but it had a more developed 'bill-process' than the Arkendo bird. Hmmm. Maybe that was a male still in eclipse. (that would be weird as alternate plumage is supposed to be complete by late November) but the 15 hens mobbing the bird did not seem to care so I think there could be more variability to the bill than meets my eye. As an aside, Kortright, writing in the forties, suggests that many museum specimens pass through Eskimo hands. May be that's what happened to the Arkendo bird (just kidding). If you want to get serious about Eiders check out Volume 1 of Birds of the Western Palearctic. It's in the Metro Reference Library.

Re: Humber Bay & High Park

Posted by Jerry on March 02, 1998 at 20:18:51:

In Reply to: Humber Bay & High Park posted by Mike on February 28, 1998 at 19:28:51:

Yesterday, March 1st in HBPW we have counted 3 Redwinged Black Birds, 1 American Robin and usual winter ducks. On East side there were 12 RW Blackbirds (all singing), 4 male American widgeons and a Hooded Merganser in a feeding pond, south-east pond had one Redbreasted Merganser sleeping on an ice and in a thorn bush on East end was a Mockingbird. Very quiet and hiding at an eye level deep in a bush. I was lucky to slowly aproach him to within 4 feet. He was alert but not very alarmed. Good bird. BTW, at launch ramp on west side was a Canada Goose that looked like a hybrid of Canada and Snow Goose. The head looked more like a blue phase Snow Goose but the body was pure Canada Goose. Any sugestions?

Re: male King Eider - still exquisite but I'll bet it's 2nd winter, not adult

Posted by Glenn Coady on March 02, 1998 at 19:43:22:

In Reply to: Re: Oakville Eider - saw it, one question. posted by Chris Clark on March 02, 1998 at 09:06:44:

Dear Chris,

Though many of the scores of birders who have gone to see this King Eider have also remarked on how less prominent the orange bill shield was than they expected (almost a universal comment), you are the first I have heard that has questioned the bearing this might have on the bird's age. Bravo!

The day I first saw this bird (Feb. 5) the bill struck me as not having a very convex bill shield as well. I wondered whether this might reflect an immature bird or an adult which had not fully re-acquired its full bill shield after coming out of late summer/fall eclipse plumage. Judging by the late date I suspected the former to be more likely. I suspect this bird will attain a more prominent bill shield as it emerges from eclipse plumage next fall as an adult. If it stays until May it will be interesting to see if the bill shield develops any further this year.

The next chance I got to see the bird as closely was this Saturday & Sunday (Feb. 28 & Mar. 1). The bill shield is now a little more prominent but not much more so.

Another thing I noticed on Feb. 5 was that the white areas on the forward edge of the upper surface of the inner wing were not pure white - instead their was some fine dusky mottling in the upper wing's lesser secondary coverts and some unevenly duskier lower edges to the median secondary coverts giving a mottled, less immaculate white appearance to this nonetheless predominantly white wing patch. Thus, it was not quite so bright and regularly shaped as I was expecting it to be. Much as the bill defied my expectation for an adult.

In the interim I have scanned several references, some of which were helpful, many of which were not.

Jonsson (1992), though he does not separately illustrate it, clearly states: "2nd-winter plumage adult-like but with slightly less inflated bill".

Snyder (1957), makes the following description of the sequence of plumage from juvenile to adult: "After the first, firm plumage has developed in late summer, that following the downy plumage, young are in general effect and from a distance, somewhat similar to adult females but slightly duller in colour, and a pattern of dark markings less obvious." ....."During their first winter, young begin to develop feathers and patterns similar to adults of their respective sexes and during their second year they pass through a sequence of plumages which are progressively more like adults and thus more diagnostic of their species. They are essentially adult after they have reached their third summer, two years after hatching."

Interestingly, Snyder also reported that Dr. George Sutton suggested that the bird might plausibly have been named King Eider after the first syllable in "Kingalik" the Inuit name for the male of this eider which Sutton translated as meaning "he has a nose"!

Bent (1925) gave an even clearer description of the transition from juvenile to adult male King Eider:

"In the brown stage, during the first fall and early winter, the young male King Eider is much darker above and the shape of the bill and its feathered borders are distinctive. During late winter and early spring the back, scapulars, and flanks become nearly black; the crown and neck become darker brown; a variable amount of white appears in the chest, each feather tipped with dusky; and some white, dusky-bordered feathers appear in the rump patches. Some forward birds show considerable white on the neck and throat, with a suggestion of the black V during the first spring. The under parts remain dull mottled brown and the immature wings, with dusky, light-edged coverts, are retained until the complete summer molt." "This molt involves the first eclipse plumage, which does not entirely disappear until November. The young bird is then in its second winter plumage, which is similar to the adult winter plumage, but duller and less complete. This plumage can be easily recognized, however, by the wing; in the adult male the lesser wing-coverts, except for a dusky border around the bend of the wing and the median coverts are pure white; but in the second-winter male these white feathers are more or less margined or shaded with dusky. At the next summer molt these wings are shed and the young male becomes adult as soon as the second eclipse plumage disappears in the fall when about 28 months old."

Although I saw the bird at incredibly close distances (25 ft. according to my focusing ring) this past weekend, I was not able to see the white secondary covert patch much at all as the bird was almost always constantly swimming around on folded wings. Although it did rear up and beat its wings a few times, it was invariably when I was focusing my camera rather than my binoculars. I will let you know if my photos reveal any more.

I strongly suspect this bird is a 2nd-winter male King Eider but will try to get better photo documentation of it if I can be there when it preens its secondary coverts. I will also see if the R.O.M. has any 2nd-winter specimens to compare with adults and let people know what I find.

What have others seen on this area of the wing?

Delighted to have seen this gorgeous bird - profound thanks again to John Lamey who found it.

Literature Cited:

Bent, A.C . 1925. Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum Bulletin 130. Life Histories of North American Wild Fowl - Part II.

Jonsson, L. 1992. Birds of Europe with North Africa and the Middle East. Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd., London.

Snyder, L.L. 1957. Arctic Birds of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.

Re: Oakville Eider - saw it, one question.

Posted by Chris Clark on March 02, 1998 at 09:06:44:

In Reply to: Oakville Eider posted by Tony Lang on February 27, 1998 at 12:51:13:

My wife and I went out to Oakville on Sunday (March 1st) and saw the Eider around 2:30 in the afternoon. We drove down Archendo (sp?) and it was right at the lakeshore there.

The one thing I found a little surprising is that the orange crest above the beak wasn't as large as is pictured in the guidebooks. My assumption is that it's a young duck and the knob just hasn't grown out yet. I was wondering if anyone can verify this? Does the knob grow continually or does it develop fully over the second year and then stop? Does it develop after the first year, or do the birds spend a longer time as juveniles? I'm just curious. :)

Cheers, Chris

Quinte Area Birding Report - Mar. 01/98

Posted by Terry Sprague on March 01, 1998 at 20:19:55:

WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM THE QUINTE AREA - Sunday, March 01, 1998

A relatively slow week last week with only RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS everywhere in the Quinte area being the only spring arrival of notable interest. CANADA GEESE in flight were seen at both Big Island and Rednersville on Saturday.

West Lake, at Wellington had pretty much the same waterfowl as last week with increasing numbers of COMMON MERGANSERS, COMMON GOLDENEYE and CANADA GEESE making up the numbers scattered over the open water, along with one lone male WOOD DUCK. The Bay of Quinte at the Norris Whitney Bridge has opened up considerably this past week showing small numbers of COMMON MERGANSERS.

If it's larger numbers of waterfowl that observers want, then Prince Edward Point seems to be the place to find them these days. Last week, there was an estimated 20,000 OLDSQUAW, 1,000 COMMON GOLDENEYE, 50 GREATER SCAUP, and several small flocks of WHITE-WINGED SCOTER present between Point Traverse and Timber Island. One SURF SCOTER was also present there. Among the arrivals at Presqu'ile on Saturday were GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON and RING-NECKED DUCK. Barcovan Beach at Weller's Bay had as many as six NORTHERN PINTAILS.

The NORTHERN HAWK OWL north of Belleville is still near the junction of County Road 41 and Zion Road. It was last seen on Friday. A PEREGRINE FALCON has been seen occasionally since Friday along Highway 33, north of Frankford.

And that's it for this week from the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists. Please e-mail your sightings to the address which follows, or phone 613-476-5072 (home). This report will be updated at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 8th. Please e-mail tsprague@limestone.kosone.com