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Turn off email alerts. Skip to main content. Refine your search for tundra swan. Refine more Format Format. Best Match Best Match. Items in search results. Fine Art Prints 6. Against the blue of the sky they made an impressive sight indeed. Several Sandhill Cranes were seen by all as was a mature Bald Eagle sitting on the ice.
Some saw a Hermit Thrush at Old Cut. Spring was certainly in the air. However as the day progressed the weather became better, but remained cold and windy. Spectacular views of 19 Sandhill Cranes very close to the road were the highlight of the trip. In all, 60 species of birds were identified but as usual on an outing like this not everyone saw every bird. Seventeen enthusiastic birders, led by John Miles and assisted by George Pond, enjoyed a hot, sunny day in the Long Point area, with a tally of 98 species.
Of course, when you are with John, you are also introduced to a wide range of the plants and trees that help make Long Point such a pleasure to visit. The birds seemed unusually quiet, but the sharp ears of John and others in our group were still able to identify a lot of great birds. Here are just some of the highligh. At the end of a long, rewarding day, Jean Iron thanked John on behalf of the OFO and of all of us who participated for sharing his breadth of knowledge of the natural history of the area. A total of 71 species were recorded despite the cold and wind.
About 40 OF members in 19 cars toured Long Point region looking for early migrants and viewing the Tundra Swan migration spectacle. The swans were everywhere, more than 10, in the fields and in the air all day. Just to hear their calls was worth the trip. Altogether counting any bird seen by at least one participant, we tallied 58 species on the day. There was a surprising number of waterfowl considering the lack of open water and the cold weather this month. Three Horned Grebes were at the bridge on the causeway.
Long Point is located at the south end of Highway 59 and most of the area covered was on the west side of Highway Report by Barry Jones. Cool temperatures and gusty winds diminished song, but we saw and heard many elusive woodland species thanks to John's keen eyes and ears. We birded mainly the trails in Backus Woods and the famed Wilson Tract, which were sheltered from the strong wind. Other interesting sightings were a male Scarlet Tanager at eye level probably keeping low because of the high winds in the treetops, 4 Blackburnian Warblers, an Orchard Oriole, a Vesper Sparrow, a Grasshopper Sparrow, and all six species of regularly occurring swallows in southern Ontario.
The group enjoyed a visit to the farm of Mary Gartshore and Peter Carson, who grow Carolinian plants to restore the natural vegetation of southern Ontario. Late in the afternoon from the viewing stand overlooking Big Creek Marsh, we had a fine view of a flying Least Bittern, which was an excellent way to end the field trip. More than 20 stalwart birders met George Pond at the icy St. Williams Forestry station parking lot.
The caravan then headed to Hwy 59, where we stopped to observe a large mixed flock of blackbirds made up of Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds and European Starlings. Horned Larks and Mourning Doves were also seen here. There were at least four Rusty Blackbirds at the marsh on Conc. A highlight was seeing 13 to 15 Sandhill Cranes, a pair of which eventually landed close to our position. We next stopped at Lee Brown's on County Rd. Here we saw many American Coots, Redheads and more. We made a welcome lunch stop at the Long Point Bird Observatory Old Cut banding station, which gave us a chance to dry out and warm up.
Two Eastern Meadowlarks obligingly flew into a tree across the road for all to admire. On the return trip over the causeway, a Bald Eagle was seen in flight and everyone was able to see this adult bird well, when it landed in a tree out in the Big Creek marsh, in spite of the raw wind and rain. We headed east towards Turkey Point, stopping once or twice to view waterfowl. Just west of Fisher's Glen, George spotted an Eastern Bluebird, but in the driving rain we could not re-locate it, however there were many American Robins trying to shelter from the weather here.
Our last stop was at Port Ryerse, where a fourth Bald Eagle was seen by some and here we bid each other our farewells. Another successful field trip in somewhat challenging weather conditions and enjoyed by all. On the return to the Forestry Station to pick up cars a remnant group of us finally got to see 21 Wild Turkeys as they grazed in a field. Despite a raw, damp, misty and rainy day 35 birders in 16 vehicles toured the Lake Erie shoreline from Port Ryerse to Long Point.
Long Point bay is still frozen but there was lots of open water at Port Ryerse and Turkey Point where there were thousands of Greater Scaup with some Redhead and Canvasback mixed in. Later we came across a small group of Ring-necked Ducks.
In all, some 56 species of birds were seen or heard by the group. Although not as good as last year's 69 species, it was considered a fairly successful day by all. Eighteen OFO birders assembled on Saturday at 6: We proceeded north up the east side of the Forestry Station to the sand road and started west. Just past where the cold water creek crosses the road we had a singing Dark-eyed Junco, while at the corner a Blue-winged Warbler was singing. Along the sand road Scarlet Tanagers and Indigo Buntings were singing almost everywhere. A Chestnut-sided Warbler put on similar performance and even a Yellow-rumped Warbler appeared.
Kitty corner across the intersection, an Eastern Towhee was playing robin on the lawn of the old cemetery an old name for towhee is ground robin , and a pair of Eastern Bluebirds was in the oak tree. A Green Heron flew over. Proceeding west towards Walsingham, a Bay-winged Bunting an old name for Vesper Sparrow was singing from the top of an irrigation nozzle in a field where we scoped it, while Boblinks were in the field on the other side of the road.
We took the 2nd road west of Walsingham south to Regional Road 60, stopping at the old iron bridge, where a Blackburnian was heard up the creek. A Blue-winged Warbler dropped by for a second or two before moving off into the underbrush. Turning south off Regional Road 60 towards the Wilson Tract we stopped at the Timpf's farm and walked back to their ravine where Louisiana Waterthrushes are resident alone the creek, but they did not put in an appearance.
The Timpf's orchard produced 6 species of sparrows: On the way back out an Acadian Flycatcher was heard numerous times and brief glimpses were obtained, while overhead was a Yellow-throated Vireo. A walk into the tract on the south side of the road flushed a Ruffed Grouse. A couple of members located a Mourning Warbler and a couple of Louisiana Waterthrushes along the road. We continued west and then south to the Front Road stopping for lunch at Lee Browns where we added such exotics as Mallard and Rock Dove to the day's list.
Three Cliff Swallows were on the wires just west of the picnic tables, while Purple Martins were around the martin houses across the road. A Black-billed Cuckoo flew over pursued by a Common Grackle. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird sat in the open. Next stop was the Long Point dykes. At least a cool breeze was coming off the lake.
There were numerous Marsh Wrens and a dozen or so Black Terns. A few Common Moorhens were heard but not seen. On the way back an first summer Little Gull flew by closely several times. There were only Tree Swallows at the Port Rowan sewage lagoons. The pond beside the new Bird Studies Canada headquarters had 5 species of shorebirds: On the road through Backus Woods, a Cerulean Warbler was singing and finally located high up in a tree along the edge of the pond where it was out on a dead branch.
About 90 species, including 14 species of warblers, had being located by the group, but not one single hawk or eagle. Thirty participants saw a total of 69 species. John Miles led an excellent trip in this area. We started at the St. William's Forestry Station, where the first thing we noticed was the smallness of the group compared with most O.
We thought perhaps the early start, 6. About 12 birders were there all day, with some others coming and going through the morning, as we explored the Backus woods area. Although the weather was fine, there was a strong wind, which made birdsong scarce, but in a lull we were able to pick up Prairie, seen well by everyone, but not the Wormeating Warbler on its territory.
A large shape in a tree turned out to be a vulture, and its red head showed well in the sun, as we watched Chimney Swifts fly high above it. Surprisingly, the lack of warbler song turned into a bonus, because we started to look around us, and though birds of course were the main focus, we started to study trees, butterflies, and ferns.
Our trip turned into a wonderful "nature outing". We smelled the Sassafras leaf, and that of the Spicebush, nice , and then the Carrion flower, and Skunk Cabbage, yuk , and John introduced us to the Dwarf Chinquapin Oak, at its only location in Canada. Mature oaks barely 6 feet tall! In contrast were the Tulip trees, tall and stately, reaching high into the canopy before branching.
We saw their tulip-like flowers, and distinctive leaves. Lots of Tiger Swallowtails were patrolling the sandy roads, and this was the most prevalent butterfly species. The best sighting however was that of Red-spotted Purples. A group of three very fresh ones, clustered together on a tree trunk and became a photographer's dream, with one basking with open wings, and one right beside it with wings closed; all the field marks in one view.
Then there were the ferns. We saw 10 species through the day. John identified them and told us how to remember different species. The Cinnamon with its fruiting body that colour, the Interrupted, with the fruiting bodies "interrupting" the leaflets on the stem, the Lady, with hairy legs, and the delicate Ebony Spleenwort with its black central rib. But back to birds. An Acadian Flycatcher was heard, and we all watched. Below us was a wooded creek, and soon someone's sharp eyes spotted the bird, for the rest of us to see.
Then we drove to a spot where a Prothonotary, and Ceruleans were nesting. No singing, so about to leave we got back into our cars, when I inadvertently set off my car alarm. The Prothonotary sang quite close to us, and the Ceruleans started to sing overhead! Brief looks were seen of them high in the canopy. We went to the Gartshore-Carson farm for our picnic lunch, picked up hummingbird and Grasshopper Sparrow, then moved on to another area. We had heard secret mutterings about a treat in store for us for some time.
A scope was set up, and three by three we went into the wood. On the way we saw a Blue-headed Vireo nest, and listened to the male singing. When we reached the scope we found it was trained on a Hooded Warbler nest, with young in, and the parents feeding them. We were able to watch visits by both male and female. Many thanks to those who planned that. That was the highest highlight of the day, but we went on to visit the marsh, with Black Terns, Marsh Wrens and an American Bittern doing an obliging flypast, Port Rowan lagoons and the lake overlook in town, finishing the day with species in total.
Great for a breezy June day. Thanks to John Miles for leading us. Yellow-throated Warbler This is the nominate subspecies dominica, which breeds in the southeastern coastal United States. Note strong yellow in forepart Photo: We did not take an exact count of attendees, but we estimate that this event was attended by approximately birders. This was a bit less than last year, likely due to the rainy weather forecast for Sunday morning.
That rainy weather ceased before we started, and the sun even came out for a good portion of the day! Eight species of gulls were identified by the group, despite high temperatures and high water level above the falls. We also saw an adult Little Gull among a flock of Bonaparte's Gulls at the Roosting Rocks a few hundred metres up river.
We stopped briefly at the Whirlpool, where we watched a flock of a few hundred Bonaparte's Gulls resting and a Red-tailed Hawk perched on a very low branch, seemingly watching the turbulent river. By late morning most of the group made it to the Upper Falls viewing area, where we were granted views of an immature Glaucous Gull, a probable hybrid Glaucous x Herring Gull, a couple more Iceland Gulls, multiple Lesser Black-backed Gulls of various ages, and many Great Black-backed Gulls.
Non-gull highlights above the falls included as many as three Harlequin Ducks and two Dunlin perched between the rapids above the falls, a local breeding pair of Peregrines occupying a high ledge overlooking downtown Niagara Falls, and a Black-crowned Night Heron perched very close to the driveway in Dufferin Islands Park. We did not visit the Queenston boat launch area as a group this year because of the high volume of boaters using that area lately, but many individuals who did check out this spot were rewarded with a few Little Gulls. Also, it was reported that 7 Little Gulls flew by with around Bonaparte's Gulls at the mouth of the Niagara River at Niagara-on-the-Lake around sunset.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in this fun and social birding event, especially Justin Peter and Mark Peck for Saturday's ID workshop, and the various great people who helped with organizing the weekend. Have a great winter birding season! In perfect gull-watching weather on Sunday 4 December , over OFO members and friends spend an enjoyable day birding the Niagara River.
The purpose of the trip was to identify and age the largest number of gull species and see other good birds on the River. It was a treat to see everyone from all over Ontario, and we were pleased to welcome our American friends from neighbouring states. Having so many sharp-eyed birders worked in our favour.
Our group saw 10 species of gulls listed here in checklist order: One juvenile below the Falls was seen well by a group that braved the wet mist. At Adam Beck we saw two adults and 1 third winter. Above the Falls out from the barge viewing area was one adult. Other Species on or near the River: A Pine warbler was in a pine tree on the median between the Greenhouse and the River. Black Vultures were seen all day on various roofs and chimneys in Lewiston NY up to 7 at one time , from the pull-off on the road below Brock Monument that leads down the hill to Queenston, adult Bald Eagle at Queenston.
We were treated to beautiful weather conditions - nearly 10 degrees, sunny and calm - and a wide variety of interesting birds were seen, including nine species of gulls as well as the Thayer's subspecies of Iceland Gull. Due to the size of the OFO group, small factions broke off throughout the day, covering many locations. Below are some of our highlights from an excellent day along the mighty Niagara River.
My apologies if I have missed any sightings. Due to the size of the group I am sure there were several notable sightings that are not covered here. Adam Beck overlook - several "Kumlien's" Iceland Gulls of various ages, including a nice comparison of several 2nd winter birds. One of the 2nd winter Iceland Gulls at Adam Beck appeared to lie more on the Thayer's side of the spectrum, while an adult "Thayer's" Iceland Gull was also viewed by some.
Two Peregrine Falcons were seen here as well.
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Niagara Falls - the Black-legged Kittiwake was seen well by most birders who tried for it. The bird would disappear for half an hour at a time but was frequently observed flying in and out of the mist at the base of the Horseshoe Falls, providing excellent looks at its distinctive juvenile plumage. A life bird for many! Above the Falls - the group of five Harlequin Ducks were in their usual location, amongst the rocks mid-river and across from the Floral Showhouse building greenhouse.
At least eight different Lesser Black-backed Gulls of various ages were found in the stretch of river between the edge of the Falls and the Control Gates, while "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull were also observed here. A Snowy Owl spent a second consecutive day at the south end of the concrete breakwall extending south from the Control Gates. Two Common Ravens provided entertainment near the Control Gates as they flew around and exhibited some pair-bonding behaviour. I heard second hand that someone watched one of the Common Ravens steal the remains of a dead bird from the Snowy Owl!
Common Raven has only recently become a member of the avifauna of Niagara as the species slowly extends its range to the south in southern Ontario. Three Northern Rough-winged Swallows were lingering on the river, flying back and forth from the area around the barge to the Control Gates. Northern Rough-winged Swallows are often seen here into early November, but it is unusual for them to linger into the winter birding season. This is only the second record out of the last 10 years during "winter" in Ontario. Queenston - The Black Vultures were active on this warm sunny day and several groups saw individuals gliding over the river near Queenston.
Some of us were not so lucky and our only views of Black Vulture were of birds roosting on the roof of the usual church across the river in Lewiston, NY. The Queenston docks provided good views of up to three Little Gulls as they foraged along the river to the north. This bird does occasionally wander along the shoreline, but is usually on the beach immediately west of the parking area at Crystal Beach Waterfront Park.
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Thank you to Marcie and Jeremy for assisting me with leading this hike, and thank you to all the other birders who were so generous in assisting with identification and aging of gulls with their fellow peers. Additionally, I want to give a special shout out to Justin Peter and Mark Peck who put together an excellent gull workshop and quiz at the Niagara Falls Public Library on the Saturday afternoon. I hope that a great time was had by all, and I'm looking forward to next year! We were pleased to have so many birders interested in gulls and to be accompanied by keen young birders whose sharp eyes helped with spotting.
Our group saw 9 species of gulls listed here in checklist order: In the afternoon, the leucistic almost all white Bonaparte's Gull flew up and down the River at Adam Beck and gave excellent views. We saw hundreds especially above the Falls near the barge and control gates where there were feeding flocks. At Adam Beck we saw 2 adults and 1 third winter. Above the falls and at the control gates there were several adults, one of which near the barge provided great comparison with adult Thayer's Gull.
Three adults above the Falls. Small numbers so far this year. A possible first winter California Gull was reported at the control gates at Chippawa above the Falls. We're hoping someone will get better views and photos to confirm it. A first year male Harlequin Duck just north of Adam Beck was visible from the lookout. We ended with 10 Black Vultures in a row on a roof in Lewiston NY, seen from the pull-off on the road below Brock Monument that leads down the hill to Queenston. We thank everyone who came on today's trip for their energy and enthusiasm.
It was a very successful day. In very enjoyable weather on Sunday 30 November , over OFO members and friends spend an excellent day birding the Niagara River. The purpose of the trip was to identify and age the largest number of gull species and see other rarities on the River. It was impressive to have so many birders interested in gulls, and we were pleased to be accompanied by keen young birders whose sharp eyes helped with spotting. In the morning, the leucistic almost all white Bonaparte's Gull was on the roosting rocks on the American side, and seen by some from near the Butterfly Conservatory on the Canadian side.
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In late afternoon, we saw it well at the flypast at Niagara-on-the-Lake in a flock of Bonaparte's Gulls leaving the Niagara River to spend the night on Lake Ontario. We saw hundreds especially above the Falls in the barge area where there were large feeding flocks.
We noted all age classes, and picked out a few juvenile "Northern" Herring Gulls still in full juvenile plumage at this time, whereas southern juvenile Herring Gulls that hatched earlier this year have already molted into first winter plumage. At Adam Beck we saw at least four adults, one second winter and one juvenile.
Above the falls and at the Control Gates at Chippawa were several adults and a juvenile, and in the mist below Horseshoe falls a juvenile flew about putting on a great show. We are most grateful to the home owners for this viewing opportunity. A Purple Sandpiper was on the traditional rocks right of the barge. At least two Tufted Titmice at Dufferin Island were eating peanuts at the feeders. Up to 10 Black Vultures were either on roofs and chimneys in Lewiston or flying above the town.
A Pomarine Jaeger at Niagara-on-the-lake was seen several times during the day, but did not reappear after about 3: However, at that location were at least two Red-throated Loons and many Horned Grebes. Bill Read was available to sell the Peterson Gull Guide by Howell and Dunn, an invaluable resource for the serious gull watcher. We are indebted to those who helped get people on the birds and make the day such a success. Today's gull trip was a great success. About OFO members and friends attended the trip. We were delighted see so many birders interested in gulls, and were impressed by the number of young birders.
The purpose was to see and age the largest number of gull species, and enjoy seeing many other rarer birds on the Niagara River. Our group recorded 11 species of gulls are below in checklist order. The numbers of Bonaparte's dropped off this week. All birds noted were adults. Herring Gull - s of all age classes along the river. We also saw several juvenile "Northern" Herring Gulls. They are recognized at this time of year by their very dark brown plumage and still being in full juvenile plumage, whereas most "Southern" Herrings that hatched earlier in the year have now molted into first winter plumage.
This European Gull is now regular in increasing numbers on the river. The origin of many of our birds may be Greenland, where this species colonized in recent years. Great Black-backed Gull - many adults, several juveniles and other age classes mostly above the Falls and at Adam Beck. Here are some highlights: We thank the gracious home owners who have bird feeders and welcome birders to see the Lark Sparrow.
Eleven species of gulls were seen by about 75 birders on today's annual OFO field trip to the Niagara River. The outing was a great success in fine balmy weather and ideal viewing conditions. We were hoping for California Gull, but when it woke up it had pink legs and pale eyes. Hooded Mergansers at Dufferin Islands reservoir. Over 82 OFO members and friends enjoyed a day of good weather, gulls and other birds along the Niagara River today.
Our main objective was to see gulls, and ten species were found. Most participants got to see all of them well. The groups joined up again and we proceeded to Dufferin Island where we parked and walked to look at the river above the falls.
Others went back to Sir Adam Beck to look at the gulls there again. It was a great group effort. We saw a respectable 10 species of gulls. Most people were interested in learning the fine points of gull identification. Gulls were very common today along the Niagara River. The anglers at the Queenston Boat Launch told us that Shiners minnows are plentiful this fall so the gulls have lots of food. The gull season often extends well into January, usually until there is a deep freeze. We saw very respectable 10 species of gulls.
Even with the threatening weather forecast close to 80 birders attended the outing. Most people were interested in learning the fine points of gull identification and how to age them. We thank the many people who attended and hope that they had an excellent day. There are still several weeks of good gulling at Niagara. The season often extends well into January usually until there is a deep freeze. There was relatively little movement of waterfowl and gulls, but we did see three distant Tundra Swan southbound.
Two Pine Siskin, two American Goldfinch and a mixed blackbird flock flew over. We also saw two Song Sparrow here. It was quiet at the bridge but Blake Mann was able to hear a Swamp Sparrow and a group photo was taken. I spotted a Ruffed Grouse sneaking off the roadside a bit before the Nippissing Beach trailhead and most of us were able to get some decent views of it as it hopped up on a log before flying off. En route south we all watched a female Northern Harrier. Thanks to all the participants from near and far for their participation and contribution to a very enjoyable day of birding, walking and talking.
The day's total species count was The weather was much better and milder than expected for the 40 OFO members and friends who met this morning for the annual Niagara Gull trip. Viewing conditions were excellent. We saw 8 species of gulls: Feeders at Chippawa 1 Tufted Titmouse. A large feeding frenzy off Chippawa suggests that emerald shiners minnows are plentiful. A large group of about 60 birders met at Sir Adam Beck lookout at 9: Above the Falls on a large boulder in the river were the two Purple Sandpipers in first basic plumage.
They were life birds for many of the group. It flew to the middle of the river to feed, but returned briefly to the wall where most of the group had great views through their scopes. The trip ended about 4: Today's OFO gull trip to the Niagara River was a success, and the warm temperatures and no wind made it a pleasant day. We found 8 species of gulls. One in first basic plumage in late afternoon flew by the Flypast with a group of Bonaparte's Gulls at Niagara-on-the-Lake. One adult at Adam Beck and another adult on the wall at the control gates at Chippawa.
Two adults at Adam Beck and one adult on the wall at the control gates at Chippawa. At Fort Erie we hoped to see the s of Bonaparte's Gulls and 6 Little Gulls that were seen on Saturday and much of last week, but the Bonaparte's had all but disappeared overnight. Where did they go? During the Flypast at Niagara-on-the-Lake only about Bonaparte's Gulls went out to roost on Lake Ontario this evening - a much lower number of Bonaparte's Gulls than usual for this date. We did not see California Gull this year so Ron Tozer checked his records to see how long we have been finding California Gull on the November Niagara trip.
We observed California Gull every year back to , except for and One Purple Sandpiper and one Spotted Sandpiper on the rocks straight out from the north side of the Toronto Hydro building just north of the barge above the Falls. Red-bellied Woodpecker and two Tufted Titmice were at feeders at Chippawa. Ron Tozer and I thank the 40 plus participants who enjoyed gull watching today along the Niagara River. The trip was a great success: One juvenile at Niagara-on-the-Lake which floated by with a raft of Bonapate's Gulls. We had good telescope views of a Purple Sandpiper on a small rocky island in the rapids near the barge above the Falls.
The rarest bird of the day was a male Common Teal, which is the Eurasian subspecies of Green-winged Teal. About 50 Ontario Field Ornithologists members enjoyed a fine day of birding along the Niagara River today. The group proceeded upriver to the greenhouse parking lot above the falls, and enjoyed the hundreds of perched and flying gulls there, including two or three adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
A walk around the hydro building to see the Brant also resulted in Jean Iron spotting a Purple Sandpiper on a small island upstream from the barge. This bird was closer than is usual for the species at this location, and it was enthusiastically viewed by everyone. After braving gale-force winds near the control gates while scoping hundreds of gulls and ducks, the group proceeded back downriver to the Whirlpool.
During much scanning of wheeling Bonaparte's Gulls, we were able to pick out an adult winter Little Gull and a Bonaparte's Gull with a complete black hood there. Then we went back to Sir Adam Beck where everybody got wonderful views of the adult California Gull, and some noted an apparent second winter Thayer's Gull. We made a quick trip back to Whirlpool to look for the Black-headed Gull found by Kevin McLaughlin, but had to settle for the "thrill of the chase" on that one.
We had found nine gull species for the day, but this would not be our tenth. In late afternoon, the last intrepid members of the group viewed the fly past of gulls at Niagara-on-the-Lake. OFO's trip to the Niagara River attracted about 80 birders. We saw 11 species of gulls: Below the Control Gates at Chippewa: The weather was perfect at about 14 degrees celsius.
Total species of gulls Thousands of Bonaparte's Gulls, the majority were adults in basic winter plumage. Sir Adam Beck lookout: Chippewa and above the falls: We saw 9 species of gulls. The Niagara and world record is 14 species set along the river on 25 November One adult above the Falls near the Toronto Hydro Building seen by some of the trip participants. Several at Sir Adam Beck including an adult and a second winter bird. One juvenile at the Queenston Boat Launch. Four adults at the Control Dam, two adults in the gorge below the Falls, and one adult and a second winter bird at Sir Adam Beck.
Eleven OFO members showed up for a shorebird outing today. We recorded 43 species which included 14 species of shorebirds. We had a long day ended at 6 pm but the group was a lot of fun. About 30 birders with 16 cars showed up at the Park Gate at hours. We went directly to the Rock Point Banding station where Jim Smith and Bev kindly showed us a number of interesting birds that had been trapped in the nets. Some of the birders had a chance to handle and release the birds. At hours Dan and Luc, who had been checking the Point, returned to tell us there were 6 species of shore birds there so we travelled to the washrooms at the south east end of the park and then and walked down to the point.
All had good looks at the shorebirds There was a little shore today! We drove to the sod farms. It was not until we reached the dirt fields south of Poth Road that we had some target birds: Following Poth Road to the end and then traveling north we failed to find anything except Killdeers. At one stop we watched as 3 young Copper's Hawks were pursued by a group of crows. In a field north of Poth Road where two Bairds Sandpipers had been seen earlier in the morning we failed to find any birds as they had been chased away by a group flying model airplanes.
Trip over at hours.
There were only 18 individual shorebirds at Rock Point, the lowest number for this trip over the years. The good news was that there were two juvenile Baird's Sandpipers at which we all had excellent looks in great light conditions. There were also almost no shoreline or shorebirds at the Mosaic Esterhazy lagoons which was fortunate because this year we did not have permission to walk into the property. We spent a lot of time on Feeder Canal Road. Many of the participants seemed as interested in the turtles as the birds.
We had a northern map turtle, a Blanding's turtle, painted turtles and a snapping turtle. We searched all the sod farms for for plover. It was only at our last stop on Poth Road that we had a group of about 60 Black-bellied Plovers fly in as we got there at about Perhaps just a few week early for their return. Over 50 individuals with 25 vehicles attended today's OFO shorebird trip, a record number of participants.
Notable were a single Baird's Sandpiper at Rock Point along with number of very tame Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers which allowed us to approach to within a few meters. As we were leaving the Mosaic Lagoons a pair of Sandhill Cranes flew over followed a few minutes later by a Bald Eagle that flushed about 20 Caspian Terns from their resting area.
A total of 60 bird species were seen. Rock Point was very disappointing. The fly-over of a solitary Solitary Sandpiper completed the Rock Point total. This year was no exception. We arrived at Poth Road at about noon. Our initial impression was not good. There were many Killdeer, but no plovers, on Poth Road. A single Black-bellied Plover was present when we first arrived at the sod farms on the Wainfleet - Dunville Townline Road.
About the time when we were ready to give up three separate flocks of Black-bellied Plover arrived. In with them was a single American Golden-Plover and, while scanning the plovers, we also found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper a lifer for several participants. A total of 63 bird species were seen on the morning portion of the trip. As a result, after lunch in Stromness, the trip continued to Smithville with only a quick drive through the sod farms.
Unfortunately, only Killdeer were seen on the sod farms and no shorebirds were seem at the Smithville Sewage Lagoons Water levels too high! Strong winds off the lake led to a much reduced beach and very few shorebirds. Not one yellowlegs was seen! A lone Bald Eagle was also observed. The trip began at Rock Point at hours. An adult Bald Eagle flew overhead just after we reached the beach. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the vicinity. There are some extensive algae flats in the area around the point which are attracting the shorebirds.
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Only a few shorebirds but there were 10 Great Egrets and we did add Greater Yellowlegs to the list. There were 16 participants. The weather was excellent, mostly sunny, until shortly after we left the sod farms. By hours the rain was intense, but by then we were having lunch. Special thanks to Brandon Holden and Kevin McLaughlin for their keen eyes and help in identifying shorebirds and to George Madsen for getting us into the Mosaic Esterhazy property.
We saw a total of 71 species. The trip started at 8: We began at Rock Point where we had 9 species of shore birds. Unfortunately there was no sign of the Hudsonian Godwit seen earlier in the week. A group of 25 avid birders met at the Rock Point Provincial Park this morning. Two of the group saw a six Wild Turkeys between the roadway and the park entrance. Following the Provincial Park walk, we met Georg Madsen from Mosaic Esterhazy Holdings Limited who opened the gates to the evaporation ponds and allowed us to bird this area.
We would like to thank Georg who drove in on his days off and the Mosaic company for inviting us into this area for the second year in a row. Other birds of interest included an Osprey, two Great Egrets and numerous ducks. After leaving the Mosaic property, the group found another area across from Port Maitland that had shorebirds and Green Herons. Leaving this area, we checked the sod farms along the feeder canal but had only a few Killdeer.
The total number of birds seen by the group was 82 including 14 shorebird species. It was a great day of August birding. There were 26 participants. At Rock Point we had: A single meadowlark briefly joined the shorebirds on the beach. A number of Caspian Terns were observed flying beside the beach. Georg Madsen, Operations Superintendent, met us at the gate to the property and opened gates on both the north and south sides of Rymer Road for us.
A lone Bald Eagle flew overhead as we were walking out of the area. No unusual birds but we did have a Smooth Green Snake and various butterflies.