May 22 2023 (Monday) Presqu'ile
Leader: Andrea Kingsley, Doug McRae, Gerard Phillips.
Presqu'ile Provincial Park Spring Bird outing May 22 2023 Leaders: Andrea Kingsley, Doug McRae Gerard Phillips
Nineteen people met at the beach one parking lot at 8am. We headed to the beach to look for shorebirds to start the outing off. The beach was partially flooded which created excellent habitat for shorebirds. As soon as we entered the beach, two Black-bellied Plovers were seen before they flew off. The group then began viewing a distant Piping Plover when another one flew right infront of the group providing excellent views and opportunity for photos. Other shorebirds provided excellent views when many flocks of shorebirds moved around the beach and often landed in front of the group. Dunlin, Semipalmated Plovers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers and a Sanderling were seen in these flocks. Bonepartes Gulls, an Osprey directly overhead were also highlight of the birding at the beach.After the beach the group went to the lighthouse where there was a good diversity of warblers were seen by most of the group. Species included Magnolia Warbler, Canada Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, American Redstart, Bay-breasted Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler. Grey Catbird posed nicely for the group and also numerous Baltimore Orioles and an Orchard Oriole were seen. We also viewed the Purple Martin nest houses on the cottage road. Great views were had of the martins to the displeasure of a cottage owner who announced his displeasure with loud music. We then made our way to Calf pasture where we saw more of the same species, but often better views of some of the warblers were had by most people. People were also able to view a nesting Warbling Vireo through Gerard's spotting scope. The group then had a lunch break until 1pm at Calf pasture. Some people had to leave at this point, including Doug, but the remaing headed to the Marsh boardwalk trail. Marsh Wrens, Swamp Sparrows were numerous and a Least Bittern was calling continuously, tantalizingly close to the boardwalk. Unfortunately no one could spot the bird. We ended the trip after the trail.The weather was gorgeous and it was a fantastic group of people with lots of birds- made for a great day! Thanks so much to Doug and Gerard for helping. Ebird checklist for the trip: https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Febird.org%2Fchecklist%2FS138868596&data=05%7C01%7C%7Cb788b3ec31fb4a4e2d1b08db5b1ceda8%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C638203952642118856%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=m0HPcNBupASJEXc5TPYZzWiM4wvujKYPvnzf41mnSeM%3D&reserved=0
May 22 2023 (Monday) Ottawa Spring Migrants
Leader: Bernie Ladouceur.
May 22 2023 (Monday) Ottawa Spring Migrants
Leader: Bernie Ladouceur.
Twelve participants including, the leader, found 86 species. Once again, this half-day trip explored the Lac Desch?nes IBA.
After we met at the Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre, where we had our only House Sparrow of the day, we headed to the Britannia Conservation Area (Mud Lake). Here we found 59 species in just under three hours, including 16 species of warbler. We were patient to get good views of a number of them, including Tennessee, Magnolia, Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Blackpoll, and Wilson?s Warblers. Other highlights included a heard-only (for most) Mourning Warbler, a late-migrating Blue-headed Vireo, singing Swainson?s and Wood Thrushes, and a flyby Gadwall.
Next, was a short stop at the Shirley?s Bay boat launch. An adult and a yearling Bald Eagle, and a Common Loon were the highlights.
Finally, we walked a good length of the Greenbelt Pathway West (about 3.7 kms round trip), starting at the Carling Avenue entrance and ending at the start of an extensive field north of Highway 417. At both ends of the walk, we were treated to a good show by Bobolinks, with Eastern Meadowlarks joining in at the start of our walk, and a Northern Harrier putting in an appearance at the far (south) end. In between, the trees progressively became taller; highlights included a drumming Ruffed Grouse, a cooperative Green Heron, a persistently singing Brown Trasher, plus excellent views of both male and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Scarlet Tanagers. The female tanager was especially accommodating because she was continually returning to a caterpillar ?tent? to collect nest material (nice, because it?s in my atlas square!).
Thanks to all who participated. A trip list follows :https ://ebird.org/tripreport/133332
May 21 2023 (Sunday) Porcupine Lake
Leader: Roxane Filion.
Trip report: OFO Field Trip at Porcupine Lake - Timmins Area
Four participants joined me (Roxane Filion) for Sunday's OFO Field Trip at Porcupine Lake (Timmins area). It was 3?C with a wind chill factor of -1?C when we started at 7am at the White Waterfront Conservation Area, with heavy north winds gusting between 30-50 km/h. We started the morning by watching a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks taking cover in a shrub, a Least Sandpiper on the beach with a Killdeer, a young Bald Eagle being chased by an American Crow and a beautiful Sandhill Crane flying low over us. We moved to the east side of the lake in search of migrating waterfowl; a pair of Redheads was showing well along with a few Lesser Scaups, Common Goldeneyes and Ring-necked Ducks. After grabbing coffee to warm up, we walked the forested part of Porcupine Lake's Prospectors Trail hoping that warblers and other songbirds would be sheltering and feeding away from the high winds. Once it warmed up a bit, we were not disappointed! Along the trail, we saw a very cooperative Merlin, many White-crowned and other sparrows, a Swainson's Thrush, a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets. We watched a Ruby-crowned Kinglet gathering plant fluff for its nest and talked about the ongoing Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas project and how this nest-building behaviour has been added to the data. If warblers were fewer than usual for May 21st in numbers, they sure made up for it in variety and awesome views! Ten different species of warblers were present along that short section of trail and all of us had wonderful views of Blackpoll Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and a Black-and-white Warbler to name a few. By the time we moved on to the last location, it had warmed up to 9?C and the winds were slightly calmer. At this last spot we admired some Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, and American Wigeons in the scope, and enjoyed the singing all around us. The sheltered patch of mixed forest adjacent to the pond offered us good songbird diversity, with nine species of warblers, a few Least Flycatchers, and a surprise appearance by a male Bobolink singing away on a poplar branch! We had particularly great views of a Northern Parula, a Wilson's Warbler, a Palm Warbler, and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. Overall, it was a great day out with great people, and we observed a total of 59 species, including 17 different species of warblers. A sincere thank you to participants Mike, Ann, Joanne, and Gary for a great day!
May 21 2023 (Sunday) Opinicon Road
Leader: Nick Bartok.
21 May 2023 Opinicon Road, Nugent Road and Amherst Island
Leaders:? Nick Bartok, Jenny Newton
9 birders attended coming from as far as Toronto and Ottawa.? Slight drizzle prior to start of day, with temperatures around 13 degree Celsius, ending with temperatures around 18 degrees Celsius.? Five different areas were visited:? Opinicon Rd with 8 stops (Start at Perth Rd and Opinicon Rd, Maple Lead Rd, Herbert?s Bog, Marsh, Cemetary, Darling Rd, Skycroft Campground, and Chaffey?s Lock); Nugent Rd; Amherst Island Ferry; Amherst Island; and, Martin Edwards Reserve. A total of 93 species were recorded.
A total of 59 species were recorded along Opinicon Rd with the following highlights:? 1 x Yellow-Billed Cuckoo at Herbert?s Bog; 2 x Yellow-throated vireo at Maple Leaf Rd and Chaffey?s Lock; and, a Cerulean Warbler across from the Cemetary.
A total of 30 species were recorded along Nugent Rd with the highlight being one Loggerhead Shrike.
A total of 12 species were seen between both Amherst Island ferry docks including 30 Brant huddled together in the water.
A total of 33 species were recorded on Amherst Island.
A total of 36 species were recorded at Martin Edwards Reserve with the following highlights:? 16 x Black-bellied Plover; 10 x Semipalmated Plover; 2 x killdeer; 3 x Wilson?s Phalarope; 2 x Spotted Sandpiper; 1 x Pectoral Sandpiper; and 1 x Semipalmated Sandpiper.
4?Great Blue Heron
3?Great Crested Flycatcher
2?Black-throated Green Warbler
May 20 2023 (Saturday) Smooth Rock Falls
Leader: Angie Williams.
The OFO trip in Smooth Rock Falls (on hwy 11, about 7 hours north of Barrie) took place on Saturday, May 20. The weather was delightfully sunny and warm. Four attendees observed over 40 species of birds, in a few different boreal habitats. A number of first-of-year birds included Veery, Brown Creeper, and a very persistently singing (while hiding) Northern Waterthrush. We were also serenaded by Winter Wrens, Blue-headed Vireos, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and the ubiquitous White-throated Sparrows. Other highlights included good views of at least 3 Ruffed Grouse, a pair of Ring-necked Ducks, and a Pileated Woodpecker swooping across the trail right in front of us.
May 20 2023 (Saturday) Tiny Marsh
Leader: Kevin Shackleton.
The May 20 field trip to Tiny Marsh, Wasaga Beach, the Collingwood area, Stayner Lagoons and the Minesing Swamp was attended by twenty sturdy birders who took a chance the weather would improve, as it did, and let themselves be led to some of the local hot spots. The day's tally of 103 species came about by the collective efforts of a group with many excellent, sharp-eyed birders from as far away as Vancouver Island and Carlton Place.
We found 15 warbler species and the leader was able to get some on one of the Canada Warblers on 3rd Concession Tiny by using an astro laser pointer supplied by Art Needles. The laser pointer also came in handy when Catherine Graydon spotted a Barred Owl and later when the leader and the one remaining participant slogged through Minesing Swamp to reach the assembled birders staking out the Limpkin.
Piping Plovers arrived at Wasaga Beach the day before the field trip and two were seen by the group. This was a life species for many of the group. The Kirtland's Warblers were not at the Packard Tract as of yesterday afternoon.
Kevin Shackleton UE
May 7 2023 (Sunday) Rondeau
Leader: Andrea Kingsley.
May 7 Rondeau spring birds trip
Andrea Kingsley, Liam Thorne, Adam Holder and Julia Marshall
A total of 27 people participated in the Rondeau spring bird outing. Rain was forecasted but fortunately, the weather system avoided us.
Migration was unfortunately, slow and there was not a big movement of passerines. We did however end up with a total of 96 species for the day.
The day started out walking the tulip tree trail where nice views of Magnolia Warbler, Brown Creeper, Blue-Headed Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Nashville Warbler were had by most people. We then headed to the beach where 5 Ruddy Turnstones and a Bald Eagle were highlights.
Reports of a Yellow-throated Warbler at Erieau had some of the group leave to chase the warbler.
The remaining group headed to the Warbler way trail, the maintenance loop and campground area. We birded the trail where we had Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula, Carolina Wren and others. We took a lunch break under the picnic shelter where a Red-headed Woodpecker put on a show for us.
After lunch, highlights were Brewster's Warbler, Palm Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher and Eastern Screech owl.
At around 2pm, some people decided to leave the group and the few remaining people decided to head to Erieau marsh trail.
At the trail we were fortunate to have great views of the Yellow-throated Warbler, Willets, both Short and Long-billed Dowitchers, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Forster's Terns, and interesting non birds such as a Spiny Softshell Turtle!
It was a fun day with great people. Thank you everyone who participated you helped make successful!
Here is a link to the trip ebird list
May 6 2023 (Saturday) Parry Sound Rose Point Trail
Leader: Mark Calhoun.
Parry Sound Rose Point Trail outing on May 6th-Mark Calhoun : Nine OFO members joined myself Mark Calhoun for this 8 km linear hike. Temperature started at a brisk 2 degrees but warmed to 20 degrees by days end. The past week in Parry Sound Saw cold and wet temperatures which had an effect on slowing down the expected spring migration. The Rose Point Trail follows an old railway bed and visits many different habitats including Beaver ponds, sedge marsh, riparian , mixed mature forest all the while the Boyne River meanders through the Trail. This varied habitat has the potential to provide a rich and varied flora and fauna list. All in all our group managed to tally 37 bird species. Included in the list was a Yellow Warbler, Black and White Warbler and Black Throated Green Warblers which were amongst the very first arrivals for Parry Sound according to E Bird. Other highlights were a small kettle including a single Turkey Vulture, Broad Winged Hawk and Red Shouldered Hawk. Gave us all great perception on size of the three species. We witnessed early breeding season behaviors as well. We were able to observe two Black Capped Chickadees excavating a natural cavity. We saw Tree Swallows visiting naturally occurring cavities and a pair of Common Mergansers in the forested River surely seeking a suitable nest site. As the weather warmed bird song filled the air including several singing Winter Wren. It was a great day.
April 30 2023 (Sunday) Prince Edward County
Leader: Mike Burrell.
Twelve (12) OFO members and their guests came together today (April 30) for the annual late April trip to Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. The tour was led by Rick Szabo, a resident and birder of Prince Edward County.
The weather started off cool and overcast with the conversation never leaving the forecasted downpour just a few hours away. With the threat of bad weather, we made a beeline to the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO). We wanted to beat the rain and see the bird banders in action before the weather would close the station.
The McDonald?s parking lot gave us the expected city birds like House Finch, House Sparrow, Merlin and Rock Pigeon. We wouldn?t see any of these birds the rest of the trip. On the trip down to Prince Edward Point, we slowed down a few times to check off Wild Turkey, Mute Swan & American Kestral.
Upon arrival at PEPtBO we were greeted by Phillip Mercier (Bander-in-Charge) and the banding staff who informed us that it was a very slow morning at the station and currently no birds to band. With that dubious outlook we headed out for our walk to the lighthouse.
Our 3.5km walk to the lighthouse and back produced 41 species. We got good looks at Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, House Wren, White-winged Scoter, Rusty Blackbirds and a Black-throated Green Warbler.
The end of our walk brought us back to the banding station where Rick & Mira (PEPtBO volunteer & Board Director) showed us recent captures in the hand including Dark-eyed Junco, Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Common Grackle and a White-throated Sparrow. Back at the station we encountered the nesting Cliff Swallows on the banders house and took a group photo.
The rain started at 10am as it built to a non-stop all-day driving rain. Our intrepid group pushed on and moved a few kilometers down the road to Traverse Woods. This hour in the woods produced a few new species; Bonaparte?s Gull, Surf Scoter, Eastern Towhee and a lucky few saw a Yellow Warbler.
A few water-logged birders left for home as the group departed Prince Edward Point towards Kaiser Crossroad. On the way we stopped along Babylon road to tick Eastern Meadowlark off our list while searching valiantly for a Upland Sandpiper to no avail. Our next stop was at Waupoos Marina in the hopes of viewing up close Bonaparte?s and Caspian Terns. A departing car with a dog chased away most close birds and only added Osprey and Killdeer to our daily totals.
Our last stop of the day was at Kaiser Crossroad, which is the normally flooded field at the far end of the Cressy Peninsula. The recent rain has caused some puddles on the field which attracted 3 Great Egrets and a Lesser Yellowlegs which gave us great looks.
Despite missing some easy birds due to the rain?we dipped on expected birds such as Purple Finch, Hermit Thrush, Northern Rough Winged Swallow, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Brown Creeper, Golden Crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Martin and almost all of the ducks. In the end we saw a combination of 62+ different species and everyone went home happy and wet! Thanks to everyone who joined and helped make the day fun.
April 23 2023 (Sunday) Peterborough
Leader: Dave Milsom, Cathy Douglas.
OFO Fieldtrip Report :April 23 : Peterborough 15 birders greatly enjoyed our annual Spring Peterborough outing. 75 SPECIES included many wetland species. Lakefield Lagoons, May's Creek Marsh, Sawyer Creek wetland, Rice Lake stops, Mathers Corners and flooded fields all produced ducks, shorebirds or Rails, Bitterns and Snipe. We enjoyed a nice lunch stop at a new Coffee Time on Highway #7. Birding ended around 4 pm at the western end of the county. As usual, Cathy Douglas was a great co-leader and spotter. The group was very amicable and a pleasure to lead. Dave Milsom DATA FOR: Group Leaders : Cathy Douglas Dave Milsom 75 Species observed +2 other taxa 12 Checklists Species observed NATIVE OR NATURALIZED 140 Canada Goose Checklists 9 1 Mute Swan Checklists 1 2 Wood Duck Checklists 1 3 Blue-winged Teal Checklists 2 4 Northern Shoveler Checklists 1 6 American Wigeon Checklists 2 117 Mallard Checklists 8 4 American Black Duck Checklists 1 24 Northern Pintail Checklists 2 45 Green-winged Teal Checklists 4 1 Canvasback Checklists 1 42 Redhead Checklists 2 18 Ring-necked Duck Checklists 3 150 Greater Scaup Checklists 1 78 Lesser Scaup Checklists 3 165 Bufflehead Checklists 3 16 Common Goldeneye Checklists 2 2 Hooded Merganser Checklists 1 8 Common Merganser Checklists 2 12 Red-breasted Merganser Checklists 1 1 Wild Turkey Checklists 1 1 Ruffed Grouse Checklists 1 18 Mourning Dove Checklists 8 4 Virginia Rail Checklists 2 2 Sora Checklists 1 2 Sandhill Crane Checklists 1 7 Killdeer Checklists 3 2 Wilson's Snipe Checklists 1 5 Greater Yellowlegs Checklists 2 1 Lesser Yellowlegs Checklists 1 37 Ring-billed Gull Checklists 4 1 Herring Gull Checklists 1 1 Caspian Tern Checklists 1 11 Common Loon Checklists 4 11 Double-crested Cormorant Checklists 4 3 American Bittern Checklists 2 1 Least Bittern Checklists 1 3 Great Blue Heron Checklists 3 18 Turkey Vulture Checklists 5 5 Osprey Checklists 4 1 Northern Harrier Checklists 1 1 Bald Eagle Checklists 1 1 Broad-winged Hawk 1 4 Belted Kingfisher Checklists 4 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Checklists 1 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker Checklists 1 2 Downy Woodpecker Checklists 2 6 Northern Flicker Checklists 5 1 American Kestrel Checklists 1 1 Eastern Phoebe Checklists 1 4 Blue Jay Checklists 3 16 American Crow Checklists 8 1 Common Raven Checklists 1 8 Black-capped Chickadee Checklists 4 221 Tree Swallow Media 4 Checklists 3 1 Barn Swallow Checklists 1 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet Checklists 2 4 European Starling Checklists 3 3 Brown Thrasher Checklists 2 19 American Robin Checklists 8 25 Cedar Waxwing Checklists 1 5 House Sparrow Checklists 3 2 House Finch Checklists 1 5 Dark-eyed Junco Checklists 2 2 White-throated Sparrow Checklists 2 10 Song Sparrow Checklists 8 8 Swamp Sparrow Checklists 2 8 Eastern Meadowlark Checklists 5 125 Red-winged Blackbird Checklists 9 2 Brown-headed Cowbird Checklists 1 5 Rusty Blackbird Checklists 1 51 Common Grackle Checklists 6 1 Northern Waterthrush Media 5 Checklists 1 1 Pine Warbler Media 1 Checklists 1 5 Northern Cardinal Checklists 5 HYBRIDS 1 Mallard x American Black Duck (hybrid) Checklists 1 ADDITIONAL TAXA 2 swan sp.
April 16 2023 (Sunday) Hullett Marsh, Exeter Lagoons,Huron County
Leader: Nathan Hood, Dana Latour.
Our group enjoyed an unusually mild and sunny April morning exploring Huron County?s lesser-known hotspots. We started off covering the perimeter of Hullett Marsh where we had close views of most dabbler and diving ducks. Common passerines of interest included Rusty Blackbird, Brown Thrasher, Sandhill Cranes and Eastern Towhees. By midday we had moved on to Exeter Sewage Lagoons holding a large assortment of ducks, hunkered down under intensifying winds. The most unusual bird came in the form of a Cinnamon Teal x Northern Shoveler hybrid. Unfortunately, the bird preferred the extreme far corner of the lagoon, providing far less than desirable views. Big thanks to co-leader Dana Latour for her local insight and charisma.