Recent Trip Reports

February 19 2017 (Sunday) Fisherville Area, Haldimand-Norfolk County

Leader: Dave Milsom, Barry Coombs.

Amazing weather for this outing resulted in a huge group heading out from Cayuga this morning. At least 60 birders in 32 cars enjoyed the sunny, 14 degree celsius temperatures as we covered the snowless Haldimand region.

A total of 43 species were recorded . Highlights included a lone Killdeer at Kohler Raceway, Eastern Bluebirds, Tufted Titmice, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, one Grackle, several Cowbirds, flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, Cedar Waxwings, single Northern Mockingbird, Hermit Thrush, Northern Shrike , Yellow-rumped Warbler, and numerous Horned Larks.

Raptors : Eastern Screech Owl, Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier.

We ended the day at Fisherville Raptor Reserve. From here a number of birders headed for 10th Line East near Hamilton to search for Short-eared Owls at dusk. One was seen there Saturday at sunset.

February 12 2017 (Sunday) Young Birders. Winter Birds of Peterborough and the Surrounding Area

Leader: Dave Milsom.

Constant snow deterred parents from driving young birders to the meeting place in Peterborough on Feb. 12th.

Only one participant was able to make it. Because of bad weather conditions, an abbreviated tour was conducted.

A hike along the boardwalk at the John Pencier Trail, part of the Trent University trail system, resulted in the pishing in of a Winter Wren and the sighting of not one but two porcupine dens and the tracks leading to and from the home.

Near Lock 25 on the Otonabee River, a 1st-year Bald Eagle perched above its carp breakfast. Close by were 3 Trumpeter Swans, a Herring Gull and many Common Goldeneyes. A flock of Robins fed in a buckthorn bush. Just below the lock, a male Kingfisher flew across the river.

January 15 2017 (Sunday) Lynde Shores, Cranberry Marsh, Whitby Harbour, Second Marsh - Photography Field Trip

Leader: Claude King, Dave Milsom.

Great OFO photography workshop today led by Claude King. Some interesting birds seen and often photographed throughout the day.

Highlights : Barred Owl; Red-bellied Woodpecker, Brown-headed Cowbird, Red-winged Blackbird (Lyndeshores C. A. ); Harlequin Duck ( thanks Brandon McWalters for the tip ), 2nd-winter Glaucous Gull, adult Iceland Gull , Great Blue Heron (Whitby harbour), Common Loon (Oshawa harbour), 4 Song Sparrows, 1 White-throated Sparrow (2nd Marsh).

Many thanks to Claude King for sharing his expertise with the group. Also, thank you to Andrew Don for his great spotting and to Nigel Haroon for his photographic assistance. Very successful outing.

We hope to offer a spring /summer workshop next year.

January 14 2017 (Saturday) Ottawa Area [until Noon]

Leader: Roy John, Dave Moore.

Twenty one participants enjoyed the vagaries of Ottawa weather - it had plunged to -20C overnight - to look for the local rarities. At our first stop, some people got their first lifer - a Red-bellied Woodpecker that appeared on cue. The next half an hour was birdless until we saw a Snowy Owl, then another and then a fine white male. Persistent searching of 300 Snow Buntings got us a brief view of a Lapland Longspur. We moved to the dump and saw ZERO gulls, but met an Ohio birder who joined us in a trip to the Rideau River, where he saw two lifers - Harlequin and Barrow's Goldeneye. Overall we saw 28 species, about normal for winter Ottawa.

January 7 2017 (Saturday) Leslie Street Spit, Toronto

Leader: Garth Riley, Dan Riley.

Twenty-seven participants joined Dan Riley and I on a beautiful sunny winter day. The temperatures were quite cold -12C at the start but the forecast strong west winds never materialized, so it was actually surprisingly comfortable weather, plus all of the participants were bundled up, expecting the worst.

After exploring the Leslie Street Spit (Tommy Thompson Park) for just under 5 hours the group managed a respectable 32 species of birds. The highlights were the continuing first year male King Eider, an adult male Northern Pintail, a fly over juvenile Bald Eagle and a Tundra Swan. The Tundra Swan gave the group the opportunity to study the subtle differences between it and the Trumpeter Swans that it was associating with.

The remaining group ventured over a couple of blocks to check out the Lark Sparrow. After about a 15 minute wait we were awarded with excellent views of this continuing bird. During the drive over and at the Lark Sparrow location we added an additional 8 species, ending with a good total of 40 species for the day.

January 1 2017 (Sunday) Peterborough Area

Leader: Dave Milsom, Matthew Tobey.

A beautiful January 1st day for those not suffering New Year's Eve partying resulted in an excellent day's birding in the Peterborough environs.

9 vehicles and 20 participants spent the morning in the Petroglyphs area and the afternoon in the Port Hope and Cobourg vicinity.

48 species were seen. Highlights : 2 male Wood Ducks on the Otonabee River, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker (near Petroglyphs), 8 Evening Grosbeaks, 2 Northern Shrikes, a female Harlequin Duck in Port Hope Harbour, 2 Common Ravens, 2 Bald Eagles, Eastern Screech Owl, 4 Eastern Bluebirds, Snow Bunting, 10 Bohemian Waxwings, a Rusty Blackbird, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks, and 10 Red-tailed Hawks .

Black Tern
Photo: Richard Dubiel

Sandhill Crane
Photo: Sam Barone

Black Scoter
Photo: Barry Cherriere

Chimney Swift
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath

Eastern Bluebird
Male (left) and female
Photo: Sam Barone

Sabine's Gull
Photo: Mike McEvoy