January 8 2023 (Sunday) Detroit River
Leader: Jeremy Hatt, Kory Renaud.
On January 8th eight participants joined Kory Renaud and me for the Detroit River and Ojibway Park OFO Outing. We finished w/ a total of 48 species with stops at Lakeview Park Marina, Little River Corridor Park, and Ojibway Park, as well as a bonus trip to Memorial Forest in Amherstburg for the Boreal Chickadee (present since December 27th).
Temperatures stayed around 0-1C for the whole day and it was very calm with hardly a breeze, which made for a pleasant day of birding. Recent milder temperatures have opened up the waters of Lake St. Clair so waterfowl and gulls were less concentrated on the Detroit River compared to other years of this outing. We still had a good count of Hooded Mergansers, however, and an assortment of other ducks including highlights like Gadwall and Wood Duck. Numbers of Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, and Common Goldeneye were all considerably lower than when Lake St. Clair is frozen over.
Our next stop was Little River Corridor Park where we found a few more Wood Ducks for the day swimming in the water tanks of the Little River Pollution Control Plant. We also picked up several common wintering passerines. The main attraction here, however, was the number of Canvasbacks that flew over. It's always a highlight of the Detroit River outing to see the large numbers of Canvasback that overwinter in the area. Counting by 100's, we ended up with 2,700 Canvasback streaming over (likely flying from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie along the river).
After lunch, we walked the wooded trails of Ojibway Park. Here we had close looks at several Tufted Titmouse along with a variety of other common species. Ojibway Park is an excellent location for winter passerine photography and members of the group enjoyed snapping photos of Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Black-capped Chickadee.
Though most left after Ojibway Park, a couple intrepid birders continued on for one more stop at Memorial Woods across from Holiday Beach Conservation Area. After a fairly lengthy search, we ended up finding the Boreal Chickadee along the main trail where it fed close to the ground and even ventured out onto the trail within a few feet of us! Other highlights here included a flyover Sandhill Crane, a few Brown Creepers, and Golden-crowned Kinglet. It was a great way to end the day.
Many thanks to all who attended and helped make it a fun and eventful outing. Jeremy Hatt
January 7 2023 (Saturday) Toronto Winter Birds
Leader: Karl Konze.
The field trip went well. Some of the more notable species observed by the group included a Saw-whet Owl and Long-eared Owl, a couple 0f Iceland Gulls, a few Horned Grebes, a Peregrine Falcon which decided to land in a tree right next to us, and many duck species. The highlight undoubtedly however, was the continuing Purple Sandpiper on Peninsula B which offered amazing views. Collectively, we finished the day with 44 species.
Mark Peck also joined us for most of the trip, and I passed along a roadkill Bohemian Waxwing to him that I had collected for the ROM, which I showed to the group. He spoke a little about what would happen to the bird at the ROM which was very interesting.
William Konze Trip Leader
Sat 7 Jan 2023 9:00 AM Location Tommy Thompson Park William Konze +9 Others Effort Protocol: Traveling Observers: 21 Duration: 6 hr, 14 min Distance: 12.4 km OFO Hike. Estimates for duck numbers. Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 2.13.20 Totals 39 Species observed 2,568 individuals Observations Canada Goose Number observed: 40 Mute Swan Number observed: 35 Exotic: Naturalized Trumpeter Swan Number observed: 30 Gadwall Number observed: 120 American Wigeon Number observed: 35 Details Low estimate.
Mallard Number observed: 160 American Black Duck Number observed: 25 Canvasback Number observed: 2 Redhead Number observed: 600 Ring-necked Duck Number observed: 2 Greater Scaup Number observed: 300 Lesser Scaup Number observed: 1 Long-tailed Duck Number observed: 400 Bufflehead Number observed: 30 Common Goldeneye Number observed: 400 Hooded Merganser Number observed: 4 Common Merganser Number observed: 8 Red-breasted Merganser Number observed: 120 Ruddy Duck Number observed: 2 Horned Grebe Number observed: 4 American Coot Number observed: 2 Purple Sandpiper Number observed: 1 Details Continuing on Pen B. Great looks were had by all.
Ring-billed Gull Number observed: 35 Herring Gull Number observed: 90 Iceland Gull (kumlieni) Number observed: 2 Great Black-backed Gull Number observed: 8 Downy Woodpecker Number observed: 2 Hairy Woodpecker Number observed: 1 Peregrine Falcon Number observed: 1 Northern Shrike Number observed: 1 Common Raven Number observed: 3 Black-capped Chickadee Number observed: 18 Golden-crowned Kinglet Number observed: 1 American Robin Number observed: 20 American Goldfinch Number observed: 40 American Tree Sparrow Number observed: 20 White-throated Sparrow Number observed: 1 Song Sparrow Number observed: 3 Northern Cardinal Number observed: 1 ADDITIONAL SPECIES SEEN BY ANONYMOUS EBIRDER: American Crow Number observed:1 European Starling Number observed:3 Dark-eyed Junco Number observed:3
January 1 2023 (Sunday) Peterborough Area
Leader: Dave Milsom, Cathy Douglas.
Our annual OFO New Year's Day fieldtrip was much enjoyed by our 15 participants. A total of 34 species were recorded. Highlights included over 100 Evening Grosbeaks, 2 Pine Grosbeaks, 26 Bohemian Waxwings, Redhead duck, Greater Scaup, Double-crested Cormorant, Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle and Trumpeter Swan. A Red Fox was viewed briefly on a snowy hillside near Nephton. 17 bird species were found when we visited Lake Katchewenooka near Lakefield, including a late DC Cormorant and 2 sub-adult Bald Eagles. Our main morning stop was at a series of feeders on County Road 6 near Stony Lake, where we found many Evening Grosbeaks, 2 Pine Grosbeaks, a single Bohemian Waxwing, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinch, Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, Common Raven, Blue Jays and Black-capped Chickadees. Little Lake back in Peterborough produced no rare gulls but a Peregrine Falcon was photographed consuming a Pigeon on the nearby Quaker Oats Building overlooking the Otonabee River. Our afternoon visit to Peterborough Airport was unproductive. No owls were found. The weather cooperated throughout the day as we enjoyed 2 degree temperatures and no wind.
December 11 2022 (Sunday) Toronto Lakeshore
Leader: John Schmelefske.
OFO Field Trip Lake Ontario Shoreline West of Toronto Sunday Dec 11, 2022 Leader: John Schmelefske The morning began with blustery weather and icy roads. This may have contributed to the limited turnout by those who registered for today?s field trip along the Lake Ontario shoreline west of Toronto. Wet snow persisted through the morning, but stopped after lunch. 11 group members began the day at Colonel Sam Park. Waterfowl numbers were down this year both in overall numbers and variety of species even though we covered the entire shoreline of the park. Our best sightings were a handsome American Widgeon, Hooded Merganser and Long-tailed Ducks in various plumages. We scouted for owls, but to no avail. At Whimbrel Point we paused for a group shot after summiting the mound. When we returned to the parking area after a short washroom break, we had a leisurely fly-by from a lovely male Northern Harrier. Moments later a raptor was spotted on the top of a pole by the dog park. It turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon chowing down on a bird! The identity of the victim was hard to determine. Possibly a Robin? Thoughts? After a lunch stop the remaining group members reconvened at Marie Curtis Park. When we reached the lake shore we found an Iceland Gull (Kumlieni) amongst a group of Ring-bills. It posed for us, giving us a great view. We then encountered a woman with a small dog who insisted we take some photos of the little guy because he was so beautiful. We were a bit taken aback but had to admit, it was an awfully handsome dog, although obviously somewhat pampered! Further down the beach we came across a couple of American Pipits foraging in the detritus on the shore. Eventually they took off. To our amazement a Merlin suddenly swooped in and almost snagged one of them! On a nearby trail we found a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. All in all, it was a productive day with birding getting better as the weather improved. Thanks to all who participated ! John.