Recent Trip Reports

April 24 2022 (Sunday) Prince Edward County

Leader: Mike Burrell.

After a two year hiatus, twenty OFO members and their guests joined me Sunday (April 24) for the annual late April trip to Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.

The weather was excellent, although we didn't get the hoped for south winds that southwestern Ontario had. After meeting in Picton, we headed for Kaiser Crossroad but the normally flooded fields had dried up in the last couple of days so there weren't any waterfowl or other waterbirds concentrated here so we moved on quickly .

We moved on quickly to check the lake off the right-of-way at the south end of Kaiser Crossroad and enjoyed a good flight of Bonaparte's Gulls but sadly could not locate a Little Gull. There were a small handful of Horned Grebes and waterfowl here as well.

From here we headed for Prince Edward Point and enjoyed a banding demonstration from the helpful staff at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, getting close up looks at both kinglets, Brown Creeper, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Brown Thrasher, and Eastern Towhee. Our walk to the lighthouse yielded a good number of Yellow-rumped Warblers, a couple of Black-and-white Warblers and Blue-headed Vireos and a pair of Purple Martins. We all enjoyed excellent views of a singing Rusty Blackbird.

On our way out we stopped and walked the trail at Point Traverse Woods and had more typical late April migrants including a Palm Warbler with Blue-headed Vireos, Pine Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers and lots of kinglets. On the lake we had good scope views of both Surf and White-winged Scoters.

From here we headed to the opposite end of the IBA with a final stop at Point Petre. We didn't add too many new species but did have good looks at a hunting American Kestrel and we watched a Common Raven delivering food to hungry chicks in a nest.

Despite missing many of our hoped for waterbirds at Kaiser Crossroad we ended the day with over 80 species and everyone (seemingly!) went home happy. Thanks to everyone who joined and helped make the day fun. To view a trip report, visit https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Febird.org%2Fcanada%2Ftripreport%2F49766&data=05%7C01%7C%7Ce95e78e2324f4b39e76808da27743b77%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637865677408319303%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=lG4RQf%2BYj%2F9r%2Bh7LFjDkuSNKIJo3AIRvoonBwCXAuSM%3D&reserved=0 Mike Burrell

April 24 2022 (Sunday) Peterborough

Leader: Dave Milsom, Cathy Douglas, Brian Wales.

A beautiful Sunday in the Peterborough area (high of 22 c ) greeted 9 keen birders who thoroughly enjoyed the day . Many stops in the area were productive: a total of 74 species were recorded. Significant migration had occurred overnight so lots of new arrivals were seen including Rusty Blackbirds, Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, several Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Yellow-rumped warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Flickers, Northern Harriers, Barn Swallows, Northern Rough-winged and Bank Swallow, Virginia Rail and American Bittern. A highlight for photographers was a very cooperative singing Vesper Sparrow near Baillieboro. Best bird of the day was an adult Northern Goshawk, carrying prey, flying low over the Indian River near Warsaw. Another highlight was a male Harrier performing a display flight over a marsh near Rice Lake, closely watched by the female.

April 23 2022 (Saturday) Cabot Head and Bruce Peninsula

Leader: Martin Parker, Kathy Parker, Kiah Jasper.

Trip Report - OFO Cabot Head and Bruce Peninsula Weekend

The annual April weekend trip to the Bruce Peninsula lead by Martin and Kathy Parker was attended by over 23 OFO members over the two days -- some came for only one of the days. At the end of the birding activities on Saturday and Sunday they recorded a total of 86 species of birds. The special bird of the weekend was the Western Tanager in the Myles Bay area. Special thanks to young Deklan and his father Sean for ensuring the Sunday participants got to see this special bird, which was visiting the feeder

The weather on the weekend was variable. On Saturday it was windy and rainy most of the time resulting in changes to the planned schedule. At Dyer?s Bay the waves on Georgian Bay were suitable for surfing resulting in challenging viewing opportunities. While having lunch at Black Creek Prov. Park Reserve the sky to the south started to brighten indicating better weather was coming. Highlights on Saturday include: 4 Great Egrets in the area of the Oliphant boardwalk, 2 Bald Eagles at the nest on Myles Bay, Rough-legged Hawk in the Ferndale Flats, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Brown Creepers and both Kinglets in mixed flock at St. Margaret?s Chapel and 2 Brewer?s Blackbirds on Red Bay Road.

On Sunday the sky was clear and the temperature was much higher. Sunday highlights include a massive flock of waterfowl on Stokes Bay (consisting of 17 species), both Horned and Red-necked Grebes off Dyer?s Bay, both species of Yellowlegs in two wetland areas, Pectoral Sandpiper, hawk and falcon movements in the Dyer?s Bay area (8 species), six species of sparrow including Vesper and White-crowned Sparrow, 3 warbler species in mixed flock near Dyer?s Bay, 4 Brewer?s Blackbirds on the Red Bay Road and the very special Western Tanager.

April 18 2022 (Monday) Minesing

Leader: Dave Milsom.

30 birders enjoyed the Easter Monday OFO outing ably led by substitute leader Barbara Mann. First stop at McKinnon Road near Angus produced over 30 species including Sora, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Greater Yellowlegs, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, and Rusty Blackbird. The next highlight was a group of over 100 Sandhill Cranes in a field on Strongville Road. Those who drove to the Everett Gravel Pits were rewarded with views of 4 Greater White-fronted Geese among the hundreds of Canadas, and a late Northern Shrike. The group total for the day was 37 species.

April 10 2022 (Sunday) Algonquin Park

Leader: Ron Tozer, Dawn Sherman.

April 10 2022 (Sunday) Algonquin Park

Leader: Ron Tozer, Dawn Sherman

On April 10, about 40 participants took part in the 29th OFO spring trip in Algonquin Park, the first of which was back in 1990. Despite cool temperatures (minus 2 to plus 2 degrees C) and gusty NW wind in the afternoon, this enthusiastic group enjoyed a day of early spring birding. Locations visited included the Visitor Centre, Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the Old Airfield, Two Rivers Campground, and Park Lake. All ponds and lakes were ice-covered but open water was present in rivers and creeks, plus small areas of some lakes where water flowed in.

By the end of the day (9 am to 5 pm) we had located 35 species, a reasonable total for the date in an average to late spring so far. These included: four finch species still lingering at the Visitor Centre (Evening Grosbeak, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin and American Goldfinch); a male Merlin that put on a vocal and flight performance in Two Rivers Campground; a pair of Canada Jays that retrieved and stored food from the hand on Opeongo Road, to the delight of many; and two Snow Buntings at the Opeongo Access Point parking lot that provided relatively close opportunities for several eager photographers in the group.

Despite our persistent efforts to locate a Spruce Grouse along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, we were unable to do so. A male was photographed at Spruce Bog on Saturday but eluded us on Sunday, typical of this often ?now you see it, now you don?t? species. It was only the fourth time in the 29 years of the Algonquin trip that Spruce Grouse has been missed. We also had no success with seeing Black-backed Woodpecker. The Algonquin OFO trip has observed this species in 16 of 29 years, so perhaps surprisingly it has proven considerably more difficult to find than Spruce Grouse.

Dawn Sherman and I enjoyed leading the group and thank the participants for their eagerness, patience, and interest in learning more about the habits of Algonquin?s birds. We hope that you will return in 2023 for the 30th OFO Algonquin Park spring trip!

Ron Tozer

April 9 2022 (Saturday) Ottawa

Leader: Bob Cermak, Bernie Ladouceur.

The April 9th Spring waterfowl migration east of Ottawa OFO field trip was enjoyed by 19 birders and bird photographers. Significant rain April 7th provided good waterfowl habitat at the Giroux Rd ponds, on Frank Kenny Rd at Bear Brook Creek, along Milton Rd and on the Cobbs Lake Creek flood plain east of Bourget.

A total of 56 bird species were found including 16 migrating waterfowl: about 3000 Snow Geese (south shore of Cobbs Lake Creek flood plain), 6920 Canada Geese, 12 Tundra Swans and 13 duck species. The next day a Barnacle Goose was found along Milton Road!

We saw 6 raptor species, Kestrel, Merlin, and a very distant Peregrine Falcon on the tower south of the Giroux Rd ponds. Highlight of the day for most were 14 Sandhill Cranes that flew low over our heads at the Giroux Rd ponds.

Full sightings details can be found at https://ebird.org/tripreport/47273

Special thanks to Bernie Ladouceur for co-leading this trip with me.

Cheers, Bob Cermak

April 9 2022 (Saturday) Nephton

Leader: Dave Milsom, Cathy Douglas, Brian Wales.

The April 9th OFO outing to Nephton Ridge was enjoyed by 11 keen birders.A total of 36 species was seen through the day as we visited two Nephton Mine overlooks by school bus, kindly provided for the group by Covia Canada Ltd.and their Environmental Supervisor, Cale Reeder. Over the day, we spotted several raptor species flying over or along the ridge, including 19 Common Ravens, 33 Turkey Vultures, one Red-tailed Hawk, a Sharp-shinned Hawk and a first-year Bald Eagle. On an earlier tour of the mine property, we saw 6 pairs of Hooded Mergansers which seemed likely to nest on the site. Other finds during the day included Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Pine Siskin, Snow Bunting, Eastern Phoebe, 5 Sandhill Cranes and 3 Northern Shovelers. Of 4 Pileated Woodpeckers recorded, best sighting was of a male feeding on Scarab larvae in a piece of wood at the first overlook.

King Eider
2 Females
Photo: Karl and Marienna Egressy

Cliff Swallow
Photo: Carol Horner

Stilt Sandpiper
Photo: Jean Iron

Kentucky Warbler
Photo: Rick Johnston

Anhinga
Female
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath

Blue Jay
Photo: Frank and Sandra Horvath

House Sparrow
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath