Recent Trip Reports

September 22 2019 (Sunday) Ottawa West

Leader: Jeff Skevington.

Hi Ontbirders,

We had 26 participants on today's OFO outing in the Ottawa area and ended up seeing 85 species over the 9 stops that we made. Highlights were a Cackling Goose at Moodie Quarry, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at various sites, a perched Peregrine Falcon at Mud Lake that opened the outing and a latish Yellow Warbler at Mud Lake. Warblers were hard to come by with only 11 species and shorebirds were also in low numbers with only 8 species. Thanks very much to the participants for bringing their enthusiasm and great spotting skills. A summary of the eBird lists is provided below.

Good birding,



eBird Checklist Summary for: Sep 22, 2019

Number of Checklists: 9
Number of Taxa: 86

Checklists included in this summary:
(1): Ottawa--Britannia Conservation Area (Britannia Ridge)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 07:32
(2): Ottawa--Andrew Haydon Park east (formerly Ottawa Beach)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 10:18
(3): Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa CA-ON (45.3503,-75.8227)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 10:57
(4): Ottawa--Greenbelt Trail 10
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 11:41
(5): Ottawa--Moodie Drive Quarry
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 13:11
(6): 4485 Trail Rd, Ottawa CA-ON (45.2340,-75.7744)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 13:50
(7): 4334?4346 Barnsdale Rd, Ottawa CA-ON (45.2218,-75.7610)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 14:34
(8): Goulbourn, Ottawa CA-ON (45.2030,-75.7946)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 14:57
(9): Richmond Sewage Lagoons
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 15:11

1 Cackling Goose (Richardson's) -- (7)
2747 Canada Goose -- (1),(2),(3),(4),(5),(6),(7),(8),(9)
35 Wood Duck -- (1),(3),(9)
80 Blue-winged Teal -- (2),(3)
3 Northern Shoveler -- (3)
5 Gadwall -- (5)
2 American Wigeon -- (3)
66 Mallard -- (1),(2),(5),(6),(9)
1 American Black Duck -- (3)
4 Northern Pintail -- (2),(3)
19 Green-winged Teal -- (3),(7),(9)
3 Ring-necked Duck -- (5)
6 Hooded Merganser -- (1),(2),(5),(6)
1 Pied-billed Grebe -- (5)
5 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) -- (1),(4),(9)
3 Mourning Dove -- (5),(7)
1 Common Gallinule -- (9)
4 Semipalmated Plover -- (2),(3)
15 Killdeer -- (2),(3),(7)
2 Least Sandpiper -- (2)
1 Pectoral Sandpiper -- (2)
1 Spotted Sandpiper -- (9)
3 Solitary Sandpiper -- (6)
8 Greater Yellowlegs -- (2),(5),(6)
17 Lesser Yellowlegs -- (3),(5),(9)
4 Bonaparte's Gull -- (1),(2),(5)
1720 Ring-billed Gull -- (1),(2),(3),(5),(6),(7)
507 Herring Gull -- (1),(2),(3),(5),(6),(7),(8)
3 Lesser Black-backed Gull -- (1),(5),(8)
72 Great Black-backed Gull -- (1),(2),(3),(5),(6),(7)
2 Common Tern -- (1)
29 Double-crested Cormorant -- (1),(2),(5),(7)
11 Great Blue Heron -- (1),(3),(5),(7),(9)
8 Great Egret -- (1),(2),(3),(6),(7)
1 Green Heron -- (9)
1 Black-crowned Night-Heron -- (5)
14 Turkey Vulture -- (4),(5),(6),(7),(9)
1 Osprey -- (1)
2 Northern Harrier -- (5),(7)
1 Red-tailed Hawk -- (5)
6 Belted Kingfisher -- (1),(5)
3 Downy Woodpecker -- (1),(4),(6)
4 Hairy Woodpecker -- (4)
3 Pileated Woodpecker -- (1)
2 Northern Flicker -- (4),(5)
3 Merlin -- (1),(7),(9)
1 Peregrine Falcon -- (1)
1 Eastern Wood-Pewee -- (1)
8 Eastern Phoebe -- (1),(4)
1 Blue-headed Vireo -- (4)
1 Warbling Vireo (Eastern) -- (1)
2 Red-eyed Vireo -- (4)
12 Blue Jay -- (1),(5),(7),(8),(9)
6 American Crow -- (1),(3),(5),(6),(9)
16 Common Raven -- (1),(4),(5)
14 Black-capped Chickadee -- (1),(4),(6)
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet -- (4)
2 White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern) -- (1),(4)
63 European Starling -- (1),(6)
5 Gray Catbird -- (1),(4)
6 American Robin -- (1),(4)
49 Cedar Waxwing -- (1),(4),(9)
83 American Pipit -- (1),(6),(8)
32 American Goldfinch -- (1),(4),(5),(6)
5 Chipping Sparrow -- (3),(6)
3 Field Sparrow -- (4),(6)
1 White-crowned Sparrow -- (6)
2 White-throated Sparrow -- (1),(4)
2 Savannah Sparrow -- (8)
23 Song Sparrow -- (1),(2),(3),(6),(9)
4 Swamp Sparrow -- (2),(3),(9)
352 Red-winged Blackbird -- (5),(9)
2 Rusty Blackbird -- (3),(4)
1 Common Yellowthroat -- (2)
5 American Redstart -- (1),(4)
1 Cape May Warbler -- (1)
10 Northern Parula -- (1),(4)
5 Magnolia Warbler -- (1),(4)
1 Bay-breasted Warbler -- (1)
1 Blackburnian Warbler -- (1)
1 Yellow Warbler -- (1)
2 Palm Warbler (Western) -- (1),(4)
2 Yellow-rumped Warbler -- (6)
11 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) -- (1),(4)
2 Black-throated Green Warbler -- (1)
5 Northern Cardinal -- (1),(3),(4)

This trip summary was created using the eBird app for iPhone and iPad. See eBird for more information.

September 21 2019 (Saturday) Colonel Sam Smith Park and Western Lake Ontario

Leader: Garth Riley.

Hello Ontbirds,

Well yesterday felt much more like mid-July than the third week of September. Therefore the number of species was similar to what one would expect for a hot summer day. While there were good pockets of migrating passerines, including large numbers of Northern Parula, 17 in fact.

Lake Ontario was full of boaters, sailors, and kayakers make the most of what could be the last really hot day for a while. As a result there were few birds visible on the lake. A distant Common Loon see by a few of the participants being one of the highlights. There was little evidence of a large push of waterfowl but a single American Wigeon and four Blue-winged Teal suggest that this migration has just started.

The 21 participants and I enjoyed the lovely summer weather and company and still managed 48 species for the day.

Thanks to all who partipated and good birding,Garth

Garth Riley Etobicoke, Ontario

September 15 2019 (Sunday) Point Pelee National Park

Leader: Jeremy Hatt.

10 participants joined the OFO hike at Point Pelee National Park and surrounding area today. We finished w/ a total of 48 species but most of our time was spent searching for shorebirds and waterbirds so we ended w/ low numbers of passerines.

The temperature was warm throughout the day and mostly cloudy w/ light south winds and a few light rain showers in the late morning and early afternoon.

At the Tip, highlights included a hybrid Great Black-backed x Herring Gull, a few Merlins giving close looks including one harassing a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and a couple of somewhat late Eastern Kingbirds flying south off the Tip.

In the late morning, Paul Gosselin reported that the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck had returned to Sturgeon Creek Marina so we carpooled to see this rarity that has been lingering in the area for quite some time. Everyone enjoyed incredible looks at the duck, which was a lifer or new Ontario bird for most of the group. Thanks to Paul Gosselin for the report.

Our next stop was at southeast Hillman Marsh (East Beach road access) to try for the Neotropic Cormorant found Friday. We didn't find the cormorant but we did see an assortment of shorebirds including Semipalmated Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and Spotted Sandpiper. Surprisingly there were no shorebirds at the Mersea 21 flooded field north of Hillman Marsh.

Our final stop was Wheatley Harbour where the highlight was an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull on the break wall.

Many thanks to all the participants who attended and special thanks to Sarah Rupert for her early morning help prior to the outing. Jeremy Hatt

September 14 2019 (Saturday) Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Leader: Ian Shanahan.

Greetings birders:

The run of excellent warbler flocks continues on this annual outing. Of the day's 73 species, 16 were warblers, with most coming in a flurry of early- to mid-morning activity.

The heavy rain of the wee hours of the morning stopped at sunrise and skies gradually cleared throughout the day. A strong west wind made for challenging viewing, especially at the beach and on the lake.

The Lighthouse/Paxton Drive

Sheltered Paxton Drive was slow on our first pass -- possibly due to the presence of single COOPER'S and SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS -- before springing to life on our walk back towards the lighthouse. Warbler-wise, we all got excellent looks at BLACK-AND-WHITE, NASHVILLE, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN PARULA, MAGNOLIA, BAY-BREASTED, BLACKBURNIAN, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, YELLOW-RUMPED, and BLACK-THROATED GREEN. Most saw a single TENNESSEE well, while a handful of observers briefly observed a particularly dull CAPE MAY. The mixed flock also included several RED-EYED and one BLUE-HEADED VIREO, one RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, at least one LEAST FLYCATCHER, and one ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK.

The Beach

CEDAR WAXWINGS showed well on the Beach 2 entrance road before we faced into the wind while observing a flock of 35-40 SANDERLINGS -- including one adult -- interspersed with two LEAST SANDPIPERS, two SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS, and about 15 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. Both adult and juvenile CASPIAN TERNS remain, though not for much longer this year.

Calf Pasture

After a brief picnic lunch beside the Park store, we headed to Calf Pasture where some observers glimpsed a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER as the rest of the group enjoyed a rarely-seen-in-Presqu'ile Northern Map Turtle at the boat launch. A small flock of a bathing warblers included a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and WILSON'S WARBLER. Nearby, we heard the distinctive "smack" call of a MOURNING WARBLER just after some group members spotted a BROWN THRASHER.

Brighton Constructed Wetland/Brighton Sewage Lagoon

Highlights at the wetland included two flushed LESSER YELLOWLEGS, two juvenile COMMON GALLINULES, as well as one BLUE-WINGED TEAL among skittish flocks of GREEN-WINGED TEAL. The sewage lagoon's surface is visible from the wetland due to the former's high water, so we got the scope on several NORTHERN SHOVELERS and BONAPARTE'S GULLS.

Thank you to Bill Gilmour for his assistance once again and to the 29 participants who joined us. If you would like the two ebird lists for the day, please respond to this email and I will gladly share them.

We hope to see you again in soon!


Ian and Sofia Shanahan

p.s. Pardon the delayed posting of this report due to our camping at Presqu'ile over the weekend.

September 14 2019 (Saturday) Kettle Point and Inland Lagoons

Leader: Sean Jenniskens.

On Saturday, 10 participants joined myself for some lake and lagoon birding at Kettle Point, Port Franks, and local sewage lagoons. We totaled 42 species and one hybrid (Mallard x Am. Black Duck). 10 species of shorebird were seen.

Winds were strong and westerly, with a small south-component; not ideal for lake watching but we tried our hardest.

Highlights included some close views at kettling Broad-winged Hawks (Kettle Point), Baird's Sandpiper (Forest Sewage Lagoons), and two Long-billed Dowitchers (Thedford Sewage Lagoons).

Thank you to all who came out and helped in spotting!

Sean Jenniskens

September 9 2019 (Monday) Fall Birding at Moosonee

Leader: Martin Parker, Kathy Parker.

The third annual OFO outing to Moosonee/Moose Factory, which included a boat trip to the mouth of the Moose River was held from Sept. 8 to 13 with a total of 14 participants. They found a total of 72 species of birds during the fire days. Highlights include hundreds of Snow Geese, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 60 American Golden Plover on the shore at the mouth of the Moose River, 160 Pectoral Sandpiper at the mouth, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Red-necked Phalarope on the Moosonee Lagoon, nine other species of shorebirds, 2 Parasitic Jaegers mobbing gulls, Golden Eagle at Moosonee Lagoon, Rough-legged Hawks on two different days, plentiful White-winged Crossbills feeding on the bumper crop of spruce cones, and nine species of warblers.

Special thanks to the Cree Eco Lodge for excellent accommodation and Darrel Isaac and Laurie Sutherland (of Darrell's Bay Tours) for canoe transport, the trip to the bay, and introduction to the culture of Moose Factory.

None birding highlights included a Bearded Seal, Red-backed Vole and Black Bears.

Martin Parker

September 8 2019 (Sunday) Toronto Islands

Leader: Gavin Platt.

15 participants attended yesterday's outing to Toronto Islands. Although birding was slow at times, we still managed some good diversity, for a total of 76 species, including 19 warblers. Best sighting was a nice Olive-sided Flycatcher on Centre Island.

Good Birding, Gavin Platt Toronto, ON

To reach the Toronto Islands, depart by ferry from the Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay St in Toronto (Bay & Queens Quay). There are currently 3 ferries running, with schedules posted on the internet. Birding is good throughout the islands at this time of year.

August 24 2019 (Saturday) Palgrave and Tottenham Sod Farms, Schomberg Lagoons

Leader: John Schmelefske.

Our group of 22 birders was greeted by near perfect weather and some pleasant surprises during our tour of northern York and southern Dufferin Counties on Saturday. Perhaps our biggest highlight was a roosting Common Nighthawk in plain view in the Palgrave Conservation Area as we entered. The bird even revealed its wing bars by taking off just as we were exiting the park! Nearby was a very accommodating Black-billed Cuckoo.

Also seen were several other species including Philadelphia Vireo, Brown Creeper, Black and White, Black-throated Green and Tennessee Warblers, and both nuthatches. Surprisingly, we were unable to turn up a single Pine Warbler!

At a nearby Humber Station Road swamp we were happy to hear, but not see, a Virginia Rail, and Belted Kingfisher.

After a quick lunch break (I got to check out a spiffy Tesla owned by one of our group members) we headed to the Everett Gravel Pit. On the way we stopped briefly to view a couple Trumpeter Swans and a Vesper Sparrow at the Horse Ponds. At the Everett Gravel Pit water levels are currently low, which is conducive to shorebirds. Unfortunately, the distances involved and the heat haze made IDing small peeps quite challenging. Both Yellowlegs were present as well as Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Also present were Green-winged Teal, Caspian Tern, Great Egret, Great-blue Heron and Mute Swans.

Our group disbanded at this point. Recent reconnaissance, had indicated that the Beeton Sod Farm area was bone dry and unproductive. Some more dedicated group members checked out the Schomberg Sewage Lagoons on their way home and reported two Sandhill Cranes and Baird?s Sandpiper.

All in all a very enjoyable and productive outing. Thanks to Ken Morin and Brian Roberts for logistical support along the way.

John Schmelefske

j.schme at

August 17 2019 (Saturday) Birds of Moonbeam, Cochrane Area

Leader: Ken Williams, Angie Williams.

On Saturday, August 17, 2019, a party of eight birded at the Moonbeam sewage lagoons. A total of 25 species were observed, mostly ducks, which provided an interesting study since many ducks are in eclipse this time of year. Highlights among the ducks were one Wood Duck and one Bufflehead.

Other good finds were four Sandhill Cranes disappearing noiselessly (unusual for them) behind the tree line, some lingering Cliff Swallows, one juvenile thrush that we were unable to identify, and assorted warblers. A weasel type animal, likely a mink, provided some non-bird excitement.

We would like to thank the town of Moonbeam for allowing us access to the sewage lagoons.

Angie & Ken Williams

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Photo: Carol Horner

King Eider
Photo: John Millman

Bank Swallow
Photo: Sam Barone

Chipping Sparrow
Photo: Frank and Sandra Horvath

Spotted Sandpiper
Photo: Sam Barone

Long-tailed Jaeger
Photo: Barry Cherriere

Eastern Bluebird
Photo: Tom Thomas

Photo: Sam Barone

Barred Owl
Photo: Frank and Sandra Horvath