Amherst Island - Owl Woods

Alex & Karen akscott at
Wed Feb 6 22:36:13 EST 2002

An interesting but unclear picture from the woods today.  I was about to
despair of finding any SAW-WHET OWLS for a while this afternoon.  There
was no sign of the regular resident in the Cedar Woods, and that was a
little worrisome as it was the second day in a row there was no sign of
it.  Nor was the regular one from the Pines anywhere to be found
although it was there on my last visit.

Just about the time I was about to give up though I came across one well
away from anywhere there has been anything since migration, and lo and
behold there was one in another tree, not 20 feet from it.

Many years there is no sign of any migratory movement until March, but
in a few there has been a small movement just about this time in
February.  If I had found even one of the regulars I would have been
tempted to think there might have been a small movement in the past day
or two.  On the other hand, while I didn't detect anything like it last
spring, there has been a pair calling and occupying one of the nest
boxes during February and March in the preceding 2 years, so the
question now is, was this a small migratory movement, or is the same
pair doing the same thing again this year.  Perhaps this weekend will
provide a clue.  In the meantime, if anyone is in the woods and hears
the male calling, I'd like to know about it.  The calls usually started
about 2 pm and tended to get more regular about dusk.

There were more LONG-EARED OWLS in evidence too today.  There were 2 in
a pine tree in the Cedar Woods sitting next to each other on the same
branch and looking very much like a pair, and at least 1 more in the

There are still SNOWY OWLS and SHORT-EARED OWLS to be found not far from
the woods as well as many hawks of several different species all over
the Island.  Which reminds me, I have managed to find SAW-WHET OWLS in a
few other places on the west end of the Island too.

Amherst Island is 16 km west of Kingston.  Take exit # 593 from Highway
401, proceed south on County Road  #4 (formerly Highway 133) to
Millhaven on Lake Ontario - the ferry dock is 200m west on Hwy. 33 (Bath

Road).   A round-trip costs $5.00.  The ferry leaves every hour on the
half-hour from 6:30 am onward.

To get to the "Owl Woods" after getting off the ferry:  take the first
left (east), drive 3 km along the north shore road (Front Road) to the
first southbound road called Marshall 40 foot Road (directly across the
road from the 2320 sign).  Proceed 1.3 km south to the S-curve.  Walk
north-east on the trails.  (Beware of killer Chickadees - Bring
sunflower seeds for hand feeding if at all possible!)

Alex. Scott

Alex & Karen <akscott at>

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