Feb 15 - Toronto to Stoney Creek

Geoff Carpentier geoffcarpentier at rogers.com
Fri Feb 15 17:06:07 EST 2002

Toda Terrie Smith and I ventured out to find some lingering birds.

We started at Wilket Creek Park in Toronto and found the Ovenbird reported
last week. A bonus came as a Pileated Woodp. called and flew about. W.B.
Nuthatches and Cardinals were in song. The park is located just north of
Eglinton Ace on Leslie St. Enter the park and follow the road around to the
right to the public washrooms where you will park. Just before the
washrooms, follow the paved trail along the edge of the creek north to a
small bird feeder and a single spruce tree just beyond. The Ovenbird was
under the spruce feeding on seeds.

Ashbridge's Bay produced adult Glaucous and Iceland Gull, but no Purple
Sandp. Ashbridge's Bay is east of the Don Valley along the Lakeshore.

A single brant was found in Lake Promenade Park in Mississauga. The bird was
with several Canadas at the base of the Douglas Kennedy Headland. The park
is off the Lakeshore and just west of Lakeview Generating Station at the
foot of Lake Promenade Dr.

LaSalle park in Burlington was packed with ducks and swans. 31 Trumpeters
and a single Tundra joined the ducks, a single cormorant, one first winter
Iceland Gull and 9 Am. Coots. The tundra showed some yellow at the base of
the bill which we don't often see since the birds are usually well off in a
field or a lake. I thought briefly of Bewick's Swan, but I don't think there
was enough yellow for that race, as the amount, although easily seen, was
restricted to a small area just at the base of the bill and in front of the
eye. Opinions - email me privately. This park is located off North Shore
Blvd in Burlington, west of the QEW Niagara.

The Stoney Creek waterfront had few ducks except at DeWitt Rd, which is
about four streets east of Grays Rd. Here we found lots of all three species
of scoters and a beautiful subadult male King Eider. The eider looked
exactly like the "adult" males in the books, but the bill shield did not
protrude much giving the bird a flatter looking face. I'm not sure, and my
books [which I don't think I have enough of and my partner wonders how
anyone could have so many!] didn't seem to be much help.  This may have been
a second winter bird, based simply on these observations. It reportedly
takes until the third winter before the bird reaches maturity, but the
intermediate plumage descriptions beyond the first winter simply say that
there is variation. Thoughts/guidance pls email me privately.

All this and I got home in time for my nap!

Geoff Carpentier
Ajax, Ont.

"Geoff Carpentier" <geoffcarpentier at rogers.com>

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