OFO Bruce Weekend June 21st and 22nd

John Miles miles at kwic.com
Mon Jun 23 20:23:48 EDT 2003

20 OFO members and friends met at 7 am at the Hepworth Tim Horton's on
Saturday morning June 21st. We proceeded to go east to Shallow Lake and NE
towards MacNabb Lake stopping at various spots to check out the extensive
swamp. Numerous birds were seen and heard including a Blue-winged Warbler.
A"local" coming by stopped and said there was a Snowy Egret close to the
road 2 minutes behind her so we headed that way. The Snowy was a Great Egret
and close to the road. As we were headed back to MacNabb Lake side road a
second Great Egret was spotted coming in high up from the SE.
The walk in the side road to the lake produced several species of warblers
including a calling Mourning Warbler which kept well hidden in the dense
under growth. Several species of ferns including Hart's Tongue were found. .
By the time we left MacNabb Lake 2 hours had elapsed and a pit stop was in
order so back to Hepworth and Tim Horton's. Upon leading Hepworth we
proceeded east and when north on the 1st road at the edge of the village.
Great views of a co-operative Indigo Bunting were obtained while a Vesper
Sparrow was calling in the distance. A couple of distance calls of a Clay
Colored Sparrow were heard by some. We went to the end of the road and
turned east and took the first road going east from the Zion Church Rd.
Along this road a large rock was near the road and had a good covering of
Walking Fern. In one of the swampy valleys along this road we had a pair of
Red-shouldered Hawks circling overhead.
We did the senic tour through back roads of Keppel township stopping
occasionally. At one stop a Black-and-white Warbler put on a close display.
Back on the Zion Church Road we proceeded to the Oxeden Creek bridge where a
Virgina Rail came within 5 feet of the group.
Lunch was at the Lake Charles Conservation area where a Common Raven greeted
our arrival and a Purple Finch bid us goodby.
Through good fortune the entire group managed to make it through Wiarton
without anyone getting lost and we headed west.
At the Rankin River a pair of Ospreys are house keeping with the female on
the nest. The male was perched below on the hydro wires.
 The west shoreline was not productive. We were too early at the fen
boardwalk for any orchids but Butterwort was out in bloom. The local Opsrey
made a fly over fairly close.
It was a little breezy at Sky Lake for too much but a few Black Terns were
over the reeds.
Issac Lake was a little quiet as it was mid afternoon but a Marsh Wren was
calling. A single Sora call was heard. At the Goose impoundment an American
Bittern stood out in the open for all to see.  At the back parking lot by
the lake the Ospreys were home on the nesting platform behind the privy.
Both an American Bittern and an Adult Black-crowned Night Heron did fly bys
low right over the parking lot.
We continued north along #6 and had a Brewer's Balkbird alone the shoulder
of the highway just north of Mar.   We turned west off  NO. 6 and did a
country block at the south end of the Ferndale flats finding another adult
Black-crowned Night Heron in a ditch. Once back to No. 6 along the Pike Bay
road  we broke for the day. The group accumative total was up to 104 species
with 14 species of warblers found.

 At 7 am Sunday Morning 14 OFO members reasembled at the Tobermorary
Airport. We proceeded with several stops up to Sunset Park at Cape Hurd.
Here the highlight was a Merlin that was observed flying a long ways out
into the lake, catch a prey and then return back to land. We headed back to
#6 and proceeded to the Cameron Lake Road where a pit stop was taken. The
highlight here was a Luna Moth on the building beside the door into the
A quick stop was made at the Crane River Picnic grounds to look at the fern
wall and check out the Nodding Trillium. There was quick stampede back to
the cars with a swam of black flies in pursuit.
We proceeded down to the Dyers Rd. and headed east to the Crane Lake Rd.
Along the road we stopped a couple of times and had good looks at  male
Purple Finches on the road side. Further north the road through the swamp
was a series of islands but still passible. While trying for rails 4
Sandhill Cranes came by calling  and heading towards Crane Lake. We
continued up the road to the old farm gate on the west side of the road
where we stopped for lunch. Near the road about 175 metres from us were 4
Sandhill Cranes that walked around the field and still were doing this when
we left. We retraced our steps and turned east stopping to check out the
leatherwood in the hardwoods.
Just west of Lark Whistle a Clay-colored Sparrow was vocal and good views
were had as it sat out in the open for several minutes. We stopped at Lark
Whistle to admire the foral display. While getting out of the cars a single
Sandhill flew low over the parked cars. Several clear wing (hummingbird)
moths were found on the flowers. Since it was mid afternoon several peeled
off to head home but the diehards wanted to go out the the Cabot Head
lighthouse so off we went. Not much was seen although a few Common
Mergansers were on the rocks beside the road. At the lighthouse the trees in
flower were litterally covered with clear wing moths, unbelievable numbers
for this rarely seen species. The group offically broke up at 3 pm and we
headed our separate ways. The group total for the weekend including those
seen on side excursions Saturday night was around 120 species.

John Miles
Jarvis, On.
miles at kwic.com

"John Miles" <miles at kwic.com>

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