Oshawa Second Marsh and vicinity birding report, for the JULY 4 - JULY 31, 2003 period.

Tyler Hoar thoar at rogers.com
Fri Aug 1 12:30:52 EDT 2003


Oshawa Second Marsh and vicinity birding report, for the JULY 4 - JULY 31,
2003 period.

The big news this month is the confirmed breeding of TRUMPETER SWANS in the
Second Marsh. Neck collared swan R39 and unbanded mate have been very
aggressive since early spring at the marsh. They have kept most of the MUTE
SWANS out of the northern part of the marsh. Suspected breeding became a
reality when on July 9th,  R39 and mate brought out 5 very young cygnets
(less
than 2 days old) on. However these first time parents showed their
inexperience in dealing with possible predators. Sadly by July 16 only 1
cygnet still remained. The family is still intact and the cygnet now is
larger than the adjacent mallards. The family feeds primarily in the central
to northern areas of the marsh in the abundant new growth of vegetation.

The summering TUNDRA SWAN returned to the marsh from July 14 - 23. This bird
when not in the marsh probably is out in Lake Ontario with the Mute Swan
flock off McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve.

Hundreds of waterfowl are now using the Second Marsh as a staging area.
These species (from
most abundant to least) include, MALLARD, GADWALL, BLUE-WINGED TEAL,
NORTHERN
SHOVELER, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and WOOD DUCK. Other species
being seen include REDHEAD ( 3 drakes, 1 hen July  ), HOODED
MERGANSER(female
daily), 1-2 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and SCAUP sp. A PIED-BILLED GREBE was in
the Marsh July 31. This species is rarely seen in the marsh during the
summer.

The DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT numbers are building daily. As in the last
decade, several hundred birds start to loaf on the gravel island in the sw
corner of the marsh and in trees along the barrier beach.

CASPIAN and COMMON TERNS numbers are decreasing quickly (COMMON TERNS 115
July 21, and 23 July 31). CASPIAN TERNS (2 pairs) nested for the first time
in Second Marsh this year, but were unsuccessful. Post breeding Ospreys are
now being seen several times a week around the
marsh, with 2 birds present July and eating Brown Bullheads (mudcats).

Four species of heron are being seen almost daily, including LEAST
BITTERN . The Migrant shorebird numbers have decreased in the last few weeks
however their diversity has increased. On July 14 there were 36 LESSER
YELLOW
LEGS, 25 GREATER YELLOWLEGS. This evening (July 31) there were 5 species (10
birds) including the SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER (2) and LEAST SANDPIPER (3). On
July 21 and 23, a STILT SANDPIPER was foraging with the yellowlegs.
Along McLaughlin Bay barrier beach, washed up algae is building in the
western end and near the log cabin In Darlington Provincial Park. However,
only a few LESSER YELLOWLEGS, and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS. have been observed
there. On the Lake, offshore COMMON LOONS are being seen daily with 3
reported July 16

 Passerines have been very quiet for most of the month. Now, EASTERN
KINGBIRDS and YELLOW WARBLERS  appear to be in the initial stages of
migration. Fall warbler migration should be starting within the next week.
In previous years good results were found in Darlington Provincial Park,
just listen for the BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES as migrant warblers forage with
these flocks.

Our thanks to contributors: Brian Brasier, Daniel Denov, Durham Rare Bird
Line, Tyler Hoar, Bill and Nancy Logan, Rayfield Pye, Jim Richards, and
Wioletta Walancik.

Please send sightings reports to the attention of Tyler Hoar, (e-mail)
ww.secondmarsh at rogers.com no later than Thursday morning each week.

For a trail map of Second Marsh visit www.secondmarsh.com There is a link on
that site that will take you to a trail map for McLaughlin Bay Wildlife
Reserve.

Directions Exit from the 401 at the Harmony Rd. Exit (419) in Oshawa. Go
south on Farewell St. to Colonel Sam Drive. Go east on Colonel Sam Drive to
the parking lot at the GM Headquarters. Park in the west parking lot close
to the marsh. The east platform is located here. To see the Lake Ontario
waterbirds proceed along the path from the parking lot south to the
lakeshore.

"Tyler Hoar" <thoar at rogers.com>

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