Quinte Area Bird Report

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Sun Sep 14 18:56:31 EDT 2003


WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND THE QUINTE AREA
for Sunday, September 14, 2003


    The weekly bird report from Prince Edward County and the general Quinte
area is resuming for the season. However, for it to continue, we must
receive your reports on a regular basis of birds that have been seen in your
area. This report goes out to approximately 1,400 subscribers on the Ontario
Birds Internet listserv, as well as to over 80 private subscribers. Your
reports, however seemingly insignificant, gives us a more accurate handle on
current bird populations and trends in the Quinte area.

    Only one day following the temporary suspension of the birding report,
on June 23rd, Prince Edward County's very first NORTHERN WHEATEAR was seen
at Point Petre. The bird appeared at 7:45 p.m and never reappeared for
birders who searched for it the following day. The bird was observed by New
Jersey birder Bob Maurier and was observed at a distance of not more than 4
metres.

    Bringing the birding report up to date now, a 202 kayak paddle up the
Rideau Canal from Kingston to Ottawa August 30 to September 8th gave us a
nice list of birds including two BARRED OWLS at Murphy's Point Provincial
Park, and OSPREYS, COMMON LOONS, and GREAT BLUE HERONS in excellent numbers
for the complete trip. Also seen were several GREEN HERONS and a juvenile
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON near Brewers Mills.

    Closer to home, David Okines of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory
reported during the week of August 24th, highs of 80 SEMIPALMATED
SANDPIPERS, 70 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 8 SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, 18 LESSER YELLOWLEGS
and 11 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. Also seen during the period were 2 STILT
SANDPIPERS, a WESTERN SANDPIPER, 2 RUDDY TURNSTONES and a GREATER
YELLOWLEGS. A small passage of BARN SWALLOWS (215+) on the morning of the
29th was immediately followed by over 800 TREE SWALLOWS. Definitely the bird
of that reporting period was an adult phase POMERINE JAEGER complete with
its characteristic spoons flying past on the 30th.

    Officially the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory opened for the fall
season on August 16th. Migration in general was slow to start, although 300
CEDAR WAXWINGS on the 21st were noteworthy. Swallows were also around in
good numbers with TREE SWALLOWS peaking at 35, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW
at 100, BANK SWALLOW at 175, CLIFF SWALLOW at 50, and BARN SWALLOW at 500.
Warbler numbers were low.

    By August 31st, it was still fairly quiet, but more birds were beginning
to move. Shorebirds continued to be around with SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS being
the most abundant and peaking at 65. Two RED KNOTS were present most of that
week and a STILT SANDPIPER was making occasional appearances. A ROCK DOVE
(rare as house sparrows at the Point) was seen on the 6th, and 180 TREE
SWALLOWS flew past three days earlier. EASTERN KINGBIRDS were still feeding
fledged young and a pair of MOURNING DOVES were till setting on eggs that
week.

    By September 7th, birding continued to be slow at the Prince Edward
Point National Wildlife Area, but a few more species were starting to
appear. A HORNED GREBE was seen offshore on the 12th, along with AMERICAN
WIGEON, and both GREATER and LESSER SCAUP. A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was banded
on the 10th, and BLUE JAYS have started their fall migration with numbers
building up from 23 on the 9th, to 1,200 as of yesterday. The fall's only
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET so far was trapped on the 9th. The first WESTERN PALM
WARBLER was seen on the 7th and up to six have been seen daily, but other
warblers have been in low numbers with only MAGNOLIA WARBLERS barely
reaching double figures. The first LINCOLN'S SPARROW of the fall was banded
on the 10th. And to end the report from the Prince Edward Point Bird
Observatory on a high note, a very early COMMON EIDER was just offshore all
day yesterday. This species is normally seen in mid-winter on the Great
Lakes, and is the first sighting of the species in the county since 1978.
The earliest ever date for the species in our records is March 15th, so this
sighting is truly an exceptional record for the area.

    Today, at Beaver Meadow Wildlife Management Area, near East Lake, a
GREAT EGRET was seen feeding in the shallows. Outside the county, both
LESSER and GREATER YELLOW LEGS have been observed along the Moira River,
just north of Belleville.

    And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte
area. Our thanks to David Okines of the Prince Edward Point Bird
Observatory, Lloyd Paul, Robert and Jane Hough, and John Perry for their
contributions to this week's report. This report will be updated by 8:00
p.m. on Sunday, September 21st. Bird sightings must be in by 6:00 p.m. on
Sunday evening to be included in the next report. Good birding.

Terry Sprague
Picton, Ontario
tsprague at kos.net
www.naturestuff.net






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