[Ontbirds] Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending Thursday, March 03, 2005

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu Mar 3 21:27:48 EST 2005


WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND THE QUINTE AREA FOR
Thursday, March 03, 2005


    Calm waters on Lake Ontario today, made for poor waterfowl viewing at 
two of the traditionally productive areas in the Quinte area. At Barcovan, 
there were only about 70 MUTE SWANS present, along with about as many CANADA 
GEESE, and a scattering of GREATER SCAUP. Farther west along the lakeshore 
road from Barcovan, the calm lake however was covered with small rafts of 
GREATER SCAUP, COMMON GOLENEYES, and BUFFLEHEADS, and a number of MUTE 
SWANS. Wellington Harbour was even less productive with only a sprinkling of 
MUTE SWANS, BUFFLEHEADS, MALLARDS, and two or three COMMON MERGANSERS. Those 
unfamiliar with the waterfowl that can be seen at Wellington will be 
interested to know that I have produced a colour waterfowl guide for people 
dining at the Harbour Restaurant. If the guide is not out on display, just 
ask owners Bill and Sue Bailas, or Manager Steven Bailas.

    Inland, things were 'more better', as we say in Prince Edward County. 
Lingering winter weather this past week, with more snow on Tuesday and 
Wednesday, produced a flurry of SNOW BUNTING reports with some 40 seen on 
Saturday at Highway 62 and Victoria Road (present in the area for much of 
the winter), 50 on Wednesday on County Road 5 near the community of 
Yerexville, and lesser numbers at Consecon, Huff's Island, Big Island and 
Lake-on-the-Mountain. PINE GROSBEAKS were seen again during the week near 
Crookston Road at Tweed. In Prince Edward County, bird feeders are abuzz 
with birds with a few interesting guests thrown in for variety. A feeder at 
Smith's Bay has 20 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 30 DARK-EYED JUNCOS, 20 AMERICAN 
GOLDFINCHES, 25 BLUE JAYS, 30 COMMON REDPOLLS and 10 PINE SISKINS. On 
Glenora Road near Picton, 30 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES and 80 COMMON REDPOLLS are 
still regulars at a feeder there along with 2 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS. A Low 
Street feeder in Picton continues to host a RING-NECKED PHEASANT, while 
another feeder in Picton has a CAROLINA WREN feeding on suet, and another 
feeder at Morrison's Point has 2 CAROLINA WRENS nibbling away on peanuts. A 
feeder near the Black River Cheese Factory has a BROWN CREEPER, and a 
productive feeder on Lahey Road near Madoc has 3 RUFFED GROUSE and 2 COMMON 
RAVENS sampling the menu there. At Massassauga, a PURPLE FINCH and a 
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW are both guests at a feeder there.

    A feeder near the community of Elmbrook, north of Picton, located in a 
wooded area, enjoys phenomenal numbers of birds, all of which appear to be 
slow learners. A bird bander there opened her nets only to catch pretty much 
her entire flock of AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES that had been banded earlier, along 
with 30 retraped BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES! Of course, with the abundance of 
birds at most feeders in the county this year, comes the presence of hawks 
who like to do a little birdwatching of their own. A feeder at 23 Sprague 
Road has a NORTHERN SHRIKE, A COOPER'S HAWK and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK. A 
Smith's Bay feeder also has a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and one was also seen near 
the Quinte Skyway Bridge, while a feeder on Ridge Road had two at a feeder. 
A COOPER'S HAWK was observed on February 28th at McMahon's Bluff, where an 
adult BALD EAGLE was also seen the same day. There was a NORTHERN GOSHAWK at 
Davis Road at Elmbrook Wednesday, and another at Cherry Valley on the 27th. 
RED-TAILED HAWKS were seen during the week on Ridge Road, South Big Island 
Road, Smith's Bay, and Consecon Lake. A NORTHERN HARRIER turned up at 
Smith's Bay during the week.

    GREAT GRAY OWLS? Of course! Two different individuals were seen at the 
west end of Ridge Road near County Road 12, bringing the cumulative County 
total to 13, although the same individual may have been involved in some of 
the sightings this winter. New sightings to come in during the week from 
outside the County include 2 on River Valley Road at Stirling, one on 
Colebrook Road near Harrowsmith, 1 in Enterprise and another north of 
Trenton. One each was seen also on Croydon Road, North Beaver Lake Road, 
Marlbank Road, Erinsville and Tamworth, all north of Napanee, with another 
sighting near Moscow. A few other owls also joined the party too, with a 
suspected LONG-EARED OWL at Smith's Bay, a red phase EASTERN SCREECH OWL in 
a wood duck nesting box at Morrison's Point, and a grey phase sunning itself 
on a backyard fence in Belleville. The grey phase EASTERN SCREECH OWL on 
Highway 33 just west of the Waring House is still in the area.

    But there have also been a few subtle signs of spring. AMERICAN ROBINS 
have been turning up with increasing frequency in the county and elsewhere, 
HORNED LARKS flush from nearly every roadside now, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS 
(perhaps wintering individuals) have been seen in the Belleville area and at 
feeders on Big Island (3), and Cherry Valley (6), and 23 AMERICAN CROWS were 
observed north of Allisonville in a owl-pursuit mode. And about 100 AMERICAN 
CROWS were milling about in a field on the north side of County Road 5 at 
Yerexville on Wednesday.

    Other interesting sightings during the week included 10 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS 
on Shannon Road near Bloomfield on February 27th, a PILEATED WOODPECKER 
trying to compute the natural hum of a hydro pole at Tweed, a COMMON RAVEN 
at Elmbrook, and a KING EIDER at Prince Edward Point on February 13th that 
had been accidentally omitted from a previous Quinte Area Bird Report.

    And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte 
area. Our thanks to Donald McClure, Thomas Rymes, George Kratz, Bill 
Anderson, Sandra Dowds, Norm Ducette, Brent Seaton, David Bree, Judith Gray, 
Wilbur Miller, Jim Ives, Mia Lane, Helen Graham, Shirley Howard, Susan 
MacKay, Sheila Ritter, Lloyd Paul, George Underhill, Cathy Anderson, John & 
Donn Legate, Doris Lane, Carol Perlberg, Cheryl Anderson, Silvia Botnick, 
Evelyn Sloane, Joanne Dewey, Joel Ellis, Don Chisholm and Peter Marshall for 
their contributions to this week's report. This report will be updated on 
Thursday, March 10th. Bird sightings may be forwarded to tsprague at kos.net 
any time before the Thursday 6:00 p.m. deadline. This report also appears on 
the NatureStuff website at www.naturestuff.net under BIRDING, where a 
RED-TAILED HAWK is this week's photo, taken by Russ Kitchen of Thomasburg.

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




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