[Ontbirds]Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending May 5th

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu May 5 21:07:15 EDT 2005


WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND THE QUINTE AREA FOR WEEK 
ENDING
Thursday. May 05, 2005

Regardless of the cold weather over the past week (all bird baths were 
frozen solid this morning), the migration seems to forging bravely ahead. 
The first BOBOLINKS of the spring were heard bubbling away over the hay 
fields along Sprague Road at 6:00 a.m. this morning. HOUSE WRENS are holding 
down two nest boxes at Smith's Bay and the first ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK 
turned up today at a feeder on Berry Road in Trenton, and also at Smith's 
Bay. There was a TUFTED TITMOUSE at a feeder on April 28th at Milford, and 
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS have shown up at several areas in Prince Edward 
County, most of them at feeders.

At Prince Edward Point, the week has been the same as most of the rest of 
Ontario with few warblers or migrants being seen or heard, in fact, at this 
time last year volunteers had recorded 45 more species than they have this 
year. Banding has been really quiet with some days only getting as low as 6 
birds banded, emphasizing the lack of  migrants. Even the normally ever 
present BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS have been scarce. On the lake, BONAPARTE'S 
GULLS have been seen eating some of the myriads of midges from around  the 
Point that have been blown out into the lake, the peak count of these  gulls 
being 5000 on the 4th. WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS have been moving and May 3rd saw 
this week's peak of 77 going north. An OSPREY flew over the area on the 1st 
as did a COOPER'S HAWK. Few shorebirds are normally seen at Prince Edward 
Point in spring and  even the local KILLDEERS have moved on, but on the 1st 
there was a LESSER YELLOWLEGS seen on the beach and the first SPOTTED 
SANDPIPER of the year for the Point in the harbour (one was seen at Big 
Island April 26th). One or two CASPIAN TERNS are now being seen daily. A 
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen around the Observatory on the 1st and a 
BLUE-HEADED VIREO was seen on the 3rd. The first BLUE JAY seen since the 9th 
of April was trapped on the  4th and they should become more regular as 
their migration window starts in the next few days. A late BROWN CREEPER was 
seen on the 3rd and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS are being seen regularly with up 
to 4 around on any one day. A NASHVILLE WARBLER was seen at Point Traverse 
on the 1st and 20 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were in the trees at the 
Observatory on that day. A BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER was found on the 3rd and 
today (Thursday) there was a small arrival on the southerly winds of
the following firsts for the year at the Observatory - GREAT-CRESTED 
FLYCATCHER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (recorded earlier at Point 
Traverse), WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW,  WOOD THRUSH,  CAPE MAY WARBLER, YELLOW 
WARBLER and NASHVILLE WARBLER. The area today also held about 40 
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER 
and a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS. Meanwhile around the other side of the 
harbour there were three AMERICAN BITTERNS and at Point Traverse there was 
an EASTERN KINGBIRD.

Beyond the Prince Edward County border, Vanderwater Conservation Area at 
Thomasburg contained a nice assortment of birds today, including NORTHERN 
WATERTHRUSH, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, RUBY-CROWNED 
KINGLETS, BROAD-WINGED HAWK, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, PILEATED WOODPECKER, 
WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, COMMON RAVEN and MALLARD.

An EASTERN KINGBIRD was seen on May 2nd near Tweed, a PEREGRINE FALCON 
swooped past one observer on Belleville's Bayshore Trail on April 29th, and 
WOOD DUCKS were reported examining trees for possible nest cavities at 
Trenton.

Back in Prince Edward County, a KING EIDER was seen in Athol Bay at 
Sandbanks Provincial Park on April 29th. SANDHILL CRANES this week were seen 
at Sheba's Island on May 2nd (1), and three passed over 23 Sprague Road on 
the 4th. Other good sightings over the past several days have included 4 
GREATER YELLOWLEGS along Old Milford Road, PILEATED WOODPECKER at South Bay, 
and BLUE-HEADED VIREO, AMERICAN WOODCOCK and 5 HERMIT THRUSHES at Prince 
Edward Point, all on May 2nd. On April 29th, along Babylon Road, there was a 
SAVANNAH SPARROW, and also one along Old Milford Road where there were also 
30 CEDAR WAXWINGS. There were no fewer than 60 CASPIAN TERNS in an farmer's 
field off County Road 12 (West Lake Road) on April 29th.

Despite frequent showers earlier in the reporting period, they weren't 
enough to keep the Bucknell's Slough open along Wesley Acres Road, south of 
Bloomfield. Nothing was present there on April 29th, although a COMMON 
MOORHEN was present in the Bloomfield Marsh, directly across the road. The 
famous Kaiser Crossroad cornfields, however, still remain excellent for 
ducks, and species present there on May 2nd included lots of NORTHERN 
PINTAILS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEONS, RING-NECKED DUCKS and 
GADWALL.  There were 52 MUTE SWANS present April 30th on Huyck's Bay, a 
rather high concentration in one body of water for this time of year.

Bird feeders are still bustling, albeit with different clientel than what 
appeared in the winter. EASTERN TOWHEES have been reported at several 
feeders in the county, along with both WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED 
SPARROWS. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES continue to frequent a feeder in Albury 
where PURPLE FINCHES are also included in the guest list.

The Prince Edward County Birding Festival commences next Friday, so next 
week's Quinte Area Bird Report will be compiled one day early, on Wednesday 
night, as we start setting up our trailer and Bird Sightings Board at 5535 
County Road 13, from where I will be leading hikes every morning from May 13 
to May 22nd. Please check www.thecounty.ca/birding for further details, and 
where Festival passes for the week may be obtained.

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. 
Our thanks to David Okines (Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory) Doug 
Parker, Lloyd Paul, Peter Sporring, Barry Pinsky, Mia Lane, Kevin Spafford, 
Silvia Botnick, Rae O'Brien, Thomas Rymes, John & Margaret Moore, Don 
Chisholm and John Charlton for their contributions to this week's report. 
This report will be updated on Wednesday, May 11th. Bird sightings may be 
forwarded to tsprague at kos.net anytime before the Wednesday 6:00 p.m. 
deadline. This report also appears on the NatureStuff website, under 
BIRDING, where this week's featured photo of an OSPREY landing on a nesting 
platform, is courtesy of Russ Kitchen of Thomasburg. Good spring birding 
everyone!

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




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