[Ontbirds] Loons, Red Necked Grebe, Bonaparte' Gulls - Barrie waterfront

Ken Abraham kenabra at sympatico.ca
Tue Nov 1 12:17:36 EST 2005

The annual fall gathering of COMMON LOONS on Kempenfeldt Bay in Barrie is underway.  Additionally, there are lots of other water birds there for the viewing.

HIGHLIGHTS, in round numbers at 9:00 a.m., November 1, 2005, were:

COMMON LOON -   over 60, adults and immatures, good close-up viewing of winter plumages and good photo opportunities

RED-NECKED GREBE - 1 bird, looked like a 1st winter plumage, but could be an adult non-breeding plumage

BONAPARTE'S GULL - over 400, mix of adult and immature, variety of plumages; these were in a feeding frenzy due to thousands of small minnow-sized fish in the near shore areas

GREAT BLACK BACKED GULL - over 30, mix of adult, subadult & immature

CALL DUCK -  1 "Buff" female with grey primaries; a neat little bird seen near the Rotary lagoons on the south side of the Bay, near the Pavilion. Call Ducks are diminutive, mallard-derived "show" birds, that come in buff, grey, black and standard mallard varieties - they're usually on view at the Royal Winter Fair, but unfortunately not this year! This one found an alternate place to "show" off.

SONG SPARROW - 1 singing bird (possibly others too) in shrubs on the shore near Rotary lagoons; the bird had white feathers at the base of the upper mandible and a bit on the lores (forehead and brow), quite distinctive


Canada Goose - 450+ large birds, mostly "maxima" but a few medium-large birds (likely "interior" including 2 distinctive juveniles); approximately one-third of the large birds have an upper wing covert moult in progress

Mallard - more than 100
American Black Duck - more than 20
Mallard-Black Duck hybrids - 3
Red-Breasted Merganser - 10
Herring Gull - more than 100
Ring-billed Gull - more than 150

Numbers of gulls and waterfowl fluctuate throughout the day, as birds arrive and leave for out-lying feeding fields.

Ken Abraham


To get to Barrie's waterfront:  From Highway 400 in the northbound lanes, take the Essa Road exit, turn right at the bottom of the ramp (east) and follow Essa Road to Tiffin Road. From Highway 400 southbound lanes, turn left at the lights at the bottom of the ramp (east) and follow Essa Road to Tiffin Road.  Tiffin intersects Lakeshore and there are several parking lots along this road. Best overall bet is to turn left on Lakeshore and go into the parking lots for Centennial Beach or the boat ramp.  All of these access the lake shore trail connecting the various parks and parkettes.

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