[Ontbirds]Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending December 22, 2005

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu Dec 22 20:07:54 EST 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The snow keeps flying, and the summery birds keep hanging in there! There is 
still a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER at a feeder in Trenton, a SONG SPARROW and 
a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW continue to visit a feeder at 23 Sprague Road, a 
WINTER WREN is at a feeder at 2800 County Road 1, and at least 3 EASTERN 
MEADOWLARKS turned up this past week in Prince Edward County - one on (quite 
literally) Chuckery Hill Road December 17th, another the same day at 
Mitchells Crossroad, and still another on December 19th at the junction of 
South Big Island Road and Allison Road. No fewer than 25 DOUBLE-CRESTED 
CORMORANTS turned up on the Prince Edward Point Christmas Bird Count on the 
17th, and a FOX SPARROW thoughtfully appeared at a Smith's Bay feeder the 
same day, the first ever for this count. This bird count also had 252 TUNDRA 
SWANS (remember when they always migrated, without fail from the county?). A 
SONG SPARROW showed up at Big Island's Robinson Cove on the 19th, and there 
were 2 HORNED LARKS at the west end of South Big Island Road the same day. 
An AMERICAN COOT was found during the week at Weller's Bay in the Barcovan 
area on the Presqu'ile Christmas Bird Count, where there was also a 
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW seen on the 17th. Of course, GREAT BLUE HERONS seem to 
be everywhere, but not all of them are faring so well. A GREAT BLUE HERON 
surviving on fish in a tiny open spot where Marsh Creek empties into Picton 
Bay beside the Picton Harbour Inn was reported by several people, but an 
individual found at Massassauga's Horse Point and delivered to Napanee's 
Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre died of frost bite. A NORTHERN FLICKER and 2 
SWAMP SPARROWS were found December 17th in the Cressy area. The BALTIMORE 
ORIOLE at a South Bay feeder was last seen on December 14th.

While the county waits for its first BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS  to appear, a few 
other boreal species have shown up to provide some optimism about the winter 
ahead. Two COMMON REDPOLLS appeared this week at a feeder at 2800 County 
Road 1, and up to 45 PINE SISKINS were seen on the 17th at two feeders along 
Glenora Road, as well as lesser numbers at feeders east of Waupoos. There 
were 3 PINE GROSBEAKS seen at Wellers Bay in the Barcovan area on the 18th, 
and approximately 20 were seen the same day in the Thomasburg area. Could 
end up being an interesting winter.

A couple of really good sightings during the week included a YELLOW-HEADED 
BLACKBIRD during the Presqu'ile Christmas Bird Count on the 18th. The bird 
was seen at a feeder on County Road 64 just east of the Barcovan Golf 
Course. Equally impressive was a GOLDEN EAGLE observed yesterday at close 
range along Highway 33 just east of the Amherst Island ferry. It, or 
another, was also seen during the Prince Edward Point Christmas Bird Count 
the previous day. A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK in adult plumage was found on the 
Presqu'ile Bird Count on the 18th in the Barcovan area.  BALD EAGLES during 
the week included three adult birds seen on the 17th at Glenora Ferry, an 
immature at Cressy on the 19th, and an immature near The Rock in Prince 
Edward Bay on the 21st.

With snow, you get SNOW BUNTINGS and there are numerous small flocks on Big 
Island right now, totaling close to 200 birds. Also on Big Island, a 
NORTHERN GOSHAWK was seen in flight along North Big Island Road, and the 
island's first RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER has shown up at a feeder on Caughey 
Road. WILD TURKEY sightings during the past week included the always present 
100 birds along Ridge Road south of Picton, 7 along County Road 17 between 
Black River and Picton, 11 along Old Milford Road, 15 along County Road 10 
near Picton, and 35 along Glenora Road, and a rafter of about 30 in the 
North Sidney Street location just north of Belleville.

NORTHERN SHRIKES were seen on Wooler Road at Highway 30, as well as in 
Thomasburg. A NORTHERN HARRIER showed up at Huyck's Point on the 17th and 
18th. RED-TAILED HAWK reports during the week were just too plentiful to 
detail in this summary. And despite the ice conditions in local lakes and 
bays, and the depth of snow, CANADA GEESE continue to bar hop from bay to 
bay wherever there is open water. About 500 are present most days in an open 
patch of water in the middle of Prinyer's Cove.

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. 
Our thanks to Nick Quickert, Don Chisholm, Chris Ireland, Henri Garand, Don 
Craighead, John Blaney, Albert Boisvert, Barry Pinsky, Bob Maurer, Doris 
Lane, Lloyd Paul, Paul Mackenzie, Joel Ellis, Nancy Smits, Paul Wallace, 
Chris Keens, Pat Williams, Marilyn Holland-Foster, John & Margaret Moore, 
Monica Mills, Nancy Fox, Pamela Martin, Fred Chandler and Fran Artes & 
Carolyn Barnes for their contributions to this week's report. This report 
will be updated on Thursday, December 29th. Bird sightings may be forwarded 
to tsprague at kos.net any time before the Thursday 6:00 p.m. deadline. This 
report also appears for a period of seven days on the NatureStuff website, 
under BIRDING, where this week's featured photo of birders Don Craighead, 
Terry Sprague and Bob Maurer looking over the Glenora Ferry channel, is by 
Henri Garand.

The Quinte Area Bird Report takes this opportunity to wish all readers a 
very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous birding year in 2006 !  Thank you 
all for your wonderful support.

Terry Sprague
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net

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