[Ontbirds]Markham Gulls, Keswick Snowy Owls, Newcastle Finches

Carol Horner icterus at sympatico.ca
Sun Jan 8 17:27:30 EST 2006

This morning Mary Schuster, Geoff Carpentier and I checked out Markus 
Lise's feeders in Newcastle. We saw PINE SISKINS and  COMMON REDPOLLS. We 
did not see the previously reported Cassin's Finch, nor any House or Purple 

Mary and I continued on up to Markham in search of the Snowy Owl, which we 
did not find. There were however some interesting gulls in the field on the 
northwest corner of 16th Ave and the Markham By-pass. We had both adult and 
juvenile ICELAND GULLS, adult GLAUCOUS GULL, and an adult THAYER'S GULL.

Our next stop was Ravenshoe Road. Near the southeast corner of Ravenshoe 
and Woodbine Mary spotted a NORTHERN SHRIKE. On the western terminus of 
Ravenshoe we found a SNOWY OWL perched on the last hydro pole north of #282 
and another eating its dinner in the field on the east side of Yonge St. 
near #22094. Both birds were too distant for photos, and were hard to spot 
without binoculars. Both were heavily barred.


Newcastle and Markus Lise's house: Take Mill St. S. exit off # 401 by 
Newcastle and drive south towards the lake till you drive by 590 Mill St. S.

The previously reported Snowy Owl in Markham was first reported on the 
Marham By-pass 1 km north of highway 7, and then on the northeast corner of 
16th and the Marham by-pass. The gull flock was on the northwest corner.

  For the Ravenshoe Snowy's, as per Ron Fleming:

  Keswick is north of Newmarket.  Take Leslie Street north
to Ravenshoe Rd., then turn west and follow Ravenshoe down the hill and
past the sports fields there.  Follow it out into the flatlands,
looking for snow buntings and snowy owls in the barren landscape.  I have
found the north side to be generally more productive, but that's not a
hard and fast rule.  You can drive to where Ravenshoe ends, then turn
south on Yonge Street (a short and rather desolate line segment of that
much longer thoroughfare) and drive along it if you
wish to.  Snowy owls, harriers, snow buntings and rough-legged hawks are
all possible sightings.  As mentioned, exercise caution in this latter stretch.

(The shrike was further east, near Woodbine.)

Good birding

Carol Horner
icterus at sympatico dot ca
Photo galleries at:
Toronto, Ontario

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