[Ontbirds]York Region Migrants

RON FLEMING flemingron at rogers.com
Thu Mar 16 16:51:03 EST 2006

In York region, which is north of Toronto and south of Lake Simcoe, the flooded fields at the northern terminus of Bathurst Street constitute a sort of "poor man's Long Point".  The spectacle of seeing literally thousands of swans, ducks and geese staging along the northern shore of Lake Erie is one of the great draws of that marvellous location but, for those who cannot always get down there, some consolation lies in knowing that many (though by no means all) of the species that migrate through Long Point also occur here, though in much smaller numbers and for a shorter period of time.  
  Due to last weekend's balmy temperatures, a great deal of snow and ice has melted to form vast puddles in the fields on the west side of Bathurst and the north side of Hochreiter Lane.  Tundra Swan numbers went from four on Saturday to thirteen on Sunday and up to 70 today.  Northern Pintails, which showed up in small numbers last weekend, were up to approx. 300 today.  Also present, of course, were thousands of Canada Geese and several hundred Mallards accompanied today by 30+ Green-winged Teal, 30+ Black Ducks, a pair of Wood Ducks, and one Greater-black Backed Gull.
  A pair of Northern Harriers was actively hunting on the west side of Bathurst and local Red-tail Hawks in several locations were busy doing flight displays and interactions.  In the now thawed canal south of Bradford there were two different groups of Hooded Mergansers, the males in fine form with crests raised handsomely for their female escorts.
  Ron Fleming, Newmarket

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