[Ontbirds]Amhert Island Sunday December 10

Bob Hawkins bhawkins at idirect.com
Sun Dec 10 22:47:35 EST 2006



Our first trip to Amherst Island was a special treat. In the Owl Woods we 
were entertained by at least 8 Long-eared Owls that perched and shifted 
between trees as lowly humans tramped beneath them. The feeder area hosted 
a horde of Black-capped Chickadees, more than half a dozen White-breasted 
Nuthatches, a pair of Downy Woodpeckers, several Bluejays, and a pair of 
House Finches. Catching the dropped seeds on the ground were a Chipmunk, at 
least four American Tree Sparrows and an occasional Mourning Dove. In 
fields south and east of the feeders were a pair of Marsh Harriers.

A quick trip to the east end of the island held only empty fields at the 
KFN site. Along South Shore Road, flocks of Canada Geese  fed in the fields 
and cruised offshore with a few Buffleheads for company. On the way to Big 
Marsh a female Snowy Owl hunted in the fields around the right angled bend 
in the road near Big Marsh.

We returned to Owl Woods near dusk, and with directions from two 
photographers from Quebec,  located a Northern Saw-whet Owl in the cedars 
to the northeast of Owl Woods.

The weather was perfect, sunny with a few high clouds. Several thousand 
millimeters of digital camera lenses captured memories for the many 
visitors. Marshall 40 Foot Road was a bit muddy, but easily passible. We 
hope the couple we met going into Owl Woods at dusk had success finding the 
Saw-whet. The Long-eared Owls made the day all too short.

Amherst Island is south of Exit 593 on the 401 down COunty Road 4. At the 
junction with Road 33 turn right 100 meters or so before turning left into 
the ferry parking lot. The ferry cost is $6. Maps can be found at
http://www.amherstisland.on.ca/

Bob and Sandra Hawkins




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