[Ontbirds]Tundra Swans, GW Teal, Carolina Wren north of Bradford
flemingron at rogers.com
Wed Jan 3 17:57:05 EST 2007
I took advantage of the unusually balmy weather and one more week off work to do some birding near Bradford this morning. My first stop was at the eastern end of Line 11 just north of Scanlon Creek C.A. where six Greater Black-backed Gulls (4 adult, 2 first winter) caught my attention in the field on the south side of the road. When I looked at them through my scope I realized that they were rather ghoulishly dining on the corpse of what appeared to be a dead porcupine. (When I came back along this route on the way home an hour later the gulls were gone but there was a Red-tailed Hawk in a tree and a juvenile Northern Harrier crossing the field, perhaps taking advantage of the same food source.)
With only the name "Di Grassi Point" to guide me, I decided to make my second attempt at the Carolina Wren seen by Peter Wukasch last Saturday. With my road map misplaced, I hadn't found the point or the wren on Monday and appeared to be headed toward the same fate when I couldn't find a sign for the point anywhere along 20th Sdrd. this morning.
I decided to drive past the roads I'd tried Monday and finally turned east on 2nd Line north of Gilford, taking it right down to the shore of Cook's Bay (which is the southern extension of Lake Simcoe). There is a little road extension to park at just past Limerick Avenue.
When I got out of the car I looked north and was pleased to see 32 Tundra Swans (a mix of juveniles and adults) swimming close to shore. There were also several Mallards, 14 Black Ducks, a pair of Bufflehead, and a single male Green-winged Teal, which is a good winter duck by my records. As I stood there scoping these waterfowl the distinctive "tea-kettle, tea-kettle" of a Carolina Wren suddenly chimed through the morning silence from the yard behind me. It happily occurred to me that I had stumbled upon Peter's wren and the elusive Di Grassi Point! The universe was aligned once more.
On the way home to Newmarket I saw a Northern Shrike along Miller Sdrd. between Bathurst and Dufferin. For local York region birders working on a winter list, Mike Van den Tillaart had four species on Sunday that we missed on our CBC Saturday: Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher and Brown Creeper (all along the Holland River trail in north Newmarket) and a flock of Cedar Waxwings near Jacaranda Drive.
Also of note to "Yorkies" is this report from Bruce Brydon on Jan. 1st regarding birds in the Keswick area northeast of Newmarket:
Snowy Owl - 1 - south side of Ravenshoe about 0.5 km east of Yonge St.
Rough-legged Hawk - 2 - Yonge St. south of the Ravenshoe Rd.
Snow Bunting - 40 - Yonge St. south of the Ravenshoe Rd.
Great Black-backed Gull - at least 12 - south end of Cook's Bay
Common Merganser - 15 - south end of Cook's Bay
Greater Scaup - 500 or more as an estimate - south end of Cook's Bay
Common Goldeneye - 50 - south end of Cook's Bay
American Wigeon - 1 - Cook's Bay at Way's Bays Rd. in Keswick
Gadwall - 1 - Cook's Bay at Way's Bays Rd. in Keswick
American Black Duck - 1 - Cook's Bay at Way's Bays Rd. in Keswick
Ron Fleming, Newmarket
Bradford and Newmarket are about halfway between Toronto and Barrie.
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