[Ontbirds]Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending June 21, 2007

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Fri Jun 22 09:09:04 EDT 2007


WEEKLY BIRD REPORT FROM PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND THE QUINTE AREA FOR THE 
WEEK ENDING  Thursday, June 21, 2007

I think it is a given that birding is far more than just the pursuit of the 
checklist. It was refreshing to see readers submitting  observations that 
went far beyond just noting the presence of certain bird species. Birding is 
made more enjoyable when we take the time to observe their habits, and it is 
through this observation that we begin to learn about bird attributes.

Two Rosemarys submitted two very similar observations this past week. 
Rosemary Kent of the Northport area on the Bay of Quinte had this to say 
about something she had not seen before.  " It is not uncommon to see a 
group of blackbirds - grackles & redwings mostly - chasing an AMERICAN CROW 
out of a tree and well off the property. We have come to refer to such a 
group of blackbirds  as the 'posse'. The other morning on returning from my 
walk, I heard a commotion in the tree beside me and knew right off what was 
happening. As they all flew out of the tree in pursuit of the crow, I 
noticed two orange bellies in the posse. The orioles have a nest somewhere 
nearby, so it was obviously in their best interests to join the defenders. 
They helped to chase the crow way out into the bay."

Meanwhile in the Milford area, Rosemary Smith noted the following concerning 
a AMERICAN CROW on her property. "A robin was nesting in a big pine  tree on 
our front lawn. She left the nest for a coffee break and a crow  flew in to 
rape and pillage. The other birds in the vicinity came to her  rescue and 
chased away the crow - these included grackles, red-winged blackbirds, 
starlings and one male Baltimore Oriole.  I had seen this  before where 
birds look out for each other's nests, but never such  diversity in the army 
of defenders. There were about 15 of them chasing  the crow with the 
grackles leading the charge and I never saw him come back."

For Nancy Smitts who lives just west of Trenton, her story this week 
concerned a BLACK BEAR that made its debut on her property several days ago. 
"I had never thought that we would actually see a bear on our property but 
last week we had a bear spending most of the week on our property.  Our 
first encounter with him was when we were taking the dog for a walk and she 
suddenly took off after something ahead of us.  We looked up and both 
screamed for the dog to come because she was headed for a bear.  Luckily he 
was near a tree and headed up it and our dog did come back to us.  A little 
later we saw him in this year's soybean field eating corn that was left from 
last year's crop.  While we were watching him,  a coyote came out of the 
woods and slowly followed the bear.  We wondered if maybe she had pups and 
was worried about a bear being close by.  I saw the bear Monday, but not 
since then.  He would be better to find a less populated area.  We have land 
and a small wooded area but not far away are three subdivisions and I'm sure 
the residents would not be happy to see a bear.  We hope he remains 
safe.......there are always overzealous hunters around."

And two GREY TREE FROG stories came to my attention this week. In addition 
to no fewer than 11 species of birds that are parading around the yard 
belonging to Dave and Judy Bell of Maitland Drive on the north side of 
Belleville, they have also been busy sidestepping a persistent GRAY TREEFROG 
that has been loafing on their deck. Another GRAY TREEFROG at Napanee solved 
the problem of being inadvertently stepped on, by spending its days in the 
entrance hole of a nesting box ! Owners of the property, Susan and Ken 
Withers, say the frog just sits there on the edge of the hole, peering 
outside, totally ignoring the tree swallows that dive-bomb it, as they try 
to gain access to the box.

I hate to end these warm stories on a dismal note, but I thought this story 
was worth repeating as it clearly illustrates the mentality of some of the 
brain dead riff raff that occasionally crawl out from under the limestone 
rocks of Prince Edward County. In a letter to the editor in yesterday's 
Picton Gazette, a writer relates an incident on East Lake where for two 
successive weekends a person on a "Seadoo" relentlessly pursued  a MUTE SWAN 
and her seven cygnets, on the last occasion, mowing down the cygnets, and 
forcing the one adult into flight. OPP, according to the letter, were 
contacted, but the caller was informed there was "nothing they would do" 
about the incident. We have to question why reckless use of a personal 
watercraft on two weekends in a row and harassment of wildlife would not be 
of interest to the OPP.

In other bird news this week, SCARLET TANAGERS are visiting a garden pond at 
Thomasburg, and a BROWN THRASHER is also a guest at the birdbath there. The 
presence of a small fountain and a waterfall in their yard has been 
attributed to the appearance of the colorful guests. From the Tuftsville 
wetlands at Stirling, COMMON MOORHENS, VIRGINIA RAILS, WILSON'S SNIPES, 10 
pairs of GREEN-WINGED TEALS, HOODED MERGANSER with young, and EASTERN 
KINGBIRDS were among the birds reported. The Glenora Road feeder that has 
such brisk business in winter is doing equally well this summer with an 
EVENING GROSBEAK, 10 ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, CHIPPING SPARROWS, RED-BELLIED 
WOODPECKERS, PURPLE FINCHES (2), and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES among the clientel 
there. A 10 km interpretive hike at Deroche Lake, a 1,600-acre property just 
east of Thomasburg, for a party of naturalists on Sunday yielded several 
SCARLET TANAGERS, RED EYED VIREOS, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, VEERY, WOOD 
THRUSH, HERMIT THRUSH, OVENBIRDS, EASTERN TOWHEES and both 
BLACK-THROATED-GREEN and BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS. At the H.R. Frink 
Centre a week earlier, a CAROLINA WREN was heard singing from a neighbouring 
residence along the Moira River.

This is a condensed version of the Quinte Area Bird Report, containing only 
the significant sightings for  Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. The 
full version with photos can be found on  the NatureStuff website, under 
BIRDING from the Main Menu.


Terry Sprague
 Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net
www.naturestuff.net 




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