[Ontbirds]Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending June 21, 2007
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.
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net
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