[Ontbirds]Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending October 11, 2007

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu Oct 11 19:50:13 EDT 2007

WEEK ENDING  Thursday, October 11, 2007

The big news at Prince Edward Point this past week was the appearance of a 
Myiarchus flycatcher on October 8th,  which was considered to be an 
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER.  Although the bird hung around the general area 
that day, it did move about a lot around the Observatory, and along the 
northern edge of the woods, as well as on the telephone wires where it was 
initially found. Unfortunately it was not found again after that day. The 
Ash-throated Flycatcher is the western counterpart of our more familiar 
Great Crested Flycatcher. The only other individual of this species ever to 
be seen in Prince Edward County was in November of 1982, interestingly, only 
a stone's throw from where this year's bird was spotted.

The first two HORNED GREBES of the fall flew past on the 7th and a few 
CANADA GEESE have started to move as well with counts of 120 on the 7th and 
350 on the 9th. One group on the 7th had a single SNOW GOOSE mixed in with 
them and on the 9th there were 3 CACKLING GEESE seen. GREATER SCAUP now 
number 50 - 80 offshore and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS have increased to up to 75. 
Mixed in with different flocks on the 10th were two single BLACK SCOTERS. 
COMMON GOLDENEYE can be seen occasionally along the south shore and 80 
RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were counted on the 10th.

BALD EAGLES have been seen on most days this week with 2 present on the 7th. 
SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS (100) went over on the 8th, with 25 or fewer on other 
days. BROAD-WINGED HAWKS were seen on the 5th and 8th while the first GOLDEN 
EAGLE of the fall was seen on the 9th, and four PEREGRINE FALCONS flew over 
on the 8th. A RUFFED GROUSE was found in a hawk net on Thanksgiving Day and 
was released uneaten.

BONAPARTE'S GULLS have almost disappeared and owls have been prominent in 
the area again this week. A total of 320 NORTHERN SAW-WHETS have been 
trapped and included 135 on the 10/11th. A LONG-EARED OWL was heard on the 
8th and BARRED, GREAT-HORNED and EASTERN SCREECH are all being heard or seen 
regularly. Four BELTED KINGFISHERS flew over high on the 9th and 
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS have appeared to have finished migrating. A 
PILEATED WOODPECKER was trapped on the 8th and is the first ever caught in 
the fall. Twenty-five BLUE-HEADED VIREOS were seen on the 10th and only one 
RED-EYED VIREO was seen during the week. A flock of 12 AMERICAN CROWS flew 
over on the 10th and four COMMON RAVENS were circling the area on the 7th. 
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES ( 20 - 40 ) are being seen daily and bird banders 
await with dread in case larger numbers are lurking around the corner. 
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES are still moving in good numbers and 12 were 
counted on the 7th and 8th. GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS are starting to move and 
up to 40 a day are being trapped. RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS are also moving and 
100 were seen on the 9th.

Single EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were heard or seen on the 5th and 8th. Thrushes are 
still trickling through and up to 25 HERMIT THRUSHES have been seen in a 
day. Fifteen AMERICAN ROBINS flew over on the 9th, and the 10th saw a flock 
fall was trapped on the 8th and a second was trapped on the 10th. 
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS are finally starting to pick up and 750 were seen on 
the 9th including a group of 500 near the lighthouse. A late WILSON'S 
WARBLER was trapped on the 9th. Sparrow numbers have been good with up to 15 
10th. A late INDIGO BUNTING was trapped on the 10th. A few blackbirds have 
been moving and the 10th saw 250 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and 55 COMMON 
GRACKLES going over. PURPLE FINCHES peaked this week at 45 on the 5th.

Across the region, DARK-EYED JUNCOS are being reported in high numbers. 
There were at least 100 present on Sunday at Vanderwater Conservation Area, 
and a flock of at least 40 flushed from the roadside at Lost Channel Road, 
south of Tweed today. COMMON RAVENS were calling last week along Vanderwater 
Road, and singles were spotted during the week in Prince Edward County at 
Big Island and Cape Vesey. Vanderwater Conservation Area also had 3 PINE 
SISKINS at its entrance gate on Sunday, and 4 appeared at a feeder this week 
at 2800 County Road 1, where there was also a WINTER WREN. RED-BREASTED 
NUTHATCHES, likely representing migrants, were reported across the region, 
the majority of them visiting feeders. A feeder on Glenora Road had 2 
EVENING GROSBEAKS turn up on the 8th. Vanderwater Conservation Area also 
produced the first flock of BRANT of the fall season, flying noisily in a 
southerly direction. Numbers could not be determined due to the low cloud 

Residents of Fry Road, sitting in their sunroom on the weekend, 
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. A cup of coffee and a pair of binoculars, and this 
has got to be the perfect place to be in the morning. Eight PURPLE FINCHES 
are coming to a feeder on Low Street in Picton, and from 10 to 20 have been 
sampling the menu at feeders along County Road 1. Several EASTERN BLUEBIRDS 
turned up October 2nd and 5th at Walmsley Road, and there were 2 PALM 
WARBLERS in a backyard on Maitland Avenue in Belleville. Along Ridge Road, 
one resident there said the morning of October 10th was like a scene from 
Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," when easily 1,000 COMMON GRACKLES and 
EUROPEAN STARLINGS descended on the lawns, trees and fences at their home 
and those of three neighbours as well and also in a nearby cornfield. The 
house was engulfed and the cacophony was described as deafening. They moved 
around in waves, and when they moved on, the sky was darkened. The same 
morning, smaller numbers put on a similar stage performance at 23 Sprague 

One surprised observer Sunday morning at Consecon watched with interest as 
an adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK landed on a group of rocks 10 feet from shore in 
Weller's Bay, off Lipson Avenue. A cyclist with his binoculars on 
Thanksgiving Monday paused to watch a RED-TAILED HAWK near the Closson 
Winery in the west part of the county only to find a kettle of five others 
riding the thermals, along with several TURKEY VULTURES. One raptor not so 
lucky was a dead BROAD-WINGED HAWK on Ridge Road near the quarry southwest 
of Picton two days earlier. Two AMERICAN KESTRELS can still be found along 
Huyck's Point Road, and another was present Tuesday long Marisett Road at 
East Lake. A NORTHERN HARRIER was seen in Picton cruising over an open field 
behind Barker Street.

With the exception of Prince Edward Point, few observers this week reported 
any waterfowl in local bays and lakes. However, at Big Island, Muscote Bay 
contains hundreds of MALLARDS and AMERICAN WIGEONS, and with them this week 
were 200 RING-NECKED DUCKS. Two MUTE SWANS were also swimming with them 
offshore this morning. In the area too, have been a GREAT BLUE HERON and 10 
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS.  Although our WHITE PELICAN is long gone (last 
seen in Belleville on September 25th), there are still GREAT EGRETS to be 
found. There were still three taking advantage of low water levels early 
this morning in Dead Creek on the west side of Highway 33, at Carrying 

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. 
Our thanks to David Okines (Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory), Philip 
Kee, Kathy Felkar, Silvia Botnick, Anne Potter, Ted Cullin, Barry Pinsky, 
Dave Bell, Henry Pasila, Cheryl Anderson, Shirley Laundry, Henri Garand, 
Fred Chandler, Donn Legate, John Charlton and Nancy Fox for their 
contributions to this week's report. This report will be updated on 
Thursday, October 18th, but sightings can be e-mailed any time before the 
6:00 p.m. Thursday deadline. Featured photos this week in the online edition 
of the Quinte Area Bird Report include a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW by Peter 
Beckett and a SNOW GOOSE by Michael Jaques. How do you tell when you're not 
Mom's favourite? Check out the photo on the Main Birding page of the 
NatureStuff website.

Terry Sprague
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net

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