[Ontbirds]Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending December 06, 2007

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu Dec 6 19:20:18 EST 2007

WEEK ENDING Thursday, December 06, 2007

If an adult BALD EAGLE flies over top of you while you are installing a 
nesting platform, is that a good omen? Installers of one such eagle platform 
yesterday south of Picton thought so as they put the finishing touches on a 
nest platform and had a "bird's-eye" view of the eagle from their vantage 
point at the top of a white pine some 25 metres high off the ground. It was 
only one of several BALD EAGLE sightings during the past week. Others were 
sighted all along Adolphus Reach from Glenora east to Prinyer's Cove and in 
the South Bay and Prince Edward Point areas as the population builds with 
the advent of winter.

Quite unexpected is an OSPREY that is still hanging around along Adolphus 
Reach, last seen on December 4th. There was a MERLIN west of Trenton also on 
the 5th.  A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK  was seen hovering over Gomorrah Road on the 
3rd, another was seen west of Trenton yesterday, and two others were spotted 
at Prince Edward Point the following day where 11 RED-TAILED HAWKS were also 
seen the same day. Also observed there was a NORTHERN HARRIER, and another 
can be seen occasionally at the west end of Big Island. AMERICAN KESTRELS 
were reported from different locations across the region. However,most 
observers' attention these days are on their feeders and what hawks are 
being attracted to an ongoing smorgasbord of menu choices. Of these, 
SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS have been the most commonly reported, with COOPER'S 
HAWKS coming in second place. NORTHERN SHRIKES are also making their 
presence known at bird feeders, as well as out in the field.

With the arrival of more wintry weather, patronage at most bird feeders has 
increased dramatically. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are frequenting many feeders 
in the area, and the population of COMMON REDPOLLS continues to tease us as 
to when the region might be bombarded with these feeder favourites. While 
some feeders have 10 or more as regular visitors, the majority of feeders 
have but a handful. However, the sighting of 40 at Prince Edward Point early 
this week suggests that it might only be a case that the local population 
hasn't yet found the bountiful supply of food that awaits them daily at 
feeding stations. PINE GROSBEAKS are appearing at some feeders in the 
region, but most sightings involve small flocks encountered beyond the 
backyard feeder. Eleven flew over Beaver Meadow on the 4th, representing the 
average size of most flocks seen thus far. A few PINE SISKINS are still 
around, in ones and twos at some feeders, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES continue 
to put in an appearance at many feeders, and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW showed 
up in the Cressy area this week, and another is at a feeder in Bloomfield. 
Two RUSTY BLACKBIRDS are occasional drop ins at 23 Sprague Road, and another 
was seen in the Oak Hills area south of Stirling. A lone male RED-WINGED 
BLACKBIRD is at a Bloomfield feeder. One bird feeder operator south of 
Picton had a PILEATED WOODPECKER sample the menu there. Near one home on 
Weese Road in Ameliasburgh, but perhaps soon to come to the feeder there, 
were a dozen EASTERN BLUEBIRDS on December 2nd. Another flock of 11 showed 
up at Prince Edward Point on the 4th. Elsewhere, it has been more of 
everything else, including AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES (60 at 2800 County Road 1 
and 50 at a Carrying Place area feeder), and marked increases this week of 
other species, especially MOURNING DOVES. The leucistic MOURNING DOVE is 
still showing up at a Harmony Road feeder in Thurlow Township north of 
Belleville with 55 other doves. A PINE WARBLER has been an occasional 
visitor at a feeder west of Trenton.

Away from the feeder, SNOW BUNTINGS have yet to put in an appearance in any 
substantial numbers, with 20 or 30 being the norm so far. A flock of 30 was 
seen on the 4th near McMahon's Bluff at Black River.  A LONG-EARED OWL was 
seen on one property in the Elmbrook area, and a flock of 35 CEDAR WAXWINGS 
turned up at Waupoos. WILD TURKEYS were seen at two locations during the 
week - 24 along Ridge Road southwest of Picton, and another 32 at Sandbanks 
Provincial Park.

With the cold weather locking up many of the lakes and bays, numbers of 
waterfowl correspondingly have decreased or, at least, have moved out to 
deeper waters where they are not as easily seen. It is a ghost town now in 
Muscote Bay at Big Island where thousands of ducks had gathered only a few 
weeks ago. Still many MALLARDS, CANADA GEESE and a lone COMMON LOON at 
Adolphustown, and more than 1,000 CANADA GEESE are in the Prinyer's Cove 
area. Patches of water that remain open on Consecon Lake mid-week contained 
over 50 COMMON GOLDENEYE and a number of MALLARDS in the Link Road area. 
MUTE SWANS still occur wherever open water may be found, and 50 or so TUNDRA 
SWANS could be seen on the north shore of South Bay early in the week. At 
Point Traverse and Prince Edward Point where open conditions provide better 
viewing opportunities, there are currently 4,000 GREATER SCAUP, 400 
MALLARDS, 100 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 5 GADWALL, and there was a mixed 
DUCKS, BUFFLEHEAD and COMMON GOLDENEYE along with all three species of 
scoters. In the Weller's Bay Channel at Barcovan on Monday there were 2 

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. 
Our thanks to John Charlton, Jenny Goodall, Alison Cooke, Kathleen Rankine, 
Paul Wallace, Fred Chandler, Mike Burge & Kathy Felkar, Rosemary Smith, Anne 
Potter, Russ Williams, Laura Pierce, Ted Cullin, Frank Artes & Carolyn 
Barnes, Dirk deBoer, Bill Leet, Jess Chambers, Lyle Anderson, Bill Hogg, 
Nancy Fox, David Bree, Agneta Sand, Owen Weir, Nick Quickert, John & 
Margaret Moore, Fiona King, Joanne Dewey, Donald McClure, and Henri Garand 
for their contributions to this week's report. This report will be updated 
on Thursday, December 13th, but sightings can be e-mailed anytime before the 
6:00 p.m. Thursday deadline. Featured photos this week in the online edition 
of the Quinte Area Bird Report include a PILEATED WOODPECKER by Kathleen 
Rankine of Trenton and a NORTHERN SHRIKE by Lloyd Hanna of Oshawa. Photo 
taken from the new BALD EAGLE nest platform in Prince Edward County on the 
Main Birding Page of the website is by Tom Mikel. You've gotta see that one.

Terry Sprague
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net

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