[Ontbirds]Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending May 08, 2008

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu May 8 20:17:30 EDT 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The spring migrants have obediently lined up for viewing and are ready for the opening of Birding Week at Prince Edward Point which will see banding demonstrations at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, and guided bird walks every morning at 8:00 a.m. in the Point Traverse Woods. While "meet me at the outhouse" doesn't sound very appealing, that is, in fact, where we will be meeting for the guided walks every morning, commencing on Saturday, and running until the 18th, with the exception of our Birdathon Day on May 16th. The hikes cost $5/person with the revenue being donated back to the Observatory at the end of the week. I have the pleasure of leading those walks every morning. Then, at 10:00 a.m. there will be bird banding demonstrations at the Observatory both weekends. Join us if you can in this celebration of the spring migration at the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, at the southeastern tip of Prince Edward County.

Over 20 species of warblers have been present since the first early arrivals appeared in late April. A PRAIRIE WARBLER was singing for members of the OFO in the Point Traverse Woods during a field trip there on May 4th. Also seen that day was a YELLOW-THROATED VIREO. 

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS have now started to appear in numbers and about 2000 were roosting on the offshore shoal on the 6th and an AMERICAN BITTERN flew over that day as well. The WOOD DUCKS are still being seen in the area and 4 were present on the 4th. Three LESSER SCAUP were at the entrance to the harbour on the 5th and 7 SURF SCOTERS were seen off of Point Traverse on the 4th, LONG-TAILED DUCKS increased from 200 to 1000 on the 7th and 2 BUFFLEHEADS can occasionally be seen past the lighthouse.  RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS (200)  flew past on the 7th. An OSPREY and a BALD EAGLE flew over on the 4th and a BROAD-WINGED HAWK was in the woods at Point Traverse that day as well. On the 5th a SANDHILL CRANE flew over calling as it went. 

The first RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD at the Point was seen on the 6th. A YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was seen on the 5th, and the first LEAST FLYCATCHER was seen on the 6th and 2 EASTERN KINGBIRDS were seen on the 3rd. The first WARBLING VIREOS turned up on the 7th. BLUE JAYS peaked at 150 on the 4th this week, and a COMMON RAVEN was noted on the 6th. The CLIFF SWALLOWS are building on the lighthouse now and up to a 100 are present most days. A late BROWN CREEPER was trapped on the 4th and HOUSE WRENS are singing and some are already lining their nests. A male MARSH WREN was singing from a tangle of deciduous shrubs near the nets on the 4th. Female RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS are now moving through and 100 were here on the 6th, there are at least two pairs of BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS present around the woods. The first VEERY was recorded on the 8th and 1 or 2 WOOD THRUSHES are seen regularly in the woods, HERMIT THRUSHES continue to trickle through and up to six are being seen daily. The first GRAY CATBIRD appeared on the 4th, CEDAR WAXWINGS have started to build up and 60 were seen on the 7th. 

As May progresses more species of warblers are starting to appear and 21 species were seen this week. BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS were seen on the 4th and 7th with a GOLDEN WINGED and a BREWSTER'S WARBLER also being seen on the 7th. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was trapped on the 6th, the first NASHVILLE WARBLER was seen on the 3rd and 40 were present on the 7th, NORTHERN PARULAS appeared on the 4th and the first YELLOW WARBLER was noted on the 5th. CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS arrived on the 3rd followed by MAGNOLIA WARBLERS on the 5th. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS have started to move in bigger numbers and 250 were seen on the 6th and 7th. BLACKBURNIAN, BLACK-THROATED BLUE and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS arrived on the 3rd followed by WESTERN PALM WARBLERS on the 5th. A PINE WARBLER was banded on the 7th, the aforementioned PRAIRIE WARBLER was found at Point Traverse on the 4th and BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS have been seen since the 3rd. A nice adult AMERICAN REDSTART arrived on the 7th with OVENBIRDS appearing on the 4th and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES are singing most mornings from the swamp in the middle of the woods. COMMON YELLOWTHROATS were singing from the 4th onwards.

A late FOX SPARROW was seen on the 3rd and LINCOLN'S SPARROWS arrived on the 6th, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS continue to move and up to 60 have been seen in a day this week while WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS arrived on the 3rd and up to 85 have been present since then. A GAMBELL'S WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was trapped on the 8th. ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS have become more common but there are still fewer than 10 being seen daily so far. BOBOLINKS arrived on the 3rd and can now be heard singing just to the north of the Observatory daily. A few RUSTY BLACKBIRDS are still singing from the swamp and the first BALTIMORE ORIOLES arrived on the 3rd and 80 were seen on the 7th with most of them flying past the window in the evening. The PURPLE FINCH saga continued through the early part of the week with 120 being present on the 3rd. Up to 6 PINE SISKINS have been seen in a day and a female EVENING GROSBEAK was present on the 3rd and 4th. 

Elsewhere in the county, an early EASTERN KINGBIRD showed up at Kelly Road near King's Road on April 27th and another was on Ridge Road in the Picton area on May 5th. Five AMERICAN PIPITS were seen at Waupoos on the 3rd. A chance stop by two parties of observers along Highway 33 between Bloomfield and Wellington on May 6th resulted in some nice additions to the day's checklist when a relatively small flooded corner of an agricultural field produced a dozen yellowlegs with LESSER being identified for sure, along with 8 CASPIAN TERNS, and joining the crowd was a WILSON'S PHALAROPE spinning like a top as it searched for insects. A check of the area the following day produced only a single CASPIAN TERN and two LESSER YELLOWLEGS. However, more dependable results can be expected at one reliable site along Wesley Acres Road where a flooded field there has not been pumped out yet as it has been in past years. Present there on Tuesday were 8 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a pair of NORTHERN SHOVELERS. 

At Sandbanks Provincial Park, the warbler migration there is going full tilt and several species were noted during the week including BLACKBURNIAN, MAGNOLIA, CHESTNUT-SIDED, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES and NORTHERN PARULAS. In the panne area on the north side of the dunes a SOLITARY SANDPIPER was found on Saturday, and other newcomers to the scene included the season's first GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER and a SAVANNAH SPARROW.  Six LESSER YELLOWLEGS and 3 LEAST SANDPIPERS were at Jackson's Falls Creek, just above the falls east of Milford on the 6th, and a GREEN HERON was foraging in the Napanee River at the base of the falls in that town last evening. And as this summary was being finalized, a report came in of a WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE in with a large gaggle of pasturing CANADA GEESE in a corn field at Mountain View this evening. 

Most backyards are alive with songs these days and among them, of course, are the monotonous drawls of WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. Twenty were in one backyard east of Milford today. Both ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS and RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS are visiting many feeders in the county and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES are still coming to a few feeders in the area. A Glenora Road feeder has 35 PURPLE FINCHES there, in addition to 10 ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS and a plethora of woodpeckers involving 5 HAIRYS, 6 DOWNIES and 2 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS. 

Remember only six weeks ago there was still snow on the ground and ice in the smaller lakes? 

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. Our thanks to David Okines of the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, Rosemary Smith, Fiona King, John Blaney, Marilyn Holland-Foster, Sophia Huyer, Karen Stenhouse, Nancy Smitts, Pamela Martin, Dirk de Boer, Doris Lane, Don Chisholm, Heatherjoy Fraser Kirby, Mia Lane, John Charlton, Cindi Stapleton, Henry Pasila, Ted Cullin, Sidney Smith, Wayne McNulty, Kathleen Rankine, Pamela Stagg, Nancy Fox, Brian Durell, David Bree, Joanne Dewey, Silvia Botnick, Heather Heron and Donn Legate for their contributions to this week's report. This report will be updated on Thursday, May 15th, but sightings can be e-mailed any time before the new Wednesday night deadline. Feature photo on the Main Birding Page of the NatureStuff website is by Sidney Smith and shows a male NORTHERN CARDINAL fighting with its image in a car mirror. Photos of a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and a SOLITARY SANDPIPER in the online edition of the Quinte Area Bird Report are by Sidney Smith and David Bree respectively.

Terry Sprague
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net

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