[Ontbirds]Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending July 17, 2008

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu Jul 17 16:30:23 EDT 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The sighting of LEAST SANDPIPERS and LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Presqui'le this week is a firm reminder that summer is on the wane and the autumn migration is in the offing, at least, for some birds anyway. This morning there were fully two dozen juvenile BOBOLINKS in an unharvested hay field at 23 Sprague Road, an example of the kind of success rates that can be experienced when hay fields are cut later in the season. KILLDEER were seen this week in numbers along County Road 1, probably in staging mode, and TREE SWALLOWS are becoming more numerous on utility wires these days. The migration urge is upon them.

Meanwhile other birds are still nesting, and the 131 PURPLE MARTINS banded at a colony near Highway 62 and Jericho Road is an example of success that all martin landlords would love to experience. Obviously few if any apartment vacancies there, and likely the same story across the county with the OSPREY as certainly every available nest platform has been occupied this season, and at least a dozen locations as well where the species has nested atop light standards in ball parks, and one nesting on a communications tower along Fish Lake Road. At Zwick's Park, even a noisy waterfront festival didn't deter a pair at a nest platform from carrying on with their household duties right in the thick of things  as maintenance vehicles came and went below them, a spectacular fireworks display at night and a helicopter during the day. One OSPREY was observed bringing in a large goldfish, likely obtained from the ornamental pond behind Reid's Dairy in Belleville where one was observed with a goldfish last week! 

A SANDHILL CRANE was heard calling from a field west of Sprague Road on the 12th, CHIMNEY SWIFTS (2) were observed flying above the Lower Trent Region Conservation office off Wooler Road on the 14th, and BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS were noted during the week north of Stirling. A VESPER SPARROW was singing Monday evening along the Millennium Trail between Picton and Sandy Hook Road, and two WILD TURKEYS this week wandered onto a Picton backyard on Laird Lane on the eastern outskirts of town.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS and INDIGO BUNTING are among the guests at a summer feeder along Glenora Road, along with some 25 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 8 DOWNY WOODPECKERS, 8 each of PURPLE and HOUSE FINCHES, and 2 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS. Despite the building boom in the Maitland Drive area of Belleville in recent years, one resident there in the Deerfield subdivision (the 'deer' have left this 'field', he said!), a respectable clientel of birds continues to frequent some backyards at least, including BROWN THRASHERS, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS and NORTHERN CARDINALS.

At Prince Edward Point, even the birds have adopted the Green movement, it seems. An observer there on Wednesday noted that a pair of HOUSE WRENS had recycled a used CLIFF SWALLOW nest and were busy taking in food and carrying off fecal sacs. One of the wrens was wearing a leg band, likely banded in the banding shelter located only a stone's throw away from the nest itself. Obviously no lingering memories there of being captured, processed and banded.

At Big Island's Muscote Bay, an resident there noted two COMMON LOONS, one calling across the bay, and another closer to the near shore. The two loons started calling to each other in a wonderful dialogue or duet of alternating parts that last for two minutes. Their voices were distinct - one deep and liquid, the other falsetto. They neither flew away or moved closer. As suddenly as their calling began, it stopped "as if they had lost a cell phone signal." 

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. Our thanks to Henry Pasila, Donna Fano, Jack Evans, Serge de Sousa, Kathleen Rankine, Angela Mantle, John Charlton, Fiona King, Henri Garand, Russ Williams, Silvia Botnick, Peter Mohr and David Bree for their contributions to this week's report This report will be updated on Thursday, July 24th, but sightings can be e-mailed any time before the Wednesday night deadline. Feature photo on the Main Birding Page of the NatureStuff website is of the Zwick's Park OSPREY on her nest with a helicopter hovering just behind her. Photos in the online edition of the Quinte Area Bird Report are of a LESSER YELLOWLEGS by Derek Dafoe, and the Zwick's Park OSPREY returning from a successful hunt with a large goldfish in its talons. 

Terry Sprague
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net

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