[Ontbirds] Spotted Towhee, Snowy Owl - Point Pelee

Todd Pepper tandjpepper at cogeco.ca
Sun Jan 11 19:06:46 EST 2009

It was a much more active bird day at Point Pelee today. The highlights include the SPOTTED TOWHEE that is still hanging around near the 42nd Parallel sign, and a 1st year female SNOWY OWL in the onion field at the south-east corner of Concession C (the eastern extension with the concrete blocks on the north side) and Road 19. When I saw the Owl is was almost smack dab in the middle of the field along the central furrow, but it had also been observed in the dead elm tree on the north side of Concession C road. 

Sixteen RING-NECKED PHEASANT were observed along both sides of Concession E (Dyke Road) while a Tom WILD TURKEY stood in the centre of the main road inside of the Park, just north of DeLaurier, and held up traffic until the 30 or so females in his charge took their time crossing, flapping their wings, and eating a little sand before continuing on their way.

Seven raptor species were observed. A 1st year BALD EAGLE was sitting overlooking Sanctuary Pond. Several NORTHERN HARRIER were actively working the onion fields; the restoration site just south of Concession C at Road 19; and, over the Pelee Marsh. A light phase adult ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was having a talon-to-talon contest with a dark phase of the same species over the above noted restoration site and then the dark morph posed for photos and flight shots down Concession D road while a second light phase adult was heading south-east across the lake towards Pelee Island. A pair of COOPER'S HAWK were covering the Park with one flying down the east side and one in parallel down the west side of the road. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK was silently observing the increase in Eurasian Starling activity. A juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK posed nicely along Concession Road E, while an adult was near the outer limits of the Pelee circle just west of Wheatley Provincial Park. There was also one adult and 2 juvenile RED-TAILED HAWK in the Park.

Large numbers of AMERICAN ROBIN were feeding on Northern Hackberry and Virginia Creeper berries. The White-winged Crossbills seem to have come and gone as the road was littered with empty pine cones from the White Pine trees located just south of the Black Willow beach entrance. A number of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS were flitting around in the Eastern Cedars near DeLaurier while a HERMIT THRUSH and several WHITE-THROATED SPARROW were working the under story.

And, if anyone would like NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD for their winter list, my neighbourhood resident pair are still around my house at 36 Cherrywood, eating apples, pears and Mountain Ash berries in my neighbour's yards. A good place to look is near the subdivision mail box that seems to form the invisible dividing line between Orchard Heights Avenue and Cherrywood Avenue.  

Todd Pepper
Leamington, Ontario
tandjpepper at cogeco.ca


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