[Ontbirds] Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending March 12, 2009

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu Mar 12 14:38:10 EDT 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The weather some days may beg to disagree, but at least a few species of birds seem to be under the impression that spring has arrived. The season's first KILLDEER appeared on the west side of Trenton yesterday, and COMMON GRACKLES arrived across the region on March 8th,  seemingly overnight. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS have also increased in numbers with upwards of 30 at some feeders, and even higher numbers in flocks elsewhere. Four females, likely individuals that had wintered somewhere, were at a feeder on Fry Road yesterday. Five HOODED MERGANSERS seen March 7th in the Glenora Ferry Channel, although representing an early date, were likely spring migrants. CEDAR WAXWINGS at Prince Edward Point on Sunday numbered 350, and smaller groups of 40 at Fry Road, 25 west of Albury and a dozen at South Bay were other sightings. CANADA GEESE are starting to move around and at an estimated 1,000 made an impressive pass down the Bay of Quinte  from Carrying Place this past week. a small open spot along Belleville's Bayshore Trail attracted the attention of 50 MALLARDS during the week who wait patiently for conditions to improve in the Bay of Quinte. 

Any ice not securely anchored surely moved out in yesterday's gale force winds. One stalwart observer checked out the action in Prince Edward Bay in the Kaiser Crossroad area yesterday as wind rocked her car and a roiling sea of whitecaps sent icy spume flying through the air. Through it all, she found both GREAT and LESSER SCAUPS, COMMON GOLDENEYES and LONG-TAILED DUCKS. Four days earlier, under much calmer conditions, there were 2,500 CANADA GEESE here along with 18,000 GREATER SCAUP, and smaller numbers of COMMON GOLDENEYE, COMMON MERGANSER, BUFFLEHEAD, LONG-TAILED DUCKS, RING-NECKED DUCKS and about 100 REDHEADS. Also present were 15 AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS, 9 MUTE SWANS, 4 TUNDRA SWANS, 6 GADWALL and singles of AMERICAN WIGEON and NORTHERN PINTAIL. Another observer the same day found the same numbers along with a couple WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. The headwaters of the Outlet River opened quickly this spring, and most species are some distance out from a prime observation area at the Glendon Green boat launch off County Road 18. MUTE SWANS there have numbered 20 or more, and a couple of TRUMPETER SWANS that were too far out to reveal their numbered tags clearly,  have also been seen in with the usual species typical for that area. While yesterday's wind would seem to have improved conditions at Wellington Harbour, the opposite was true yesterday with nary a bird in sight. Water is opening  up around the Norris Whitney Bridge between Rossmore and Belleville, and 10 COMMON MERGANSERS have moved in. An injured MUTE SWAN in the Trent River that has spent the entire winter near the train bridge, has disappeared to better hunting grounds now that the ice has disappeared from the river.

Meanwhile, despite the arrival of spring migrants and waterfowl, winter continues at feeders across the region. COMMON REDPOLLS now number 150 at a feeder east of Lake on the Mountain, and with them, 3 HOARY REDPOLLS. Two HOARY REDPOLLS are also at a feeder not far from there along County Road 7. Eighty COMMON REPOLLS are still at feeders at 2800 County Road 1 where there are also so 40 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES and 2 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS. There are 50 COMMON REDPOLLS still at a Belleville feeder, and some 50 or more at 23 Sprague Road where at least 30 PINE SISKINS were also present all week. A BROWN CREEPER that showed up in a backyard along Harmony Road in late February is still in the area, and 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS make occasional appearances at a feeder at South Bay. Over 50 finches, comprising PURPLE and HOUSE FINCHES, PINE SISKINS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES and COMMON REDPOLLS are gorging on niger seed at an Allisonville feeder. 

PILEATED WOODPECKERS have been heard calling on Harmony Road in Thurlow, and others were noted elsewhere this week in the Quinte area.  An AMERICAN KESTREL is still fairly dependable along County Road 2 in the Allisonville to Wellington area, and HORNED LARKS were noted yesterday fighting the wind as they fed along County Road 2. Still a hundred or so WILD TURKEYS being seen along County Road 10 in the Ridge Road to Cherry Valley stretch of highway, and 30 were seen along County Road 14 west of Demorestville yesterday. A dozen or so continue to enjoy conversation chatter in a deciduous woods west of Sprague Road most mornings.

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. Our thanks to Robert Pinilla, Angela Mantle, Pamela Stagg, Kathleen Rankine, Janet Foster, Louisa Ielo, Rosemary Kent, Russ Williams, Fiona King, Jess Chambers, Nancy Smits, Ron Weir, Nancy Fox, Frank Artes & Carolyn Barnes, Doris Lane, Suzanne Pierson, Mia Lane, Mike Burge & Kathy Felkar, John Charlton Janet Mooney and Gloria Durell for their contributions to this week's bird report. This report will be updated on Thursday, March 19th, but sightings can be e-mailed any time before the Wednesday night deadline. Our feature photographer this week is Derek Dafoe whose photo of a NORTHERN CARDINAL at the Frink Centre appears on the Main Birding Page of the NatureStuff website. Photos of LONG-TAILED DUCKS and MUTE SWANS dodging ice flows appear in the online version of the Quinte Area Bird Report.

Terry Sprague
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net

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