[Ontbirds] Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending April 23, 2009

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu Apr 23 19:19:04 EDT 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things have picked up this week at Prince Edward Point to get our Quinte Area Bird Report under way this evening. A single RED-NECKED GREBE flew by on the 17th and a few HORNED GREBES have been seen from the road just before you reach the Point.  CANADA GEESE  (110) flew north on the 17th and 125 went north on the 22nd. WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS are increasing and peaked at 100 on the 18th and 400 on the 20th, and mixed in with them on the 20th were 65 BLACK SCOTERS including a single flock of 50. LONG-TAILED DUCKS continue to play hide and seek among the waves but at least 600 are present offshore. BUFFLEHEAD peaked at 100 on the 23rd near the lighthouse and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS numbered 60 on the 18th. 

A MERLIN was present on the 18th and two AMERICAN KESTRELS were found on the 21st. A SANDHILL CRANE did a flyby on the 23rd and up to 4 KILLDEER are being seen. BONAPARTE'S GULLS are starting to build up, with 1000 feeding offshore on the 22nd. A COMMON TERN was seen on the 18th. Two to three YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS are being seen daily and NORTHERN FLICKERS are numbering 15 - 25 every day. At least 8 EASTERN PHOEBES were present on the 22nd which was a good day at the Point with 288 birds banded. NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS are back and up to 10 have been seen in a day, CLIFF SWALLOWS are also picking up and peaked at 15 on the 23rd while the first female TREE SWALLOW was seen on the 23rd. A single RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was found on the 17th. BROWN CREEPERS are increasing and up to 50 a day are being seen. WINTER WRENS numbered 7 on the 18th and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS are moving in good numbers with a peak of 200 present on the 22nd along with 50 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, the first of which was seen on the 17th. 

Among the arrivals on the 22nd were 16 HERMIT THRUSHES, the first BROWN THRASHER, and 280 CEDAR WAXWINGS. The first YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER of the season was found on the 17th and they numbered 30 on the 22nd. No other species of warblers have been seen yet. Five EASTERN TOWHEES were seen first thing on the 18th but none of them could be found one hour later. 

AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS continue to trickle through and four were seen this week. The first FIELD SPARROW was seen on the 19th and 2 were present on the 22nd. A SAVANNAH SPARROW was seen on the 18th, single FOX SPARROWS are being seen most days but 7 were found on the 22nd. SWAMP SPARROWS are becoming more common and three were seen on the 22nd. The first WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was banded on the 17th and 8 were here on the 22nd. DARK-EYED JUNCOS peaked this week at 75 on the 21st and 55 on the 22nd. 

A late SNOW BUNTING was seen on the beach on the 22nd and NORTHERN CARDINALS are singing every day now. RUSTY BLACKBIRDS are still scarce but 10 were singing in the wet woods on the 18th. PURPLE FINCHES are also increasing and 18 were present on the 22nd along with 20 PINE SISKINS. Bird of the week was a second year ICELAND GULL that drifted past with some RING-BILLED GULLS on the 19th.

Waterfowl highs this week at the Kaiser Crossroad flooded cornfields were: CANADA GOOSE (1500), NORTHERN PINTAIL (350), GREEN-WINGED TEAL (90), AMERICAN WIGEON (71), RING-NECKED DUCK (32), NORTHERN SHOVELER (12), BUFFLEHEAD (12), AMERICAN BLACK DUCK (16), MALLARD (6 - all but disappeared), 4 each of REDHEAD, WOOD DUCK and BLUE-WINGED TEAL, GADWALL (2), and one each of SNOW GOOSE (blue morph), and AMERICAN COOT. Also present there this week were TURKEY VULTURE, NORTHERN HARRIER, 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS, 2 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 12 HERRING GULLS, 112 BONAPARTE'S GULLS, 2 LITTLE GULLS, 15 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and close to 100 TREE SWALLOWS. Certainly a profitable spot to do some weekend birding. From Picton take Bridge Street down the "town hill" and continue on Highway 33/Loyalist Parkway, turn right before Glenora onto Lake on the Mountain Road which becomes County Road 7. Kaiser Crossroad is about 17 kilometres east from Lake on the Mountain.

What sounds suspiciously like a FRANKLIN'S GULL turned up with a flock of RING-BILLED GULLS in a field that was being cultivated along Bethel Road. That has yet to be confirmed, of course, but the individual is difficult to track down as it alternates with the gulls from Bethel Road to Black Road. Also not confirmed this week is a pair of COMMON RAVENS that is reportedly building a nest on a farm silo near Wellington. If so, it would be the first documented nesting of this species in Prince Edward County as the species continues to expand its numbers here. A MERLIN was seen in Belleville on the 22nd. BROWN THRASHERS were singing this week east of Lake on the Mountain and along Sprague Road where a SANDHILL CRANE flew over early one morning. Another SANDHILL CRANE was seen in flight at South Bay. A SAVANNAH SPARROW  was singing heartily at Big Island's Robinson Cove at sunset on the 19th, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK flew past a window on Low Street in Picton, reminding the homeowner that bird feeders have not been forgotten. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS at feeders this week were reported from Glenora Road and at 2800 County Road 1. Several feeders across the region have PURPLE FINCHES, but the biggest surprise was a lingering COMMON REDPOLL at an Elmbrook Road feeder April 19th and 20th. PINE SISKINS are still hanging on at many feeders and anywhere from singles to as many as 8 are still active at many bird feeders. 

And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte Area. Our thanks to David Okines, Orville Walsh, Joanne Dewey, Rob Flemming, Virginia Cresswell-Jones, Angela Mantle, Borys Holowacz, Cheryl Anderson, Garry Kirsch, Jess Chambers, Fiona King, Donn Legate, Gloria Durell, Heather Heron, Caroline & Steven Draper, Mia Lane, John Blaney, Silvia Botnick, Nancy Fox and Pamela Stagg for their contributions to this week's report. This report will be updated on Thursday, April 30th, but sightings can be e-mailed any time before the Wednesday night deadline. Featured photo this week on the Main Birding Page of the NatureStuff website of a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER is by Dave Bell of Belleville. Photos in the online edition of the Quinte Area Bird Report of a BROWN THRASHER  and a NORTHERN SHOVELER are by Adam Penson of Toronto.

Terry Sprague
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net

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