[Ontbirds] Quinte Area Bird Report for week ending June 18, 2009

Terry Sprague tsprague at kos.net
Thu Jun 18 19:37:23 EDT 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It became evident with this week's e-mails how much pleasure is being missed by those who choose not to continue feeding birds through the summer months. A nectar feeder south of Picton along County Road 10 that has enjoyed up to 20 BALTIMORE ORIOLES this spring, has had a family of INDIGO BUNTINGS become guests this past week. A hummingbird feeder at 2800 County Road 1 has a HAIRY WOODPECKER as a regular, and a Prinyer's Cove resident was pleasantly surprised this week to see a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER at his oriole feeder, one of the featured photos in the online edition of this week's report. A Picton resident had two ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS at he feeder, and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS are regulars at a feeder on County Road 1 where a juvenile was being fed by the adult birds. With its eye on the feeders at a sundeck in the Madoc area, but veering away inexplicably to a nearby apple tree was a male SCARLET TANAGER. Based on these experiences, and those of this writer, just about anything is possible when feeding is continued through the spring and summer months, with a little attention, of course, to the selection of foods offered to dissuade grackles and starlings.
A pair of COMMON MERGANSERS continue to hang out in the harbour most mornings at Baycrest Marina along North Big Island Road. A HOODED MERGANSER with young were observed on the Salmon River north of Napanee this week. A GREEN HERON is a regular at a small marsh off George's Road east of Northport, and GREEN HERONS are also regulars along with PIED-BILLED GREBES in Fish Lake. SCARLET TANAGERS and VEERIES were in fine fettle Wednesday evening at the Sidney Conservation Area, south of Stirling, and two WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and a WOOD THRUSH can be depended on along the hiking trail at Quinte Conservation's Area's north end near the deciduous woods, about 2 km north of the parking lot. A SEDGE WREN was singing enthusiastically from a hay field bordering the Robinson Cove Marsh at Big Island on June 12th. 
While Prince Edward Point gets all the news during the spring migration, it is Sandbanks Provincial Park that is unquestionably the key area to find nesting birds in the summer. Park Naturalists there report that in addition to the now legendary nesting pair of RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS, others that have been found nesting, or show indications of holding down territory this week, have included NASHVILLE WARBLER, MOURNING WARBLER, ORCHARD ORIOLE, BROWN CREEPER and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET. New this year have been CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS in an area of the Park where the dump is located. Another observer there during the week noted BANK SWALLOWS feeding young in their tunnels, BELTED KINGFISHER carrying food, a pair of CASPIAN TERNS and dozens of BONAPARTE'S GULLS. On Elmbrook Road, south of Picton, one resident was delighted to have a pair of NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS nest on her property, two of the young appearing in her backyard. For Kaiser Crossroad enthusiasts, the north pond is now completely drained and it is only a matter of days before the phenomenal bird activity that this flooded cornfield has known since April, will be but a memory. Next spring, another crop of birds. 
At a nest platform along County Road 9 at Hay Bay's north shore, an OSPREY there has appeared for the second year in a row, wearing a jess. We can only assume that this bird has probably belonged to a falconer at some point in time although this species is not usually popular in falconry. A Prince Edward County couple did not receive a warm welcome from feathered Ottawaonians when they visited that city last week. While they were walking past some thick bushes above the Rideau Canal, a male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD emerged and voiced his displeasure from a lamp post. Then the bird dove at both of them and pecked the man on the back of his hatless head. Now they know why I always wear a Tilley hat! 
And if you think MAP TURTLES are common in the Outlet River at Sandbanks, a Belleville resident, while conducting his herpetological survey, counted no fewer than 178 sunning themselves atop a tire raft breakwater at the mouth of the Moira River in Belleville last week. Would that be a "carapace caucus"??? 
To close of this week's edition of the Quinte Area Bird Report, a bit of a mystery in a flooded field along Highway 15, north of Kingston on June 13th at 8:00 a.m. An observer on his way to Smith's Falls spotted a ROSEATTE SPOONBILL feeding in typical spoonbill fashion about 150 metres of the road. The bird was still there when he returned at 1:00 p.m. but was gone the following day. Don't know where it came from, don't know where it went, and we can only assume it was an escaped bird from captivity. Anyone with information on the probability of a wild spoonbill in the province, or where this individual may have hailed from, is asked to e-mail me at the address below.
And that's it for this week from Prince Edward County and the Quinte area. Our thanks to John Blaney, Len Rico, Cathie Stewart, Jeff Haffner, Nancy Fox, Henri Garand, Ted Cullin, Frank Artes & Carolyn Barnes, Kathleen Rankine, Pamela Stagg,  Rosemary Smith, Nancy Smitts, Myrna Wood, Mia Lane, Charles Crowe, Kathy Willis, Judi Gray, Rosemary Kent and Joanne Dewey for their contributions to this week's report. This report will be updated on Thursday, June 25th, but sightings can be e-mailed any time before the Wednesday night deadline. Photo of a SCARLET TANAGER on the Main Birding Page of the NatureStuff website is by Paul O'Toole of Kingston. Photos in the online edition of the Quinte Area Bird Report are of a BROWN CREEPER by Elena Petrcich of Ottawa, and the RED-HEADED WOODPECKER at a Prinyer's Cove feeder is by Len Rico. 
Terry Sprague
Prince Edward County
tsprague at kos.net 

More information about the ONTBIRDS mailing list