[Ontbirds] York Region Birds, March 16-26

Annarita Superina Annarita.Superina at bellmedia.ca
Mon Mar 26 10:10:39 EDT 2012

Not fair that "York" had BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS & A SNOWY OWL.

I think we would have gotten the woodcocks too if we had gotten to the denser forest.

-----Original Message-----
From: birdalert-bounces at ontbirds.ca [mailto:birdalert-bounces at ontbirds.ca] On Behalf Of RON FLEMING
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 10:07 AM
To: birdalert at ontbirds.ca
Subject: [Ontbirds] York Region Birds, March 16-26

Unseasonably high temperatures (at least up to this past weekend) have continued to entice migrants northward. 

Yesterday (March 25) I got out locally and was happy to record my personal earliest EASTERN MEADOWLARK and FIELD SPARROW at the Cawthra Mulock reserve in NW Newmarket. The latter species was particularly anomalous as it beat my old record by a full month!  

There were also several PINE SISKINS singing and doing courtship displays, several GC KINGLETS, an EASTERN PHOEBE, one EASTERN BLUEBIRD, a NORTHERN FLICKER, ten migrating TURKEY VULTURES, and one male NORTHERN HARRIER. Mike Van den Tillaart was at the same location earlier in the day, adding BROWN CREEPER, WILD TURKEY and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER to the species list. 

At his yard in NE Newmarket (Leslie Valley neighbourood) Mike had some notable visitors this weekend: BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS.

Most of the waterfowl that had stopped in at the flooded fields on Bathurst St. N. earlier this month have moved on but there were still eight TUNDRA SWANS, 80+ PINTAIL, and 30+ GREEN-WINGED TEAL yesterday afternoon. Further north, at the west end of Ravenshoe Road in SW Keswick, I had two more N. HARRIERS (both orangey immature birds), an AMERICAN KESTREL, and, to my surprise, one lingering SNOWY OWL. (I assumed they'd all gone north.) 

Craig Corcoran had EASTERN PHOEBE and NORTHERN FLICKER during a walk on his property west of King City on Wednesday, as well as eight WW CROSSBILLS. On March 18 he flushed an AMERICAN WOODCOCK and found three separate pairs of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS in the vicinity of his nesting boxes. Kevin Shackleton, John Watson and I did our annual vigil for Woodcock at Silver Lakes (Holland Landing) last Monday evening and had two birds doing the "Dance of the Timberdoodle" - it was the earliest Woodcock date for all three of us. Two GREAT BLUE HERONS flew overhead while we were there.

Going back to March 16, Kristen Martyn had an early HOUSE WREN at Kortright CA south of Kleinburg, as well as WOOD DUCK, HOODED MERGANSER, BELTED KINGFISHER, BROWN CREEPER, and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER. A BARRED OWL that she and Lev Frid observed several times at that location during the winter was seen most recently by Kristen on March 12th.

In the butterfly department I had both Mourning Cloak and Compton's Tortoiseshell at the Cawthra Mulock reserve on March 21 as well as my first BELTED KINGFISHER of the year (though there have been a few seen locally before this date). Spring targets for me still include Red-shouldered Hawk, Pine Warbler and Fox Sparrow. Binos are in the Ready position.

Ron Fleming, Newmarket

York Region is straight north of Toronto and south of Lake Simcoe. Email me privately for more specific directions if needed.
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