[Ontbirds] 2012 O.F.O. Hamilton/Burlington field trip.

Tom Thomas tthomas at cogeco.ca
Sun Oct 7 17:08:52 EDT 2012


         Approximately 30 plus birders arrived at Hutch's On The Beach for
what was to prove a chilly but exiting day of birding in the
Hamilton/Burlington area.

  A fairly strong wind was blowing off shore, and the lake was calm, and
other than the usual Ring-billed Gulls and Double-crested Cormorants, the
only other bird seen on the lake was a Pie-billed Grebe.

       The shoreline was bouncing with birds however, mainly Yellow-rumped
Warblers, and White-throated Sparrows, but things got a little more
interesting when we crossed over the road at Barangas. A couple here were
looking for a bird they had flushed, and as more people arrived, it flushed
again, and this bird turned out to be a Laconte's Sparrow, a life bird for
many in the group. Other birds seen here and the ponds behind Hutches, were
Pine and Blackpoll Warbler, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-throated Hummingbird,
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Great Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron, Greater
Yellowlegs, and Pectoral Sandpipers. I learned later that at least two
birders had seen a Mourning Warbler, but it didn't get through to the
majority at the time. I also noticed on the check list that someone reported
a Yellow warbler here as well, this is getting late for this species, so I'm
not sure if I should include this bird in our species total, maybe the
person can email me privately to confirm this sighting.

             Our next stop was at Windermere Basin. Windermere Basin is a
work in progress at the moment, and it's going to be great when it's
finished, and plants start to grow in, but right now you have to view the
birds from a great distance to a background that's quite cryptic. It would
be great if they built a bridge across the creek , and allowed birders to
walk around the new wetlands, right now you could compare it to someone
building a zoo, but you could only view the animals from the car park. It
was quite windy here so it was difficult to hold your bins and scope steady,
never the less we had great views of a pair of Peregrine Falcons hunting,
and then coming to rest on one of the man made islands. Other birds seen
here were Golden and Black-bellied Plover, Killdeer, Northern Shoveler,
Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Green-winged Teal, and American Kestrel.

     After lunch at Hutch's, the majority of birders that were left, wanted
to try for the Nelson's Sparrow, so off we went to visit the Dundas Marshes.
On the trail we had Winter Wren, Swainson's Thrush, Lincoln's Sparrow, and
Palm Warbler. Upon reaching the area that has been reliable for seeing
Nelson's Sparrow, we saw many Swamp Sparrows popping out of the cattails,
but after a while they seemed to move out, and miraculously replaced by
Nelson's Sparrows. Everyone in the group had great looks at this species, as
they were flitting back and  forth in front of us. If you stayed in one spot
eventually a bird would land in front of you. I know there were at least
three birds and as many as six, and from the views that some of the birders
got, the word I heard to describe it was 'orgasmic', but what Japanese paper
folding had to do with birds I don't know. Whilst looking for the Nelson's
Sparrow, we had good looks at a pair of adult Bald Eagles, and a Merlin.

            Not satisfied with the days birding yet we left for LaSalle
Park. It was quite birdy here, and we added Brown Creeper, Red-necked Grebe,
American Coot, Greater Scaup, Blue-headed Vireo, Nashville, Pine, Blackpoll
and Orange -crowned Warblers, and Hermit Thrush.

         Thanks to everyone who made the day so enjoyable, and to Cody Law
for keeping score. Our final tally was 87 give or take, and we failed to
identify a small group of flying shorebirds at Windermere Basin, as they
never did land to give us the chance. 

                Best Regards.........Tom.     

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