[Ontbirds] Townsend's Solitaire, Barrow's Goldeneye, etc., etc. - several places east of Toronto

Norm Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Thu Jan 10 18:46:28 EST 2013

Today Ian Cannell and I, on a beautiful day to bird batted 1000 and added a few bonus hits to boot.

We started at Langstaff Road NE of Newcastle where we had (at 9 am) nice views of the Townsend Solitaire found yesterday as well as 12+ Evening Grosbeaks, Purple Finches, Common Redpolls and a Red-bellied Woodpecker.

>From here we headed for Presqu’ile Provincial Park where we did not bird the park but birded along Bayshore Road to view the thousand or so waterfowl on Presqu’ile Bay.

Just as we started down the road we spied a 1st year and an adult Bald Eagle overhead, a good start. We didn’t check the feeders along this road but there are a number of them.

On Presqu’ile Bay we found the previously reported male Barrow’s Goldeneye and White-fronted Goose. In the mix we also saw Trumpeter and Tundra Swans and many Mute Swans. Fred Helleiner told us that he counted about 750 Mute Swans, by far the most Ian and I have ever seen in one place. There was also at least one pair of Ring-necked Ducks among the hundreds of Greater Scaup, Redheads, Common Goldeneyes, Black Ducks and Long-tailed Ducks here.   ---Scope recommended.

On one of the ice flows or snow covered sand bar we spotted a 1st year Iceland and a 1st year Glaucous Gull.

>From here it was off to Port Cobourg harbour which had many, many Canada Geese but we did find an adult Iceland Gull with the Ring-billed and Herring Gulls.

We then headed along the lake front towards home and just west of East Townline Road (west of Port Hope) Ian spotted a flock of birds in a tree and I counted 48 Bohemian Waxwings. 

Time to head home for real but we first made a stop at Reesor Pond in Markham where among the approx. 1000 Mallards and 1000 Canada Geese (sky, ice and water were filled with waterfowl) we found the two hard to miss white phase Snow Geese and after searching through all those Mallards we finally came up with the male Northern Pintail and at least 14 Cackling Geese. The Snow Geese, Pintail and Cackling Geese have been reported previously by Stan Long. ---Scope recommended.



Exit Highway 401 at Newtonville Road(Exit 448) and drive north on Newtonville to Ganaraska Road, turn right (east) on Ganaraska and drive about 1 1/4 km to Langstaff Rd, turn left (north) and drive up past Thertell Rd to #8712. The bird was at the tops of the Spruce and deciduous trees on the east side of the road.

-------PRESQU'ILE PROVINCIAL PARK (Fee- $10.00 per auto per day for you young guys and $8.00 for an old guy like me).

Exit Hwy 401 at exit # 509 and drive south on County Rd 30 straight through Brighton going straight down Cedar St. to Harbour St. Turn right (west) here and follow Harbour St. to Lakeshore Rd and turn left (south). You will almost immediately pass through the park gate (FEE).

(No fee) if you are just going to drive down Bayshore Rd on the east side of the park to view the waterfowl on Presqu'ile Bay and not go into the park.

Or follow the signs directing you to the Owen Point Trail and other birdy areas.  


Reesor Pond is on the northwest corner of Reesor Road and Hwy 407 in Markham. It is bounded by Reesor road on the east, Donald Cousins Parkway ( formerly Markham By-Pass ) on the west, Hwy 407 on the south and Hwy 7 on the north.

Exit Hwy 407 at Exit number 96 ( go north ) on Donald Cousins Parkway and you will see the pond on the north side of the highway beside Donald Cousins Parkway. Your best bet is to drive up ( north on ) Donald Cousins Parkway to Hwy 7. Turn right ( east ) on Hwy 7 and drive the very short distance to Ressor Road. Turn right ( south ) on Reesor Road and drive down to the gate on your right and park here ( do not block gate ).

Norm Murr
303-48 Laverock Ave.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4C 4J5

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