[Ontbirds] Hamilton Naturalists Club Birding Report - Saturday, February 25th, 2017

Cheryl Edgecombe cheryle29 at cogeco.ca
Sat Feb 25 09:44:11 EST 2017


Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Tundra Swan
American Wigeon
Northern Pintail
Red-necked Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Rough-legged Hawk
Snowy Owl
Short-eared Owl
Northern Shrike
Common Raven
Brown Creeper
Winter Wren
Hermit Thrush
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Purple Finch

Its been a very interesting week here in the Hamilton Study area.
Unprecedented migration of several species have occurred with warm winds and
some early records have occurred.  Let's start at the top.  Yesterday a
flock of over 60 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE made a stop at Dry Lake in the
south of our territory. It is always noteworthy to see such a number of
these geese in the area.  Unfortunately they could not be relocated as of
5:30 p.m. last night but could still be in the area.  The number of Geese
and waterfowl in the flooded fields has been astounding.  In Saltfleet and
in Milton hundreds of Geese can be seen milling in the fields.  Mixed in
with the Canadas, one ROSS'S GOOSE was seen on 8th Road East in Saltfleet on
Thursday, unfortunately, it seems that this individual has perished (causes
unknown).  Two more ROSS'S GEESE were seen at 1st line and Britannia in
Milton.  Other waterfowl noted were Cackling Geese, Northern Pintail and
American Wigeon in great numbers up on 8th Road East.  AMERICAN WOODCOCK
have arrived record early to the traditional spots off York Road (at Hopkins
Tract) and at Bronte East Campground.  A singing SAVANNAH SPARROW was a
noteworthy sighting up on 8th Road East as well.  If a migrant this would be
a significant early date but perhaps it is a wintering individual that is
just moving around.

Our wintering ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS at Sedgewick and LaSalle Park seem to
have made the journey through the winter.  Save predation, I think it's safe
to say this wintering gig has been a success for them.  A RUBY-CROWNED
KINGLET and a couple of Yellow=rumped Warblers have joined in the journey at

The number of Tundra Swans moving through has been huge, probably a record
number for this time of year with flocks reported from everywhere in the
HSA.  Other migrants include Turkey Vultures (a wintering group in
Jerseyville was certainly moving around but I suspect some new birds arrived
on south winds), Double-crested Cormorants, probably early arrivals on south
winds, Killdeer in various spots, particularly in Saltfleet, Red-winged
Blackbirds, Common Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbirds in big numbers and a
few Eastern Meadowlarks that likely did not winter here.

In the odds and sods department, two Red-necked Grebes were seen at Bronte
Harbour, again a fine line between returning migrants and wintering birds.
A Peregrine Falcon was nicely photographed near the quarry on 10th Road East
where it likely has set up shop again.  Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk
and a pair of Common Ravens are also up here on the 10th.  At dusk up to
three Short-eared Owls have been seen cruising the area around the tracks
between Ridge Road and Mud Street.   A Snowy Owl gave a lovely show for a
day as it sat on the rooftops on Beach Blvd in Hamilton.  It likely has a
wide area to hunt in here. There have been a couple of Brown Creepers
reported from yards this week, these seem to be fairly hardy given the mild
winter.  A Winter Wren was giving its bold song at the RBG Captain Cootes
trail.  A Purple Finch also decided it was time to sing.  A Hermit Thrush
was an unexpected surprise in Hopkins tract.  A Northern Shrike was also
seen in this area, these birds are not as abundant as other years.  As a
wrap up, an Eastern Towhee is still a house guest at the University of
Guelph Arboretum feeders.

That's the news for this week, please let me know what you're seeing out
there, this is a strange winter for sure!

Good birding,
Cheryl Edgecombe

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