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Four participants joined me for Sunday's OFO Field Trip at Porcupine Lake (Timmins area - 700 km north of Toronto). It was 3°C with a wind chill factor of -1°C when we started at 7am at the White Waterfront Conservation Area, with heavy north winds gusting between 30-50 km/h. We started the morning by watching a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks taking cover in a shrub, a Least Sandpiper on the beach with a Killdeer, a young Bald Eagle being chased by an American Crow and a beautiful Sandhill Crane flying low over us.
We moved to the east side of the lake in search of migrating waterfowl; a pair of Redheads was showing well along with a few Lesser Scaups, Common Goldeneyes and Ring-necked Ducks. After grabbing coffee to warm up, we walked the forested part of Porcupine Lake's Prospectors Trail hoping that warblers and other songbirds would be sheltering and feeding away from the high winds. We were not disappointed! If warblers were fewer than usual for May 21st in numbers, they sure made up for it in variety and awesome views! Ten different species of warblers were present along that short section of trail and all of us had wonderful views of Blackpoll Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and a Black-and-white Warbler to name a few.
By the time we moved on to the last location, it had warmed up to 9°C and the winds were slightly calmer. At this last spot we admired some Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, and American Wigeons in the scope. The sheltered patch of mixed forest adjacent to the pond offered us good songbird diversity, with nine species of warblers, Least Flycatchers, and a surprise appearance by a male Bobolink singing away on a poplar branch! We had particularly great views of a Northern Parula, a Wilson's Warbler, a Palm Warbler, and a Chestnut-sided Warbler.
Overall, it was a great day out with great people, and we observed a total of 59 species, including 17 different species of warblers.
A sincere thank you to participants Mike Leahy, Ann Black, Joanne Bourdon, and Gary Dowe for a great day!