Saturday, May 23, 2009

Eastern Ontario Long Weekend Trip: May 16-18, 2009

Weather conditions played with us for the long weekend trip. On Saturday, rain, sometimes heavy; Sunday, strong winds, 45 km/hr; and Monday, cool! Despite the weather birding was good.

We started on Saturday at Chaffey's Lock area and managed to get most of the specialties before the skies opened up. Highlights included Cerulean Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and the hybrid "Brewster's Warbler."

In the Napanee area will were able to locate a pair of Loggerhead Shrike. This species has decrease in Eastern Ontario over the past 30 years. The Napanee area is the only reliable location to find Loggerheads nowadays.

With the wind and cool temperature at Presqu'ile, warbler migration was slow but we did observe 18 species including great views of a male Blackpoll Warbler at the lighthouse. Highlights included 4 Orchard Oriole, 5 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker and Ruddy Turnstone along the beach.

Off Owen Point there were 4 Great Egrets on High Bluff Island. While walking along Owen Point Trail I thought I heard a Willow Flycatcher giving its distinctive "fitz-bew" call. I finally located the bird and to my surprise it was a Gray Catbird giving a prefect imitation! What next?

Male Scarlet Tanager at Presqu'ile

Presqu'ile Provincial Park is a great location to watch shorebirds during spring and fall migrations. The beach shoreline, beach ponds, and the Owen Point area are important feeding and staging areas for these birds.

Male Orchard Oriole at an Oriole feeder along a residential road at Presqu'ile.

A couple of breeding plumaged Ruddy Turnstones feeding at Owen Point.

Ruddy Turnstone takes cover from the windy conditions along Lake Ontario.

May 17 was a windy day at Presqu'ile.

Good birding,

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