Spent yesterday afternoon birding Amherst Island. Quite a change since my last visit earlier in December. I only covered the island east of Stella. It was cold and windy and I didn't see any hawks except for 1 male American Kestrel. Also observed a flock of 25+ Pine Grosbeak fly over near Stella. At dusk there were 4 Snowy Owl, all perched high in trees or on telephone poles, 2 at the east end, on the K.F.N. property, 1 along the south shore and 1 south of Stella, no luck with Short-eared Owls. Near the village of Stella a Northern Shrike made a few attempts at Common Redpolls as them fed in a weedy field. The lake was still wide open and the road into the Owl Woods was blocked with snow drifts, both entrances. So if you're looking at going to the Owl woods it is approximately a 30 minute walk from the south or north shore road. If you require additional information please email me privately.
Good birding, Bruce
Directions: Amherst Island: Located 18 km. west of Kingston. Exit off Hwy. 401 at exit 593 (County Rd. 4, Camden East) and drive south to the very end (Millhaven). Turn right on Hwy. 33 and drive 100 meters until you see the sign for the Amherst Island ferry. The ferry (20 minute trip) leaves the mainland on the half hour and leaves the island on the hour. Cost is $9.00 Canadian round trip. There are no gas stations on the island. There are restrooms on the ferry, and at the island ferry dock. The East End K.F.N. property is at the easternmost part of the island on the east side of the Lower Forty Foot Road. To reach the Owl Woods, turn left (east) at the four-way stop sign by the general store and drive 3.4 km along Front Rd. to the (seasonal) Marshall Forty-Foot Rd. Marshall Forty-Foot Rd. is across the road from house #2320. Drive along Marshall Rd. to the mid-way point, where there is an "S" in the road (1.2 km, look for the K.F.N. kiosk which had owl observing ethics). Park in the gravel lane or off the road edge.
Because of liability issues, visitors to the Kingston Field Naturalists' property at the east end of Amherst Island MUST be accompanied by a KFN member. For KFN contact information or how to become a member, please visit http://kingstonfieldnaturalists.org/ ."
One of 4 Snowy Owls at dusk hunting.
The Snowy Owl is a regular winter visitor to the Kingston area. During some winters up to 15-20 individuals can be found on either Wolfe or Amherst Island. Back in the 1970's up to 50-60 birds were found on Kingston Christmas Bird counts!
This male American Kestrel was the only one observed.