Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 22, 2013 Amherst Island birding.

Hi Everyone
Spent the day birding Amherst Island in the cold and wind! Overall it was lots of fun, low numbers of raptors, and a few surprises. The Owl Woods had 2 Barred Owls and after much searching a Northern Saw-whet Owl. This is my first small owl in the woods this winter. It was interesting that this individual was very high up in a Jack Pine not the more usual 2-3 metres up. Overall raptor numbers were low but a nice variety with 7 Red-tailed, 3 Rough-legged, 1 Northern Harrier, 1 Sharp-shinned, 2 Bald Eagle, 1 Merlin, 2 Snowy Owl and 1 Northern Shrike. The biggest surprise was an Eastern Meadowlark on the KFN property at the east end. There was very little snow on the island except where snow drifts remained. Access to the Owl Woods was limited to the south entrance but there was one drift you had to drive over. The north entrance was still blocked by snow drifts. If you have any questions email me at
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 metres 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.

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 ."

Black-capped Chickadee

In recent years the Barred Owl has become a regular sight in the Owl Woods.

A small group of House Finch enjoy the early morning sunshine.

With very little  no snow cover on Amherst Island the Snowy Owl is easy to find.

After much searching we finally found a Northern Saw-whet Owl in the Jack Pine plantation. My first small owl in the Owl Woods this winter.

A cooperative Merlin was a surprise on the island.

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