Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eastern Ontario: Northern Hawk-Owls, Boreal Owl and others

December 18, 2008

Yesterday afternoon and this morning I birded Amherst Island. Yesterday, late afternoon, I observed 12 Short-eared Owls along the road into the Owl Woods on the north side. They were sitting in the trees as I drove to the parking area.

Short-eared Owl on road to "Owl Woods," Amherst Island

In the Owl Woods I observed 1 Boreal Owl, 1 Northern Saw-whet Owl and numerous Long-eared Owls. At dusk I squeaked in a Great Horned Owl. There was 1 Snowy Owl at the east end of the island, KFN property.

Northern Saw-whet Owl in "Owl Woods," Amherst Island

This morning, I arrived at the Owl Woods at dawn and there was lots of activity including a few flocks of Common Redpoll, 2 Pine Siskin, 3 White-winged Crossbill and 1 Red Crossbill. All these birds were flying over the Owl Woods calling.

I spent a few hours covering most of the woods and observed 3 Northern Saw-whet Owls, 20+ Long-eared Owls, with a number very tame, 2 Short-eared Owl flying over the woods and 1 Northern Shrike along the road south of the woods. There were 4 Snowy Owls, 24 Rough-legged Hawk, 7 Red-tailed Hawk and 6 Northern Harrier scattered around the island.

Normally very skittish, this Long-eared
Owl was quite tame. "Owl Woods," Amherst Island

On my return home I observed a Northern Hawk-Owl along Hwy. 7 and Cameron Side Road, about 12 kms west of Perth. This individual, first observed by Steve Mercer, and has been present in the area since December 16th.

Northern Hawk Owl near Perth, Ontario

Also along Hwy. 7 I saw 1 Great Horned Owl sitting in the open and a Northern Shrike, all between Cameron Side Road and Perth.

The Northern Hawk-Owl in Ottawa, along Grandview Road was sitting out this afternoon around 2:30 pm.

Good Birding,

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 $8.00 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.

Directions: Northern Hawk-Owl (Perth area): From Ottawa take Hwy 7 west through Perth to Cameron Side Road approximately 12 kms west. Watch for it in the general area.

Northern Hawk-Owl (Ottawa): From Ottawa take Hwy. 417 west to Moodie Drive exit #134. Go north to Carling Ave. and turn left. Watch for Grandview Road on your right. Follow to the end and turn left on Hastings St. and park. If you require additional information, please email me privately.

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