Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chaffeys Lock area: Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Today, April 29th, spent the morning birding the Chaffeys Lock/Opinicon Lake Road area. Overall it was somewhat quiet likely due to the cooler temperatures. Few birds were singing at first but the activity level did pick up and we had a good morning. Highlights included 7 Yellow-throated Vireo, 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 4 Great Crested Flycatcher, 1 Least Flycatcher, 3 Ovenbird and 4 Red-shouldered Hawk. Overall 8 species of warblers with Pine being the most common, 12 individuals.

Many Yellow-throated Vireos go undetected during migration further south and are found on their breeding grounds early in the season.

Though a rare visitor and very rare nester in the Otawa area, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is a regular summer breeder north of Kingston, in the Chaffeys Lock area.

A Solitary Sandpiper shares a log with a few Painted Turtles.

Good birding,

Directions: Chaffeys Lock/Opinicon Road: Opinicon Road is north of Kingston. From Hwy. 401 take county road 10 (exit 617) north towards Westport for about 20 kilometres. Roughly 1 or 2 kms. past Perth Road Village on the right is Opinicon Road. Turn right and drive towards Chaffeys Lock making regular stops along the way to listen. Anywhere along Opinicon Road is can be good. The old railway line or the Rideau Trail system opposite Skycroft Campgrounds are great for birding. From Ottawa take Hwy. 417 west to Hwy.7 to Carleton Place. Turn left onto Hwy.15 and follow past Smiths Falls and continue towards Kingston. After passing Crosby start watching for Chaffeys Lock Road on your right.

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