Saturday, May 30, 2009

Amherst Island: May 27, 2009

Late this morning between the showers (11:15 a.m.) I observed a male Lark Bunting just inside the property entrance to the east point of the KFN property. The bird flushed and flew around then headed over the field to the north, near the purple martin house. I searched for a while but couldn't relocate the bird. While searching a Marbled Godwit flew in and landed in the field. At the ponds there were a small number of shorebirds including 1 Short-billed Dowitcher, 2 White-rumped Sandpiper, and 17 Wilson's Phalarope.

The Marbled Godwit is a rare spring visitor to eastern Ontario from the prairies.

A juvenile Killdeer at the ponds at the KFN property on Amherst Island, while north nesting shorebirds are still on their way.

The Wilson's Phalarope is another praire species that can be found on the KFN property on Amherst Island. They are now regular breeders which were first found breeding in on the island in 1980. Female Wilson's Phalarope.

Unlike most other birds, the Phalaropes family has a reversed sex role. The female lays the eggs but the male is left to incubate and raise the young! Male Wilson's Phalarope.

A family of Canada Geese scurrying along the shoreline

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. 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

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