Monday, November 9, 2009

November 7 & 8, 2009 Amherst Island birding

Spent the weekend birding Amherst Island. Overall the birding was good despite the strong southwest winds on Saturday and Sunday was a beautiful sunny day. Highlights included four species of owls in the "Owl Woods" Barred, Long-eared, Short-eared, and Northern Saw-whet Owl. Land birds were hard to find due to the winds and the big surprise was a White-winged Crossbill in the Jack Pine Plantation. There was an immature Northern Shrike that was vocalizing giving a buzzy call note as it flew from tree top to tree top. I only observed a few Meadow Voles in the "Owl Woods" and at the eastern point on the KFN property. The hawks numbers were still low with Northern Harrier being more numerous than Red-tailed Hawk. At the gravel point there was a small number of shorebirds including a late Semipalmated Sandpiper and 4 Black-bellied Plover. On Sunday we watched a pair of Peregrine Falcon chase a Greater Yellowlegs.
Good birding, Bruce

Directions: 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 ."

Numerous Common Loons were observed from the ferry.

This immature Northern Shrike was very vocal, giving a short buzzy call.

The feeders in the "Owl Woods" were very active with a variety of species including White-breasted Nuthatch.

The Long-eared Owl is a regular migrant on Amherst Island. Usually very flighty, this individual was somewhat tame.

A White-rumped Sandpiper was found in a flock of Dunlin.

The Pectoral Sandpiper was easy to pick out with its distictive breast marking, yellowish legs, looked like a giant Least Sandpiper.

A Black-bellied Plover in flight

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