Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29, 2010 Birding Amherst Island

The birding on Amherst Island this afternoon was excellent. I spent a couple of hours wandering around in the Owl Woods and found 2 Boreal Owl, 2 Northern Saw-whet Owl, and 1 Long-eared Owl. There was lots of sign, white wash and pellets in the woods. Also had 1 Winter Wren and 1 White-throated Sparrow at the feeder. At dusk, I drove around the island and counted 22 Short-eared Owls, mainly at the east end of the island and south of the village of Stella. Also heard 2 Great Horned Owls hooting, its that time of year and saw 1 sitting up in a tree. Snowy Owls are slowly making their way south, had 1 sitting on a Osprey platform on the KFN property at dusk. There were a small number of Red-tailed (6) and Rough-legged Hawks (11) as well as American Kestrel (1) and Northern Harrier (7).

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 ."

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a regular visitor to Amherst Island during the winter months.

A Snowy Owl perched on a Oprey platform on the KFN property.

A small number of Short-eared Owls are wintering on the island.

A Boreal Owl well camouflaged in a White Cedar.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

The Short-eared Owls were very vocal giving their raspy high barking call.

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