Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 31, 2011 Amherst Island birding.

Spent the early afternoon birding Amherst Island on the KFN property at the East Point. Overall quiet, the ponds were high so no shorebird habitat but there was a small concentration of waders on the gravel bar. Highlights included 4 juvenile Baird's Sandpiper, 12 juv. Sanderling, 1 Sora , 3 Great Egret and 1 Merlin harassing the shorebirds. There was a good number of Common Loons out on Lake Ontario and I counted 57 adults, mainly in breeding plumage but a few starting t molt. Land birds were scarce but a group of 100+ Bobolinks feeding in a field was a nice find.

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 $9.00 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 contactinformation or how to become a member, please visit ."

The juvenile Sanderling is a regular sight along sandy beaches and algae covered shorelines of Lake Ontario.

The Baird's Sandpiper is a regular fall migrant through eastern Ontario. Both Amherst Island and Presqu'ile are good locations for finding this sandpiper.

The Great Egret is becoming a regular sight in eastern Ontario and has now been confirmed breeding in the Kingston area on Centre Brothers Island just of Amherst Island.

A very inquisitive Mink on the KFN property.

The Mink responded to my "squeaking" sound I made and came within a few feet to investigate.

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