Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10-11, 2012 Birding Amherst Island and Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Hi Everyone
Spent the morning birding at Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Highlight was a Purple Sandpiper on Gull Island along the south side. There were 3 Snowy Owls in the area, 1 on Gull Island, 1 on High Bluff and and 1 on Sebastopol Point. Also had 3 flocks of Bohemian Waxwings totaling 250+ in Brighton along Princess Street near Cedar St. Yesterday, Dec.10th I spent a few hours birding during the afternoon on Amherst Island. Overall very quiet for hawks, only 2 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Rough-legged Hawk and 1 American Kestrel. Had 3 Snowy Owls, 2 on the KFN property east end of the island, 8 Short-eared Owl southeast of Stella, 1 immature Golden Eagle and a very late Greater Yellowlegs.
Good birding, Bruce

Directions: (courtesy Fred Helleiner) To reach Presqu'ile Provincial Park, follow the signs from Brighton. Locations within the Park are shown on a map at the back of a tabloid that is available at the Park gate.   It should be noted that, because duck hunting is given priority on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Gull Island, High Bluff Island, Owen Point, and part of the calf pasture are not available for bird-watching on those days.
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 meters 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. To reach the Owl Woods, turn left (east) at the four-way stop sign by the general store and drive 3.4 km along Front Rd. to the (seasonal) Marshall Forty-Foot Rd. Marshall Forty-Foot Rd. is across the road from house #2320. Drive along Marshall Rd. to the mid-way point, where there is an "S" in the road (1.2 km, look for the K.F.N. kiosk which had owl observing ethics). Park in the gravel lane or off the road edge.

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
http://kingstonfieldnaturalists.org/ ."

Snowy Owls are on the move south.

You must be either a KFN member or with one to access the east end of the island, KFN property.  

Low water levels continue at Presqu'ile with a large wide gravel bar conecting owen point to Gull Island.

Up to 4 Snowy Owls have been observed hunting at Presqu'ile Provincial Park recently.

Presqu'ile P.P. is the best location to see Purple Sandpipers during late fall/early winter in southern Ontario.  

Some individuals are extremely tame as this one walked within 1 metre by me along the shoreline.

A highly sought after species for birders,  the Purple Sandpiper is a regular late fall migrant and can spend a week  or more feeding on the exposed shoals off Owen Point.  

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