Saturday, February 18, 2017

Places I'd love to check this June...

If only there were more than 24hrs. in a day you'd likely find me at one or two of these locations:

Bickford Oak Woods
Back in 2007 I did two rounds of breeding bird surveys in Bickford Oak Woods, consisting of a total of 7 days was buggy, the American Prickly-Ash was pretty damn annoying in certain spots, and wet...but it was also really interesting and one location I hope to get back to in the near future in June. Over the course of our fieldwork, we found the Swamp Cottonwood grove, a singing male Acadian Flycatcher, 3 male Cerulean Warblers, Red-headed Woodpecker and Brewster's Warbler.  Not too mention that there's a large swamp (I vividly remember wading chest deep for >100m) that screams Prothonotary Warbler (Larry Cornelis had a singing male PROW here in 2001 or 2003). 

Moraviantown FN
I've only birded Moraviantown FN once (June 24, 2015), but was impressed with the quality and numbers, as well as several Species at Risk and Species of Conservation Concern present in only 45 minutes of driving, including White-eyed Vireo and several Hooded Warblers. I'd love to go back for a morning, and would expect Cerulean Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher as high candidates.

Chippewa's of the Thames FN
For the first time last year, I checked out the Chippewa's of the Thames First Nations, on June 13th and 21st and wasn't disappointed....a total of 3 Cerulean's, a Prothonotary, and several Hooded Warblers made it a great morning. Other things like Yellow-throated Vireo and Blue-winged Warblers were also plentiful (~10 of each species). 

Wainfleet Bog
I haven't ever checked out Wainfleet in the summer, but recently toured the area and was really impressed with some of the habitats along the road, particularly in the western area of the natural area. Species like Prothonotary Warbler and King Rail really stand out as having suitable habitat here...hopefully I'll be able to check it out this June! If there are any Niagara birders who read this...I'd definitely check it out!

Hopefully this spur some birders to check these areas out (or other hotspots)!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Eastern Ontario fieldwork this week

This past week, I headed out to Morrisburg, with my colleague, James Barber, Thursday through Saturday, for some field work, north of the St. Lawrence.  Having said this, it wasn't all 'work' and we managed a good haul of eastern Ontario birds too.

I left Waterloo early on Thursday (Feb. 9th) to pick up James in Kingston. On my way I saw a dead Barred Owl, 3km east of the Port Hope Onroute.  I had heard rumblings of owls throughout the Ottawa area and this was certainly an indication of more to come.

Picking up James in Kingston, we were soon bound for Morrsiburg.  Just before getting off the Hwy. we picked out a nice adult Red-shouldered Hawk, again, just east of the Morrsiburg Onroute, as well as a single Northern Shrike -- a species I've had a really hard time getting west of Toronto over the last 2-3 winters.

James and I did a few hours of field work until 4:30 or so, and were heading back when we picked out an eagle just over the 401.  Coming to a stop revealed it to be an adult Golden Eagle! Here's a pic. James managed:
Friday, we were out for the whole day bush-whacking in the cold (-17 C!!), doing some ELC; our best bird during the day was a female Red-bellied Woodpecker near Finch.  As we were finishing and coming back to Morrisburg, we wandered some of the roads north of the 401 and found this beauty, just before dusk (also photographed by James)!

I hadn't seen a Great Gray Owl in quite some time (last was 2013) --- it is always a treat to see one of these and hopefully I'll see a few more this winter!

Saturday, we were only in the field until 10:30am or so, and then started making our way home.  On our way though we had 2 more Northern Shrikes, the Red-shouldered Hawk near Napannee and another Barred Owl -- this time alive (I had managed to make a detour to visit Mike and his family near Peterborough).