Recent Trip Reports

November 3 2019 (Sunday) Cobourg Harbour and Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Leader: Ian Shanahan.

Hello birders:

The 15 participants on today's annual field trip to Cobourg Harbour and Presqu'ile enjoyed 56 bird species, including 5 gulls, 4 shorebirds, 17 waterfowl, and a warbler.

At Cobourg Harbour, the steady west wind pushed the "feels like" temperature below 0 degrees Celsius, meaning a flock of about 30 SNOW BUNTINGS hardly seemed out of place. A small feeding frenzy of gulls impressed, before we scoped several duck species, including LESSER SCAUP and two GREEN-WINGED TEAL, in the sheltered harbour. A SONG SPARROW sang briefly from a willow thicket as a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET gleaned the outer branches. An immature MERLIN whizzed past just before we departed.

At Presqu'ile Provincial Park, we began at the beach where a small flock of SANDERLINGS and DUNLIN fed actively among a lively group of feeding BONAPARTE'S GULLS. Farther south on the beach, we spotted an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, which eventually relocated to a gull and goose roost to the north. Here, a first-cycle GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL showed well. Two AMERICAN PIPITS, an immature NORTHERN HARRIER, 5 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS, and a SEMIPALMATED PLOVER were other notables on the beach. The most unexpected find was a dead American Eel that had evidently been blown by the strong west wind upland onto the beach. Some of the many photos of this endangered (in Ontario) species will be submitted to Park staff.

The sheltered waters of Presqu'ile Bay were loaded with diving ducks, especially REDHEADS and GREATER SCAUP, but also smaller numbers of LONG-TAILED DUCK, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (5), AMERICAN WIGEON (2), and GADWALL (2). An immature COMMON LOON was the only loon of the day. A GREAT BLUE HERON flushed at Salt Point from where 5 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were foraging in a many-fruit-bearing juniper.

In the marsh, we scoped 12 TUNDRA SWANS, 2 PIED-BILLED GREBES, 2 AMERICAN COOTS, and about 20 RING-NECKED DUCKS.

The trip concluded at the Birdhouse Nature Store whose feeders attracted a male RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and a noisy flock of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, many of which were singing.

Cobourg Harbour is between the south ends of Division St. and Third St. in Cobourg. Approximately 30 minutes east, Presqu'ile Provincial Park is well-signed south of Highway 401 exit 509; the Birdhouse Nature Store is just outside the Park gate.

If you would like the trip's ebird lists shared, please send me your email address.

Thanks to all who attended; see you in 2020!

Ian and Sofia Shanahan

October 19 2019 (Saturday) Durham Waterfront

Leader: Geoff Carpentier.

Twelve folks joined me as we explored the Whitby shoreline on this gorgeous fall day on our OFO walk. Sixty-one species included a Cackling Goose at Cranberry, the first Fox Sparrows of the season, Winter Wren and Phoebe at Thickson and four species of warbler at Lynde Shores - Palm, Yellow-rumped, Magnolia (very late) and Northern Parula.

However after the walk I went back to where we had looked for and missed the Fish Crow at Whitby harbour and there it was. Apparently it likes the afternoons better. We didn't do well on raptors, counting only 5 species but in North Oshawa others found Golden and Bald Eagle, Northern Goshawks, hundreds of vultures and at least 80 Red-shouldered Hawks.

All this bodes well for the TOC walk tomorrow.

Side note to those that joined me today. I shared the 3 eBird checklists with you based on the info you gave me so if you didn't receive them lmk as I must have mis-entered or misread your info. Victor - eBird wouldn't accept the name you gave me.

Thank you,

Geoff Carpentier

October 19 2019 (Saturday) Ottawa River

Leader: Tony Beck.

OFO Field Trip -- Oct. 19/2019 - Dusk along the Ottawa River

10 keen birders met at 1:00pm and birded around Lac Deschenes, between Britannia and Shirley's Bay.

Although the birding was relatively slow, we had beautiful calm conditions with clear skies and comfortable temperatures.

We tallied a total of 41 species for the day ending after sunset with thousands of gulls and geese coming to roost on the shores of the Ottawa River.


4 Brant

3 Cackling Geese

3 late(ish) Blue-winged Teal

2 Surf Scoter

14 adult male White-winged Scoter

1 Long-tailed Duck

1 adult Bald Eagle

Good Birding!Tony Beck

October 12 2019 (Saturday) Barrie Lakeshore

Leader: Jim Coey.

17 brave souls started out in the rain to bird Barrie's lakefront. The rain gradually let up and give way to a cold north west wind. Their resolve was rewarded with great looks at 12 plus Little Gulls among the hundreds of Common Terns and Bonaparte's Gulls. Two Merlins buzzed a couple of American crows in a game of chicken that looked like both sides were enjoying themselves. A rare leucistic Chipping Sparrow peaked interest for a bit and a Gray Tree Frog surprised a few people on the woodland trail. Several rafts of Common Loons contained hundreds ( possibly well over a thousand ) of birds but we could not find the elusive Pacific Loon. Ducks, except for Mallards, were missing from the count. Normally we would have rafts of many species of waterfowl this time of year. So no ducks, hundreds of Common Terns, flocks of Chipping Sparrows in Mid-October, are all unusual for Kempenfelt Bay. Climate change? Thanks for all the good eyes on the trip. Much appreciated. If anyone got a picture of the white sparrow. I would appreciate a copy. Thanks. We had a total of 33 species plus the frog, an excellent tally for the time of year. Posted on Ebird

eBird Checklist - 12 Oct 2019 - Barrie--Heritage Park - 33 species

Kempenfelt Bay can be reached off Hwy 400 by taking Essa Road north to right on Tiffin to left or right on

Lakeshore Drive

Jim Coey

September 22 2019 (Sunday) Ottawa West

Leader: Jeff Skevington.

Hi Ontbirders,

We had 26 participants on today's OFO outing in the Ottawa area and ended up seeing 85 species over the 9 stops that we made. Highlights were a Cackling Goose at Moodie Quarry, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at various sites, a perched Peregrine Falcon at Mud Lake that opened the outing and a latish Yellow Warbler at Mud Lake. Warblers were hard to come by with only 11 species and shorebirds were also in low numbers with only 8 species. Thanks very much to the participants for bringing their enthusiasm and great spotting skills. A summary of the eBird lists is provided below.

Good birding,



eBird Checklist Summary for: Sep 22, 2019

Number of Checklists: 9
Number of Taxa: 86

Checklists included in this summary:
(1): Ottawa--Britannia Conservation Area (Britannia Ridge)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 07:32
(2): Ottawa--Andrew Haydon Park east (formerly Ottawa Beach)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 10:18
(3): Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa CA-ON (45.3503,-75.8227)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 10:57
(4): Ottawa--Greenbelt Trail 10
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 11:41
(5): Ottawa--Moodie Drive Quarry
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 13:11
(6): 4485 Trail Rd, Ottawa CA-ON (45.2340,-75.7744)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 13:50
(7): 4334-4346 Barnsdale Rd, Ottawa CA-ON (45.2218,-75.7610)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 14:34
(8): Goulbourn, Ottawa CA-ON (45.2030,-75.7946)
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 14:57
(9): Richmond Sewage Lagoons
Date: Sep 22, 2019 at 15:11

1 Cackling Goose (Richardson's) -- (7)
2747 Canada Goose -- (1),(2),(3),(4),(5),(6),(7),(8),(9)
35 Wood Duck -- (1),(3),(9)
80 Blue-winged Teal -- (2),(3)
3 Northern Shoveler -- (3)
5 Gadwall -- (5)
2 American Wigeon -- (3)
66 Mallard -- (1),(2),(5),(6),(9)
1 American Black Duck -- (3)
4 Northern Pintail -- (2),(3)
19 Green-winged Teal -- (3),(7),(9)
3 Ring-necked Duck -- (5)
6 Hooded Merganser -- (1),(2),(5),(6)
1 Pied-billed Grebe -- (5)
5 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) -- (1),(4),(9)
3 Mourning Dove -- (5),(7)
1 Common Gallinule -- (9)
4 Semipalmated Plover -- (2),(3)
15 Killdeer -- (2),(3),(7)
2 Least Sandpiper -- (2)
1 Pectoral Sandpiper -- (2)
1 Spotted Sandpiper -- (9)
3 Solitary Sandpiper -- (6)
8 Greater Yellowlegs -- (2),(5),(6)
17 Lesser Yellowlegs -- (3),(5),(9)
4 Bonaparte's Gull -- (1),(2),(5)
1720 Ring-billed Gull -- (1),(2),(3),(5),(6),(7)
507 Herring Gull -- (1),(2),(3),(5),(6),(7),(8)
3 Lesser Black-backed Gull -- (1),(5),(8)
72 Great Black-backed Gull -- (1),(2),(3),(5),(6),(7)
2 Common Tern -- (1)
29 Double-crested Cormorant -- (1),(2),(5),(7)
11 Great Blue Heron -- (1),(3),(5),(7),(9)
8 Great Egret -- (1),(2),(3),(6),(7)
1 Green Heron -- (9)
1 Black-crowned Night-Heron -- (5)
14 Turkey Vulture -- (4),(5),(6),(7),(9)
1 Osprey -- (1)
2 Northern Harrier -- (5),(7)
1 Red-tailed Hawk -- (5)
6 Belted Kingfisher -- (1),(5)
3 Downy Woodpecker -- (1),(4),(6)
4 Hairy Woodpecker -- (4)
3 Pileated Woodpecker -- (1)
2 Northern Flicker -- (4),(5)
3 Merlin -- (1),(7),(9)
1 Peregrine Falcon -- (1)
1 Eastern Wood-Pewee -- (1)
8 Eastern Phoebe -- (1),(4)
1 Blue-headed Vireo -- (4)
1 Warbling Vireo (Eastern) -- (1)
2 Red-eyed Vireo -- (4)
12 Blue Jay -- (1),(5),(7),(8),(9)
6 American Crow -- (1),(3),(5),(6),(9)
16 Common Raven -- (1),(4),(5)
14 Black-capped Chickadee -- (1),(4),(6)
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet -- (4)
2 White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern) -- (1),(4)
63 European Starling -- (1),(6)
5 Gray Catbird -- (1),(4)
6 American Robin -- (1),(4)
49 Cedar Waxwing -- (1),(4),(9)
83 American Pipit -- (1),(6),(8)
32 American Goldfinch -- (1),(4),(5),(6)
5 Chipping Sparrow -- (3),(6)
3 Field Sparrow -- (4),(6)
1 White-crowned Sparrow -- (6)
2 White-throated Sparrow -- (1),(4)
2 Savannah Sparrow -- (8)
23 Song Sparrow -- (1),(2),(3),(6),(9)
4 Swamp Sparrow -- (2),(3),(9)
352 Red-winged Blackbird -- (5),(9)
2 Rusty Blackbird -- (3),(4)
1 Common Yellowthroat -- (2)
5 American Redstart -- (1),(4)
1 Cape May Warbler -- (1)
10 Northern Parula -- (1),(4)
5 Magnolia Warbler -- (1),(4)
1 Bay-breasted Warbler -- (1)
1 Blackburnian Warbler -- (1)
1 Yellow Warbler -- (1)
2 Palm Warbler (Western) -- (1),(4)
2 Yellow-rumped Warbler -- (6)
11 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) -- (1),(4)
2 Black-throated Green Warbler -- (1)
5 Northern Cardinal -- (1),(3),(4)

This trip summary was created using the eBird app for iPhone and iPad. See eBird for more information.

September 21 2019 (Saturday) Colonel Sam Smith Park and Western Lake Ontario

Leader: Garth Riley.

Hello Ontbirds,

Well yesterday felt much more like mid-July than the third week of September. Therefore the number of species was similar to what one would expect for a hot summer day. While there were good pockets of migrating passerines, including large numbers of Northern Parula, 17 in fact.

Lake Ontario was full of boaters, sailors, and kayakers make the most of what could be the last really hot day for a while. As a result there were few birds visible on the lake. A distant Common Loon see by a few of the participants being one of the highlights. There was little evidence of a large push of waterfowl but a single American Wigeon and four Blue-winged Teal suggest that this migration has just started.

The 21 participants and I enjoyed the lovely summer weather and company and still managed 48 species for the day.

Thanks to all who partipated and good birding,Garth

Garth Riley Etobicoke, Ontario

Wood Thrush
Photo: Frank and Sandra Horvath

Great Egret
Photo: Rick Lauzon

American Redstart
Photo: Brandon Holden

Cackling Goose
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath

Photo: Jean Iron

Marbled Godwit
Photo: Tom Hanrahan