January 12 2020 (Sunday) Detroit River
Leader: Kory Renaud, Jeremy Hatt.
Today, Kory Renaud and I led the Detroit River OFO Outing, which started at Lakeview Park Marina in east Windsor and continued w/ Little River Corridor Park, the Ambassador Bridge, and ended at Ojibway Park. 19 participants joined us for the first part of the outing and 13-14 continued on for the rest of the day. The day started off cold and cloudy but by late morning and into the afternoon, there were periods of sun making birding quite comfortable. Temperatures ranged from -4C in the morning to -1C in the afternoon. We tallied 43 species for the day.
Lakeview Park Marina: w/ such mild temperatures so far this winter in the area, the waters of Lake St. Clair remain open so birds were not as concentrated at the Detroit River mouth as they sometimes are (the Detroit River mouth stays open year-round). We still managed to find some highlights, however, including a continuing male Wood Duck at Lakeview Park Marina, large rafts of Common Mergansers and Canvasbacks, an adult "Kumlien's" Iceland Gull, and a handful of Bald Eagles on Peche Island.
Little River Corridor (south of Lakeview Park Marina): during colder temperatures and lake freeze, Little River stays open due to the neighbouring pollution control plant letting out warm water. Since there is currently no lake freeze, waterfowl were in short supply along the river but other highlights here included a Belted Kingfisher and American Robin.
Ambassador Bridge: perhaps the best experience of the outing was seeing the resident Peregrine Falcons in action at the Ambassador Bridge. One bird caught a Rock Pigeon and perched on the bridge where we had excellent looks at it feeding on its prey. Thanks to Jeremy Bensette for getting it in his scope so everyone could really enjoy the view including a few curious members of the public.
Sprucewood Avenue west of Ojibway Parkway: this area of industry along the Detroit River can be quite birdy and highlights today included a flock of 8 White-crowned Sparrows and another hunting Peregrine Falcon.
Ojibway Park: a favourite winter location for many local birders, we finished at Ojibway Park where we enjoyed plenty of White-breasted Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, Black-capped Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos, and others at the park's feeders.
Thanks to everyone who attended the outing, Jeremy Hatt & Kory Renaud
January 4 2020 (Saturday) Tommy Thompson Park / Leslie Street Spit, Toronto
Leader: Dan Riley, Garth Riley.
Saturday proved to be a very nice and mild day for birding Toronto's "Urban Wilderness" The Leslie Street Spit. Fifty-five participants took advantage of the spring like conditions and joined me for a nice long walk and a rewarding outing. The total number of species seen by the group was 36. Additionally two individuals separately observed an American Kestrel and a Northern Flicker. Passerines were scarce but their was an excellent variety of waterfowl, including Canvasback, Tundra Swan, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveller and Surf Scoter. The highlight and a lifer for several participants was a very co-operative but distant Red-shouldered Hawk. The group was able to have excellent scope views of this lovely adult bird. Here is a link to the entire ebird checklist :https://ebird.org/checklist/S63011087Much thanks to Nancy McPherson for compiling the list.
Garth Riley Etobicoke, Ontario
January 1 2020 (Wednesday) Peterborough Area
Leader: Dave Milsom, Matthew Tobey.
13 birders enjoyed a mild day birding the Peterborough area, Port Hope and Cobourg harbours. Highlights included 6 Bald Eagles along the Otonabee River corridor, Rough legged, Red-tailed hawks, American Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine falcons. Also found 2 Northern Shrikes, the long-staying male Harlequin in Port Hope harbour, adult Glaucous and Iceland gulls, a leucistic Herring Gull, White-winged Scoter, Cedar Waxwings, Robins, and a Cackling Goose at Garden Hill.
Dave Milsom & Matthew Tobey
December 15 2019 (Sunday) Toronto Lakeshore
Leader: John Schmelefske.
OFO Waterfront Field Trip, Dec 15 2019
Today?s Waterfront West OFO was attended just two participants! Having just participated in a gruelling foul-weather Christmas Bird Count the day before, I was happy to lead a leisurely outing in fine weather (but a bit windy). Our small group covered East and West Humber Bay Park and Colonel Sam Park, plus we were happy to pick up 4 species at the MacDonald?s Restaurant we stopped at for lunch. We birded till about 3:30.
Both waterfowl and land bird numbers seemed down this year. The variety and quantity of ducks was especially low.
Highlights included White-winged Scoter seen at Humber Bay Park and Turkey Vulture (flypast), Golden-crowned Kinglet and Hermit Thrush seen at Colonel Sam Park.
Thanks again to Maurilio and Elliot Cocca for their great companionship and keen eyes!
December 7 2019 (Saturday) Barrie Lakeshore
Leader: Jim Coey.
!8 very hardy souls met at Dock Road in Barrie on a cold minus 8 degrees but sunny December morning with at least 10 centimetres of fresh snow. The lake is still ice free. Barrie waterfront has incredible accumulations of wildfowl at this time of year and today did not disappoint. Among the many hundreds of Canada Geese we had 7 Cackling Geese at Dock Road. A late Belted Kingfisher posed for pictures in a tree at Minet's Point and earlier in the morning at Dock Road..Common mergansers were all over the bay with one spectacular raft of many hundreds off Centennial Park. A Northern Pintail was present with many Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye. Mallards were abundant at each of our stops. We had a total of 21 Black Ducks and 5 Hooded Mergansers. Two Tundra Swans with no tags flew past at Minets and there 4 unidentified Swans at Johnson's beach There were 18 Greater Black -backed gulls , with many Herring, Ring-billed and a 1 first winter Glaucous Gull at Barrie Docks. There was a Double-crested Cormorant at the marina. There was a Raven, an American Robin and a Cooper's hawk at Minet's Point and 2 American Goldfinch and two White-breasted Nuthatches at Dock Road. Previously seen during the week a Snow Goose and Red-throated Loon regrettably did not show. Many thanks to all participants for making this a great outing and thanks to my compiler and assistant Chris Evans . List are posted to Ebird.