Recent Trip Reports

September 18 2022 (Sunday) Toronto Lakeshore

Leader: Nancy Barrett, Adam Solomon.


Despite an iffy weather forecast, 11 participants turned out on September 18 for a look at the fall migrants of Colonel Sam Smith Park. The humid, overcast morning created challenging warbler viewing in the tops of dark evergreens, and several birders complained of ?warbler?s neck?. Still, visibility gradually improved and after visiting several of the park?s hotspots, we managed 48 species, including 9 species of warblers.

Bonus birds included the continuing Yellow-crowned Night Heron in the wetland and, thanks to a sharp-eyed participant, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. The resident Cooper?s Hawks flew low over our heads and a late juvenile Red-necked Grebe was still being fed by its parents. Thanks to everyone, especially those who were so helpful with the newer birders. --Nancy Barrett and Adam Solomon.

September 17 2022 (Saturday) Durham Waterfront

Leader: Geoff Carpentier.

On Saturday, September 17th, 21 people came out to enjoy the beautiful weather along the Durham waterfront with Geoff Carpentuer. We we had a nice mix of hawks, vireos and warblers ending up with about 58 species of birds. Over 1200 blue Jays migrated overhead. Not bad for well into September. One of the highlights was a pair of Bald Bagles that performed overhead for us and a somewhat early Red-shouldered Hawk.

September 17 2022 (Saturday) Cochrane

Leader: Rhonda Donley, Angie Williams, Ken Williams.

Despite incessant rain all day, the OFO group of 14 participants enjoyed a day in the environs of Cochrane with Rhonda Donley, Angie and Ken Williams. After a fairly long drive, we reached a burn area where we soon found a male Black-backed Woodpecker feeding on grubs in a burned spruce tree. We found many American Pipits along side the road.Other birds included Canada Jay, Merlin, American Kestrel, both Kinglets, Hermit Thrush, Junco, Lincoln's Sparrow and Rusty Blackbird. The most exciting birding came later in the day as we drove back to Cochrane: the Glackmeyer township sewage ponds produced a rare continuing female Canvasback, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Wood Duck, American Wigeon and Ring-necked Duck. Our final stop close to the airport was significant : 1400 Sandhill Cranes seen mostly in one huge wheat field, 550 American Crows, and 550 Canada Geese. Many thanks to Rhonda Donley and the Williams family for braving the very poor conditions and finding some very neat birds, fungi and blueberries.

September 12 2022 (Monday) Moosonee

Leader: Martin Parker, Kathy Parker.

Martin Parker and his wife Kathy organized a memorable week in Moosonee September 12 to 16th, traveling there and back on the Polar Bear express train. 14 participants enjoyed some fine meals including a moose and goose lunch at Peggy's home on Moose Factory First Nations Reserve. The trip highlights included boat trips to Shipsands island, Long Point, and Moose Factory, visits to the Moosonee town sewage lagoons, hikes around the town itself, and viewing of the Moose River.

Bird highlights were many : Snow Geese, Red-necked Phalarope, American Golden Plover, many Pectoral sandpipers, Black Scoter, American Coot, Rough-legged Hawk, Pine Grosbeak, Canada Jays, American Pipits, Rusty Blackbirds, singing Fox Sparrows,Lincoln's, LeConte's, Nelson's and Clay-colored sparrows, Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, Wilson's Warbler, Philadelphia Vireo, and a Northern Hawk Owl seen from the train. Mammals included a beautiful Red Fox cross, Beaver, Otter, Red-backed Vole, and a lounging Bearded Seal seen on the banks of the Moose River.

Many thanks to the Moose Cree people for their wonderful hospitality and generosity throughout the tour.

September 10 2022 (Saturday) Hamilton

Leader: Rob Porter, Barry Coombs.

Approximately, 35 participants gathered at 8am at Van Wagner's Beach for the OFO Hamilton 2022 outing. The co-leaders were Barry Coombs and Rob Porter. It was already a hot and sunny day for our blend of beginner, intermediate and experienced birders. Winds were not favourable for lake-watching so jaegers were not on the menu but passerines, raptors and shorebirds provided us with lots of action. The group walked the local ponds and across the bridge to Globe Park before returning to the parking lot by another route parallel to the beach. Twelve species of warblers were observed as well as several other species. Our second stop was in Burlington at Woodland Cemetery. The shade was welcome and we added to our day total with three more warbler and two vireo species. A highlight was an extremely cooperative Philadelphia Vireo. A stroll downhill brought us to Valley Inn and the low water level had provided some excellent shorebird habitat. Nine shorebird species were seen including three Short-billed Dowitchers, which were a bit distant and strongly backlit. They were later confirmed as SBDOs from photos. Overall, 76 species were tallied by our sharp-eyed participants. Thanks to all for making the outing a success.

August 28 2022 (Sunday) Rotary Park Trailway Peterborough

Leader: Dave Milsom, Cathy Douglas, Brian Wales.

A small but enthusiastic group enjoyed the morning hike along the paved Rotary Trailway in Peterborough on Sunday, August 28th. 42 species were found . This total included 7 warbler species of which Magnolia, Cape May, Bay-breasted and Northern Parula were the best finds. Other highlights included 24 Black-capped Chickadees, a Peregrine Falcon flying down the Otonabee River, Philadelphia Vireo, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher,Osprey, and several Chimney Swifts hunting insects over the Quaker oats building along the river. Undoubtedly the most exciting find was a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker seen on top of a telephone pole at the Parkhill Road bridge where the group first met.Many thanks to co-leaders Cathy Douglas and Brian Wales for their expertise and assistance with the group. Dave Milsom

August 28 2022 (Sunday) Algonquin Park

Leader: Sarah Lamond.

On Sunday, August 28th six participants visited Algonquin Provincial Park for a day of birding. Areas birded included the Mizzy Lake railbed, Spruce Bog Trail and the Logging Museum Trail. We were fortunate to have some nice mild weather and ended the day with a total of 31 species. Highlights included great looks at a low flying Pileated Woodpecker over our heads, and multiple migrant flocks with some close views of Bay-breasted Warblers, a Chestnut-sided Warbler, a Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireos and a Blue-headed Vireo, a lifer for over half of the group! Overall a lovely day with many other non-bird wildlife highlights as well.

Sarah Lamond

August 28 2022 (Sunday) Toronto Islands

Leader: Gavin Platt.

16 birders were treated to some good birding on yesterday?s outing to Toronto Islands. During our approximately 8 hours in the field (all on foot), we found a collective total of 83 species. Highlights included great looks at 2 Piping Plovers (young birds from this year's successful nesting on the islands), a cooperative Olive-sided Flycatcher and an excellent count of 23 Cape May Warblers (very abundant this fall)! Full species list (and photos) in the eBird list here:


August 20 2022 (Saturday) Palgrave

Leader: John Schmelefske.

OFO Field Trip, Sat. Aug 20, 2022

23 participants attended this field trip which visited Palgrave Conservation Area, the Everett Gravel Pits, the Beeton Sod farms and points in between. The weather was beautiful, although a tad hot by late afternoon. Palgrave was good for a few migrating warblers such as Blackburnian, Bay-breasted and Magnolia. At a nearby marsh we got good looks at Green Heron and heard a Virginia Rail.

Moving on the Everett Gravel Pit after lunch we had a few distant shorebirds including Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Semipalmated Plover. Two Trumpeter swans were there and an Osprey put on an impressive display of hover-hunting. 4 Sandhill Cranes have been in the area recently, but were not seen.

The Beeton Sod farms have been bone dry the last couple weeks. We managed to pick up a Pectoral Sandpiper and a few peeps at the Zander sod farm, which tends produce when local conditions are dry. Special thanks to the Zanders, who allow us access to this area.

Thanks to the participants who were eager and helped turn up some good birds throughout the day! I was impressed that we didn?t lose anyone as our ?funeral procession? wandered through the countryside. Special thanks to Ken for keeping a running tally of our sightings!

John Schmelefske

Common Tern
Photo: Daniel Cadieux

White-eyed Vireo
Photo: John Millman

Winter Wren
Photo: Tom Thomas

Hudsonian Godwit
Photo: Mark Peck

Photo: Francine Ouellette

Swamp Sparrow
Photo: Sam Barone

Mourning Warbler
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath

Red Knot
Photo: Mark Peck

Blue-winged Teal
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath