January 14 2018 (Sunday) Lynde Shores, Cranberry Marsh, Whitby Harbour, Second Marsh. Photography Field trip
Leader: Claude King, Dave Milsom.
Today's photo workshop attracted a dozen birders/photographers who all seem to enjoy getting photos of birds when they venture out into the field.
Although the main emphasis was on taking good photos of the more common birds, we did manage to see a few rarer species including Brown Thrasher, several White-throated Sparrows and Red-bellied Woodpecker in Lyndeshores Conservation Area, Bald Eagle and 2 Redhead ducks in Whitby Harbour, Great Black-backed Gull off Oshawa Harbour and Song Sparrow at Second Marsh.
Many thanks once again to Claude King for sharing his photographic knowledge with the group, for showing us some of his excellent photos, and for giving individual assistance and advice throughout the day.
January 13 2018 (Saturday) Ottawa Area [until Noon]
Leader: Roy John.
Despite my apprehension about road conditions following Ottawa's + 9 C/rain plunge to -17 C/snow overnight, the Ottawa road crews had cleared the city streets by 0700. The rural roads were wind swept and bare. So we had no problems in getting around, but finding birds was another issue. We only found 20 species. However six species were good to find in Ottawa in January ? Wood Duck, American Wigeon, N. Pintail, Bald Eagle, Snowy Owl and Lapland Longspur.
January 6 2018 (Saturday) Leslie Street Spit, Toronto
Leader: Dan Riley, Garth Riley.
I suspect we came close to setting two records for today: 1) the coldest temperatures for an OFO outing starting the day at -23C (feeling like -32C) and 2) the shortest outing at just under 2 hours.
Sixteen participants joined Dan and I, and managed to tally 24 species of birds. We started the day with a Northern Mockingbird huddled in the shrubs at the corner of Leslie St. and Unwin Ave. The most productive area was the open water at the bridge at Unwin Ave. Nice surprises here include a drake Northern Pintail, two Lesser Scaup, three Hooded Mergansers and two American Coot.
Some of the participants spotted a fly over Common Raven as well as three American Robins. Another participant briefly saw a bird flush from the wet woods which was most likely a Long-eared Owl based on their description.
Ashbridge's Bay proved unproductive with a small group of Ring-billed Gulls huddled on the ice. The only species we added here were a couple of Herring Gulls. The wind started to pick up and subsequently the temperature became unbearable. The group quickly dissipated to the warmth of their cars.
Thanks to all the participants for braving the cold and making it an enjoyable time. Below is the link to the eBird checklists for the outing. Note that I left off Common Raven as I did not see this bird.
January 1 2018 (Monday) Peterborough Area
Leader: Dave Milsom, Matthew Tobey.
10 birders arrived in Peterborough this morning for our annual January 1st outing. The temperature at the outset was -28 Celsius. Our main aim was to see the Ross Geese at Cobourg Harbour but we failed despite 4 separate visits. Despite this we had a good day with 39 species found, including Snowy Owl, 2 Bald Eagles, 2 Merlins, 2 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 2 flocks of Snow Buntings, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Common Grackle, 2 Brown-headed Cowbirds, 4 White-throated Sparrows, all 3 Mergansers, 4 flocks of Wild Turkeys, 35 Robins, and one Common Raven. We also saw 4 Coyotes in one field on Hannah Road and a Porcupine near Peterborough Airport.
Many thanks to Matthew Tobey for his expertise and co-leadership.