November 5 2017 (Sunday) Cobourg Harbour, Presqu'ile Provincial Park
Leader: Ian Shanahan.
Eleven participants made a go of it amid on and off rain throughout the day. Limited visibility across the lake made long-distance viewing challenging. That, combined with bouts of torrential rain, contributed to a lower-than-usual species count of 37. All the same, it was a solid day of early November birding.
The most notable bird here was a BRANT that fed close to five DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS perched on the breakwater rocks. Lots of waterfowl were congregated in the harbour, including many AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS and BUFFLEHEADS. Five AMERICAN COOTS were also in the mix. From the pier, we spotted two COMMON LOONS and several distant flocks of RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and LONG-TAILED DUCKS. Eight GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS loafed on the sand beach just before 8:30 a.m.
Chub Point Nature Reserve, Grafton
A heavy downpour, accompanied by distant lightning, preceded our arrival, and then steady rain continued as we scanned across the lake. The most notable birds were five WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and another Common Loon. Again, there were distant rafts of Long-tailed Ducks, as well as several Buffleheads and Red-breasted Mergansers.
Presqu'ile Provincial Park
We stopped by Beach 1 during a break in rainfall, and had a brief look at a RED-NECKED GREBE in Popham Bay, as well as several distant and one close look at a COMMON LOON. Six SANDERLINGS flew across the bay towards Gull Island.
At Owen Point, we scoped three Sanderlings on the eastern point of Gull Island where several gulls rested. A large raft of scaup congregated off the island's north shore. We started to leave as another wave of rain hit, but paused as a first cycle ICELAND 'KUMLIEN'S GULL' drift overhead and roosted on the eastern point of Gull Island such that everyone got scope views.
Two REDHEADS were among hundreds of scaup at Salt Point.
Immediately north of the Park gate, we stopped at The Birdhouse Nature Store and enjoyed a collection of common feeders birds.
Thanks to Doug McRae for keeping us posted throughout the morning, and thanks to all who participated.
October 22 2017 (Sunday) Grand Bend, Pinery PP, Kettle Point
Leader: Donald Pye.
10 People meet at Grand Bend for some late Summer and Early Winter Birding. First Stop was the Beach where we Found a Merlin , 2 Red Throated Loons Several Common Loons and some Horned Grebes.
Next stop Grand Bend Lagoons where we had a lot of Ducks to look through. 2 Bald Eagles ,1 American Tree Sparrow Some Juncos, Sharp-Shinned Hawks, a Northern Harrier and a Rough-legged Hawk.
Next Stop Pinery PP At lunch we had 1 Chipping Sparrow and a Titmouse.
Next stop Kettle Point where we found a Surf Scoter.
Last stop Forest Lagoons - some Ducks, no shore Birds. There was a Hermit Thrust by the edge of road.
At the end of the day we had 69 species.
October 21 2017 (Saturday) Ottawa River
Leader: Tony Beck.
Yesterday, 12 keen birders participated in a delightful afternoon of fall birding along the shores of Lac Deschenes in Nepean. With unseasonably warm temperatures and relatively calm conditions, we ended with a total of 40 species. Some of the highlights included 3 Great Egrets, 2 Red-necked Grebes, 4 Cackling Geese, 3 Surf Scoter, 1 Long-tailed Duck, a late Osprey, plus small numbers of Brant and White-winged Scoter. Songbird numbers were low, as were the expected flocks of waterfowl and gulls at dusk. Regardless, the afternoon was extremely pleasant and wildly entertaining.
October 14 2017 (Saturday) Barrie
Leader: Jim Coey.
From the end of Dock Rd on westside of Kempenfelt Bay, Lake Simcoe, we worked our way around to the east side of the Bay by the end of the trip. Weather: At 9:00 am 12C, heavy overcast, threatening rain, light wind, by 11:00 am clearing and sun breaking through. Around 32 people joined the walk, about evenly split between OFO and the Brereton (Barrie) Field naturalists. Kempenfelt Bay on Lake Simcoe is a major loon staging area and is worth a visit. With many Red-necked Grebes, Bonaparte's and Little Gulls and later in the fall ducks and the larger gulls it is a local hotspot. Birds: White-throated Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, Ring-billed Gulls, Canada Geese, Mallards, 2 Black Ducks and one Redhead, 300+ Double-crested Cormorants, European Starlings, American Robin, Mourning Doves, House Sparrow, 100+ Common Loons, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 20+ Red-neckedGrebes, Common Merganser, 5+ LittleGull, 300+ Bonaparte's Gull, 1 Common Raven and 5 American Crows. 1 Pacific Loon.