Suc­cess­ful ex­cur­sion

The Daily Observer - - NEWS - KEN HOOLES BIRD­WATCH

The Pem­broke Area Field Nat­u­ral­ists’ Lake Dore ex­cur­sion held on Sat­ur­day, Oct. 28, was a suc­cess in terms of weather and the num­ber of bird species found. This year had to be one of the mildest Lake Dore ex­cur­sions on record with sunny skies, mild tem­per­a­tures, and only a slight wind. These con­di­tions all made for quite an en­joy­able out­ing.

This year, only a small group par­tic­i­pated in the event, but par­tic­i­pants were re­warded with a re­spectable 37 bird species. This was six more bird species than last year. This num­ber is slightly above av­er­age for this fall event.

As this trip pri­mar­ily con­cen­trated on water­fowl as well as those birds that can be found around the edges of the lake, the group was able to iden­tify an amaz­ing 16 water­fowl species. These in­cluded Surf Scot­ers, White-winged Scot­ers, Com­mon Loons, Pied­billed Grebes, both Horned and Red-necked Grebes, both Com­mon and Red-breasted Mer­gansers, Buf­fle­head, Lesser Scaup, Ring­necked Ducks, Black and Mal­lard Ducks, Com­mon Goldeneye and nu­mer­ous Canada Geese.

Other in­ter­est­ing sight­ings in­cluded Amer­i­can Bald Ea­gle, Eastern Blue­birds, Gold­en­crowned Kin­glets, Belted King­fisher, Bon­a­parte Gulls and a late Robin.

No­tably ab­sent this year were late war­blers, shore­birds, and sev­eral of our north­ern mi­grants such as Dark-eyed Jun­cos, Bo­hemian Waxwings, Pine Siskin, Snow Buntings or Com­mon Red­poll, Pine Siskin, the Gros­beaks and Amer­i­can Tree Spar­rows. There have been no re­ports yet of any north­ern owls.

In all, this was a very en­joy­able out­ing in terms of the weather and the ex­cit­ing num­ber of water­fowl species found. This ex­cur­sion re­mains one of the club’s more chal­leng­ing events, and the Pem­broke Area Field Nat­u­ral­ists ex­tends its thanks to Chris­tian Re­nault for lead­ing this year’s event.

On the lo­cal scene, the fall mi­gra­tion is still in process with the bird ac­tiv­ity be­ing mainly on our lakes and in the fields. Once again, Lake Dore is prov­ing to be a great spot this year for mi­grat­ing ducks and grebes. In our fields, the Canada Geese con­tinue to use our fields and wa­ter­ways as a stop­ping point on their way south, many in large flocks. Oc­ca­sion­ally, among these flocks are the odd Snow Goose, Bran, or White-fronted Goose. There are also sev­eral large flocks of Sand­hill Cranes in our area, mainly in the LaPasse area.

While we do have some pock­ets of Dark-eyed Jun­cos and Amer­i­can Pip­its, we are still presently await­ing the ar­rival of many of the north­ern mi­grants. These in­clude Snow Buntings, early Bo­hemian Waxwings, more Darkeyed Jun­cos, Com­mon Red­poll, Pine Siskin, Evening and Pine Gros­beaks, North­ern Shrike and Amer­i­can Tree Spar­rows. If you see any of these birds, please let me know!

On Nov. 3, Rob Cun­ning­ham and his daugh­ter, Les­lie, spot­ted a flock of at least 150 Sand­hill Cranes along the road be­tween Beach­burg and LaPasse. These flocks of Sand­hill Cranes seem to be get­ting larger ev­ery year.

On Nov. 5, Mark Do­jcz­man of Pem­broke in­formed me that he re­cently spot­ted a Caspian Tern and a Long-tailed Duck in the Pem­broke area. Both are great sight­ings for this time of year!

Fi­nally, on Nov. 6, my grand­daugh­ter Rowan of Aly­mer, Que. called to tell me that she had sev­eral birds com­ing to her feeder. These in­cluded Car­di­nals, Blue Jays, Dark-eyed Jun­cos, Mourn­ing Doves, both Downy and Hairy Wood­pecker and White-breasted Nuthatches. She also re­lated that there were sev­eral Canada Geese and a Great Blue Heron on the river in front of her home. This is cer­tainly more birds than I am get­ting presently at my feed­ers. I think a lot of peo­ple in our area are won­der­ing where are the birds this year?

Please call me with your bird sight­ings and feeder re­ports at 613-735-4430, or email me at hooles@bell.net. For more in­for­ma­tion on up­com­ing na­ture events of other links to other na­ture sites just Google the Pem­broke Area Field Nat­u­ral­ists or like us on Face­book. I un­der­stand that there are also some na­ture pho­tos on our Face­book site.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Lo­cal birder Robin Cun­ning­ham re­cently spot­ted this Snow Goose within a flock of Canada Geese.

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