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