Dec 262017
 

Barred Owl: Sighted Saturday, December 30, at 2:30pm in Burnham’s Woods (Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park) on Hwy 7, just east of Peterborough. It was sitting in one of the large hemlock trees about 40 metres from the end of the parking lot. I wouldn’t have seen it had it not flown to its perch from another location west of the trail. I was able to watch it from a distance of about 20 metres for about 10 minutes before it flew to another location.  Ross Jamieson

Barred Owl – Michael Gillespie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Algonquin Park Report

Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2017 10:01:48 -0500
From: Ron Tozer <rtozer@vianet.ca>
To: ontbirds <birdalert@ontbirds.ca>
Subject: [Ontbirds] Algonquin Park Birding Report: 28 December 2017
Message-ID: <A7327352-E422-4BC0-8158-F8AE6C174739@vianet.ca>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”UTF-8″

This week’s extremely cold temperatures seemed at odds with evidence of breeding activity by White-winged Crossbills in the Park. A male was observed feeding a female (?courtship feeding?) near the Old Airfield, and three or four males were singing along Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on December 24. Craig Benkman (in The Birds of North America, 1992) reported that this crossbill breeds during three main periods of the year which coincide with maximum availability of conifer seeds. In Algonquin, records indicate breeding in summer and fall (July to November), winter (January to March), and spring (March to June).

Snow depth in the Park now reaches about 25 cm in the open and less under conifers, making it feasible to travel in most areas without snowshoes. As usual, snow on the walking trails has been flattened down with use.

-Wild Turkey: several are coming daily to feed below the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder.

-Ruffed Grouse: sightings continued at the Visitor Centre driveway and feeders.

Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk near the trail register box and Opeongo Road north of the winter gate.

Black-backed Woodpecker: one was seen along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 24.

Gray Jay: regular along Opeongo Road from the winter gate northward, and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Boreal Chickadee: after several weeks with no reports, one was along Opeongo Road (December 24) and two were at Wolf Howl Pond (December 25).

Winter finches reported this week were: Purple Finch (regular at Visitor Centre feeders), Red Crossbill (small flocks on the highway; and often seen off Visitor Centre deck), White-winged Crossbill (small flocks), Common Redpoll (three along Opeongo Road on December 24 were the first reported since late October), Pine Siskin (fairly numerous), American Goldfinch (fairly numerous) and Evening Grosbeak (about 20 at the Visitor Centre feeders daily). Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON.


 

Bald Eagles: Sighted Dec 30, 2017 at 7:30am. I had two Bald Eagles perching in a large tree at the waters edge on Rice Lake. A beautiful sight! Esther Ross, north side of Rice Lake, Bailieboro east 

Bald Eagle: Sighted Dec 29, 2017 at 2pm. I just saw a big, beautiful adult Bald Eagle fly north over the farm towards County Road 2.  Michael Gillespie, Fife Line, Keene

Bald Eagle (Karl Egressy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) (1)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 07:05 by Tyler L. Hoar
– Sandy Lake Pine barrens/Sedge marshes, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “In Black Spruce Bog area east side of largest sedge fen.”

Gray Jay in Algonquin Park – Jan. 2012 – Drew Monkman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (12)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 07:05 by Tyler L. Hoar
– Sandy Lake Pine barrens/Sedge marshes, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.659557,-77.8931522&ll=44.659557,-77.8931522
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41394509
– Comments: “11 of 12 were in White Pine dominated areas, 1 in Eastern Hemlock was actually singing.”

Red Crossbill – Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) (1)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 09:50 by Colin Jones
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Slowly soared overhead at 12:56 pm”

Juvenile Golden Eagle – USFWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barred Owl (Strix varia) (1)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 09:50 by Colin Jones
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.6201046,-78.1319386&ll=44.6201046,-78.1319386
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41383205

Barred Owl – Jan. 18, 2017 – Michael Gillespie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) (1)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 07:30 by Iain Rayner
– Ptbo – Petroglyphs CBC Area D, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist:
– Comments: “Flaking bark from dead Red Pine in Petroglyphs Park N of McGinnis lake on E branch. Just S of connecting road.”

Black-backed Woodpecker – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (2)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 08:22 by Colin Jones
– CA-ON-North Kawartha (44.6205,-78.1324), Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:

Red_Crossbill – male – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Crossbill (Female), Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (12)
– Reported Dec 28, 2017 09:50 by Colin Jones
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.6201046,-78.1319386&ll=44.6201046,-78.1319386
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41383205
– Comments: “Several small groups”

Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) (2)
– Reported Dec 26, 2017 11:00 by Ben Evans
– The Bird’s house, Peterborough, Ontario (in village of Douro)
Map:
Checklist:

Lapland Longspur – Note rufous on wing coverts – Wikimedia

Flock of Lapland Longspurs – Wikimeda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) (1)
– Reported Dec 26, 2017 09:00 by Martin Parker
– Peterborough – 1494 Westbrook Drive, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.3048253,-78.3463812&ll=44.3048253,-78.3463812
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41335870
– Comments: “continuing individual”

Common Grackle – from The Crossley ID Guide to Eastern Birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Buntings: Today, Dec. 26, at noon. My first winter birds! A “squall” of Snow Buntings – at least 30 – flying over Hwy 28, just south of County Road 6 (Lakefield), to a field on the west side. Quite the sight!   Marilyn Freeman

Snow Buntings – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowy Owl: On December 24, 09:50, I saw a Snowy Owl (probably a male) northeast of Lindsay. It was on a hydro pole along Highway 36, about half-way along the north-south stretch from Cheese Factory to the bend before Snug Harbour Road.  Alan Crook

Snowy Owl (Nima Taghaboni)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk: Despite the deteriorating mound of the deer carcass in the orchard, it did attract a Rough-legged Hawk this morning, December 24. Michael Gillespie, David Fife Line, Keene

Rough-legged Hawk (Karl Egressy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker: On Nov 18, I reported a Red-bellied Woodpecker female and saw another female today, Dec 24, on the north shore of Buckhorn Lake at Kawartha Hideaway. It was poking under the bark of an old maple tree. Jane Philpott

Red-bellied Woodpecker (female) – Jennifer MacKenzie Dec 31, 2014

Dec 212017
 

The winter solstice is a time of wonder and the assurance of spring’s return

Today marks the winter solstice and the first official day of winter. It is a time of contemplation and reverence, not only in its spiritual dimensions but also as a reflection of the human capacity for wonder. I always imagine being out in space and casting an eye down on our blue planet as the northern hemisphere tilts at its greatest angle away from the sun. The solstice is a tangible reminder that we earthlings are indeed passengers on a body of rock and water orbiting a luminous sphere of hot, glowing gas.

From our perspective here on Earth, we see the sun tracing its lowest and shortest trajectory through the sky. Even at noon, it climbs little more than halfway above the southern horizon. The sun rose this morning at its most southerly point on the eastern horizon; likewise, it will set at its most southerly point in the west. This results in the shortest day of the year. At the solstice, Peterborough receives only eight hours and 51 minutes of daylight – approximately half of what we enjoy in June.

The solstice serves of a reminder of why we have seasons. Think of our planet as a spinning top, tilted at an angle of 23-and-a-half degrees – just like a desktop globe.  As Earth cruises through space, the northern hemisphere leans towards the sun for part of the year – our summer – and away from the sun for part of the year – our winter. In fall and spring, Earth is intermediate between these two positions. This tilt causes a huge difference in the amount of heating the Earth’s surface receives from one season to the next.

The Winter Solstice assures us the days will once again grow longer – Edmison Heights grade 4 class

In summer, sunlight strikes the northern hemisphere almost perpendicularly. Heating is fast and efficient. The solar radiation also takes a shorter path through the energy-absorbing atmosphere before striking Earth. This also means that noontime shadows are very short. Winter sunlight, however, arrives at a much shallower angle and closer to horizontal. The light also travels through more atmosphere and scatters over a larger area. This results in far less heating occurs. Mid-day shadows are much longer, too.

The difference in heating between the summer and winter can be demonstrated with a flashlight – the stronger, the better. Shine the flashlight directly over a tabletop so that the beam is nearly vertical. You will notice that the light is concentrated in a small area. If your flashlight is strong enough, the tabletop will soon feel warm to the touch. The light beam is just like the solar radiation of early summer when the sun is high in the sky. If you place a small, vertical object on the table, you will also see that it casts a short shadow. To simulate winter, angle your flashlight to the side so that the light scatters over a larger area. You should be able to feel that far less heating occurs, because the same amount of light spreads out over a larger area. The shadow cast by the object on the table will be much longer, as well.

The tilting also means that there are more hours of daylight in the summer and fewer hours in the winter. This makes a huge difference in the lives of plants and animals, be it the rapid plant growth and frenzied bird song of sun-soaked June or the dormant plants and avian silence of December.

The word solstice means “the point at which the sun stands still”. However, Copernicus demonstrated that the sun does not move, at least not in relationship to Earth. The very fact that we continue to use the word “solstice” – even in the face of its scientific inaccuracy – should remind us all of how far humanity has come in our understanding and appreciation of the world around us. What better time than the solstice to acknowledge the great scientists – Copernicus, Darwin, Einstein and many more – who challenged the status quo and rescued us from myth and superstition.

Celebrations

For ancient peoples with no knowledge of science or the movement of celestial bodies, we can easily imagine that the solstice was a time of profound fear but also gratitude.  It is an event that was noticed and celebrated by cultures across the world. Neolithic farmers, whose lives were intimately tied to the seasons and the cycle of harvest, were closely attuned to the movements of the sun.  They would see the sun rising and setting further south each day, notice the hours of daylight growing shorter and struggle to stay warm in the increasing cold. They would almost certainly have feared the sun’s complete disappearance. However, just when the world appeared to be on the brink of utter darkness and oblivion, the sun would suddenly stop its southward march in sunrise and sunset points.  Its mid-day elevation, too, would cease to slip lower and lower in the sky.  The sun would appear to stand still before once again moving northward and climbing higher in the sky.

The fear that the failing sunlight and warmth would never return was no doubt the reason why the ancients felt compelled to intervene with vigil and ceremony. Ancient Mesopotamians celebrated 12 days of fire building in an effort to “rekindle” the dying sun. The Romans paid homage to Mithras, the Persian god of light, in the feast of Saturnalia – the Celebration of the Unconquered Sun. In 350 AD Pope Julius I declared December 25 as the birth date of Jesus, purportedly to take advantage of these well established solstice festivities and to  attract new followers to Christianity. It is intriguing how the solstice themes of light and the tenacity of life as reflected in evergreen trees have combined to make one of the dominant symbols of modern Christmas: the Christmas tree.

Get outside

The winter solstice reminds us of the close links between the holiday season and the rhythms of the natural world. What better way to celebrate these connections than to get outside ourselves. Here are some things to pay attention to.

  1. The profound silence: Other than the sound of the wind, the crunching snow beneath our feet and the odd call of a chickadee, nature is quiet. Notice how the birds aren’t singing; there is no reproductive reason to do so.
  2. Winter colours: Pay attention to the subtle shades of the sky and the paleness of the sun. Watch for red and orange berries still clinging to vines and shrubs, patches of brightly-coloured lichens on tree bark and the different shades of green of conifers.

    Greenshield Lichen – Drew Monkman

  3. Shapes and patterns: Look closely at the tree twigs and you’ll notice that some are opposite each other (e.g., maples and ash) while others are positioned in an alternating fashion (e.g., oak, poplar). Compare the shapes of pines and spruce and how their needles differ. Have fun looking for faces in tree bark and for different shaped holes in the trunks. A long, rectangular hole is the telltale sign of pileated woodpecker activity.
  4. Bird and squirrels nests: Scan the bare branches for big, bulky grey squirrel nests and the much smaller, cup-shaped nests of songbirds.
  5. The absence of smell: Unlike spring and summer, the winter woods and fields have few natural smells. Take time to rub conifer needles and the buds of trees to enjoy the hidden scents of the season.
  6. Sunrise and sunset locations: Take an early morning or late afternoon walk to watch sunrise and sunset. This is convenient to do in December since families are often up before daybreak and darkness falls so early. Pack some warm drinks and head to a large open area with an unobstructed view of the eastern and/or western horizon. Armour Hill is a great location if you live in Peterborough. Take note of exactly where the sun rises and/or sets in relation to landmarks such as trees or buildings. You might also want to snap a quick photograph. Do the same at the spring equinox, summer solstice and fall equinox, making sure to stand in the same spot. You will be amazed by how much the sunrise and sunset point changes with each new season. Taking time to appreciate the beauty and location of the rising and setting of the sun is also energising and uplifting.

    Path of the sun through the seasons – Judy Hyland

  7. Shadows: Notice how long your shadow is. Stand up straight with your back to the sun and take turns measuring each other’s shadow. By doing so at the beginning of each new season – preferably at noon each time – you’ll discover how much shadow length changes over the course of the year. Measuring shadows helps all of us – adults and children alike – understand that shadow length depends on how much our hemisphere is tipped toward or away from the sun. It also lays the groundwork for understanding why we have seasons.
  8. The night sky: Find a spot free of light interference and look up at the heavens. Try to find the Orion constellation, the Pleiades and Sirius, the brightest star of winter. When you are finished stargazing, walk with candles for a short distance. The kids will love it.

As a final thought, always remember that the winter solstice represents the assurance that the days will once again grow longer and spring indeed will come.

 

Dec 182017
 

 

Bald Eagle:  We live on the Sixth Line of Selwyn (right behind Paris Marine). I spotted this adult Bald eagle in the tree beside our house on Monday, December 18. Hope you enjoy it. Heather Turner

BAEA – Dec. 18, 2017 – Paris Marine, Selwyn Twsp – Heather Turner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-winged Blackbirds:  My “ long overdue to leave”, so-called friends. They sometimes number over 30! (Dec. 23, 2017) Michael Gillespie, David Fife Line, Keene

Red-winged Blackbirds – Dec. 23, 2017 – Fife Line _ Michael Gillespie

 

This morning, there was a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds at my bird feeder. I live just east of Westwood, between Keene and Hastings, and have never noticed red-winged blackbirds here at this time of year before. Is this the new normal? Debbie Lynch, Westwood

N.B.  Not the new normal, but more than usual this winter. Most years at this time there are a few reported, but usually less than five. They may be part of the same flock that has shown up on Fife Line. D.M.

RWBLs – Dec. 23, 2017 – Debbie Lynch

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) (1)
– Reported Dec 22, 2017 10:00 by Dave Milsom
– 1093 Scollard Drive, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.3412121,-78.3001087&ll=44.3412121,-78.3001087
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41253932
– Comments: “female made very brief visit this morning”

Note: Also seen December 24.

Ring-necked Pheasant – female -Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Ravens: On December 22, at 250 Lindsay Road, between Craftworks and Pawz-N-Train, I saw 30 ravens circling above the silo on a barn. David Beaucage-Johnson

Common Raven – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carolina Wren (Northern) (Thryothorus ludovicianus [ludovicianus Group]) (1)
– Reported Dec 20, 2017 13:11 by Matthew Tobey
– Matthew’s Backyard, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41220532
– Media: 1 Photo
– Comments: “Visited feeder for a brief period; flew off before I could get a decent record shot.”

Carolina Wren (Wikimedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk: I’m quite distraught, because a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew straight into one of our windows on December 16. Had a quick demise. This happened close to the bird feeder, which was well populated at the time.  Jill Stocker, Millbrook

Sharp-shinned Hawk – window collision – Millbrook – Dec. 16, 2017 – Jill Stocker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woodpeckers and a shrike: I had a Red-bellied Woodpecker (male) at the suet feeder and sunflower feeder yesterday and today (Dec. 17, 18). Pretty exciting -and hard to miss. It seems like all the woodpeckers – Pileated, Hairy and Downy – have been pretty active the past few days. On Dec. 21, I also had a visit from a Northern Shrike! Annamarie Beckel, Lakefield

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Lynde Creek, Whitby- Photo by Brian Crangle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opossums and Robins: We have had visitation since late summer of a pair of Opossums….rather unusual creatures…. rather comical the way they walk and run off when you talk to them….we haven’t had problem with raccoons since they came and they don’t seem to bother our rabbits that come all year for a date wrapped in whole wheat bread…… some of my most loveable friends have been the robins we have. One we call Robbie Robin… he picked up on the feeding of rabbits in early spring and took a taste for the dates they were getting from us, so he now perches on the rail outside the patio doors, waiting for the next treat… this also lead to grapes, raisins and apples … he would come maybe 6 times a day …if we didn’t go out he started coming to the patio doors and looking in… this has been going on for 3 years……he is different than the other robins in that he has some feathers that seem to be sticking out on one side of his body…. just a few of my memories for spring, summer and fall and winter… we have the Opossum still and our lovely rabbits….. we are located on the north side of Rice Lake in the Bailieboro area on the lake……. we also have an otter and a beaver that eats cedar hedges!  Esther Ross

Opossum on Johnston Drive, south of Peterborough – Mary Beth Aspinall – Feb. 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) (2)
– Reported Dec 17, 2017 10:13 by Scott Gibson
– aa_Peterborough – Edmison Rd right-of-way, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Media: 2 Photos
– Comments: “first birds of the day! both in same spot, 200m in from end of Edmison Rd.”

Fox Sparrow – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis) (1)
– Reported Dec 17, 2017 10:00 by Scott McKinlay
– Peterborough, Ontario, CA (44.225, -78.293), Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “I saw this bird through my Kowa scope from considerable distance (1km?) as it was flying over an open field in full sunlight . It had broad wings and slow arching wing beats typial of large herons and cranes, and it was clearly brown in colour, even at that distance. I was reluctant to call it because of the distance and time of year, but nothing else fit. This was during our Peterborough Christmas bird count and when I reunited with the rest of the group for our sector, who had been surveying the area in the direction of my sighting, the first thing they said, before hearing about my sighting, was that they had seen what looked like a sandhill crane. They described it as being the size of a blue heron, with an outstretched neck and long trailing legs. All three birders were adamant that it was not a blue heron, and that it was lighter in colour than a blue heron. They had viewed it while it was flying low over fields just ahead and of and to the side of the car they were travelling in. They followed it and then got out of the car to watch it in binoculars as it continued to fly in my general direction. There are no photos.”

Sandhill Crane (Wikimedia)

Great Blue Heron (Paul Anderson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Screech-Owl (Northern) (Megascops asio [asio Group]) (1)
– Reported Dec 17, 2017 07:50 by Matthew Tobey
– Peterborough CBC Area 7, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Mervin Ln.”

Eastern Screech-owl – red phase – 9th Line of Selwyn Twsp – March 11, 2017, Kathy McCue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Shrike (Lanius borealis) (2)
– Reported Dec 17, 2017 08:30 by Scott McKinlay
– Bensfort Road Landfill Site, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist:

Northern Shrike (Lanius borealis) (1)
– Reported Dec 17, 2017 10:13 by Scott Gibson
– aa_Peterborough – Edmison Rd right-of-way, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “middle of marsh”

Northern Shrike – Tom Northey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) (1)
– Reported Dec 17, 2017 07:36 by Luke Berg
– Peterborough CBC Area 2, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:

Snow Bunting (from Crossley ID Guide)


		
Dec 162017
 

The necropsy results from the September 3 Mallard deaths on Tobin Court in Peterborough were released by MNRF on December 16, 2017. They ruled out poisoning. They did extensive testing for botulism, which is a reason that the results took so long. The results for botulism were negative, as well. However, they did indicate that botulism is extremely tough to test for and can result in false negative test results. So, it looks like we will never know what exactly happened but, if anything, the neighbours can be assured that it was not as a result of poisoning.

Barb Evett

N.B. More information about avian botulism and cholera can be found HERE.

Mallard deaths – Peterborough – Sept. 3, 2017 – Barb Evett

Dec 142017
 

Seeds, bee houses and more: Tips for what to put under the Christmas tree

If you have someone on your Christmas list who would rather spend time in the garden than head to the mall, who prefers nature books to the latest novel, and who wants to support conservation and environmental education, you might be looking for some gift ideas this holiday season. The good news is that there are some wonderful options. Better still, most have a local flavour.

Seed Packages

In its ongoing effort to promote the creation of pollinator gardens throughout Peterborough and the Kawarthas, the Peterborough Pollinators has undertaken a special seed project called “Rewilding Our Gardens”. They have prepared gift bags containing seven seed envelopes of pollinator-friendly plants: Bee Balm, Borage, Bachelor Buttons, Calendula, Cosmos, Mexican Sunflower, and Zucchini Squash. The package also includes a beautifully illustrated story guide, along with planting instructions. Each plant has a story to tell, whether it is ecological, spiritual, medicinal or culinary. Bee Balm, for example, can be used to make a wonderful potpourri, thanks to its Earl Grey tea aroma. It is also a magnet for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Zucchini blossoms attract squash bees, the males of which crawl inside the flowers in the afternoon and fall fast asleep!

Last year, the Pollinators produced a beautiful calendar, which also served as a pollinator garden and backyard nature information resource. This year’s seed project is more of a direct action phase, by making it easy and inexpensive for people who have never planted a pollinator garden before. The seeds can also be used to enhance an existing garden. We can all make a difference in reversing the decline in many pollinator populations by growing plants that provide the pollen and nectar on which these species depend. In fact, cities are becoming places of refuge for pollinators, with urban gardens supporting healthy pollinator populations.

Planting a pollinator garden is a wonderful way to get children interested in nature and conservation. These gardens also enrich family life as parents and children alike discover the fascinating and beautiful insects that come to visit. Pollinator gardens also contribute to a sense of community in neighbourhoods, as people can come from all sorts of backgrounds but still find common ground over what’s happening in their garden.

Peterborough Pollinators is looking forward to hearing the stories that come from people’s experiences with planting these seeds and making their own gardens, be it in a schoolyard, in pots on the deck or balcony or as part of an existing perennial or vegetable garden. The seed packages are available in Peterborough at the GreenUP Store, Kawartha Local Marketplace, Avant-Garden Shop and Bluestreak Records. You can also purchase them in Lakefield at Happenstance Books and Yarn. At only about $12 per bag, this is a great stocking stuffer. It is also affordable for students and for kids wondering what to buy their mom or dad.

Bee houses

Another way to support our declining pollinator populations is to provide nesting sites for native solitary bees, all of which are important pollinators. There are about 300 species in Ontario alone. These bees have been here for thousands of years – well before the first settlers brought over the European honey bee. They are called “solitary” bees, because they live on their own and don’t form colonies with a queen and workers like honey bees and bumble bees. Most nest in small tunnels in the ground, but some choose the hollow stems of dead plants or holes in wood. Many species are very small and not easily recognizable as bees. Each female builds her own nest, collects her own nectar and pollen and lays her own eggs. She will then usually use mud or leaves to build walls and divide the tunnel into a series of sealed cells. Each cell contains an egg, along with a deposit of pollen for food. And, no, solitary bees are not aggressive. Even if you were to grab one and squeeze, you would barely feel the sting.

Because solitary bees don’t travel more than 500 metres between their nesting site and food sources, an important part of supporting our local pollinator population is to ensure that they have a place to nest. Stem- and hole-nesting bees will readily use an artificial bee house – or “bee B&B” if you want to be cute about it. A variety of bee houses can be found at Avant-Garden Shop on Sherbrooke Street, just west of George, and at Kawartha Local Marketplace at 165 King Street in downtown Peterborough. The bee houses at Kawartha Local are built by Three Sisters, a social enterprise founded by three Peterborough women who are passionate about native gardens and plants. They are made of reclaimed wood and finished with a natural, non-toxic stain to ensure a safe and long-lasting nesting site. Three Sisters has created a selection of houses to choose from, each of which accommodates different species or combinations of species of solitary bees.

Donations

If you would prefer to make a donation in someone’s name this holiday season, consider Peterborough GreenUp. They are raising money for the construction of a new Children’s Education Facility in 2018. Your donation will also ensure that GreenUP’s renowned environmental programs will continue for years to come. With any donation of $30 or more, you will receive a puppet to give to the little nature lover on your list!

You might also consider donating money to groups such as Kawartha Land Trust, which is in the business of protecting habitat. Pressure on habitat in the Kawarthas is expected to increase exponentially with the completion of Highway 407 to Highway 115 by 2020.

Camp Kawartha, too, is an excellent organization to keep in mind. Both the Camp and Environment Centre, which is located on Pioneer Road, depend largely on contributions from individuals and businesses to provide their award-winning outdoor education and environmental programming. As a teacher, I took my students to Camp Kawartha for over 20 years and, even now, they often tell me that it was one of the most memorable experiences of their school years.

Books

In just the past few years, a number of excellent books on pollinators and pollinator gardening have been published. Some of my favourites include “Pollinator Friendly Gardening: Gardening for Bees, Butterflies and Other Pollinators” by Rhonda Fleming Hayes, “The Bee Friendly Garden: Design an Abundant, Flower-filled Yard that Nurtures Bees and Supports Biodiversity” by Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn, “100 Plants to Feed the Bees: Provide a Healthy Habitat to Help Pollinators Thrive” by the Xerces Society, “Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants” by Heather Holm and “The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees” by Joseph Wilson and Olivia Messinger Carril.

You will also find lots of pollinator games and activities for children in “The Big Book of Nature Activities: A Year-round Guide to Outdoor Learning”, which I co-authored with Jacob Rodenburg. The book also contains instructions for building bee houses and creating your own pollinator garden. If you are new to the Kawarthas or new to nature observation, you might also be interested in my 2012 book entitled “Nature’s Year: Changing Seasons in Central and Eastern Ontario”. The book is an almanac of key events occurring in nature each month – often in your own backyard – and covers birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, invertebrates, plants, fungi, weather and the night sky. My goal in writing the book was to help people to become more attentive to and appreciative of the many wonders of the natural world that surround us in this exceptional region of Ontario. Both of these books are available at the GreenUp Store and Avant-Garden Shop. You will also find “The Big Book of Nature Activities” at Chapters, Kawartha Local Marketplace, Hunter Street Books and Happenstance in Lakefield.

Dec 112017
 

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Dec 16, 2017 12:29 by Dan Chronowic
– 615 Weller Street Peterborough, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41133580
– Comments: “Flew low over the house heading in a NE direction.”

Peregrine – Karl Egressy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Dec 14, 2017 12:30 by Jenn Baici
– 428 Douro 8th Line, Douro-Dummer CA-ON (44.3629,-78.2578), Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41105680
– Comments: “Perched in deciduous tree along rural concession line ”

Peregrine perched on steel girder – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-winged Blackbirds:  Just enjoying a cup of coffee (December 15) whilst viewing a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds at my feeder. Third time this week for them. They are a welcome sight, given the paucity of winter bird list rarities and fall “leftovers“.  Michael Gillespie, David Fife Line, Keene

Red-winged Blackbird at feeder at Reifel Bird Sanctuary near Vancouver – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red-bellied Woodpecker: I have a Red-belly coming to my feeder regularly at 733 Ford Crescent, Cavan. Ken Rumble

Red-bellied Woodpecker (female) – Jennifer MacKenzie Dec 31, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White-winged Crossbills: Today (December 10) during the noon hour, I was just finishing preparing my lunch when through the kitchen window, I noticed a chunky, little finch atop one of the spruces that form the border between the field and forest east of the yard. The scope revealed it to be the first White-winged Crossbill that I have seen this year. It was a female. A scan of the rest of the tops of spruces turned up a second, and it was a male. They both seemed wary, actively looking about. Neither of them ventured lower to feed on the abundant cone seeds just below them. I watched for about ten minutes, and then off they went together.  Tim Dyson – Warsaw

White-winged Crossbill (female) – Wikimedia

Male White-winged Crossbill – Wikimedia

Dec 082017
 

N.B. Whenever I refer to “home”, it is between Warsaw and Lakefield, south of the Sawer Creek Wetland.

Passerines and other birds and animals.

  • A Yellow-billed Cuckoo flew over my kayak as I began to paddle up the Indian River from Back Dam Park at Warsaw on September 9th. It called twice upon landing across the river.
  • This was the last date I saw the Great Egret that I had originally discovered there on August 5th.
  • Two Red Crossbills were also seen and heard a little way up the river on that day, and others were seen and/or heard several times over the course of the fall at Warsaw, at home, and spots around Stoney Lake, Northey’s Bay Road, and Nepthon. No real “flocks” as yet, but birds numbered from one to six individuals when encountered. Most recent were six at home on December 5th.
  • An American Pipit was skulking about in a pasture south of Long Lake, NW of Warsaw, on September 28th.
  • Pine Siskins have been occasional from early October to present. With the exception of 40+ birds seen near Warsaw on November 22nd, (and not unlike the crossbills that have been around), siskin numbers remain rather low.
  • On October 26th, at Nephton Ridge, I saw my last Monarch of the year. It was #532 for 2017, which is more than double my previous highest annual count since I began counting them seven years ago. Of the 532, 31 were observed as road fatalities.
  • Also on October 26th, I heard a Greater Yellowlegs call before dawn from the starry sky above at home, and another near Nephton Ridge later that morning.
  • One Tundra Swan with nine Canada Geese was seen flying overhead at home on October 27th, 28th and 30th. A lone Tundra Swan flew over the same location on November 2nd. I wondered if it was the one who had been flying with the nine geese?
  • On September 24th, I stepped out of dense cedars into a pasture and found myself very close to two Sandhill Cranes. They seemed at ease as long as I stayed in motion, just walking about as they were. Whenever I stopped or crouched, they moved away from me.

  • The loud calling of just over 300 Sandhill Cranes in two groups on Nov. 17th was heard as the birds were heading westward over my house. I photographed each entire flock at wide angle so I could later zoom the images on the computer and get an exact count. The first flock at 2:13pm numbered 173 birds and the second group four minutes later contained 128 for a combined total of 301 cranes. These birds were very likely the same, or associated with the large groups that Bill Buddle had reported at about 2:30pm the same day over Lakefield.

  • Ed Heuvel and I saw a much smaller flock of seven birds over his house between Cottesloe and Norwood on Nov. 23rd.
  • No doubt due to the warmth of early December, two Eastern Chipmunks were seen running across Round Lake Road north of Havelock on December 4th. They had all but disappeared not too long ago, and I’ve now seen five back out just this month.
  • Another warm weather sighting was of a Leopard Frog hopping across the yard at home on December 5th. I took some photos, and half an hour later, it was nowhere to be found.

  • On December 8th 2017, Ed Heuvel reported a road-killed Virginia Opossum he had just seen along Hwy 7 south of Sherbrooke Street.

   Raptors of interest

  • On September 11th, an immature Peregrine appeared amidst twenty-four kettling Turkey Vultures NW of Warsaw. The falcon harassed a couple of the vultures before peeling off on its own, heading SW.

  • As is my habit if I am out in the yard after dark during the fall or winter, I called for owls. From about the 24th of September until about the 3rd of November, Saw-whet Owls move about during their annual fall migration. The first that responded to my calls this year was a single bird on September 29th. On October 18th, however, no less than four of the little owls showed up inside of about a minute of my first attempt at calling. One was in the spruces to the east of the yard, while the other three were surrounding me, within the small grove of apple trees where I stood. With the three of them looking at each other more than at me, I found it easy to take some photos of the two that were closest to me, (about two metres away).
  • Dates later than the average “end date” of their normal migration that I have called one in this year have been November 8th, 12th, 27th and December 1st. These likely represent one or more wintering birds, and all have been at home near Warsaw.

  • Ed Heuvel flushed a Short-eared Owl from the ground on the morning of Oct. 17th on his 40 acre property NW of Norwood while out for a walk with his dog. Ed has turned what was once a sloping old field into a thriving tallgrass prairie, having seeded it with many native prairie plant species. I thought it quite fitting for such a bird to turn up in this “new” prairie grassland habitat. Good one, Ed!!
  • Paddling up the Indian River from Back Dam again on October 21st, Angela and I saw a few good raptors during our time on the water. First was an immature Northern Goshawk flying overhead, and then, about two minutes later, an immature Cooper’s Hawk following almost the exact same “path”. A while later, paddling back downstream, Angela spotted an adult male Merlin as it perched in the dead top branches of a spruce. Driving back through Warsaw, a Red-tailed Hawk soared low over the village. We headed up Payne’s Line towards home and spotted the first Golden Eagle of the season (a sub-adult bird) slowly soaring not far from the large metal tower there. We took a few photos and headed home. The next day, I saw another (immature this time) Golden Eagle fly over, east to west, from the yard at home.

  • I was accompanied by three friends, (Drew Monkman, Martin Parker, and Ed Heuvel) on Oct. 26th for a few hours of raptor watching in the Nephton Ridge/Kosh Lake area at the east end of County Road #6. My one intent for the day was to point out to Drew, his first “Ontario” Golden Eagle. Well, unless the “eagle sp.” we saw that morning was a Golden, we did not see one. However, we were treated to 8 Bald Eagles which, apart from one 4th winter bird, all were adults. At one point, four adult Balds soared together directly overhead. A while later, two adults came along together, and after that, another by itself. Since there was such a lack of immature eagles, and the fact that four adults had come from different directions, soared a while together, and then dispersed somewhat northward… we questioned how many of them might have actually even been migrants, or perhaps local breeding birds. Additional raptors for the day were five Red-tailed Hawks, and two (one adult and one immature) Red-shouldered Hawks.

  • Just after 11:00am on Nov. 11th a group of large birds caught my eye to the north of the house. On closer inspection, I could see three Common Ravens dive-bombing an immature Golden Eagle. I watched them for several minutes before the ravens went east and the eagle, west.

  • On October 29th a dark morph Rough-legged Hawk was seen perched in a tree along County Rd #6 just west of Camp Line. It was the first of the season for me, and since, I’ve seen another eight Rough-legs between Norwood and Lakefield. Of the nine seen so far, three have been dark morph birds.
  • Having had seen no immature Bald Eagles during the autumn season as yet, on the morning of Nov. 17th, two 1st winter birds, and then a 2nd winter bird appeared soaring over my yard in a ten-minute period. They all seemed to come from the west, and once a considerable altitude was reached, they each headed off in completely different directions. I suspect that they had all spent some time feeding together, and were now dispersing. It was only two days after the annual rifle deer hunt had ended, and I wondered if they had just dined on the gut pile of a deer left somewhere by hunters.
  • The great backyard birding continued on November 26th, as no sooner had I sat in the yard with my morning coffee, an immature Northern Goshawk flew from east to west. If that wasn’t enough, my fourth Golden Eagle of the season (an adult) appeared over the forest to the east, soared two circles, and headed back east just after noon.
  • Nov. 29th an adult rufous morph Red-tailed Hawk soared over the yard. I had to run in and get the scope as it looked not like a typical Red-tail. The rusty-red undersides and the dark brown back were easily seen with the optics. It had been a long time since I’ve seen this variety of the species.
  • On the night of December 01 – 02, after calling at home for Screech, Saw-whet, and Boreal Owls, (the latter, because you never know if you don’t try), I finally stirred an Eastern Screech Owl who called for quite a while afterwards. And briefly, a Northern Saw-whet Owl answered my calls with the “tew, tew, tew” call. About an hour later, just after mid-night, while bringing in some firewood, the pair of Northern Barred Owls that live on the property year-round, began calling with hoots which soon morphed into their monkey-like “whacka, whacka, whacka” calls. Not too bad for spending a little time in the yard after dark!!
  • Just after 2:00pm on December 6th, I saw a large, pale bird far out to the east, soaring in wide circles. It appeared gull-like as it moved quite fast in the strong winds. I got the scope on it just before it passed in behind the treetops and out of my view. Revealed by the scope was the darkish under-body contrasting with entirely white undersides of the wings of an immature Snowy Owl. Unless my memory is misfiring, this would be the first of this species I have seen this century. If that wasn’t enough stimulation for one day, a little over an hour later, I saw a second Snowy for the day as it flew into strong south winds at 3:15pm. The latter bird was decidedly whiter than the first, with very few dark markings. The first bird simply would not show up in the photos I took, (too far), and the camera was nowhere near me as I watched the second owl sail past much closer. Both were heading in a north-to-south direction, lending a little support to the idea that they might have been in migration at the time.
  • On December 7th while I still lay in bed, through the window next to me, I spotted a 1st winter Bald Eagle fly past over the trees to the east. It soared briefly and then continued on in a SE direction.
  • While moving the fallen foliage around with the leaf blower on December 8th at home, I looked up, (as I find I constantly am doing these days) and saw two large, dark birds very high almost straight above me. Before I was able to grab the scope, I could see that they were eagles. Once in focus, the white bases of tails and primaries with all other plumage completely dark, identified them both as 1st winter Golden Eagles. A strong and steady SW wind pushed them NW of me. They were only about ten wingspans (about 20 m) apart and one was just a little ahead of the other. They slowed briefly once or twice, but never paused to soar while I had them in view.

1st winter Golden Eagle – USFWS

Tim Dyson – Warsaw

Dec 072017
 

The holiday season is the perfect time to get to know the conifers

With practice, it’s possible to identify many plants and animals by size and shape alone. Any two European starlings will always look plump, have a relatively long, straight bill and sport a short, square tail. In flight, the wings will appear triangular and pointed. The shape of trees, too, is remarkably consistent and often allows for quick recognition at a glance. Identifying distant trees against the winter sky adds enjoyment to any walk or car trip as you mentally compile a list of the species you observe. It is also a useful skill to have when pointing out the location of a distant object such as a bird. “Do you see the hawk perched at the top of the white pine over there? I think it’s a red tail.”

The holiday season is an especially appropriate time to sharpen our conifer (i.e., cone‑bearing trees) identification skills. Whereas deciduous trees are now bare to the sky, our conifers are dressed in their finest holiday foliage. Juxtaposed against their leafless neighbours, the unique contour of each species is easy to see. Christmas is also the time of year when we decorate our homes with evergreen wreathes, make winter planters and put up a real (the only choice!) Christmas tree. But, how many of us can tell the different species apart?

For each conifer group described below, I’ve provided hints for identifying the trees by shape and by characteristics of the needles. I’ve also included a memory aid or mnemonic with similar spelling for linking these characteristics to the name of the tree. (e.g., pine and pin).

Pines

Towering high above its forest neighbours is the eastern white pine, Ontario’s official tree and an iconic species of the Kawarthas. If you only learn the shape of one species, learn this one. The irregular crown and stout, wing-like branches growing at right angles to the trunk make this species instantly recognizable. The crowns of many white pines become one‑sided in appearance because of the effect of the prevailing wind. Jackson Park in Peterborough is crowned by a majestic stand of these imposing giants.

Although less common, the red pine is also native to the Kawarthas. Like the white, large sections of the trunk are visible almost to the top. The crown, however, is usually symmetrical. This species also has a very open, airy look with most of the needles grouped together in ball‑like “tufts.” This is because the foliage is crowded towards the tips of the branches. The scaly reddish bark is also a useful field mark. There is a stand of red pine planted on the south side of Lily Lake Road, just west of Ackison Drive.

A pine needle is like a long like “pin”. The white pine has bundles of five needles, which is the number of letters in the word “white”. Red pine has bundles of two needles. (Sorry, but red has three letters.) Care must be taken, however, not to confuse red pine with Scots (Scotch) pine, an introduced species whose needles also come in pairs. The red pine has long brittle needles (close to six inches) which break in half when bent. The needles of Scots pine are only half as long and are twisted. Just to confuse matters, the two-needled Austrian pine is another commonly planted conifer in cities and along highways. The bark, however, is dark brown to gray.

Spruce

Our most common native species is the white spruce. The entire tree has a near-perfect symmetrical appearance. The crown is cone-shaped or somewhat rounded. Most of the trunk is usually hidden by the bushy branches. The bark is gray and scaly, becoming darker with age. Spruce are particularly easy to identify this year because of the abundant cones, which are concentrated at the top of the tree. The cones of white spruce are about two inches in size.

By far the most common spruces in Peterborough, however, are the non-native Norway and Colorado (or blue) spruce. In fact, they are the most common tall conifers of any species in the city. Norway spruce are often planted around farms, too, where they serve as windbreaks. This species is easily distinguished by its large, horizontal branches from which secondary branches hang straight down. The cones, on average, are about six inches in length. Colorado spruce have a striking bluish colour, especially at the tips of the branches.

Spruce needles “spiral” all the way around the twig and are usually “stiff”, “spiky” and painful to touch. Because they are rounded, they roll or “spin” between your thumb and index finger.

Fir

The only fir you’re likely to see in eastern Canada is the balsam. Unfortunately, they are rarely planted as ornamentals and are therefore uncommon in the city. Firs have a near‑perfect symmetrical shape, but differ from spruce in that they are narrower and taper to a skinny point at the top. This gives them the nickname of the “church steeple” tree. The smooth, grayish bark of young trees is covered with raised sap blisters, which are fun to poke. This species makes a great Christmas tree, thanks to the wonderful balsamic fragrance, symmetrical shape and the long-lasting, dark green needles. Fir needles are “flat” and very “flexible”. You can’t roll them between your thumb and finger. Fir are most common in low, damp habitats on the Shield. Watch for them along Highway 28 north of Burleigh Falls. They also grow in Harper Park.

Hemlock

The eastern hemlock is another tree with a conical crown, but it becomes ragged and irregular with age. This gives the tree an untidy outline. Unlike the spruce and fir, the tip of the crown and other branches usually droop. Hemlock foliage has a feathery – almost lacy – look to it and the tiny cones can be found on even the lowest branches. While the white pine surely qualifies as king of the forest, the hemlock is my choice as the queen.

Hemlock needles are flat like balsam fir, but very short (less than an inch) and nearly white underneath. To connect the needles to the word hemlock – yes, it’s a stretch – think of the prefix “hemi”, which means half (e.g., hemisphere). Hemlock needles are half white (underside) and half green (topside). There are a number of spectacular hemlocks in Jackson Park, where they grow on the north side of the steep hill above the concrete bridge over Jackson Creek.

Cedar

By far the most common conifer in the Kawarthas south of the Canadian Shield, white cedars grow in dense, single-species stands or along forest edges. Trees growing in open environments such as fields are conical to almost columnar in shape and have a neat, trimmed appearance. The foliage is dense and often hides the trunk right to the ground. Forest-grown trees have a visible trunk and open irregular crown. The lower branches are usually dead. The bark, which matures into flat, stringy narrow strips, is shiny, smooth and reddish brown in young trees and grey in older individuals. This year, cedars are laden with an exceptionally heavy crop of small, tightly packed cones.

Cedars are unique in that they have scale-like, flattened needles. If you need a mnemonic – another stretch, I’m afraid – remember that cedar needles have scales, just like fish in the sea! (“sea”dar).

Juniper

The only tree-sized juniper in the Kawarthas, Juniperus virginiana, is usually known by its inaccurate common name of eastern red-cedar. They are small trees (usually less than 30 feet tall) and are most abundant in abandoned fields. The shape is variable, ranging from oval to columnar or pyramidal. The berry-like cones are dark blue in colour and often covered with a whitish powder. They are a favourite of robins and waxwings. There is a tall hedge of eastern red-cedar on the north side of Parkhill Road, just west of Wallis Drive.

Junipers have two kinds of bluish-green leaves: soft, rounded scale leaves, resembling those of the white cedar, and sharply-pointed needle leaves. The scale leaves can become yellowish-brown in winter. Both types of leaves often appear on the same branch. So, to remember the juniper, think of a pair of different kinds of leaves or juni”pair”.

Tamarack (larch)

Watch for these medium-sized, spruce-shaped trees in swampy lowlands, especially on the Shield. Winter identification is simple: the branches are bare because all the needles are shed each fall. In fact, you might mistake them for dead spruce. All that remains on the twigs are seed cones and some little protrusions or lumps, where the bundles of needles grew. Maybe think of “leafless larch”. There is a particularly nice stand of tamaracks on County Road 10, just south of Hooton Drive/Wilson Line on the west side of the road. They are beautiful in the fall when the foliage changes to a smoky gold.

Being able to recognize the various conifers that dot the landscape of the Kawarthas provides a very satisfying sense of place. Like the common loon and the white‑tailed deer, the pines, spruce, cedars, firs, hemlocks, junipers and tamaracks tell us we are home.

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 032017
 

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Dec 09, 2017 12:01 by Ben Taylor
– Charlotte and Rubidge, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40994101
– Comments: “Seen flying east along Charlotte Street. Stocky bird with steady, powerful wingbeats.”

Northern Shrike (Lanius borealis) (1)
– Reported Dec 09, 2017 08:48 by Matthew Tobey
– Otonabee River b/w Peterborough and Lakefield, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Hunting on far shore north of lock 24.”

Northern Shrike – Tom Northey

(Bubo scandiacus) (1)
– Reported Dec 09, 2017 10:20 by Ian Sturdee
– Cordova Lake, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “On rock island in middle of lake. Probable young female female- heavily patterned. ”

Snowy Owl – Wendy Leszkowicz

Snowy Owl: I photographed this Snowy Owl on December 4 near Colborne. The bird was just south of the 401 on County Road 25, just past Purdy Corners.  Jeff Keller

Snowy Owl – Colborne – Dec. 4, 2017 – Jeff Keller

 

Northern Goshawk (American) (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus/laingi) (1)
– Reported Dec 06, 2017 11:10 by Luke Berg
– Lansdowne St W at The Parkway, Peterborough CA-ON , Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “First winter bird flying south over Lansdowne, briefly pursuing a flock of pigeons. ”

Northern Goshawk – Wikimedia

Red-bellied Woodpecker:  This red-bellied has been visiting my office window feeder at Camp Kawartha on Clear Lake. Jacob Rodenburg

Red-bellied Woodpecker at Camp Kawartha – December 4, 2017 – Jacob Rodenburg

Snowy Owl:  We sighted and photographed this Snowy Owl this morning, Dec. 3 at 8:30 AM on Clear Lake.  John McGregor

Dec 022017
 

 

 

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1)
– Reported Dec 02, 2017 09:40 by Donald A. Sutherland
– Peterborough–E side Airport Rd opposite Peterborough Municipal Airport, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Media: 1 Photo
– Comments: “perched atop ventilation ducts on roof of easternmost blue building (Flying Colours Corp) on N side airport. Record shot from 500 m to S.”

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1)
– Reported Dec 01, 2017 07:25 by Iain Rayner
– Pigeon Lake–Sandy Point, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Truthfully in Kawartha Lakes…Sitting on green marker buoy across lake directly out from launch. Seen well through scope in good viewing conditions with limited haze. Some markings on breast, clean white head.”

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1) Yesterday afternoon, November 30, I was lucky enough to have a Snowy Owl perch on top of my house around noon. I only noticed when I heard the crows alarm-calling. I live right on George Street in Peterborough and added the observation to eBird if you’re interested in exactly where he was. He was beautiful and rested there for about 20 minutes. It was a first for me and a very timely sighting given your article!   Jenn Baici

 

Snowy Owl (Karin Laine)

Snowy Owl (Nima Taghaboni)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redhead (Aythya americana) (1)
– Reported Dec 02, 2017 11:13 by Donald A. Sutherland
– Rice Lake–Pengelly Landing, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map:
– Checklist:
– Comments: “male, in with HOME in mixed flock to W of cormorant colony on island”

male Redhead – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great morning of birding in Peterborough and southern Peterborough County

The highlight of our birding outing this morning, November 29, were the waterfowl at Pengelley Landing on Rice Lake, located at the bottom of Scriven Road. They included 400 Common Mergansers, 200 Hooded Mergansers, 500 Canada Geese and 1 Common Loon. We also saw a Rough-legged Hawk on Country Road 2, just east of Bailieboro. In Peterborough, we found 2 American Coots by the Silver Bean Cafe at Millenium Park, 2 Pied-billed Grebes at the T-wharf on Little Lake, 64 American Goldfinch and 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet at Little Lake Cemetery and 24 American Robins at GreenUP Ecology Park.  The goldfinch were eating seeds from the abundant cones on the Eastern White Cedar. The robins were feeding on European Buckthorn berries.

Drew Monkman, Martin Parker and Brian Wales

Common Merganser (female), Wikimedia

Common Merganser male – Wikimedia

male Hooded Merganser – Peter Beales

Pied-billed Grebe – Wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rough-legged Hawk (Karl Egressy)

American Coot (Karl Egressy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) (1) CONFIRMED
– Reported Nov 25, 2017 08:01 by Daniel Williams
– Peterborough–Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Yellow rump, faint yellow on sides, white chin/throat. Feeding along waters edge near railway bridge. Calling frequently. ”

Yellow-rumped Warbler at feeder – Nov. 28, 2014 Franmor Dr. Ptbo – Sue Prentice

Cackling Goose (Richardson’s) (Branta hutchinsii hutchinsii) (1)
– Reported Nov 26, 2017 13:46 by Martin Parker
– Rice Lake–Pengelly Landing, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “With large Canada Goose flock near shore on Rice Lake.”

Cackling Goose (foreground) – Brendan Boyd