Jul 212016
 

The nesting families of Merlins we’ve enjoyed at the Little Lake Cemetery has expanded with a nest we saw in spring seeming to be in the yard of a house near Little Lake (if not on Crescent Street, then Ware or a Lock Street backyard). Breeding was successful, but we could never tell how many were in the family. Until tonight (July 20). The two juveniles are getting flying and hunting lessons with lots of vocalizations as they zoom across Princess and Ware Street backyards and rooftops. Around 8 p.m., it gets busy and tonight we were treated to them resting in a backyard tree in various numbers until dinner came and they huddled together to share.

With some more comings and goings and the constant adjustments of one of the young ones who seems a bit clumsy, eventually all four settled in at dusk to enjoy the concert music wafting over from Del Crary Park. As fans of the Peregrine Falcons nesting in our former neighbourhood in downtown Toronto, we couldn’t be happier having these four in our front yard.

Pat Maitland,  Princess Street (east of Lock St.), Peterborough

Merlin (Karl Egressy)

Adult female Merlin (Karl Egressy)

Merlin family (1) - Pat Maitland

Merlin family (3) – Pat Maitland

Merlin family (2) - Pat Maitland

Merlin family (2) – Pat Maitland

Merlin family (3) - Pat Maitland

Merlin family (1) – Pat Maitland

Jan 212016
 

Peregrine Falcon (North American) (Falco peregrinus anatum) (1)
– Reported Jan 20, 2016 13:03 by Luke Berg
– Luke’s Yard, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Adult seen at 2:25 pm. Gave amazing views as it flew up George Street (great views from my attic window) and then returned a couple minutes later and began dive bombing the Pigeons over George Street!

Peregrine eating Rock Pigeon - Loree Stephens 2 - Jan. 13, 2015 - PRHC

Peregrine eating Rock Pigeon – Loree Stephens 2 – Jan. 13, 2015 – PRHC

Jan 162016
 

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Jan 15, 2016 09:25 by Donald Sutherland
– Peterborough–Charlotte Towers, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “perched on communications tower atop 245 Charlotte St (Charlotte Towers) as viewed from the roof of the King Street Parking garage.”

Peregrine - Karl Egressy

Peregrine – Karl Egressy

Jan 142016
 

On January 13, 2015, my daughter and I watched a Peregrine Falcon eat a Rock Pigeon it had killed. The falcon was in the courtyard of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. We were able to take a picture.

Mike Pineau

Note: Here are two other Peregrine sightings in Peterborough from earlier in the week:

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Jan 11, 2016 11:00 by Basil Conlin
– Peterborough–Little Lake, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Dive bombing the herring gulls sitting on the edge of the ice, seen from Beavermeade”

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Jan 12, 2016 07:43 by Iain Rayner
– Ptbo – Water St., Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:

Peregrine eating Rock Pigeon - Loree Stephens 2 - Jan. 13, 2015 - PRHC

Peregrine eating Rock Pigeon – Loree Stephens 2 – Jan. 13, 2015 – PRHC

– Comments: “Flying across Water St. between Brock and Hunter”

Peregrine - by Stephanie Pineau - Jan. 13, 2015 - PRHC

Peregrine – by Stephanie Pineau – Jan. 13, 2015 – PRHC

Sep 122015
 

AUGUST 25:  “We  have four juvenile Merlins that we see and hear playing and squawking in our yard almost daily, albeit less in the last few days.  We even saw one of them flying briefly with a Bald Eagle. We live on Young’s Point Road, between Lakefield and Young’s Point.”

Jason and Heather Balcombe

Juvenile Merlin - Jason Balcombe - Young's Point Road

Juvenile Merlin – Jason Balcombe – Young’s Point Road

Jul 122015
 

We have a cottage on Kosh Lake (Kasshabog Lake).  We have been on the lake, on an island for the past 11 years.  Traditionally we have Common Ravens on our island. They nest here, raise their young and wake us up very early in the morning.

This spring we witnessed a bit of a battle over the pine trees. We were not sure what type of bird would attack a raven’s nest but attack this bird did. There was a long fight with the raven’s eventually sitting in a nearby pine tree while we watched the attack bird flying around the nest.

Merlin in East City of Peterborough - Marlene Stamler

Merlin in East City of Peterborough – Marlene Stamler

We have heard this bird over the course of the spring, a high pitch “ki, ki, ki, ki” both while in flight and in the trees but until this weekend have been hard pressed to see it close up. This weekend we finally saw it closer, enough to see its tail feathers in flight. Gathering our binoculars we saw it in a tree and watched as it picked away at a bird it had caught.  Our bird book, and searching the internet, has led us to the conclusion that we have nesting Merlins on our little island.

Is this unusual? Will they be here for the rest of the season or will we possibly see them back next year?  Our ravens are gone, but we do hope they come back. They were good company and our little birds, usually around, have also decreased in numbers.

Shirley Bell

N.B. Merlins are now quite common throughout the Kawarthas. They even nest in the City of Peterborough. I suspect they will be back to your island next year, but I think the ravens should be able to stand their ground to them, being quite a bit larger. The return of Merlins to the Kawarthas is actually a good news story, because these birds were almost wiped out by DDT in the 60’s and 70’s.

Merlin (Karl Egressy)

Merlin (Karl Egressy)

Merlin - Mike Faught - April 9, 2015 - Ptbo

Merlin – Mike Faught – April 9, 2015 – Ptbo

 

 

Nov 152014
 

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Nov 14, 2014 13:20 by Michael Oldham
– Peterborough–Robinson Place, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “continuing adult, perched on SE corner of S tower, spotted by M.J. Oldham. Bird departed but had returned to same perch by 1430 h when observed walking W along edge of roof of S tower.”

A Peregrine photographed on the clock tower in 2009 (Rick Stankiewicz)

A Peregrine photographed on the clock tower in Peterborough in 2009 (Rick Stankiewicz)

Peregrine - Karl Egressy

Peregrine – Karl Egressy

Nov 072014
 

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (1)
– Reported Nov 06, 2014 10:40 by Chris Risley
– Downtown – MNR Building, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “sitting on Northwest corner of MNR building”

Peregrine - Karl Egressy

Peregrine (Karl Egressy)

Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor) (1)
– Reported Nov 02, 2014 15:15 by Peterborough County Birds Database
– Peterborough–Clonsilla Ave at Ford St, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “flyover, adult, in flight from W to E over Clonsilla Ave.”

Northern Shrike (by Susan Sayer)

Northern Shrike (Susan Sayer)

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) (12)
– Reported Nov 05, 2014 07:14 by Peterborough County Birds Database
– Peterborough–Trent Rotary Rail Trail, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “flyovers, in single flock”

Snow Bunting  (from Crossley ID Guide)

Snow Buntings (from Crossley ID Guide)

 

Oct 202014
 

After we closed our Apsley-area cottage on Saturday (October 18), we took the boat and went by the cliff where the Peregrine Falcons nested this summer. We were surprised to see one of the adults flying above us. I guess this individual is planning on staying longer than us at the lake this fall!

Marie Duchesneau

Peregrine - Karl Egressy

Peregrine – Karl Egressy

Sep 132014
 

With the thoughts of seeing a good flight of migrating raptors tomorrow soaring through my mind, I sat out on the porch with my second coffee of the day, (Friday September 5th). It was 11:45 am, and the humid air was cooled some by strong breezes, so a nice balance of late summer heat with good airflow. I suddenly heard the familiar “klinking call” of at least one or two upset starlings. As I raised my eyes to spot the offending raptor, I was somewhat surprized not to see a Cooper`s or Sharp-shinned Hawk, but instead a Peregrine passing just out in front of me in very fast level flight, speed being maintained by quite stiff and shallow strokes of the wings.

Flying directly away from me – it must have just passed straight over the porch where I sat – I looked on ahead of the falcon in time to see three or four pigeons on my neighbour`s barn roof peak. I was surprized at how close, (appeared to be ten meters or less), that the falcon actually got to the closest pigeon before they, and nearly 30 previously un-seen others, took to the air and immediatly balled up. During the second swipe of “the ball” of pigeons, the falcon managed to pry one bird from the tight group, and the chase was now one of focus and determination. The distance between the two was kept to about 20 meters, but interestingly, (and somewhat typical), the falcon closed the distance to about only two or three meters once the pigeon began to climb.

Just as one would expect to see the pigeon ripped and transformed into a descending comet of feathers, it twisted, dropped sharply, and managed to wind up flying back the other way. (The kind of move that would have torn the wings clear off of a WWI bi-plane!!) My hat is off to this skilled pigeon. It often winds up going the other way, once the falcon closes the gap that much, and that quickly. The defeated, (though now wiser), falcon left the area after the “flying lesson” given by the pigeon, and headed out over the trees and eastward towards where it must have come from only half a minute before. The Peregrine was a HY (hatch year, or immature) bird. I`m guessing that the pigeon may have been somewhat older based on the impressive way it “handled” the situation. Either that, or it took one very risky chance, one that for now at least, has payed off.

Next day, (the 6th), I had got up a little later than I had hoped to, having stayed up half the previous night enjoying the storm.
I took a chair out into the field to spend some time hawk watching, as migration was now on and we had just had a sharp cold front which would enhance conditions for raptor migration. No sooner had I sat down, and along came a Sharp-shinned Hawk which pulled up to land in a large, isolated ash tree in the field. It sat for about 20 minutes preening and looking around the surrounding countryside. I had plenty of time to watch it closely and determine that it was a second year (sub-adult) female with her pale orange eyes and fairly dull, yet nearly complete adult plumage. It was easy too, to see that she was on the larger end of the Sharp-shinned scale, especially when she flew. I stayed in the field for only 90 minutes before I had to get on with daily chores, but before I left, I had counted 14 monarchs. Most were flying overhead from 10 to 20 meters up, but a few were low, and visiting New England Asters and goldenrods. The only other “raptor” I saw was a turkey vulture as I walked through the field back home.

So, off to the store and the local dump I went. Though they were in pockets, thicker in some places and absent in others, I ended up counting a day total of 48 monarchs, (16 more than I saw during all of 2013!) While out driving, the best spots seemed to be anywhere where there were lots of goldenrods and other yellow flowers, New England Asters, and damp sandy spots with puddles left over from the rain the night before – I saw 11 at my local dump alone, and all were hanging around damp sand there.

Well, my predicted “big hawk flight day” was somewhat of a bust, but for monarchs, I will not complain. I saw another 8 on Sunday, and 8 again on Monday, but have not seen another since then, (and it is now Thursday morning.) And so, at this time, my 2014 monarch total stands at 148.

Tim Dyson

two Monarchs on Helianthus giganteus - Tim Dyson

two Monarchs on Helianthus giganteus – Tim Dyson