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

Nov 142017
 

I sent you a note about this time last year about a small flock of Sandhill Cranes passing over Lakefield. Well, this year they have been joined by some friends. At about 2:30 this afternoon, November 17, about 4 flocks of the size of the group in the picture passed over Lakefield, some calling with the deep rolling kr-r-r-oo as described in an old Peterson guide book. One big flock circled about for awhile south of us – probably up over the Lakefield quarry – until it reformed into two or three smaller flocks and then they followed a couple of groups that passed about 10 minutes earlier and seemed to be heading west to northwest. There were probably over 200 birds in total…. a wonderful sight.  Bill Buddle

Sandhill Cranes – November 17, 2017 – Lakefield – Bill Buddle

 

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1)
– Reported Nov 14, 2017 09:58 by Travis Cameron
– Lakefield (General), Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Flying west over County Road 29 ~250m south of Maples Corners.”

An immature Snowy Owl in flight – probably a female (Karl Egressy)

 

We are witnessing scores of Mourning Doves this fall here near Bailieboro, ON. We’re in the country, so we’re used to these birds, but this is unbelievable. They are in at least two flocks. I counted 30 in one. And they eat berries; just ask my car. L. Harries

Mourning Dove – Karl Egressy

 

Here’s a picture of three Trumpeter Swans (two adults and one juvenile) that I photographed on Upper Buckhorn Lake on Nov. 12, 2017.  Derry Fairweather

Trumpeter Swans – November 12, 2017 – Buckhorn Lake – Derry Fairweather

 

I had a Yellow-rumped Warbler at my feeder yesterday, November 12. Hopefully , the seeds will sustain/attract it until December 1st for the official winter bird list! So far, the resident Red-bellied Woodpecker has ignored the suet and chooses the feeder seeds every time. It is certainly a different behaviour for a woodpecker. Michael Gillespie, Keene

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

 

I found this lovely Witch Hazel blooming in a wild area of Ecology Park today, November 12. It could so easily be overlooked! I read that they bloom at this time of year in order to take advantage of the lack of competition for the few flies and moths that are still active. We did see both that day.   Sue Paradisis

Witch Hazel 2 – Ecology Park – Nov. 13, 2017 – Sue Paradisis

 

 

Witch Hazel – Ecology Park – Nov. 13, 2017 – Sue Paradisis

 

 

 

Dec 232016
 

Just wanted to let you know that I saw a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Miller Creek Conservation Area (7th Line of Selwyn) in August 2016. It was great to seem them up close, standing near a beaver lodge.

Ian Bothwell

Note: At least one pair of cranes has been nesting here in recent years. See photo. D.M.

Adult and juvenile Sandhill Cranes in early summer (Gary Aitken)

Adult and juvenile Sandhill Crane in early summer in field adjacent to Miller Creek C.A. (Gary Aitken)

Dec 102016
 

On December 10 at 3:20 pm, five Sandhill Cranes flew over my house on Highway 7 in Havelock. They were flying from south to north.

Ulrike Kullik, Havelock

Flock of Sandhill Cranes in flight (photo by Jerry Friedman)

Flock of Sandhill Cranes in flight (photo by Jerry Friedman)

Sandhill Crane (Wikimedia)

Sandhill Crane (Wikimedia)

Dec 072016
 

I just want to let you know that the Sandhill Crane reported by Gavin Hunter on November 28 was still present this morning (December 6). It is in a field kitty corner to the church at the junction of Buckhorn Road and Curve Lake Road.

David Beaucage Johnson

Sandhill Cranes - Wendy-Leszkowicz

Sandhill Cranes – Wendy-Leszkowicz

Nov 272016
 

On November 26, I saw a Sandhill Crane land in a field kitty corner from the church at the corner of Curve Lake Road and County Road 23, south of Buckhorn.

Gavin Hunter

Sandhill Crane in flight - Wikimedia

Sandhill Crane in flight – Wikimedia

 

Nov 052016
 

Yesterday, November 4, around 4 pm, a flock of Sandhill Cranes flew over Lakefield. They flew from the south and seemed to be heading NW. We estimate over 30 birds. They were followed by a small flock of about 10 a few minutes later. Wonderful sight and sound.

Flock of Sandhill Cranes in flight (photo by Jerry Friedman)

Flock of Sandhill Cranes in flight (photo by Jerry Friedman)

Sandhill Crane (Wikimedia)

Sandhill Crane (Wikimedia)

Bill Buddle

Nov 032016
 

On October 26, while raising a dock for a client on Quarry Bay on the north shore of Stoney Lake at early dusk, I paused a moment when I thought I heard Sandhill Cranes. A few seconds later, I could hear them again, and looked up at what had to be the largest flock of cranes I had ever seen. They were heading west, before turning slightly north/west, and were about 800 metres up flying in a “V” formation, not unlike geese typically do. They were close together, and difficult to count at first, but once 19 of them broke free from the rest into two groups of their own, I was able to count the entire flock in the three groups. They numbered 7, 12, and 43 for a grand total of 62 birds in the entire bunch!

Tim Dyson,
Stoney Lake

Sandhill Crane in flight - Wikimedia

Sandhill Crane in flight – Wikimedia

Sandhill Cranes - Wendy-Leszkowicz

Sandhill Cranes – Wendy Leszkowicz

Sep 072016
 

I observed twice this week a pair of Sandhill Cranes flying to and from the Omemee pond (enlargement in Pigeon River on south edge of Omemee). One time they were also calling from the pond.

Gavin Hunter, Omemee

Sandhill Cranes (Karl Egressy)

Sandhill Cranes (Karl Egressy)

Jun 262016
 

Here is a photo of 2 Sandhill Cranes that I photographed on Saturday, June 18. They were on the west side of Northeys Road between the 13th & 14th lines of Selwyn Township, west of Young’s Point. These are the only Sandhill Cranes I have seen in this region

Roy T. Bowles
705-652-7946

Sandhill Cranes - Northey Road - Selwyn Twsp - June 18, 2016 - Roy Bowles

Sandhill Cranes – Northeys Road – Selwyn Twsp – June 18, 2016 – Roy Bowles

May 052016
 

May 5 – Mike Barker had a White-crowned Sparrow at his feeder on Algonquin Blvd in Peterborough.

May 4 – Marie Windover had a Whip-poor-will calling from 8:30 to 9:00 PM near her home on County Road 507. She also has a pair of Sandhill Cranes that appear to be nesting in a field across from her parents’ house in the same area.

May 2 – Janet Duval, who lives on Deer Bary Reach on the north side of Lower Buckhorn, sent me a picture of six River Otters on her neighbour’s dock (Jim Franklin). Apparently there are 10 in total. He confirms that they are “busy as beavers”.  See photo below.

May 1 – John Fautley saw a Caspian Tern on a rock in the Otonabee River, across from Peterborough Manor.

April 28 – Gwen Forsyth had two swans (Trumpeters, she believes) in the pond at the corner of Television Road and Hwy 7 east.  No tags were apparent on either bird.

Trumpeter Swans - Gwen Forsyth

Trumpeter Swans on Television Road Pond – April 27, 2016 – Gwen Forsyth

Whip-poor-will 1 (Karl Egressy)

Whip-poor-will 1 (Karl Egressy)

White-crowned Sparrow - Mike Barker

White-crowned Sparrow – May 5, 2016 – Mike Barker

Trumpeter Swan - Gwen Forsyth

Trumpeter Swan – April 27, 2016 – Gwen Forsyth

Caspian Tern - Karl Egressy

Caspian Tern – Karl Egressy

Otters on Franklin dock on Lower Buckhorn Lake - April 27, 2016 (photo by Jim Franklin)

Otters on Franklin dock on Lower Buckhorn Lake – April 27, 2016 (photo by Jim Franklin)

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 082016
 

We returned to our home on Dodworth Island on Stony Lake on Monday and immediately filled the four feeders. The activity is the most ever….We have 10 usual species but two things stand out. There are no Common Redpolls, but we have over 50 Pine Siskins. At least one Osprey is back..no loons here yet. The ice went out on April 1.  Rob Welsh

NOTE:  Pine Siskins are showing up in large numbers all over Peterborough and the Kawarthas right now. Flocks of 60+ have come to our feeder in recent days, along with close to a dozen Purple Finches. Drew Monkman

I was about to send out an APB. However, this evening around 5 pm. our pair of Common Loons finally arrived (Buckhorn Lake near Six Foot Bay) . Unfortunately, our “lone loon”, who usually arrives before them (as early as April 1) hasn’t appeared yet. Fingers crossed he’s ok.  Toni Sinclair, Buckhorn Lake

On April 6, I had 12-15 Purple Finches at our feeder for most of the day. No, they were not House Finches! Mostly females but at least 4 showy males.   Jim Cashmore, Wallis Drive, Peterborough

I heard the first Spring Peeper chorus for me this year, on March 31 @ 9th Line and County Road 32 (east bank along Otonabee towards Lakefield). Susan Chow

I saw my first Mourning Cloak butterfly on March 27,  just south of Keene.  Michael Gillespie

On the Indian River outside Warsaw, we heard an Eastern Phoebe calling March 28 at about 8:30 am – our harbinger of Spring!  Jane Bremner, Warsaw

Jerry Ball and I covered some of the side roads off Hwy 507 in the northern part of Trent Lakes Municipality and found Compton Tortoiseshell butterflies on three different roads. Martin Parker

We’ve had a weasel around all winter (a Long-tailed, we think), but never managed to get a photo until Easter Sunday, March 23… its white winter coat has started changing. Gwen Forsyth, Lakefield

I saw a pair of Sandhill Cranes on March 23. They were flying northeast over Centre Line of Smith at the 7th Line.  Jim Watt, Peterborough

I was outside March 23 cleaning the snow off the deck and about 20 feet above my head flew this magnificent adult Bald Eagle. He went upwards and landed on top of the pine tree on our point. Waited there for about ten minutes.  Derry Fairweather, Upper Buckhorn Lake

Today, March 22, my wife saw a pair of Gray Squirrels mating in our yard. It seems far too late, since Gray Squirrels give birth to their first litter this month. I haven’t been able to find a reference to mating in March anywhere online. Drew Monkman

Bald Eagle - March 23, 2016 Derry Fairweather

Bald Eagle – March 23, 2016 Derry Fairweather

Compton Tortoiseshell - Wikimedia

Compton Tortoiseshell – Wikimedia

Long-tailed Weasel - March 23 - Gwen Forsyth

Long-tailed Weasel – March 23 – Gwen Forsyth

Mourning Cloak - Maple Cr. - Apr. 2014 - Drew Monkman

Mourning Cloak – Maple Cr. – Apr. 2014 – Drew Monkman

 

Pine Siskin (by Karl Egressy)

Pine Siskin (by Karl Egressy)

Eastern Phoebe at nest - David Frank

Eastern Phoebe at nest – David Frank

 

Mar 192016
 

On March 18, I was driving south on Fenel Rd, southeast of Kirkfield. I crossed Highway 48 still southbound by Goosebay Road and the intersection of Islay Road, where I saw a pair of Sandhill Cranes flying over the fields at about 6:45 PM.

Gavin Hunter

Sandhill Cranes - Rene Gareau

Sandhill Cranes – Rene Gareau

Sandhill Crane (Wikimedia)

Sandhill Crane (Wikimedia)

May 292015
 

Location: Woodland Camp Site – Upper Buckhorn Lake
Date: May 27, 2015
Time: 10:15 AM

A pair of Sandhill Cranes were grazing in front of my camper this AM. I scrambled to grab my camera…but the sun was not in the right spot for a great shot. This is the first I’ve seen of sandhills…… quite a thrill! The chick was gawky and adorable. Apparently they regularly wind their way through camp once the campers clear out on Sundays. Hope to see them again.

Barb Evett

Sandhill Crane with chick - Barb Evett - Buckhorn

Sandhill Crane with chick – Barb Evett – Woodland Camp Site

Apr 212015
 

A pair of Sandhill Cranes were seen yesterday on the west side of County Road 507, just south of Charlie Allen Road. They have been present in this area for several years. I still have a pair of Gray Jays that are coming to my feeder as well. I am looking forward to hearing the first Whip-poor-wills in the coming days!

Marie Windover, 2167 Cty Rd 507

Sandhill Crane - Apr. 7, 2015 Nima Taghaboni

Sandhill Crane – Apr. 7, 2015 Nima Taghaboni

Apr 082015
 

This morning (April 7) there were two Sandhill Cranes on a corn field off of North School Rd. Also, I finally caught site of a Barred Owl fter all the sightings that have occurred in the Kawarthas this past winter. It was perched by the ditch on the corner of Hwy 28 and County Rd 6. The American Kestrel was feeding on a mouse on Hwy 28 at Center Road.

Nima Taghaboni

Sandhill Crane - Apr. 7, 2015 Nima Taghaboni

Sandhill Crane – Apr. 7, 2015 Nima Taghaboni

 

Kestrel - Apr. 7, 2015 Nima Taghaboni

Kestrel – Apr. 7, 2015 Nima Taghaboni

May 202014
 

Here is a picture of two sandhill cranes that Antje and I have seen several times over the past four days in a field beside County Road 6, just a bit west of County Road 40 (about 5 minutes away from my cottage on Stony Lake). They have been feeding regularly in this field, about 50-60 feet from the roadside, and are easily visible from County Road 6. Today, I came prepared with my camera and binoculars, so I was able to have a really good look at them and take some pictures.

Rene Gareau

Sandhill Cranes - Rene Gareau

Sandhill Cranes – Rene Gareau

Apr 072014
 
Sandhill Cranes in City of Kawartha Lakes - Wendy Leszkowicz

Sandhill Cranes in City of Kawartha Lakes – Wendy Leszkowicz

Yesterday, April 6, saw Sandhill Cranes return to at least two parts of the Kawarthas. Susan Blayney had a pair fly over her house near Fenlon Falls. Mary MacFarlane of Mathers Corners saw and heard a pair near her family’s large wetland at the south end of Drummond Line near Keene. The birds have nested here in recent years.Click here to listen to their distinctive rattling call.

Drew Monkman