A beautiful September morning greeted the ten early risers who took part in the Peterborough Field Naturalist’s Sunday A.M. nature walk today. We spent most of our time in the Promise Rock area of the Rotary-Greenway Trail, just north of Trent University at Lock 22. Songbird diversity and numbers were very good. We were able to use pishing to coax in three species of vireos and ten species of warblers. A female American Redstart was particularly cooperative as it flitted about in the open, only three metres away. Our second stop was the Lakefield Sewage Lagoons where we got good looks through the scopes at four species of ducks and more than a dozen cormorants. Many of the ducks were juvenile Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers.

Below is a list of all of the birds seen (38 species) as well as some of the goldenrods and asters that caught our attention. Several of the goldenrods had galls – the ball-shaped galls from Goldenrod Gall Flies and the tightly-packed leafy galls from a midge.

Birds (38 species): Double-crested Cormorant, Canada Goose, Mallard, Wood Duck, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Turkey Vulture, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Red-eyed Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Marsh Wren, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, European Starling, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Song Sparrow, Common Grackle

Flowers: Canada Goldenrod, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, New England Aster, Heath Aster, Calico Aster, Panicled Aster, Heart-leaved Aster

Other highlights: Huge seed crop on cedars, spruces, Sugar Maples; leopard frogs in grass at sewage lagoon; lots of fall colour, courtesy of White Ash, Staghorn Sumac, Poison Ivy and Virginia Creeper

PFN Sunday AM Nature Walk – Promise Rock area – (Drew Monkman)


Female American Redstart (Wikimedia)


Black-throated Green Warbler (Dan Pancamo)


Red-eyed Vireo – Karl Egressy


Canada goldenrod (left) and New England aster (Drew Monkman)






Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.