On a fairly mild Saturday, sixteen sharp-eyed participants enjoyed a couple of hours looking for wintering birds and signs of spring along on the Otonabee River on the annual Peterbrough Field Naturalists’ Heritage Week field trip offering. The river has very few open areas from Lakefield to below Lock 19 in Peterborough, but where those open leads are, waterfowl congregate. After meeting at the zoo we trouped downhill to see a beautiful drake Ring-necked Duck accompanying a flock of displaying Common Goldeneye. A earlier scouting trip yielded only more goldeneye and Common Mergansers to the north, so we decided to head directly to Beavermead Beach where there remains a drake Red-breasted Merganser, at least four adult Glaucous Gulls and a pair of Canada Geese, along with a larger flock of “Whistlers”. There were Brown Creepers giving good shows at the zoo and Ecology Park, White-breasted Nuthatches, Mourning Doves and Black-capped Chickadees, but little else. South of Lock #19, where Park St. bends into Cameron St. there were two Black Ducks accompanying Mallards. We did not see any Bufflehead or Long-tailed Ducks.
Location: Otonabee River, Peterborough
Observer: Sean Smith