Monday, October 24, 2011

October 25, 2011 Amherst Island birding

Spent the morning birding Amherst Island. A great start with 2 juvenile Northern Gannets from the ferry dock at Millhaven. The birds flew west and disappeared, typical of gannets. Put of a small flight of gannets into eastern Ontario. On the island our first stop was the "Owl Woods" where we observed a number of Long-eared Owls roosting in the Jack Pine plantation. Also a good variety of land birds including 12 Hermit Thrush, 20 Fox sparrow, 550+ Rusty Blackbird, 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker, 1 Eastern Towhee and 3 Winter Wren. Very few hawks were observed while driving around the island and the east end KFN property had only a couple of shorebirds but lots of ducks including Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, American Wigeon and Bufflehead.

Good birding, Bruce

Directions: Amherst Island: Located 18 km. west of Kingston. Exit off Hwy. 401 at exit 593 (County Rd. 4, Camden East) and drive south to the very end (Millhaven). Turn right on Hwy. 33 and drive 100 metres until you see the sign for the Amherst Island ferry. The ferry (20 minute trip) leaves the mainland on the half hour and leaves the island on the hour. Cost is $9.00 Canadian round trip. There are no gas stations on the island. There are restrooms on the ferry, and at the island ferry dock. The East End K.F.N. property is at the easternmost part of the island on the east side of the Lower Forty Foot Road.

Because of liability issues, visitors to the Kingston Field Naturalists' property at the east end of Amherst Island MUST be accompanied by a KFN member. For KFN contact information or how to become a member, please visit ."

The "Owl Woods " will be closed from November 19-December 11, 2011.

The Long-eared Owl is a regular fall migrant on Amherst island.

Long-eared Owl is a nocturnal and spends its day roosting in the Jack Pine and White or Red Cedar.

If you do spot a Long-eared Owl roosting, stop, back off and look closely and you may see a number of them. They are very gregarious and the roost site can have 5-15 owls!

A Long-eared Owl ready for flight.

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