There was a recent field trip to Amherst Island, Janet Scott has written a report. Sounds like a good one, I'm sorry I missed it!
Kingston Field Naturalist’s Visit to Amherst Island on March 7th, 2015.
Report from Janet Scott
Nine members of the KFN visited Amherst Island on Saturday, March 7th
looking for raptors and perhaps early spring migrants. They arrived in plenty of
time for the 8:30 ferry, organized quickly into two cars by Gay Beckwith and met
me at the ferry dock for a trip through the ice. There was no wind and the snow
was falling lightly. It was a snow on snow on snow day with sky meeting ice
lightly covered in fresh white snow and the temperature at minus 5. Our first
raptor was an immature Snowy pointed out to us by Will Reed one of the ferry
crew. The bird did not move as the ferry cut through chopped and chunky ice and
turned nicely so that Bonnie Bailey was able to capture its profile from both
sides almost as if it wanted to show off its better side. We were met at the
Stella Dock by 3 Red-breasted Mergansers all decked out in spring plumage who
hardly moved away from the path as the ferry approached. Judy Bierma joined us
at the Stella Dock. Earlier in the village I had spotted a Cooper’s Hawk but he
was rude and did not wait around for our honoured guests.
drove south through thickening snow and stopped to observe a Snowy owl in a tree
east of the Road’s Garage .Thanks to Alex Simmons’s scope we were also able to
identify a Red-tailed Hawk close by. Turning west along the Second Concession
gave us more sightings of raptors in total 4 Snowy Owls, 8 Rough-legged hawks, 5
Red-tailed hawks and thanks to Betsy Beckwith’s hawk eyes a Barred owl was seen
on the lower Emerald Forty-foot. Crows were calling and appeared in a group of
five along the Second. The feeder areas along the Second gave us White-breasted
nuthatches, Tree Sparrows, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves including
a flock of fifteen scared up by Gay behind us while we were looking at a feeder.
SURPRISE!! Ravens were feeding on a dead sheep at the Quinte pasture and
Goldfinches happily twittered with Blue jays, Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees
and Woodpeckers among lilacs further west.
On the Third
Concession we spotted European Starlings and Snow Buntings and were treated to
yummy muffins by Betsy. Here a Red-tailed hawk flew over us to check assorted
birders off his list. The breeze had stiffened and the large snowflakes that had
fallen earlier fell softly from the branches over our heads. Some were able to
catch the 12:00 ferry home and the others stopped with Judy and I to see the
Raven nests at 350 Third Concession before catching the 1:00 ferry home where
Bonnie was greeted by a Cooper’s Hawk eyeing her feeders.
House Finch stopped at my feeder after the others had gone. It just added a
little drop of colour to a snowy landscape on a wonderful day.
Cooper’s hawk 1
Snowy Owl 4
Red-tailed Hawk 5
Rough-legged Hawk 8
Common Ravens 2
Downy Woodpeckers 5
Black-capped Chickadees 12
Tree Sparrows 6
White-breasted Nuthatches 2
Blue Jays 3
Mourning Doves 15
Barred Owl 1
European Starlings 12
House Finch 1
Rock Pigeons 4