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24 September 2010 @ 09:11 pm

Our last stop of the day at Presqu'ile was Owen Point. This sandy spit at the southwest corner of the park juts into Lake Ontario and attracts numerous shorebirds during each migration. Forty-one species of shorebirds have been recorded at Presqu'ile, and of these about 25 are seen annually. There is a sandy beach all along the west side of the peninsula, and the southern end is specially managed for the shorebirds that congregate here. Vegetation is removed, the algae is allowed to accumulate to provide a food source (they eat invertebrates in the algae), and a birding trail with numerous lookouts has been constructed to prevent disturbance to the birds.

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02 November 2008 @ 03:47 pm
Daylight Savings Time has come to an end; last night we set the clocks back an hour in order to gain more light in the morning. I still woke up at my usual time about an hour before sunrise and went birding at Andrew Haydon Park as soon as it got light. I was hoping to find the elusive Cackling, Snow and Greater White-fronted Geese, and wanted another chance to photograph the Dunlin, assuming it was still there. I arrived at 7:30 am, and although the winds were quite still, it was still very cold (only -4°C) despite the clear blue sky overhead.

I stopped by the eastern end first to visit the area known locally as Ottawa Beach. The sandbar has grown much larger as water levels have dropped, although it is still not possible to walk to the sandy spit from the bike path. This is one of the best spots to find roosting gulls, geese, shorebirds and ducks along the river, and at first all I saw was a multitude of gulls on the spit and Canada Geese in the water. Then my scope fell on a large pure white bird on the sandbar. It was preening, with its head tucked in its feathers, and at first I thought Glaucous Gull! Then I saw the black tips of its wings and realized it had to be something else.


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20 October 2008 @ 07:49 pm
This weekend was beautiful and sunny, with temperatures reaching a warm 13°C. Many people were out enjoying the weather, as evidenced by the full parking lots at different Stony Swamp trails on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. It was a great weekend to get outside and see what surprises migration had brought, and as always, there were lots of great birds to see.

On Saturday I drove over to the Moodie Drive quarry ponds late in the morning. A Long-billed Dowitcher had been seen there recently, and although I had tried unsuccessfully to find this bird while it was still at the pond on Eagleson a week earlier, I had no real hopes of finding it.

Dark-eyed Junco

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