North American Birds

VOLUME 69 No1 2016

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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Page 76 of 179

V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 1 75 the same day, at Point Pelee N.P., Essex 60,000 Greater Scaup were counted (AW), setting a one-day high count for the P.P.B.A. It was a slow fall for King Eiders, with only three reports of single birds: Fort Erie, Niagara 14 Oct (DH), Toronto 28 Nov+ (PCH, m.ob.), and the return - ing ad. male at Port Weller, Niagara 28 Nov+ (RPS). Harlequin Ducks fared a bit better and were surprisingly dispersed around s. Ontario, with 1-2 at Whitby (Thicksons Point), Durham 26 Oct–19 Nov (DSK, m.ob.) and singles at Ot - tawa 4 Nov+ (RWK, m.ob.), Kettle Point, Lamb- ton 4 Nov (GMD), Toronto 7 Nov+ (AEK), Point Petre, Prince Edward 12 Nov (TLH), and a rare Lake Erie record from Port Dover, Norfolk 25-28 Nov (JRA). Always rare inland, a Black Scoter at Laurel Creek C.A. 22 Oct (AEZ) made only the ffth record for Waterloo. Barrow's Goldeneye is regular only at Ottawa, so a male there 28 Oct+ (m.ob.) was not surprising. However, a female photographed at Bracebridge, Muskoka 15 Nov (DG, RG) was locally rare. Ruddy Ducks were found in high numbers at several locations, the highest being 1580 at Point Pelee N.P., Essex 31 Oct (AW), an all-time high count for the P.P.B.A. The high count for Red-throated Loons came from Stoney Creek, Hamilton 1 Nov (BRH), a fight of 79 individuals. There was a tremen - dous concentration of Common Loons in Lake Simcoe's Kempenfelt Bay, Simcoe; the high count (Prince Edward Point, Prince Edward); P.P.B.A. (Point Pelee Birding Area); T.C.B.O (Thunder Cape B.O., Thunder Bay); V.W.B. (Van Wagners Beach, Hamilton). Place names in italics refer to counties, districts, and regional municipalities. WATERFOWL THROUGH HAWKS It was a fantastic fall for Greater White-fronted Geese in s. Ontario, with at least 18 reports be - ginning with the frst at Cardinal, Leeds and Gren- ville 20 Sep (MDR) and others throughout the period. No counts were greater than 4 birds, but 2 at Verner, Nipissing 2 Nov (LAn) were particu - larly notable at that location. Ross's Geese were also well reported, with 10 records in s. Ontario starting with one at Gore Bay, Manitoulin 20 Sep (JK, TL). Along with the increase in Ross's Geese has come an increase in reports of Snow Goose x Ross's Goose hybrids, with at least 6 in s. On - tario, including one individual at Ottawa, Ottawa 25 Sep–10 Oct (m.ob.) that caused considerable discussion. The presence of such hybrids cer - tainly adds a new dimension to the feld iden- tifcation of white geese. The Brant fight over se. Ontario appeared to go mostly undetected, with peak counts of only 300 recorded at Ot - tawa 9 Oct (RC) and also at Hill Island, Leeds and Grenville 30 Oct (JV). Notable records out - side of the normal range for this species included one at Point Edward, Lambton (PDP, CD) and 13 at Leamington, Essex (JMB, JLH), both 1 Nov. There were many reports of Cackling Goose, but 64 at Almonte S.T.P., Lanark 10 Oct (JPR) made an exceptional count. Mute Swans are still a great rarity in n. Ontario, so one was notable at Little Piskwamish Point I.B.A., Cochrane continuing from 13 Jul (TBL) through 4 Aug (MKP, RDM). Not far away, 2 were at North Point I.B.A., Co - chrane 16-25 Aug (RDM, JM). Trumpeter Swans are now expected in virtually all of s. Ontario, with the exception of the extreme sw., where they are rare but increasing; 2 were at Sarnia, Lambton 9-18 Sep (JRBo et al.) and 2 at Holiday Beach I.B.A., Essex 27 Aug–1 Sep (PDP et al.). It was a good fall for Eurasian Wigeons, with reports including the continuing bird in Ottawa through at least 8 Aug (GMa) and singles at Cranberry Marsh, Durham 10 Sep (DSK), Co - bourg, Northumberland 8 Oct (CEG), Mounts- berg C.A., Wellington/Hamilton 11-16 Oct (RV), Kingston, Frontenac 5 & 28-29 Nov (TN, m.ob.), and Rondeau P.P., Chatham-Kent 6-9 Nov (SRC). An apparent Eurasian Wigeon x American Wi - geon hybrid was at Rondeau P.P., Chatham-Kent 15 Nov (BAM), and a Mallard x American Wi - geon hybrid that has appeared for several years in a row at Etobicoke, Toronto was frst reported this fall on 19 Oct (BB). A careful count of wa - terfowl at Reesor Pond, Markham 28 Nov (DAS) produced 145 American Black Ducks and 5154 Mallards, both all-time high counts for York. On Mike V. A. Burrell ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– M uch of the fall was relatively quiet in terms of weather systems. No tropical storms made it as far inland as On - tario, and it wasn't until November that storms resulted in a notable push of unusual birds. The fall started out with temperatures about average in August, but our trend in recent mem - ory of warming weather made most people think the month was a bit cool. It was also dry over most of the province, with little in the way of big weather events. September started off warm, but the second half of the month was cooler and wetter than normal though still relatively settled in terms of weather events. October continued wet but was warmer than normal over most of the province. The end of the month saw the frst snowfall over parts of central Ontario. November was well below average in terms of temperature and continued the wet fall, especially in areas that were hit with unusually early and intense snow. Sault Ste. Marie was particularly hard hit, with snow squalls off of Lake Superior produc - ing almost two meters of snow over the month! Virtually the entire province entered winter-like conditions by about 18-20 November, and the storms that brought the snowy weather also re - sulted in some interesting bird records. Compared to the past few years, Ontario recorded an average movement of irruptive fnches and other boreal birds. At least 335 spe - cies were reported across the province, notable among them Neotropic Cormorant, Great Cor - morant, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, three White Ibis, Gray Flycatcher, Ash-throated Fly - catcher, Say's Phoebe, Violet-green Swallow, Green-tailed Towhee, Brambling, and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Abbreviations: H.B.M.O (Holiday Beach Mi - gration Observatory, Essex); I.B.A. (Important Bird Area); K.F.N. (Kingston Field Naturalists); L.P.B.O. (Long Point B.O., Norfolk); P. E. Point Ontario Providing a very high count for Ontario, up to four Snowy Egrets spent 18 August through 22 (here 13) September 2014 at Holi-day Beach Conservation Area, Essex County. Photograph by Mike V. A. Burrell. Always very rare in Ontario away from Lake Ontario and the Ottawa River, this Harlequin Duck was at Port Dover, Norfolk County 26-28 (here 28) November 2014. Photograph by Mike V. A. Burrell.

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