Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley
Mississippi River at Pakenham

Birding

2017 Loon Lake Survey of Mississippi Lake

Observers are required for the 2017 Mississippi Lakes Loon Survey.  This year MVFN, in conjunction with the Mississippi Lakes Association, will again conduct a Bird Studies Canada Canadian Lakes Loon Survey” for Mississippi Lake.

As a volunteer observer, you would be part of a team surveying an assigned region of the lake three times during the summer, once in each of the months of June, July and August. This is a good opportunity to get involved as a volunteer in some interesting and worthwhile citizen science on a local project.

A motor boat and driver will be made available for each team. Each team will coordinate, with the boat driver, the preferred day, time, and location for launch.You will need binoculars and sun screen.

Surveys are done during the last week of each month and take about two hours to complete. A motor boat and driver are provided for each team.

ORIENTATION SESSION FOR VOLUNTEERS:  the orientation session for survey volunteers will take place Thursday, June 15, at 2:00 p.m. at the Mill of Kintail Gatehouse.

If you can help, please contact Cliff Bennett at 613-256-5013 or

For results of last year’s Loon Survey of Mississippi Lake click here.

Howard loons

photo Howard Robinson

Warblers and Wildflowers on Wolf Grove Walk

May 13, 2017

Ken Allison

Five brave souls met at 7 AM at the Allison property on Wolf Grove Road.  There had been some rain during the night, but when we headed out the clouds were broken by small patches of blue sky. By about 9:30 it had started to rain so we went inside to warm up with a cup of tea while watching birds at the feeders.

There had been some bird migration overnight, but the number of spring migrants was still not up to normal levels. Most of the warblers were either very high up or singing in hemlock trees which made getting good views challenging. Seven species or warblers were eventually recorded, although we had good views of only Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green and Orange-crowned. The last species was probably the highlight of the trip, although we did have great looks at Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew over carrying its breakfast in its talons and Spotted Sandpiper, Red-eyed Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler and Northern Oriole were new for the year at our location. In the past 5 years, 102 species have been recorded at the Allison property and we found almost half of those during our walk this morning.

Early spring wildflowers were at their peak, but many were not fully open due to the damp weather.  We did see many white and red trilliums, spring beauties and trout lilies and were able to compare Dutchman’s-breeches and Squirrel Corn with adjacent clumps.

Photos and a complete bird list for the outing are included below.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Winter Wren
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
European Starling
Ovenbird
Black-and-White Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch

Red Trillium photo Ken Allison

Red Trillium   photo Ken Allison

Warblers and wildflowers watchers on Wolf Grove

Warblers and wildflowers watchers on Wolf Grove. photo Blanche Gauthier

Northern White Violet. photo Ken Allison

Northern White Violet    photo Ken Allison

Goose on Wolf Grove pond. photo Michel Gauthier

Geese on Wolf Grove pond     photo Michel Gauthier

 

Early Morning Bird Walk, Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Note: follow this link for our next MVFN nature outing: Warblers and Spring Wildflowers on May 13

Eleven MVFN birders participated in the final Early Morning Bird Walk on April 26, 2017.  Morning dawned slightly grey and drizzly, which was just fine for seeing and hearing birds along the Mississippi Riverwalk Trail in Carleton Place.

We walked approximately 1.5 km out and the same distance back, being careful not to double count species or numbers while returning.  The most prevalent birds (over 20 sightings each) were the Red-winged Blackbirds and Canada Geese.  Harbingers of spring were the Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and the Yellow-rumped Warbler along with glorious showings of spring flowers such as the Scilla flowers and Bloodroots.

All in all, it was a very fine conclusion for our April bird walks.  Below , in alphabetical order,  is the list of species seen or heard by the group.

1. American Crow
2. American Goldfinch
3. American Robin
4. Black-capped Chickadee
5. Blue Jay
6. Bufflehead
7. Canada Goose
8. Common Goldeneye
9. Common Grackle
10. Common Merganser
11. Common Raven
12. Dark-eyed Junco
13. Downy Woodpecker
14. Eastern Phoebe
15. European Starling
16. Hairy Woodpecker
17. Mallard
18. Mourning Dove
19. Northern Cardinal
20. Northern Flicker
21. Red-winged Blackbird
22. Ring-billed Gull
23. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
24. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
25. Song Sparrow
26. Turkey Vulture
27. White-breasted Nuthatch
28. White-throated Sparrow
29. Wood Duck
30. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
31. Yellow-rumped Warbler

- report by Mary Robinson

Canada Goose "log driver". photo Howard Robinson

Canada Goose “log driver”. photo Howard Robinson

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) photo Michel Gauthier

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) photo Michel Gauthier

 

Looking for a Ruby-crowned kinglet. photo Howard Robinson

Looking for a Ruby-crowned kinglet. photo Howard Robinson

Scilla in bloom. photo Howard Robinson

Scilla in bloom. photo Howard Robinson

 

 

Early Morning Walk, April 19, 2017. Birds Seen or Heard

Note: the next Early Morning Birding Walk will take place on Wednesday, April 26th. See details.

Eleven birders gathered at dawn on Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at the corner of Wolf Grove Road and the 12th Lanark Concession. Their quest was to identify as many species of birds as they could in two hours.

They walked slowly along the gravel road, all the way to Taylor Lake and back, covering a distance of 3.3 kilometres.  When all was said and done, they added up the numbers:  29 species.

A good time was had by all.

An ID list and picture of some of the members follows:

Early Morning MVFN Birding Walk, April 19, 2017

Early Morning MVFN Birding Walk, April 19, 2017

 

1 Canada Goose
2 Mallard
3 Ruffed Grouse
4 Wild Turkey
5 Common Loon
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Mourning Dove
8 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
9 Hairy Woodpecker
10 Northern Flicker
11 Pileated Woodpecker
12 Eastern Phoebe
13 Blue Jay
14 American Crow
15 Common Raven
16 Black-capped Chickadee
17 White-breasted Nuthatch
18 Winter Wren
19 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
20 American Robin
21 Brown Thrasher
22 Dark-eyed Junco
23 White-throated Sparrow
24 Song Sparrow
25 Swamp Sparrow
26 Northern Cardinal
27 Red-winged Blackbird
28 Eastern Meadowlark
29 Common Grackle

 

Early Morning Walk, Apr 12, 2017 – Birds seen or heard

NOTE: The next “Early Morning Birding” walk will take place on Wednesday April 19th. See details

Fifteen MVFN members showed up for the Apr 12th Early Morning Walk at the Robinson’s property near Clayton, Mississippi Mills, Ontario.

For a brief period, the group detected and identified birds by ear. As light levels increased, the team was able to use eyes and binoculars. For a short period, there was a lull in bird sounds which possibly had been caused by a raptor in the vicinity. We heard an indistinguishable hawk-like call some 15 minutes later.

It is always good to see the new arrival of bird species at this time of year. A highlight was the flyover with a tremolo call and the landing of a pair of Common Loons to an area where the ice had receded in Clayton Lake.  In addition to the birds, some of the group noticed an otter on the receding ice of the lake, and a Red Fox in another location stealthily walking on the ice in search of breakfast. Numerous waterfowl were swimming and feeding in the water areas while most of the Lake is still ice-bound.

After more than two hours of birding and an interlude for refreshments, Mary Robinson and co-leader Howard Robinson, tallied up the numbers:  Thirty-six species of birds had been spotted or heard by the group (see list below photos).

The Bluebird couple. photo Howard Robinson

The bluebird “couple” (photographed April 2, 2017 by Howard Robinson)

 

Red Fox, Clayton Lake. photo Howard Robinson

Red Fox, Clayton Lake. photo Howard Robinson

The Alphabetical Group List:

 1. American Crow
 2. American Goldfinch
 3. American Robin
 4. American Woodcock
 5. Black-capped Chickadee
 6. Blue Jay
 7. Bufflehead
 8. Canada Goose
 9. Common Goldeneye
10. Common Grackle
11. Common Loon
12. Common Merganser
13. Common Raven
14. Dark-eyed Junco
15. Downy Woodpecker
16. Eastern Bluebird17. Eastern Kingbird
18. Eastern Phoebe
19. Fox Sparrow
20. Golden-crowned Kinglet
21. Great Blue Heron
22. Hairy Woodpecker
23. Hooded Merganser
24. Mallard
25. Mourning Dove
26. Northern Cardinal
27. Northern Flicker
28. Pileated Woodpecker
29. Red-winged Blackbird
30. Ring-billed Gull
31. Ring-necked Duck
32. Ruffed Grouse
33. Song Sparrow
34. White-breasted Nuthatch
35. Wood Duck
36. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

 

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MVFN's natural history talks take place on 3rd Thursdays, Jan-April and Sept-November, at  Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St., Almonte, ON. All welcome!

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