Spring Warbler Walk at the Allison property on Wolf Grove Road – May 14, 2022

By Ken Allison

A total of 14 individuals participated in a walk at 561 Wolf Grove Road. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. Blackflies were moderately numerous, unfortunately. Also, the tree leaves had really popped in the past week, making viewing of warblers high in the tree tops rather problematic.

Singing male Yellow-rumped Warbler (Anne Burnette)

As a group, we tallied 50 species including nine different types of warblers. Most of the warblers remained “heard only” birds, however. A cooperative Barred Owl sat still in a tree near the house until after all the participants had a chance to view it at their leisure. Other highlights included good looks at Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, all of which were singing constantly. A “flock” of four Great Blue Herons flying over the beaver pond was an unusual sighting. Two Spotted Sandpipers flew in and perched on a stub in the pond, too. A family of Canada Geese with dad and mom escorting 6 downy goslings did a sail past on the pond. A Trumpeter Swan that flew right over us at the pond was a life bird for at least one person. An interesting non-bird find was a very large dead water scavenger beetle on the path near the beaver pond. It was well over an inch long.

We were back at our cars by about 9:00, so six of us went over to the nearby Almonte Lagoons. Most of these people hadn’t been to the lagoons and wanted to see where they were and where the trails and lookouts were located. We tallied 42 species on the Lagoons property and the Auld Kirk Cemetery across the road. Seven species of waterfowl were seen, including late Redheads (2 drakes) and about 10 Common Goldeneye. There has been a small flock of Common Goldeneye lingering into late May on the lagoons every spring for the past several years. In the woodlot, several American Redstarts were singing and we had very nice looks at a pair of them. From the cemetery we heard a male Eastern Bluebird singing and watched a perched female for several minutes. The combined species count for both locations during the morning was 69.

Hydrophilus ovatus, water scavenger beetle (family Hydrophilidae) (Ken Allison)

Thank you to all the participants for making this outing a success.

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