Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Clayton ‘Early Morning Bird Walk” bird numbers affected by cold

Report of the Apr 11, 2018 Early Morning Bird Walk,  by Howard Robinson 

Nineteen MVFN members showed up at 6 AM for the Apr 11th Early Morning Bird Walk at the Robinson’s property near Clayton, Mississippi Mills, Ontario.  The temperature was -5 degrees C and did not get above freezing for the duration of the walk. The weather was more like Winter than Spring

For a brief period, the group identified birds by ear. As light levels increased, the team was able to use eyes and binoculars.

Most of Clayton Lake was iced over and we had a safe walk down the lake to check for waterfowl nearer Clayton.

Clayton Lake, mostly frozen over. photo Howard Robinson

Going to look for ducks, Clayton Lake. photo Howard Robinson

photo Howard Robinson

The group had good views of a female Pileated woodpecker as she “mined for bugs”. photo Michel Gauthier

“Spruced up” Black-capped Chickadee. photo Howard Robinson

After more than two hours of birding and an interlude for refreshments, the numbers were tallied.  Only eighteen species of birds had been spotted or heard by the group. This was a lot lower than the 36 species counted last year during the same week. The colder weather is having its effect.

The Group List with the number of each species is as follows:

13 Canada Goose

2 Wood Duck

9 Mallard

4 Common Goldeneye

6 Wild Turkey

1 Downy Woodpecker

2 Hairy Woodpecker

1 Northern Flicker

2 Pileated Woodpecker

6 Blue Jay

9 American Crow

9 Black-capped Chickadee

2 Red-breasted Nuthatch

1 White-breasted Nuthatch

15 American Robin

8 Dark-eyed Junco

8 Song Sparrows

7 Common Grackle


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Early Morning Birding, April 19th

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


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Birds seen on MVFN Early Morning Bird Walk

Wednesday April 27, 2016

The following is the list of birds seen or heard on the morning bird walk on the Mississippi River Walk in Carleton Place. This was the last of 4 Early Morning Bird Walks hosted by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists Birding Committee. Follow the calendar at for upcoming MVFN events. Watch for the four fall Almonte Lagoon Openhouses in September.

Yellow-rumped warbler, Robinson

Photo of a Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle subspecies) by Howard Robinson

American Crow

Black-capped Chickadee

Northern Cardinal

Northern Flicker

European Starling

American Robin

Canada Goose

Common Grackle

Red-winged Blackbird

Song Sparrow

Pine Warbler

White-breasted Nuthatch

Rock Pigeon

Common Goldeneye


Blue Jay


Wood Duck

Mourning Dove

Tree Swallow

Great Blue Heron

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

American Goldfinch

Downy Woodpecker

Ring-billed Gull

Dark-eyed Junco

Pine Siskin

Turkey Vulture

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle subspecies)

List compiled by Mary Robinson


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April 14 Early Morning Birds Seen

List of birds seen on MVFN Early Morning bird walk April 14, 2016 near Clayton Lake. Compiled by Mary Robinson of the MVFN Birding Committee

Below: immatutre Bald Eagle seen; photo by Howard Robinson

IMG_6142B Immature Bald Eagle Robinson

  1. Wild Turkey
  2. American Crow
  3. American Robin
  4. Song Sparrow
  5. Northern Cardinal
  6. Blue Jay
  7. Winter Wren
  8. Black-capped Chickadee
  9. Canada Goose
  10. Mallard
  11. Common Grackle
  12. White-breasted Nuthatch
  13. Hairy Woodpecker
  14. Pileated Woodpecker
  15. Northern Flicker
  16. Purple Finch
  17. Eastern Bluebird
  18. Dark-eyed Junco
  19. Common Merganser
  20. American Goldfinch
  21. Hooded Merganser
  22. Wood Duck
  23. Bald Eagle (juvenile)
  24. Pine Siskin
  25. Common Redpoll
  26. Red-winged Blackbird
  27. Rock Pigeon
  28. European Starling
  29. Swamp Sparrow
  30. Bufflehead
  31. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  32. Mourning Dove
  33. Turkey Vulture
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Early Morning Bird Walk April 6th Birds Seen or Heard

Below is the list of bird species seen or heard on the MVFN early morning bird walk on Al Potvin’s property – not bad for a cold morning with the starting temperature below zero!  The walk was led by Cliff Bennett.


  1. American Robin
  2. Mourning Dove
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Northern Cardinal
  5. Song Sparrow
  6. American Crow
  7. Black-capped Chickadee
  8. Eastern Phoebe
  9. Mallard
  10. Wild Turkey
  11. Ring-billed Gull
  12. White-breasted Nuthatch
  13. Pine Siskin
  14. Blue Jay
  15. Great Blue Heron
  16. American Goldfinch
  17. Northern Flicker
  18. European Starling
  19. Hairy Woodpecker
  20. Rock Pigeon
  21. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  22. Dark-eyed Junco
  23. Common Merganser
  24. Purple Finch
  25. Common Goldeneye
  26. Common Raven
  27. Red-winged Blackbird
  28. Common Grackle
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