Friday, 26 August 2011

Kingston Area Birds to August 26, 2011

A sure sign that summer is nearing its end is the return of Peter Good's postings to ont.birds.  Here is his latest report:

Shorebird  migration started locally with both yellowlegs reported on July 7th. Since then it has been steady but not spectacular. Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plover, Short-billed Dowitcher and Semipalmated Sandpiper have been seen on several occasions and there have been lots of Least Sandpipers and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. In the "less common" category were a Stilt Sandpiper at the lagoons on July 17th, a White-rumped, a Solitary and a Western Sandpiper in the Wilton Creek at Morven on July 21, 24, and 26 respectively and a Long-billed Dowitcher at the lagoons on August 12th. Local habitat is not particularly good this year; the lagoons are full restricting the few shorebirds to the very edge; the water level remains high behind the dike on the KFN property and the Wilton Creek has one of its bridges under construction.
There are lots of waterfowl, both on Amherst Island and at the lagoons. If one has the patience to sort through dozens of brown ducks some surprises are possible. There has been a pair of Ruddy Ducks at the lagoons at least since July 23rd. Lesser Scaup nested there again this year and over the summer Common Goldeneye, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup and Redhead have been seen. A Tundra Swan has oversummered off the east end of Amherst Island.
The highlight of the summer was the discovery of nesting Great Egrets on Centre Brothers Island between Amherst Island and Amherstview. (This is a first for the Kingston area.) Since then Great Egrets have been seen in wetlands all around Kingston including the Lennox Generating Station, Simcoe and Amherst Islands and Glenburnie.
Unusual sightings include Common Terns (They are not common at this end of Lake Ontario.) off Amherst island on July 12th and in the Kingston Harbour on August 12th, a Least Bittern on Garden Island on August 9th and a Little Gull at the lagoons on August 22nd.
Landbird migration is picking up. There have been concentrations of Common Nighthawks in Kingston, Elginburg, Camden East and Gananoque. A few warblers have started the trek south with reports of Yellow, Blackburnian, Blue-winged, Chestnut-sided, Black and White, Black-throated Green as well as Am. Redstart and Ovenbird. An Olive-sided Flycatcher was on Garden Island on Tuesday.


Peter Good

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

What I Did with my Summer Vacation

Not blogging, obviously.  Like for most people in Ontario summer is filled with numerous distractions.  Our season of warmth and sunshine are far too short.  Many of us were, however, getting outdoors as much as possible to view nature, watching the season of nesting and rebirth flow through growing into the fullness of maturity.  Eggs hatch to chicks who fledge and fly the nest, flowers drop petals and fruits ripen, young animals grow and leave their mothers.  Plenty of things in our area to observe, so much of nature, so little time.  Yours truly was busy working throughout summer, not much time in between chores and responsibilities to play with the camera gear.  Nights, however, allowed a few hours here and there for long exposures of stars and storms.  So for this posting we shall just share a couple scenes with you.

Lightning from a passing storm on August 20, 2011.

View of the night sky looking to the south on August 1, 2011.  Moonless nights in summer allow us to enjoy the sight of the Milky Way, and summer constellations such as Scorpio and Sagittarius, "the Teapot".

Photos:  Rose-Marie Burke