Yesterday's partially cloudy skies and an almost continuous breeze was a welcomed relieft to the humidity and high temperature as 14 birders made their way around 4 sewage lagoon sites in eastern Ontario. This was the final field trip in the 2010 Summer Series of Birding. We visited the St-Isidore, Casselman, Embrun and St. Albert lagoons. We included on additional stop in Casselman, at a cliff overlooking the South Nation River. It was a very productive day considering with good numbers of many of the species we encountered throughout the day. The smallest of the sites, St-Isidore, with just three cells, once again produced the widest variety of birds. The three ponds are laid out in a circular pattern, making it easy to see all three from one central observation point. St. Albert is the largest of the sites, but this time, other than large quantities of mallards, birdlife was somewhat quiet. The low number of sandpiper species was countered by an extremely productive raptor day.
Here is our list of 54 species: 30 Wood Duck, 12 Gadwall, 12 American Black Duck, 300 Mallard, 24 Blue winged Teal, 11 Northern Shoveler, 1 Northern Pintail, 40 Green winged Teal, 50 Ruddy Duck, 1 American Bittern, 4 Great Blue Heron, 1 Black-crowned Night Heron, 5 Turkey Vulture, 2 Osprey, 3 Northern Harrier, 3 American Kestrel, 4 Merlin, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 10 Common Moorhen, 6 Killdeer, 20 Greater Yellowlegs, 4 Lesser Yellowlegs, 10 Spotted Sandpiper, 2 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 60 Least Sandpiper, 12 Ring-billed Gull, 40 Rock Pigeon, 50 Mourning Dove, 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 2 Belted Kingfisher, 2 Great Crested Flycatcher, 3 Eastern Kingbird, 8 Blue Jay, 10 American Crow, 1 Common Raven, 2 Purple Martin, 100 Tree Swallow, 3 Barn Swallow, 1 Marsh Wren, 6 American Robin, 300 European Starling, 12 Cedar Waxwing, 1 Yellow Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 3 Chipping Sparrow, 3 Song Sparrow, 1 Northern Cardinal, 1 Bobolink, 30 Red-winged Blackbird, 5 Common Grackle, 2 Baltimore Oriole, 1 House Finch, 12 American Goldfinch, 15 House Sparrow
This completes our 7th consecutive year of Summer Series field trips. I'd like to thank, in particular, a dedicated core group of friends who have consistently supported the summer trips. We were very pleased this year to have a number of first-time participants. We hope that they will become active participants in the rest of the year's outings, beginning with the first of the fall session on August 28th in Dundee.
Thanks again to all involved in another successful Summer Series of Birding. - Sheldon