Fall birding on the Bruce
There has been a lot of activity along the shorelines of the Bruce Peninsula recently, with scoters, goldeneyes and Long-tailed Ducks starting to return from their breeding grounds in the north. Most of these birds head on to southen Ontario, but a few will remain here until the winter freeze up.
|- White-winged Scoters|
In years when the water is high on Lake Huron the Bruce isn't great for shorebirds, as most of the habitat these birds require (mudflats and exposed beaches) is covered in water that is too deep for them to forage in. However, some shorebirds like these Dunlin still find a little shallow area to land. This cooperative Dunlin at Oliphant in early October didn't mind me photographing it at all and walked within feet of me😁.
Large flocks of migrating sparrows are passing through in mass, with White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos being the most abundant.
|- White-crowned Sparrow|
|- Dark-eyed Junco|
One sparrow that is passing through southern Ontario currently, but often goes undetected is the Lincoln's Sparrow. Lincoln's can look like a Song Sparrow if you don't look at them closely, but they are slightly smaller with fine streaking on a buffy breast.
|- Lincoln's Sparrow|
I have been noticing a lot of finches around my neighbourhood the last few days. Around a hundred Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches, 200 Common Redpolls, as well as two nice surprises that were both Bruce lifers... 2 Evening Grosbeaks landed at my feeder for a few minutes on Monday, then yesterday and today I have had a flock of around 8 White-winged Crossbills flying over my yard. Unfortunately I couldn't get a great picture of the grosbeaks because they were pretty skittish, but I should have more chances this fall/winter.
|- Evening Grosbeaks|
Also of note on peninsula finch front was a Pine Grosbeak, seen by Michael Butler in Cabot Head.
This winter is starting to look like it's going to be a excellent one for finches in Bruce county, (and Southern Ontario in general) as predicted by Ron Pittaway's Winter Finch Forecast last month.
It is a good time of year for migrating falcons. There have been a lot of American Kestrals and Merlins flying south over my yard in the last few weeks and a smaller number of Peregrine Falcons.
|- Peregrine Falcon|
Most warblers have departed south now, with only Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned and Palm warblers still holding out. Most chickadee flocks have a few kinglets taging along, both the golden-crowned and ruby-crowned variety.
|- Ruby-crowned Kinglet|
Every season is exciting in the world of birding, with constant migration and that slim but always present chance of finding a rarity😁😎.