Prince Edward County

Friday, November 30th to Saturday, December 1st

Two full days of birding

Prince Edward County offered up some surprisingly excellent early-winter birding! Given the November “deep freeze,” I was wondering what the birding scene would be like; I should have known better…we were in Prince Edward County, after all. Many highlights, including all three species of swan (tallied along the St. Lawrence River along the way), a very late Ruby-crowned Kinglet, two adult Little Gulls at East Lake, two Great Horned Owls; one calling at dawn and the other photographed, a Snowy Owl flying along Outlet Beach, 17 Turkey Vultures (they manage to winter in The County, amazingly, foraging on dead fish and waterfowl, etc), a leucistic Long-tailed Duck (extremely rare plumage variant in this subspecies; perhaps the first documented…?), many small flocks of redpolls heading south, a Pine Grosbeak singing away at Wellington Harbour, a flock of fourteen Eastern Bluebirds dining on juniper berries….the list goes on and on. If it weren’t for the early deep freeze, we would’ve had a shot at seeing Red Phalarope I think! I looked tirelessly for Purple Sandpiper…no luck (but no regrets in searching so hard!) On our way out of The County we stopped at Black River Cheese and stocked up. Mmmm. Another memorable birding trip to The County. Now that I’m finding my footing in a new area and getting into a rhythm, expect to see more County birding trips on my outing schedule in 2019 and 2020.  Details below…

Photo: Leucitic female-type Long-tailed Duck with drake. Sandbanks Provincial Park. 30 November 2018.

Photo: Leucitic female-type Long-tailed Duck with drake. Sandbanks Provincial Park. 30 November 2018.

Photo: My biggest head-scratcher of the weekend. I decided on winter-plumage Red-necked Grebe roosting. In the field, it looked like a jumbo winter Horned Grebe. It was distant and I admit to being quite confused at first. In Ottawa, I’ve yet to see this species in its winter plumage!

Photo: Tundra Swan (Whistling) resting on an ice shelf. West Lake, Sandbanks Provincial Park. 1 December 2018.

Photo: A very special bird for the final bird of the day; a Great Horned Owl. Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area. 1 December 2018.

eBird Checklists

I went hog-wild on checklists, completing 80 in total over two days! So, I won’t be posting them all below, but what I will do is post my total species count (with numbers).