Opinion Column

BIRDWATCH: Birdwatching excursion at the Pembroke Marina Aug. 22

Ken Hooles

By Ken Hooles, Daily Observer

Ken Hooles

Ken Hooles

The next Pembroke Area Field Naturalists’ excursion is the Pembroke Marina/Waterfront Walk to be held on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 8 a.m.

This is a good walk to enjoy migrant bird life along the Pembroke waterfront. There are usually terns, gulls, ducks, shorebirds and several songbirds such as Vireos, Warblers, Sparrows and Finches. As well, the odd surprise bird does occasionally show up.

It should be noted that the route from the marina will be the same as last year. This year, we will leave the marina, walk or travel by car and park near the new washrooms close to the band shell area. From here, we will follow the bottom of the old railway tracks to the far corner of the Algonquin College parking lot, continue along the back trail and reconnect to the Kiwanis trail. Then, back to our cars. These areas are usually good for fall warblers and song birds.

If you are interested in attending this event, please meet me at the Pembroke Marina at the mouth of the Muskrat River at 8 a.m. It is a great walk to meet people and usually to see or hear a variety of fall birds. Perhaps this year we will break the marina record of 58 bird species. For more information, please call me at 613-735-4430.

Elsewhere on the local scene, the shorebird migration has now begun. Up to now, it appears that most of the adult shorebirds have been passing through our area without stopping; however, there have been reports of Solitary Sandpipers in the area. In the next week or so, the large population of this year’s shorebird fledglings in the North will make their first trek South. This will continue from now until the end of November. These little birds will pass through our area and can sometimes be found at Riverside Park Beach, the Pembroke Marina and anywhere there is a beach or mudflats. Let me know if you see any of these interesting little birds. I hope that some will be spotted on the Marina Walk.

On July 24, Jane Manary-Parent, who resides on the fringe of Pembroke, updated me with her backyard bird activity. She had Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, Yellow and Common Yellow-throat Warblers all, with fledglings. She also had families of Robins, Chipping Sparrows and Purple Finches. That is a lot of activity in one yard!

On July 27, Robin McGregor of Pembroke sent me some excellent photos of birds that he took while on a kayaking excursion on the Ottawa River. He observed an immature Bald Eagle, a female Goldeneye Duck, Spotted Sandpiper and the area’s first fall report of Solitary Sandpiper.

Finally, on this same date, Bailey Lemire and his best friend, Wyatt Purdon, two young bird enthusiasts in the Pembroke area, were quite excited to observe a Golden Eagle preening itself on a rock near the Shaw Woods. At first, I thought they might have seen one of the immature Bald Eagles from the nest site in that area. However, from the description and confirmation that the feathers on the bird they observed went to the feet and the large wing span, it was indeed most likely a Golden Eagle. What a great sighting! You guys should start a bird checklist and consider coming out to the Pembroke Area Field Naturalists’ field trips.

Please call me with your bird sightings at 613-735-4430, or email me at hooles@bell.net. For more information on nature and upcoming events by the Pembroke Field Naturalists, I refer you to their website at www.pafn.on.ca.