Opinion Column

BIRDWATCH: Pembroke Marina/waterfront excursion happening Saturday morning

Ken Hooles

By Ken Hooles, Daily Observer

Bay-breasted Warbler is seen here bathing in the winter sun. The Bay-breasted and other fall migrants may be found on the marina walk on Aug. 26.

Bay-breasted Warbler is seen here bathing in the winter sun. The Bay-breasted and other fall migrants may be found on the marina walk on Aug. 26.

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The next Pembroke Area Field Naturalists’ excursion is the Pembroke Marina/Waterfront Walk to be held on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 8 a.m. This is a few days later than the previous year’s excursion, which hopefully will bring better results.

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 continues across Ontario. While shore bird activity has been slow in our area, on a recent excursion to Presqu’ile Provincial Park we encountered several of these bird species including Black-bellied Plover, Semi-palmeated Plover, Killdeer, Semi-palmeated Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, a Red Knot, and a scarce Stilt Sandpiper. I am hoping that on this year’s Marina Walk, each of these bird species or more will be spotted at the mouth of the Muskrat River. I am also hoping for pockets of fall warblers and other migrants heading south.

As indicated last week, you may have noticed several bird species beginning to stage in preparation for their journey south. I have spotted several flocks of Canada Geese and Cormorants on our lakes and hundreds of Blackbirds along our roadsides and telephone wires. Several of our summer bird species are in the process of leaving or have already left and these include the Bobolinks, Upland Sandpipers, Whip-poor-wills, Green Herons, Swallows, and Chimney Swifts. Of course, there will be a few of these birds that leave a little later. Next week, you may also be lucky to observe the last of the Common Nighthawks leave our area. Watch for them slowly circling in the high sky in the evenings on their way south. It is quite a sight!

On Aug. 8, Christian Renault of Forest Lea Road spotted a Great Black-backed Gull near the rapids on Morrison Island. This is one of our more scarce Gulls and is a good bird to locate. Nice find, Christian!

On Aug. 10, Harry Fick of Burns Drive observed three Great Egrets standing in the river in back of his home. This confirms that there is more than one of these birds in that area. It must have been quite a sight!

Finally, around this same period, John Meadows of Westmeath sent me a great photo of a pair of Redheads flying near Marcotte Bay on the Ottawa River. Nice photos, John!

Please call me with your bird sightings at 613-735-4430 or email me at hooles@bell.net. For more information on upcoming nature events or other links to nature site just Google the Pembroke Area Field Naturalists or like us on Facebook.