Ontario

8th November 1987 - 15th November 1987. 

8th November.

The previous day I had left Ithaca in New York State and driven north to Toronto, Ontario, to stay with Roy Smith. New species for me will be in bold.

Today I drove north to Algonquin Provincial Park, stopping at Lake Simcoe where there was an American Kestrel, 1,000+ Goldeneyes, 19 Buffleheads, 100+ Goosanders, 5 Long-tailed Ducks, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 White-winged Scoter, 2 Surf Scoter, 30 Great Northern Divers, 3 Slavonian Grebes, Ring-billed and American Herring Gulls, a Little Gull, 50+ Bonaparte's Gulls, a Belted Kingfisher, 2 Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees and 8 Evening Grobeaks.

Evening Grosbeaks

9th November.

I was in Algonquin Provincial Park to record winter atmospheres for the BBC series Land of the Eagle, but at this time of year it was very quiet, so hard going!

During the day I saw 2 Pileated Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches, Blue Jays, 3 Gray Jays, 8 Ravens, a downy Woodpecker and 4 Beavers.

Gray Jays. 

10th November.

A second day in Algonquin Provincial Park, seeing a Beaver, Black-capped Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Golden-crowned Kinglets, 2 Evening Grosbeaks, 3 River Otters, a Goosander, 7 Hooded Mergansers, a Boreal Chickadee, an Eastern Chipmunk, 2 Ravens, 9 Gray Jays, 2 Red Foxes, 5 Blue Jays, a Hairy Woodpecker, 2 White-breasted Nuthatches, an American Red Squirrel.

When I stopped for lunch a group of Gray Jays were in the trees nearby, I threw out a few bits of beef-jerky onto the frozen puddles by the car, which the birds came down to collect, calling, and I could hear their claws on the ice as they ran to eat the scraps. This went on until I ran out of food!

Gray Jays - Nigel Tucker
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Eastern Chipmunk - Nigel Tucker
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Red Fox

11th November.

Leaving Algonquin I drove south stopping at Gull Lake where there were 3 Ruffed Grouse.

Continuing south I went to Balsam Lake and while driving around saw 3 Pine Grosbeaks.

Then I stopped at Sibbald Point on Lake Simcoe seeing c20 Bonaparte's Gulls, 2 Ring-billed Gulls, an American Herring Gull, c40 Goosanders and 4 Buffleheads.

I returned to Roy's place in Toronto, later we visited an area of farmland and woodland near Ballantrae, north of the city. We had come to see a friend of Roys who kept and flew birds of prey, to ask him if I could come and record some of his captive species, to which he agreed.

While we were in the area we saw a Rough-legged Buzzard, 2 Dark-eyed Juncos, 2 White-breasted Nuthatches, a Downy and a Hairy Woodpecker, a Brown Creeper and Black-capped Chickadees.

Right: Ruffed Grouse.

Below: Pine Grosbeak.

12th November.

Roy and I returned to Ballantrae, and I was able to record captive:

American Kestrel, a male.

Northern Goshawk, a male.

Great Horned Owl, a male & female.

In the garden I was also able to make a quick recording of a Hairy Woodpecker.

Also here and in the adjoining woodland we saw a Ruffed Grouse, 2 White-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, a Dark-eyed Junco and a Northern Flying Squirrel.

Then, towards evening we were taken to a spot to listen for Barred Owl, we saw one bird and then it started calling.

Hairy Woodpecker - Nigel Tucker
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Gray Jay

American Kestrel - Nigel Tucker
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Northern Goshawk - Nigel Tucker
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Great Horned Owls - Nigel Tucker
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Barred Owl - Nigel Tucker
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13th November.

From Roy's apartment  in Richmond Hill, we went to nearby Wilcox Lake where we saw c200 Canada Geese, 20+ Mallard, a Ring-necked Duck, c1000 American Herring and Ring-billed Gulls, c10 Black-capped Chickadees, an American Tree Sparrow, a Belted Kingfisher, c12 Dark-eyed Juncos, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, 4 Red-breasted Nuthatches, 2 American Goldfinches and 2 American Robins.

14th November.

Most of today was spent at Leslie Spit, part of the Tommy Thompson Park on Lake Ontario, on and around the lake and pools we saw 2,000+ Long-tailed Ducks, 20+ Buffleheads, 8 Black Scoter, 10 Canada Geese, c40 Gadwall, 3 Snowy Owls, 14 Slavonian Grebes, 3 American Kestrels, lots of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, 65 Snow Buntings, 30 Goosanders, 1000+ Red-breasted Mergansers, 15 Great Northern Divers, 2 Great Black-backed Gulls, 2 Goldeneyes, 3 Black Ducks, 12 Mallard, 6 Redheads, 2 Merlins, an American Tree Sparrow, a White-winged Scoter and 2 Mute Swans.

Snowy Owl

15th November.

My last full day in Ontario, Roy and I drove west along Lake Ontario's north shore, firstly stopping at Hamilton Harbour where we saw 500+ Scaup, 50+ Buffleheads, 10 Green-winged Teal, 6 Shoveler, 35 Canada Geese, c30 Mallard, c20 Black Ducks, 8 Pintail, 10 Ruddy Ducks, 6 Goldeneyes, 11 Lesser Scaup, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 3 Great Northern Divers and a Red-throated Diver.

Next we stopped at Fifty Point were there were 3 Northern Mockingbirds, a Downy Woodpecker, 2 Mute Swans, a Long-tailed Duck, 3 Buffleheads and c200 Canada Geese.

From there we went to Niagara-on-the-Lake where on the lake and along the river we saw 2 Pine Siskins, Black-capped Chickadees, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, 3 House Finches, an American Goldfinch, a Downy Woodpecker, masses of gulls, Long-tailed Ducks, Scaup, 2 Goldeneyes, 10 White-winged Scoter, a Canvasback, 2 Great Northern Divers and a Great Blue Heron.

Then to Niagara Falls where there were 6 Great Northern Divers, 3,000+ Canvasbacks, a White-winged Scoter, 800+ Scaup, 2 Goosanders, c20 Red-breasted Mergansers, c80 Goldeneyes, 5 American Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 20+ Buffleheads, Redheads, 10 Mallard, 5 Purple Sandpipers and masses of gulls.

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