April 2022 meeting sightings

The sights and sounds of early spring were welcomed at our April 6 meeting:

  • Western chorus frogs seemed to be a bit late proclaiming spring; did you know they are freeze tolerant? Art Goldsmith heard one on April 3, 2022, on Meyer Road, McNab/Braeside during the club’s Owl Prowl. The group also heard a Northern Saw-whet Owl and three Barred Owls (and saw two of them!), as well as several American Woodcock on the outing.
  • On March 27, Art found a Turkey Vulture on County Road 29 beside Pakenham’s 5-Span Bridge Park; the bird was on the road shoulder feeding on leftovers in the gravel.
  • Mention was made of Mourning Cloak and Compton Tortoiseshell butterflies; Michael noted that they spend the winter here in hibernation and usually emerge in March.

Jim and Cathie Dick reported an Eastern Meadowlark on March 18 on Red Pine Bay; they also photographed an “oh so ugly” Turkey Vulture in the same area two days later as well as a Long-jawed Orb Weaver “Metellina” variety on March 20, “a typical time to see these tiny jumping hexapods known as Springtails.

The Dicks also spotted Hooded mergansers on Red Pine Bay, Braeside on April 4, 2022.

More than one person thought they had heard Common Nighthawks, but Michael thought they were more likely Woodcocks.

Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles have returned on schedule the third week in March.

Hawks have been coming back in large numbers (although some did overwinter). 

The Borers recorded a Red-tailed Hawk on March 12 and a male American Kestrel near Renfrew on March 20. 

Stephen Duff photographed this Red-tailed Hawk on March 26 on Lillie Side Road.

  • Stephen spotted the first Killdeer on April 4 on Old Highway 17 and a female Belted Kingfisher on March 25 on the Dwyer Hill Road-Mississippi River. The latter sometimes overwinter.

Killdeer                                                             Female Belted Kingfisher

Female Belted Kingisher
  • Porcupines caught the attention of several members, including Stephen Duff, who photographed this youngster; Murray and Judy Borer had three porcupines all winter, denning in a rockface just across the road so they visited regularly. They mention that a group is called a prickle!
  • Chipmunks have been leaving their underground homes to eat then returning home again.  The Borers found this one on their Finch feeder on March 11.
  • Linda Lackner spotted a Greater White-fronted Goose on March 30, at Stoney Point, Armitage Ave. Dunrobin.
  • Linda recorded a Snow Goose there on April 1
  • Linda also saw a blue morph of a Snow Goose. There are two morphs of the Snow Goose, white and blue.
  • Michael mentioned how many small ducks now returning, nest in tree cavities; Hooded mergansers do while Green-winged Teal do not. Returning now as well, geese also nest in tree cavities.
  • Betty Michalowski spotted Greater White-fronted Geese amongst some 150 Canada Geese on April 6, Old Highway 17, Holland Marsh, about two kilometres west of the Kinburn Side Road. .
  • The female American Kestrel photographed here by Penelope Adams on March 23 near Almonte, is slightly larger while the male is brighter. Kestrels are the only hawks that nest in tree cavities.
American Kestrels
  • A female Eastern Coyote found dead by Janet Mason on March 23 on Carp Road just north of Thomas A. Dolan Parkway led Michael to point out the elements that help distinguish a coyote from a wolf. A coyote has a very narrow snout; it is usually not very big, some 50 pounds or less, compared to a wolf, which is typically heavier.