Birding the Bowmanville Area

This blog is going to be a birding blog that is based in the Bowmanville, Ontario area. Bowmanville is about one hour east of Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario. One focus of the blog will be the life and times of the Ospreys that breed in the marsh along the waterfront. Birds will be the focus but other critters may raise their heads on occasion.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Osprey watch!

Easter Sunday and it turned into not a bad day after starting out cloudy and cool. One of my boys is sick so we were kind of stuck close to home. however after supper Jake and I went for a short drive and checked out the Ospreys. There was a bird on its usual perch on the fourth post of the pond. When we first arrived I couldn't tell if the other bird was on the nest or not. After a few minutes, the other bird stuck her head up from in the nest. I don't know if this means she is already sitting on eggs or not. After a few minutes she flew down towards the male and back up onto the platform. The male then joined her and there was some copulating going on as we were leaving.
While we were watching the ospreys the sun was setting and the pond was glowing orange. Three Great Blue Herons flew over in tight formation quite low and a few Caspian terns were flying about the marsh. Jake and I finished the evening standing down at the lake and Jake threw rocks into the lake as little boys have been doing for ever!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nest Repair in Progress!

In between snowstorms today, April 17, I went down to the West Side Marsh and checked to see if "our" Ospreys were back. Sure enough both birds were present. One of them was hard at work repairing/remodeling the nest. It is on the second most westerly of the four platforms. The other bird was resting on one of the branches on the most westerly platform. It was great to see them back as I always question if they are both going to make it through the winter and the long flights, both south in the fall and north in the spring! In other Osprey news I noticed on the ONTBIRDS bird alert someone reported that two sets of cell phone towers near Aurora, ON which have historically had nest on them have been changed to prevent there nesting this year. hopefully theses birds will find other suitable nest sites in time to raise their young this season. As of the 14th of this month the count for Ospreys going past Beamer point was 24. I am sure many of the Ospreys follow close to or over the lake and are thus not seen by the hawkwatch staion.
Other birds of note seen in the vicinity were Caspian Terns, Kestrel and Merlin as well as my first for the year Brown Thrashers. Always nice to see them!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ospreys are returning!

Tonight while in the backyard lighting the barbecue I looked up to seean Osprey circling in the overcast sky. It was the first I have seen this year and being April 4th it is quite early for the year. It didn't look like it was one of he Bowmanville marsh birds as it appeared to be heading off to the northeast likely towards Rice Lake or the Kawarthas.
So far this year the Beamers Point Hawkwatch at Grimsby, ON has only recorded 1 Osprey. This was April 2nd. Also last week the Buffalo bird report listed an Osprey as a late arrival at the Tift Nature Preserve near Buffalo. I have not seen or heard any other reports this year so I was quite pleased to see the one over my yard today.
Other birds seen today include Wild Turkey on a Bowmanville lawn as I drove to work this AM.

Back on the Osprey topic, below is a photo of the Osprey platform at the mouth of the Wilmot Creek in Newcastle, ON. It has remained to my knowledge unused since it was erected. I think it is probably too vulnerable to predation by Raccoons for the birds liking!!

The Osprey platform at Wilmot creek.