Waterfowl through Shorebirds
This year’s push of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks continued into the fall with two records: an extremely cooperative bird found on 20 Aug that continued into December in Niagara Falls, Niagara RM (Sid Wood) and another bird that was unfortunately shot on 1 Oct near Rondeau, Chatham-Kent Co (fide James T. Burk). Additionally, a group of seven unidentified Whistling-Duck sp. were seen on 1 Sep near Long Point, Norfolk Co (Stuart A. Mackenzie). Notable Mute Swan reports from northern Ontario were: 3 Sep–6 Nov at Wawa, Algoma Dist (Carter Dorscht) and 14 Sep near the Pic River Mouth, Thunder Bay Dist (Lucas Beaver, Peter Meisenheimer). A Cinnamon Teal was a one-day wonder on 18 Sep in the City of Toronto (Gavin Platt), although this individual has generated some controversy over its identity and has not yet been reviewed by the provincial records committee. Eurasian Wigeons were seen: 7 Oct (Jon P. Ruddy) and possibly the same bird on 22 Oct (Hans van der Zweep) near Long Sault, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Co, and 27 Nov at Rondeau Provincial Park, Chatham-Kent Co (Keith J. Burk). Also near Long Sault, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Co on 7 Oct was a hybrid Eurasian x American Wigeon (Jon P. Ruddy). The Eurasian Green-winged Teal has returned to the City of Toronto for a second winter; it was first reported on 8 Nov and continued into December (George Cook). A Canvasback seen on 10 Sep in Cochrane, Cochrane Dist was a good find for northeastern Ontario (Bob Cumming, Rob Cumming, Ella F). A Ring-necked Duck x Scaup sp. hybrid was present from 27 Sep into December in the City of Toronto (Theresa Dobko, Noam Markus, Gavin Platt). A Common Eider was an excellent find on 6 Nov in the City of Toronto (Howard Shapiro).
A few Harlequin Ducks were seen in Northern Ontario this fall: 29 Oct into December in Terrace Bay, Thunder Bay Dist (Lisa A. Jacques), 17–24 Nov in the City of Greater Sudbury (Chris Blomme, Chris Bell), and 20 Nov into December in Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma Dist (Carter Dorscht). Away from eastern Ontario, Barrow’s Goldeneye reports were: 3–4 Nov at Stoney Creek, City of Hamilton (Laurie Stacy), 20 Nov near Belleville, Hastings Co (Steve Kinsley), and the returning Owen Sound, Grey Co bird from 24 Nov into December (A. Nicholson). A Common x Barrow’s Goldeneye hybrid was seen on 29 Nov at Gannon’s Narrows, Peterborough Co (Donald A. Sutherland). Both reports of Eared Grebe this fall were only present for a single day: 12 Sep at Belmont, Elgin Co (Max Segler, Gis Segler) and 27 Oct at Erieau, Chatham-Kent Co (Stephen R. Charbonneau). A Western Grebe seen at the end of November crossed county lines, seen on 21 and 25 Nov from Pinery Provincial Park, Lambton Co (James M. Holdsworth, Mary Holdsworth), and on 24 Nov from Grand Bend, Huron Co (Donna Ferguson). The Eurasian Collared-Dove first seen in May in Shrewsbury, Chatham-Kent Co was sporadically seen during the fall and was still present in December (m. obs.). White-winged Doves were seen: 23 Aug in Blenheim, Chatham-Kent Co (James T. Burk), 8–13 Sep in Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Co (Robert Scranton), and from 21–31 Oct in Shuniah, Thunder Bay Dist (Deborah M. Buset). A Groove-billed Ani, the first record since 1988, was found at a private residence near Stratford, Perth Co where many birders saw it from 24–26 Oct (Kyle Swanson) thanks to concerted efforts by both the finders and homeowners.
Late Yellow-billed Cuckoos were seen 2 Nov on Amherst Island, Lennox and Addington Co (m. obs.) and 3 Nov in Whitby, Durham RM (Robert Spaul). A late Chimney Swift was seen 2 Nov in Waterloo, Waterloo RM (Lucas Liu). Ontario had three long-staying Rufous Hummingbirds this fall, allowing many birders the opportunity to see this species: 16 Sep–12 Nov in Renwick, Chatham-Kent Co (Marie Novak, David Cabral), 5 Nov into December in Oakville, Halton RM (Ebrahim Patel, Karalee Patel), and 9 Nov into December near Watford, Lambton Co (Kim Leyten). Virginia Rails seen 4 Aug in Kapuskasing, Cochrane Dist (Ross Wood) and 8–10 Aug in Hearst, Cochrane Dist (Norm North, Ross Wood, Denby Sadler) were notable for being so far north. An American Coot shot in the Pei lay sheesh kow IBA, Cochrane Dist on 26 Sep was notable for the James Bay region (fide Mark Gagnon). Purple Gallinules were seen 15 Oct in Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma Dist (Brooke Rutledge) and 17–21 Oct in the City of Toronto (Paul Prior). A Yellow Rail was flushed at Turkey Point, Norfolk Co on 30 Oct (Stuart A. Mackenzie).
Groups of American Avocets were reported 12 Aug from Port Franks, Lambton Co (James M. Holdsworth) and 13 Oct from Rondeau Provincial Park, Chatham-Kent Co (Stephen R. Charbonneau). Both records of Snowy Plover this fall were only seen by a single observer: 7 Sep near Long Point, Norfolk Co (Henny Giles) and 8 Sep in the City of Toronto (Theresa Dobko). Piping Plovers were seen 2 Aug at a nesting location in Oshawa, Durham RM (Kelly-Sue O’Connor, Peter Sproule), and 13 Aug in the City of Toronto (Jesse Hughes). Western Sandpipers were reported 19–22 Aug near St. Mary’s, Oxford Co (Bill Chan) and 3 Sep in Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Dist (Gregg Kendall). Reports of Red Phalarope were widespread this fall, from Durham, Halton, and Niagara RMs, Lambton, Peterborough, Prescott and Russell, and Norfolk Cos, and the Cities of Ottawa and Hamilton. Reports of Willet were also widespread this fall, especially in southwestern Ontario, with records from Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Norfolk, and Prince Edward Cos, Niagara RM, and the City of Hamilton.
Alcids through Ibis
One of the notable events of the fall was the Razorbill influx. Most birds were seen as flybys and couldn’t definitively be identified as Razorbills, however, no alcids other than Razorbills have been recorded this fall, so these records will be grouped as Razorbills. The influx started with up to nine birds seen in the City of Ottawa from 10 Oct–2 Nov (Richard Waters). On 14 Oct, one was photographed from Voyageur Provincial Park, Prescott and Russell Co (Jacques Bouvier). From 29–31 Oct there was a significant push of Razorbills/large alcids into Lake Ontario, with reports from the Cities of Hamilton and Toronto, Halton, Peel, Niagara, and Durham RMs, and Frontenac Co. A second flurry of reports occurred from 6–13 Nov from Frontenac, Northumberland, and Lennox and Addington Cos, and the Cities of Hamilton and Toronto. On 20 Nov a single Razorbill was seen flying past Stoney Creek, City of Hamilton (Brett Fried) and on the same day another was photographed near South Bay, Prince Edward Co (fide iNaturalist). From 29 Nov into December a Razorbill was observed from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara RM (m. obs.) and was later joined by three additional birds. A large alcid sp. that may have been a Common Murre was photographed on 10 Oct in the City of Ottawa (Brendan Kelly), however the bird could not be identified to species from the photo.
Black-legged Kittiwakes were widespread with reports from Grey, Bruce, Simcoe, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Huron, Essex, Norfolk Cos, the Cities of Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton, Halton and Niagara RMs, and Nipissing Dist. The Nipissing records were especially notable, both coming from Algonquin Provincial Park: 26 Oct (Jeff H. Skevington, Quinten Wiegersma) and 30 Oct (Jeff H. Skevington, Angela Skevington). A Sabine’s Gull seen 23 Sep in Barrie, Simcoe Co was a good bird for the county (Henrique Pacheco). A Little Gull photographed 19–20 Aug in Fushimi Lake Provincial Park, Cochrane Dist was an excellent record for northern Ontario (Roxane Filion). An adult Ross’s Gull was a flyby on 29 Oct in Whitby, Durham RM, but was unfortunately not refound (Glenn Coady). The only Laughing Gull of the fall was seen 13 Nov in Port Dalhousie, Niagara RM (Kevin Empey). Away from the Rainy River area, Franklin’s Gulls were seen slightly to the north and east: 1 Aug near Ignace, Kenora Dist (Brett Fried) and 15 Aug in Red Lake, Kenora Dist (Joe Sinkowski). California Gulls were recorded on 13 Sep at Sable Islands Provincial Park, Rainy River Dist (Peter Hogenbirk), from 20–22 Nov in Leamington, Essex Co (Jeremy L. Hatt) and 26 Nov in Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma Dist (Kirk Zufelt). Two Slaty-backed Gulls were seen in eastern Ontario: a long-staying bird from 8 Oct–17 Nov in the City of Ottawa (Gerard Phillips) and a one-day wonder on 24 Oct at Mississippi Lake, Lanark Co (Mark Patry). Ontario’s second Glaucous-winged Gull was much more cooperative than the first record, and was seen by scores of birders from 27 Nov into December in Barrie, Simcoe Co (Justin Peter). An early Glaucous Gull was photographed on 3 Oct in Red Rock, Thunder Bay Dist and what was likely the same individual was seen again on 5 Oct in nearby Nipigon (Mark Jennings).
Pacific Loons had a good showing this fall with several reports: 25 Sep into December at the traditional location of Barrie, Simcoe Co, where up to five birds were seen (Henrique Pacheco), 2 Oct in Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Dist (Jarmo Jalava), 16 Oct near Cobden, Renfrew Co (Jon P. Ruddy), 23 Oct in Oshawa, Durham RM (Jeremy Logan, Tim Logan), 24 Oct in Inverhuron, Bruce Co (Bob Taylor, Anne-Marie Taylor), 24 Oct in Renwick, Chatham-Kent Co (Mourad Jabra, Rob Palin), 3 birds on 28 Oct in the City of Hamilton (Brett Fried, Barbara Charlton), 31 Oct in Whitby, Durham RM (Jax Nasimok), 31 Oct at Kettle Point, Lambton Co (James M. Holdsworth, Scott Connop), and 3 Nov at Renwick, Chatham-Kent Co (Kenneth G. D. Burrell). A Magnificent Frigatebird was photographed on 30 Aug in North Bay, Nipissing Dist (fide Mike Norton), an excellent record for a region without any Great Lakes shoreline. There was a spate of Northern Gannet records this fall which may have been related to the Razorbill influx: 17 Oct in the City of Ottawa (Mark Gawn), 8 Nov in Grimsby, Niagara RM (fide eBird), 11–18 Nov in the City of Hamilton (m.obs.), 16–18 Nov in Burlington, Halton RM (m.obs.), 18 Nov in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara RM (Ryan Griffiths), 22–23 Nov along south Lake Huron, Lambton Co (James M. Holdsworth), 24 Nov at Rondeau Provincial Park, Chatham-Kent Co (Stephen R. Charbonneau), 26 Nov at Point Pelee National Park, Essex Co (Cameron Chevalier, Keith J. Burk), and 29 Nov at Sarnia, Lambton Co (Ben da Costa). Several of these records undoubtedly involve the same bird, particularly the western Lake Ontario records (Halton, Hamilton, Niagara), western Lake Erie records (Chatham-Kent and Essex), and the two Lambton records.
The only notable record of American White Pelican for the fall was a single bird in the City of Greater Sudbury from 6–13 Aug (Chris Blomme). Snowy Egrets were seen 11 Sep in Kingsville, Essex Co (David Britton) and 30 Sep near Port Burwell, Elgin Co (Aaron Allensen). A juvenile Little Blue Heron was present near Kingston, Frontenac Co from 6–15 Sep (Chip Weseloh). Cattle Egrets were widespread this fall with records from Bruce, Haldimand, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northumberland, Lambton, Lennox and Addington, Brant, Essex, and Chatham-Kent Cos, Sudbury, Parry Sound and Algoma Dists, Muskoka DM, the City of Toronto, and Niagara RM. The continuing Yellow-crowned Night-Heron from the summer was last seen 11 Sep in the City of Toronto (m. obs.) and another was seen from 10–12 Sep in Viewlake, City of Kawartha Lakes (Rachelle Richard Mack). There were several Plegadis ibis this fall, most of them flyovers: 1 Aug near Colborne, Northumberland Co (Andrew Keaveney), 3 Aug on Walpole Island, Lambton Co (Alfred L. Adamo), 25 Sep near Long Point, Norfolk Co (Matthew Timpf), 30 Sep near Port Hope, Northumberland Co (Colin Jones), 3 Oct in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Thunder Bay Dist (Jeff H. Skevington, Vincent Fyson, Paul Lagasi), 17–18 Oct in the City of Greater Sudbury (Chris Blomme), and 17–20 Oct (2 birds present on 20 Oct) near Rondeau, Chatham-Kent Co (Cathy Bailey).
Vultures through Wheatear
Several Black Vultures were picked up throughout the province, with unusual records outside of Niagara Falls being single day records on 17 Oct in Barrie, Simcoe Co (Darlene Deemert), 18 Oct in Port Stanley, Elgin Co (m. obs.), 28 Oct on Holiday Beach, Essex Co (m. obs.), and a two day record from 19–20 Nov in Port Burwell, Elgin Co (Aaron Allensen). Two Swallow-tailed Kites were seen with one on 8 Aug at Pelee island, Essex Co (Ian Sinclair) and one that first appeared on 3 Sep in Port Stanley, Elgin Co (Al Hurst), and reappeared on 8–21 Sep in Aylmer, Elgin Co (Sawyer Dawson) for two weeks. The only Mississippi Kite of the fall was seen on 22 Oct in the City of Hamilton (Matthew Mills and Richard Poort). The final raptor making the list is the Swainson’s Hawk, with a record on 30 Sep in Port Stanley, Elgin Co (Tom Bolohan) and on 17 Oct in Renwick, Chatham-Kent Co (Brandon R. Holden).
An American Three-toed Woodpecker was found surprisingly far south on 1 Sep in Killarney Provincial Park, Sudbury Dist (Dorlisa Robinson). A Say’s Phoebe was found on 16 Nov and stuck around into Dec in the City of Ottawa (Brandon Edwards and Eric Heisey). A Cassin’s Kingbird was photographed and posted to Flickr on 24 Nov in the City of Toronto but was never refound. Western Kingbirds were relatively plentiful in the province with records on 9–12 Sep on Amherst Island, Lennox and Addington Co (Kevin Hannah), 10 Sep in Rondeau Provincial Park, Chatham-Kent Co (Brandon R. Holden), 12 Sep on Pelee Island, Essex Co (Robert Tymstra), 6–9 Oct in Wawa, Algoma Dist (Cathy Lachine), and 25 Oct in Pei lay sheesh kow IBA, Cochrane Dist (Jessica Carter). There was also an unidentified yellow-bellied Kingbird sp. that was seen at Fort Albany, Cochrane Dist (Ross Corston) during the fall season. The only Fork-tailed Flycatcher seen this fall was on 1 Sep in Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Dist (Brittany Huston) and was only seen for one day.
Plenty of White-eyed Vireos were found throughout Ontario this fall with six records including 24 Sep in Rondeau Provincial Park, Chatham-Kent Co (Craig Anderson), 26 Sep in Ajax, Durham RM (Dave Worthington), 3–4 Oct in the City of Hamilton (Rob Dobos), 24 Oct in the City of Toronto (Dan Galvin), 14–17 Nov in Scarborough, City of Toronto (Theresa Dobko), and 16 Nov in the City of Toronto (Noam Markus). A possible Cassin’s Vireo was seen for one day on 28 Sep in Northville, Lambton Co (James M. Holdsworth), but the record is awaiting verification from OBRC. Late Philadelphia Vireos were seen on 20 Nov in the City of Toronto (multiple obs.) and on 21 Nov in Rondeau Provincial Park, Lambton Co (James T. Burk). A Loggerhead Shrike was seen on 27 Aug in South Bay, Prince Edward Co (Peter Hogenbirk) and a longer staying one was seen 3–5 Sep in St. Catharine’s, Niagara RM (fide eBird). The long-staying Echo Lake Black-billed Magpie was seen again this fall and has occurred for several years now. A single Fish Crow was seen this fall on 31 Aug in Point Pelee National Park, Essex Co (Cameron Chevalier) and a northerly Tufted Titmouse found on 31 Oct and continuing into December was seen in Little Rapids, Algoma Dist (Rita Saunders).
Northerly Marsh Wrens were spotted in a couple different locations with one seen 4–10 Aug in Hearst, Cochrane Dist (Norm North, Ross Wood, and Denby Sadler) and one 11 Sep in Rainy River, Rainy River Dist (Brett Fried). A long-staying Sage Thrasher continued through 6–18 Nov in Mitchell’s Bay, Chatham-Kent Co (Blake A. Mann). A Northern Mockingbird made its way quite north and was found on 5 Aug in Hearst, Cochrane Dist (Ross Wood). Townsend’s Solitaires were seen in several locations including on 2 Oct in Algonquin Provincial Park, Nipissing Dist (Brandon Edwards and Allison Binley), 24 Oct on McKellar Island, Thunder Bay Dist (Josh Levac, John Woodcock), 5 Nov–Dec in Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Dist (Calvin Knorr), 19–30 Nov in Lambton Shores, Lambton Co (James M. Holdsworth), and 27 Nov in Oakville, Halton RM (Markus Legzdins). A couple Varied Thrushes showed up in Ontario with one being seen in late November until 22 Nov in Wabigoon, Kenora Dist (Sharon Lundmark) and on 25 Nov in Elk Lake, Timiskaming Dist (Lori M. Degagne). It was another good year for Northern Wheatear as well, perhaps a ‘shadow flight’ of last year’s, with birds being found from 15–19 Sep in Owen Sound, Grey Co (Miriam Oudejans), 27–28 Sep in Dorset, Muskoka DM (James Rusak), 28 Sep in Dunrobin in the City of Ottawa (Jay Peterson), and 15 Oct in Kingston, Frontenac Co (Phil Harvey).
Finches through Buntings
A couple House Finches strayed much further north than their normal range with up to five individuals that have been continuing since Mar in Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Dist (Troy Balec et al.) and another three seen on 6 Nov also in Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Dist (Nicholas Escott, James Barber, Mirabai Alexander). Two Lark Sparrows were also identified with one seen on 22 Aug in Miller Lake, Bruce Co (Zane Shantz) and another seen on 5 Oct in Rossport, Thunder Bay Dist (Jeff H. Skevington, Vincent Fyson, Paul Lagasi). A Golden-crowned Sparrow was found on 19 Nov and has been continuing into Dec in Scarborough, the City of Toronto (Karl Konze). Several Harris’s Sparrows showed up throughout the province with records on 30 Sep in Algonquin Provincial Park, Nipissing Dist (Mark Patry), one on 14 Nov that is continuing into Dec in Copetown, City of Hamilton (Rob Dobos), and also one on 27 Nov in Uxbridge, Durham RM (Karen Bochmann). A late LeConte’s Sparrow was seen on 2 Nov in Lake Dore, Renfrew Co (Jon P. Ruddy) and a Henslow’s Sparrow has stuck around from Jun until 5 Aug in Clearville, Chatham-Kent Co (m. obs.).
A good showing of Yellow-breasted Chat was found this fall with a record on 25 Aug in Long Point, Norfolk Co (Lucas Liu), on 3 Oct in Scarborough, City of Toronto (Tony Ward), and on 13 Oct in Thunder Cape, Thunder Bay Dist (Rinchen Boardman). Records of Yellow-headed Blackbirds outside their normal range include records on 26 Aug on Ship Sands Island, Cochrane Dist (Nathan Hood, Ezra J. Campanelli), on 31 Aug in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Thunder Bay Dist (Taylor Simpanen), on 27 Oct in Stoney Creek, City of Hamilton (Richard Poort), and on 31 Oct in Strathroy, Middlesex Co (Bill Lindley). Two Western Meadowlarks were seen, with one seen on 16 Nov in Point Pelee National Park, Essex Co (Jeremy L. Hatt) and one on 27 Nov that has continued into Dec in Oakville, Halton RM (Mark Jennings). An Orchard Oriole stuck around for a long time in southern Ontario, being seen from 21 Oct until 15 Nov in Whitby, Durham RM (Jax Nasimok).
Several different species of warblers popped up throughout Ontario in the fall. One Blue-winged Warbler wandered quite far north being found on 30 Oct on McKellar Island, Thunder Bay Dist (Josh Levac). Two Prothonotary Warblers were seen further northeast of their usual range with one seen on 29 Aug in Etobicoke, City of Toronto (Sean Fraser) and one on 1 Oct in Mississauga, Peel RM (Patricia Bishop Turner). Ontario’s first record of MacGillivray’s Warbler was photographed on 5 Oct in the City of Toronto (Connor Smith), pending the approval of OBRC. A very late Blackpoll Warbler was seen 24 Nov and continued to stay until Dec in Oakville, Halton RM (Markus Legzdins). A remarkable Audubon’s Yellow-rumped Warbler was seen on 21 Oct in Thunder Cape, Thunder Bay Dist (Rinchen Boardman). Two Yellow-throated Warblers also made an appearance this fall with one record on 22–24 Oct in Bronte, Halton RM (Gavin Edmonstone) and another being seen on 23 Oct in Burlington, Halton RM (Aaron Keating, Ian Jarvie). The last species of rare warbler that was observed was a Black-throated Gray Warbler, seen on 30 Nov in Pickering, Durham RM (fide eBird).
The two Summer Tanagers seen in Ontario stuck around for more than just a day with one report on 5–11 Nov in Tobermory, Bruce Co (Judy Caulfield-Browne, Ethan Meleg, Arni Stinnissen) and another from 28 Nov until Dec in Simcoe, Norfolk Co (Lynda Kosalle). A Blue Grosbeak that has been around since Jun was last seen 7 Aug in Walsingham, Norfolk Co (m. obs.). A single Painted Bunting was found on 18 Sep in Thunder Cape, Thunder Bay Dist (Rinchen Boardman). A large number of Dickcissel records were seen throughout the province with widespread reports from a number of counties. They were seen throughout the fall in Simcoe, Essex, Chatham-Kent, Norfolk, Oxford, Bruce, Peterborough, Renfrew, and Elgin, counties, Halton RM, and Thunder Bay Dist.
Report processed by Andrew Keaveney, 21 Feb 2022.