Ontario: Summer 2022

Summer 2022: 1 Jun–31 Jul

Adam Capparelli

Aaron Rusak

Recommended citation:

Capparelli, A., and A. Rusak. 2022. Summer 2022: Ontario. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-eZC> North American Birds.

Summer 2022 was as uneventful in birds as it was in weather. Temperatures started off cooler and below seasonal in the beginning of June and this persisted for almost the entire month. Towards the end of June a high pressure system originating south of the border resulted in extreme heat and record-breaking temperatures in some areas of southern Ontario. The hot temperatures continued throughout July and into early August. Although above-average precipitation was predicted for most of the province this summer, southern Ontario saw well below-average precipitation. After a very wet spring, the northwest region joined the rest of the province with lower precipitation levels as the summer progressed. However, forest fires were at a significant low, with only 179 fires reported compared to the 677 10-year average.

Notable rarities included “Eurasian” Green-winged Teal, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Say’s Phoebe, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, “Gray-headed” Dark-eyed Junco, and Lazuli Bunting.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Blake A. Mann, and Brian Ratcliff for regional reporting, and Andrew Keaveney for assistance in data logistics.

Waterfowl through Shorebirds

There were three reports of Black-bellied Whistling-Duck this summer: 9 Jun in Harrington, Wellington Co (Jay Solanki), 18 Jun near Willow Bay, Niagara RM (Philip Downey), and a long staying bird from 1–24 Jul in Waterloo, Waterloo RM (Ky Lauzon). A lingering Brant was present from late May until 24 Jun in Pembroke, Renfrew Co (m. ob.). Northerly Mute Swan records included a group of 9 birds from 8–13 Jun north of Moosonee, Cochrane Dist (Jack Farley), 22 Jun–2 Jul in Wawa, Algoma Dist (Dominik Halas), 10–16 Jul in Squaw Bay, Thunder Bay Dist (Sandra Barro, John Barro) and likely the same bird on 22 July at Hurkett, Thunder Bay Dist (Douglas Tate). A “Eurasian Green-winged Teal was present from 28–30 Jun at Alfred, Prescott and Russell Co (Jon P. Ruddy). A King Eider lingered from May until 2 Jul in the City of Toronto (m. ob.) while another was seen on 13 Jun in Vaughan, York RM (Dinu Bandyopadhyay). A Common Eider photographed on 14 Jun off False Duck Island, Prince Edward Co was an unusual summer record (Cathy Caley, Eric Caley) and while now seemingly annual in southern Ontario, it still remains a very rare bird at any time of year away from the Hudson Bay coast. The continuing Eared Grebes from May in Rainy River, Rainy River Dist remained until 5 Jul (m. ob.). The Eurasian Collared-Dove first seen in April near Staples, Essex Co was last reported on 28 Jun (Paul Pratt). The only White-winged Dove seen this summer was a flyby near Courtice, Durham RM on 10 Jun (Peter Hogenbirk). Northerly Common Gallinules were seen 8 Jun in Hilliardton, Timiskaming Dist (Bob Cumming, Rob Cumming, Ella F) and 21–26 Jun in New Liskeard, Timiskaming Dist (Luke Berg).

Continuing Yellow Rails from May were last reported on 4 Jun near Bar River, Algoma Dist (m. ob.) and 22 Jun near Dawson, Rainy River Dist (m. ob.). The Black-necked Stilts at Strathroy, Middlesex Co continued throughout the summer and successfully nested (m. ob.); single day records were 5 Jun in Leamington, Essex Co (Wally Sampson) and 6 Jun in Townsend, Haldimand Co (Karen Petrie). All summer reports of American Avocet were one-day wonders: 8 Jul in London, Middlesex Co (Stephen Taylor), 11 Jul on Pelee Island, Essex Co (Evan Sinclair), 23 Jul at Kettle Point, Lambton Co (Jeff H. Skevington, James M. Holdsworth), and 28 Jul in Blenheim, Chatham-Kent Co (Garry T. Sadler). Piping Plovers were widespread with reports from Norfolk, Simcoe, and Northumberland Cos, the Cities of Hamilton and Toronto and Durham RM. The Ruff first found in late May continued until 4 Jun in Leamington, Essex Co (m. ob.). A Curlew Sandpiper was an excellent find in Alfred, Prescott and Russell Co on 20 Jun (Robert Scranton). There were several reports of Willet this summer: 2–4 Jun in Alfred, Prescott and Russell Co (Jon P. Ruddy), 5 Jun in Terrace Bay, Thunder Bay Dist (Pegg L. Campbell, Mark Campbell), 14 Jun on Barrier Island, Bruce Co (Jarmo Jalava), 21 Jun in Kincardine, Bruce Co (Bill Hatten), 28 Jun at Mitchell’s Bay, Chatham-Kent Co (Tyler L. Hoar), 7 Jul at Point Pelee National Park, Essex Co (Andrew Keaveney), 20 Jul in Bluewater, Huron Co (fide eBird), and 24 Jul at Kettle Point, Lambton Co (Matt Parsons).

Jaegers through Herons

A Parasitic Jaeger seen from 12–13 Jul in the City of Ottawa was a good summer record (Bernie Ladouceur). Laughing Gulls were seen 6–7 Jun in the City of Ottawa (Al Caughey), 12 Jun in Scarborough, City of Toronto (Jean Iron, Ron Pittaway), and 14 Jun in Oakville, Halton RM (Dina Ghaly). Two notable Franklin’s Gulls were reported: 4 Jun on Long Point, Norfolk Co (Joshua K. Pickering) and 9 Jun in Hawkesbury, Prescott and Russell Co (Christopher Cloutier). Migrating Arctic Terns were seen on 2 Jun and 6 Jun in the City of Ottawa (Mark Gawn). Neotropic Cormorants were reported 5–10 Jul near Amherstburg, Essex Co (Brandon R. Holden), 28 Jul into August in Kingston, Frontenac Co (Jenny Newton), and 30 Jul near Mallorytown, Leeds and Grenville Co (Mark Patry).

Notable American White Pelicans were seen 1–13 Jun in Oshawa, Durham RM (Tim Logan, Jeremy Logan), 5–7 Jun in Erieau, Chatham-Kent Co (Stephen R. Charbonneau), 9 Jun on Wolfe Island, Frontenac Co (Gary P. Bell), 12 Jun near Ipperwash, Lambton Co (Jeremy M. Bensette), 15 Jun at Kettle Point, Lambton Co (James M. Holdsworth), 21–23 Jun in the City of Hamilton (Caleb Scholtens), 24 Jun in the City of Toronto (Yan Kit Michael Chiu), 30 Jul in Dunnville, Haldimand Co (Lorraine Feenstra), and 31 Jul in the City of Hamilton (Cody Bassindale). While not many years ago American White Pelican sightings in Essex Co were unusual at any time of year, sightings at Point Pelee and Holiday Beach were regular occurances this season, sometimes in double digits and breeding is now assumed on nearby western basin Lake Erie islands. The continuing Great Egret from May was last seen 1 Jun in the Slate River Valley, Thunder Bay Dist (Ted Armstrong). An adult Little Blue Heron was seen on 26 Jun in Kitchener, Waterloo RM (Ken Friesen), while an immature bird was present from 21–25 Jul in Flamborough, City of Hamilton (Rowan Keunen). Tricolored Herons remain one of the rarest waders, but one was present from 6–7 Jun in Erieau, Chatham-Kent Co (Allan Sharpe, Jackie Sharpe). The only Cattle Egret of the summer was observed on 4 Jun in Pickering, Durham RM (Peter Musselman). An adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was seen on 4 Jul in Burlington, Halton RM (Lori Whibbs) and what is most likely the same bird reappeared from 25 Jul into August in the City of Hamilton (Wade Hemsworth).

Ibis through Finches

A Glossy Ibis was seen from 2–5 Jun on Amherst Island, Lennox and Addington Co (Ben Di Labio), the only ibis species seen during this period. A few Black Vultures were seen out of their regular range, with one on 18 Jun in the City of Toronto (Kai Sheffield) and another on 30 Jul in Dundas, City of Hamilton (Rob Dobos). July records of Golden Eagle away from the Hudson Bay lowlands are very unusual, and the one recorded on 2 Jul in Railton, Frontenac Co (Dale Kristensen) was presumably a non-breeding wanderer. A very northerly Barred Owl was found east of Webequie, Kenora Dist (Mhairi McFarlane). A surprise Say’s Phoebe was observed on 1 Jun in Oulette, Sudbury Dist (William Konze). Several Western Kingbirds were seen across the province with ones on 3 Jun in Rainy River, Rainy River Dist (m. ob.), potentially the same bird observed on 4 Jun (Michael Dawber), and another seen on both 11 Jun in Pukaskwa National Park, Thunder Bay Dist (Courtney Irvine) and 30 Jun in Black Hawk, Rainy River Dist (Rob Crawford). A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was seen on 14 Jun in Goderich, Huron Co (Joann McLean and Sandy McLean).

Many one day records of White-eyed Vireo were observed during the summer, with one bird continuing from May until 3 Jun in Burlington, Halton RM (m. ob.), 4 Jun on Pelee Island, Essex Co (Evan Sinclair), 4 Jun in Ipperwash, Lambton Co (James M. Holdsworth), 19 Jun in Oakville, Halton RM (Gavin Edmonstone), and 2–11 Jul in the City of Toronto (fide eBird). An early Loggerhead Shrike showed up on 31 Jul in Oshawa, Durham RM (Peter Hogenbirk). There was a single record of a long-staying Fish Crow, from May-Aug in Kingston, Frontenac Co (m. ob.). Several Marsh Wren likely attempted to breed up north, staying from 14 Jun to 7 Jul in Balmertown, Kenora Dist (Reuven Martin). An unusual record of a Northern Wheatear was seen on 3 Jun in Batchawana Bay Provincial Park, Algoma Dist (Rodger Titman). Additionally, a northerly Eurasian Tree Sparrow was observed on 3 Jun in Shuniah, Thunder Bay Dist (Aarre Ertolahti). Two northerly House Finches were also seen on 4 Jun in Rainy River, Rainy River Dist (Sayan Duttachoudhury) and 4–29 July in Harris Hill, Rainy River Dist (Gray Carlin, Laurena K-L, Colin Gerber).

Sparrows through Buntings

A Grasshopper Sparrow showed up outside of its breeding range in Rainy River, Rainy River Dist (Vincent Fyson). Two Lark Sparrows were seen in Ontario this summer, with one being seen on 8 Jun at Miminiska Lodge, Kenora Dist (Caleb Scholtens) and a long-staying bird seen from 14–25 Jun in Barrie, Simcoe Co (Scott Watson). A “Gray-headed” Dark-eyed Junco was photographed on 12 Jul in Point Pelee National Park, Essex Co (Jamie Fowler), only the seventh record of this subspecific group in Ontario and the first in the summer season. Two Yellow-breasted Chats were seen outside of their usual range with an individual seen from 2–3 Jun in Guelph, Wellington Co (m. ob.) and a likely breeder on 1 Jun to 11 July on Pelee Island, Essex Co (Debbie Wright)–the species has become a very scarce breeder in Ontario over the last two decades. Several Yellow-headed Blackbirds were seen outside of their regular breeding range, with individuals on 11 Jun in Marathon, Thunder Bay Dist (Landan Brochu), 17 Jun in Bickford, Lambton Co (John Pries), 18 Jun on Erie Beach, Chatham-Kent Co (Stephen R. Charbonneau), and 4 Jul in Rossport, Thunder Bay Dist (James Barber). A trio of Western Meadowlarks were spotted throughout the province, with individuals in 3 Jul in Marathon, Thunder Bay Dist (Christine Drake), a potential breeder from 3 July until Aug at the Carden Alvar, City of Kawartha Lakes (JulieAnn Prentice), and another potential breeder on 10–26 Jul in Poplar, Manitoulin Dist (Rodney Thompson).

An Orchard Oriole was spotted way up north on 12 Jun in Rossport, Thunder Bay Dist (Vincent Fyson). A number of Ovenbirds made their way quite a bit north of their usual breeding location with individuals on 6–8 Jun in Moose Factory, Cochrane Dist (Keith Gregoire), 18 Jun east of Webequie, Kenora Dist (Mhairi McFarlane), 6 July in Moosonee, Cochrane Dist (Jack Farley), and 10 July on the Attawapiskat River in Kenora Dist (Ian Cook). A Kirtland’s Warbler was seen on 13 Jun at Miller Lake, Bruce Co (Zane Shantz) and several continued from May until 3 July in Barrie, Simcoe Co (m. ob.). A late Bay-breasted Warbler continued for a few days from 21–24 Jun in the City of Toronto (Karl Konze). A couple of late Summer Tanagers showed up on 2 June in Port Rowan, Norfolk Co (Stuart A. Mackenzie) and 14 Jun in Wheatley, Chatham-Kent Co (Paul Pratt). A long-staying Blue Grosbeak was also seen from 5–16 July in Tilbury, Chatham-Kent Co (Paul Pratt). A Lazuli Bunting was observed on 6 Jun in Rossport, Thunder Bay Dist (Joan Campbell Smith, Gord Smith). This summer also included widespread reports of Dickcissel with reports from Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Norfolk, Bruce, Grey, and Huron Cos, Durham RM, the City of Kawartha Lakes, and Thunder Bay and Rainy River Dists.

Report processed by Andrew Keaveney, 03 Apr 2023.

Photos–Ontario: Summer 2022

Breeding records of Black-necked Stilt are extremely rare in Ontario, so it was a nice surprise and an excellent addition to the third breeding bird atlas when the long-staying pair in Strathroy, Middlesex Co successfully raised four young. Photo © Yves Scholten.

Most Neotropic Cormorants in the province are seen as fly-bys, however this bird, photographed here on 31 July in Kingston, Frontenac Co, was reliably seen from 28 July into August. Photo © Marcie Jacklin.

A stunning breeding plumage Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was discovered on 4 Jul in Burlington, which was likely the same bird as the one photographed here on 26 Jul in the City of Hamilton. Photo © Cody Bassindale.

Kirtland’s Warblers were documented breeding in Simcoe Co this year, with many birders seizing the opportunity to chase this reliable location. This one was photographed on 20 Jun in Barrie. Photo © Ken MacDonald.