Simcoe County Bird and Nature Board. POSTS MUST INCLUDE FULL NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS OR THEY WILL BE DELETED FROM THE BOARD. Banners at top of page cannot be blocked but are not part of the page. BOB BOWLES
tree swallows & waterfowl in Orillia


This afternoon, between 3 and 4 pm, I looked for birds at the south end of Lake Couchiching in Orillia, and had some nice surprises. I saw three Tree Swallows on two occasions from different vantage points, and suspect that there were more than three. There were also hundreds of waterfowl:
A large, tight shoal of mostly diving ducks, situated far from shore near the middle of hectares of open water, included at least 300 Ring-necked Ducks, over 100 Redheads, probably some Scaups (hard to pick out with confidence from the Ring-necks), and a surprising smattering of dabbling ducks inclduing at least 20 American Wigeon and a single male Shoveler. Scattered around the bay, rather than affiliating with the large shoal, were several hundred Buffleheads, dozens of Common Goldeneyes, perhaps 100 Common Mergansers in small flocks, and at least 20 Hooded Mergansers in pairs. In addition, there were at least half a dozen Double-crested Cormorants. I didn't spot any loons or grebes, but hope springs.
It's tough to find a good spot to see these birds well. The Bridge Port Marina area was the best I could do, but most of the birds were several hundred meters away, and even with a good 'scope, shimmer in the afternoon sun was a problem. The Couchiching Point residential area would be closer, but there are no public access spots there, so one is reduced to peeking between houses. Some of these birds may be better viewed in the morning from the east side of the lake (Hammock Harbour area, Concession 12 off Rama Road).
Also worthy of note: one lingering Iceland Gull and one lingering Glaucous Gull among the hundreds of Herring Gulls and recently returned Ring-bills on the ice near the entrance to the town dump (Kitchener Street off West Street).


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