Kingston Field Naturalists
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Outings & Events of Interest

Upcoming Field Trips and Rambles
Open to club members only                      Upcoming Public Events

Contact the trip leader or consult your newsletter for trip details such as meeting time and location.

The KFN Executive strongly encourages carpooling for all Rambles & Fieldtrips. Please pay a fair share of the driving expenses to your driver. If you are not sure how much is fair, ask your driver how much he thinks the trip cost him. An example: Three people share a car from Kingston to Prince Edward Point. Each person might contribute $10.

Important note: Please be aware that ticks carrying Lyme disease have been found in the Kingston region, in places including Lemoine Point, Prince Edward County, Amherst Island, St. Lawrence Islands National Park and the Frontenac Arch. If you take part in field trips in these areas, or visit them on your own, we strongly recommend that you take precautions against tick bites. Please read this information on Lyme disease, adapted from a brochure from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.

Nov 07, 2017 - TueRamble in Lemoine Point
Leader: Anne Robertson
Meet at the south (airport) end parking lot of Lemoine Point. Bring a snack. 9am-noon.
Nov 21, 2017 - TueRock Hounding Ramble
Leader: Anne Robertson
Verona area. Meet Car pool lot Hwy 38 and 401. Bring lunch and an egg box for specimens! 9am-2pm

Upcoming Events of Interest
Normally open to the public

Nov 03, 2017 - Fri
- Nov 05, 2017 - Sun
Fall Round Up
3 days of fun birding events with many ways to get involved! Details coming soon.

Fieldtrip Reports

Titmouse Kingston Field Trip - 2nd February 2014
Leader: Mark Read
Four members joined me for an enjoyable morning visiting a few of Kingston's birding locations on a day with vastly improved weather compared to the bone-numbing cold experienced during the previous few days. To get the day rolling, we headed up to Princess Towers where I had seen the resident pair of Peregrine Falcons just that morning. Of course, we missed seeing them but at least one member of the group stopped in later during the day and actually observed one of the pair take a Feral Pigeon. We then went down to the Wolfe Island Ferry Dock where waterfowl, though not numerous, are restricted to the ice-choked channel, there-by allowing for some close looks. Mallard numbered about 40 and in with them was a leucistic female, quite unusual. Of more interest though to those present were the two 1st winter drake Long-tailed Ducks allowing us very close views right from the dock. Also present were Common Goldeneye, Greater Scaup, a single American Black Duck and both Common and Red-breasted Mergansers - these allowing close comparison of the females.
We then decided to call in at the Invista plant to check out the open pool on Cataraqui Bay. Immediately upon our arrival we were greeted by an immature Snowy Owl. Up to 3 have been seen here but it was still nice to see this bird so quickly and easily. Scanning the pool, we logged 15 Mute Swans, 5 American Coot and the usual Canada Geese, Mallard, Gadwall and American Black Duck, albeit in lower numbers than typical. We then continued to the Ball Diamond where we could get better looks at the outfall, often a better area for diving ducks. Here we were rewarded with 9 Greater Scaup, a single Common Goldeneye and just one Common Merganser. However, the highlight for all was a Northern Shrike that first gave itself away with its scratchy yet melodic singing. We all enjoyed great views through the 'scope; Polly actually seeing the bird regurgitate a pellet as she was watching. With one of the party needing to head off to work, we decided to continue to Lemoine Point but not before seeing a Red-tailed Hawk on the way out.
We spent just over an hour at Lemoine Point and, although the wind was 'fresh' near the car park, enjoyed the birdlife in the shelter of the woods. However, one bird that was enjoying the open grassland was a female American Kestrel sitting on a pole observing us walk by. We soon began seeing numerous Black-capped Chickadees, all hoping for a free hand-out of sunflower seeds. We obliged and quickly attracted both Hairy and Downy Woodpecker to the vicinity but not to the hand. However, a diminutive pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches did come to the hand, allowing those with a fast shutter to snap a few shots. White-breasted Nuthatch, not to be usurped by its miniature cousin joined in the show and later came to the hand as well. This opportunity allowed us to compare the male and female of each species, with males having black crowns and females dark grey crowns.
Looping back to the car park, we added a few more species to the trip list including Golden-crowned Kinglet, Northern Cardinal, Dark-eyed Junco and Blue Jay. In total (including Peregrine), we saw 35 species - not too bad for a winter morning in Kingston.

Titmouse KFN Field Trip Ithaca/Cornell University April 26-28, 2013,
By Gaye Beckwith, photos by Gaye Beckwith and Paul Mackenzie
Leaders: Gaye & Betsy Beckwith, Erwin Batalla, Alexandra Simmons
Participants: Karen Stinson, Jennifer Prior, Lynn Bell, Bud Rowe, Ken Robinson & Sigrid Dohrendorf Bob & Connie Gardiner, Maureen Sly, Will Irwin, Marg McLeod, Martin McLeod, Hugh Evans, Paul & Nitty Mackenzie, Margaret Henderson.
"If we hadn't seen anything else the 'backroom' tour of Cornell's Ornithology Lab made the trip worthwhile." The Lab tour led by Dr. Scott Taylor, former Queen's student, was a highlight for all of us. Scott, the Lab's Fuller Evolutionary Biology Postdoctoral Fellow examining hybridization between Black-capped Chickadees and Carolina Chickadees, showed us drawers of bird specimens and explained some of the research taking place with birds and other animals, such as fish, from all over the world. Seeing dried specimens of extinct Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers and Passenger Pigeons was a "bittersweet" experience.

Our trip to Ithaca, New York left Kingston at 7:30 a.m. on Friday with everyone fuelled on Timmy's coffee and under perfect weather conditions although these sunny skies and high teens temperatures were viewed cautiously following a month of foul, cool weather where winter did not give up easily. The itinerary for our adventure was planned through much discussion with Erwin Batalla and Alexandra Simmons, the latter having attended Cornell University in the 90's. An hour west of Syracuse, near the north end of Cayuga Lake, is the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, where we stopped for lunch and began our search for birds returning north after the winter. At the visitor center we had close-up views of Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Green and Blue-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, and Pied-billed Grebe. We also heard and saw Tufted Titmouse (a lifer for several people), soaring Bald Eagles, Ruddy Ducks, Eastern Bluebirds The Blue Bill Volume 60, No. 2 Page 57 and Yellow Warblers. For a complete list of 41 bird species seen during our 2-hour visit, check ebird. Following Montezuma some of the group walked short sections of trails around ponds at the nearby Seneca Meadows Wetland Preserve, an initiative of the Seneca Meadows Landfill. Nearly 600 acres, it contains wetland, forest, savannah and prairie habitats. Others got lost and headed down the west side of Cayuga Lake where they had already ordered ice cream at the Cayuga Lake Creamery before being rejoined there by the rest of the group. After our treats we stopped at Taughannock Falls State Park for a look at the beautiful falls and gorge.
Early Saturday morning in clear cool conditions, half the group ventured to Sapsucker Woods, surrounding the Cornell Ornithology Lab, to look for local and migrant birds. We weren't disappointed. 31 species included Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Brown Creeper, Northern Waterthrush, White-throated Sparrow, Rusty Blackbirds, and American Goldfinch. Following breakfast at the Econolodge where we stayed, we visited Cornell Lab of Ornithology Lab where Scott provided an informative, behind the scenes tour.
Saturday afternoon started with an exploration of the Cornell "Plantations". The arboretum and gardens offer a vast variety of flora. Many plants and trees were in bloom with forsythia and magnolia especially colourful. Early flower gardens and wildflower areas added life to the surroundings.
Pileated Woodpeckers, a Pine Warbler and Crows were seen in the plantations. Saturday's weather was ideal for being outdoors. Our next stop was the Robert H. Treman State Park southwest of Ithaca, where we hiked on the rim of a Page 58 June 2013 gorge and recorded a few new birds including Turkey Vultures, Dark-eyed Junco and Winter Wren. Returning to Ithaca we parked near the 'Commons' and small groups found restaurants to suit their liking.
Sunday morning was sunny, clear and warmer for 12 of us to visit Stewart Park at the south end of Cayuga Lake. 31 species of birds were seen by the group including a Baltimore Oriole, Cardinals, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Chimney Swift, a Warbling Vireo and a Carolina Wren.
Following breakfast and check-out we returned to Sapsucker Woods to explore other trails. Among 30 species seen were Broad-winged Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, Tree Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Pine Siskin, and of course Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.
Time to head home. We headed north-west and picked up Interstate 81 near Cortland stopping briefly for lunch. To break up the 3-hour journey we exited 81 at Pulaski and traveled along the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Several state parks and conservation areas line this end of the lake. We stopped at Black Pond for an enjoyable walk along a boardwalk through woods, dunes and ponds to the shore of Lake Ontario.
Besides turtles, frogs, and fish we added Caspian Terns, Palm Warbler and Cedar Waxwings to give us over 100 bird species for the 3 days. Although the water temperature was still very cold, the exceptional weather afforded the opportunity for some beachgoers to walk in the water, a few even taking a dip. They weren't from our group, but they were probably Canadian, eh? Our convoy of 6 vehicles split up, and everyone headed home after a super weekend of birding, camaraderie, enjoying nature. "thank you to all of you for sharing, encouraging, laughing, spotting and for just generally being a fine group of people ..." "Enjoyed the trip. It was well thought out and well coordinated. As new group members we felt welcome. Enjoyed birding with experts who shared their knowledge and scopes. Looking forward to another adventure" The Blue Bill Volume 60, No. 2 Page 59 "We give thanks to the Ruddy ducks that swam and dove in front of us to show us their stiff tails. Also, we thank the Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs that stood together in the mudflats and showed us their differences. We thank the Red- bellied woodpeckers and Yellow- bellied sapsuckers of the Sapsucker woods who spoke to us in their language. Also, for the Northern waterthrush who sang beautifully and actually let us see him from the boardwalk. Thank you to the Tufted titmouses who repeated their song so clearly and so repeatedly so that we could memorize their greeting. And thanks to the Broad winged hawk who made the flypasts for us, right in front of the Cornell lab building. The Blue- gray gnatcatchers presented themselves in Lewis Park, very accommodating.
We give thanks to the many native wildflowers that blossomed in the warm spring sunlight at the Cornell horticultural gardens, just in time for our visit.
Oh, and by the way, many thanks to the good folks from KFN who led us through this field trip, bringing us to all these natural wonders, and pointing out to us the fascination of nature."

hikers Frontenac Park Field Trip Sunday, February 2013 Six KFN members hiked the Doe Lake Trail in Frontenac Park on a mild winter morning. We saw geese, blue jays, chickadees, white breasted nuthatches, common ravens, a hairy woodpecker, a downy woodpecker, and 3 pileated woodpeckers which had been harassing a barred owl which we searched for but didn't find. The snow surface was covered with snow fleas in many areas. Animal tracks were very prevalent and we were able to identify squirrel, otter, deer, porcupine and possibly fisher. Leader: Gaye Beckwith Participants: Erwin Batalla, Sandra Simmons, Dorothy Forrester, Gilles Bisson, Ken Robinson Photos: Gaye Beckwith

    Long-tailed Duck KFN Field Trip to Presqu'ile PP Waterfowl Weekend, Sunday March 18, 2012

    Leaders: Gaye and Betsy Beckwith
    Participants: John Allan, Suzanne Bodner, Hugh Evans, Janis Grant, Tony Kaduck, Chris Perry, Nancy Spooner, and 3 guests from Queen's.
    After the winter that wasn't a dozen KFN members and their guests traveled to Presqu'ile Provincial Park just south of Brighton, ON for their annual Waterfowl Weekend. En route a dozen red-tailed hawks were seen sitting in trees along the 401. An Eastern Bluebird and Eastern Meadowlark were seen on Forest Road south of Sydenham. In the park saw a variety of ducks including Golden Eye, Long tail, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Bufflehead, Canvas Back, Gadwall, American Widgeon, Ringed-necked, Common and hooded Mergansers, and Mallards. Because of the lack of ice in the bay the ducks were usually well off shore but volunteers were very eager in helping us find species. White winged scoters, a common loon, mute swans and Canada Geese were also present. A Great Blue Heron and Northern Harrier (male) were seen during our walk on the marsh boardwalk. As we walked about the lighthouse area enjoying the spring-like weather (22 Celsius) we saw a good variety of woodland birds including Golden crowned kinglets, Brown Creepers, Juncos, Goldfinches, Brown Headed Cowbirds, one Phoebe and a female House Finch. These were mixed in with the usual birds you would expect to see like Robin, Blue Jays, Chickadees, etc. Two Turkey Vultures were seen flying overhead. Leaving the park we stopped at Brighton water filtering project where we saw several Green-winged teal the ducks in the marshland. All in all we had a great day, saw 40 species of birds and enjoyed the incredible weather while wondering if this early spring will be the norm in the future.Lunch break


    Fungi field trip September 24, 2006 [ View Report ]




KFN Home PageKFN Information and Hot LineHow to Join the Kingston Field NaturalistsKFN MeetingsKFN PublicationsKFN Field Trips / Nature Walks / RamblesKFN ProjectsKFN Juniors & Teen NaturalistsBlue Bill