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Kingston Area Birds: 11-31 December 2021

Kingston Field Naturalists (KFN) maintains records in a 50km radius of MacDonald Park, Kingston. Birders using eBird are encouraged to share their sightings with ‘Kingston FN’. Alternatively, please email or send records directly to me – contact details below. Please note that some sightings may require review and remain unconfirmed unless stated otherwise. Species underlined in bold type require completion of a rare bird report available on the KFN website or directly from me. If indicated, an OBRC report may be required instead .


Temperatures remained above average for much of the month with occasional dips below freezing. As such, Lake Ontario remains entirely open, though Kingston’s inner harbour is freezing over. Due to the late advent of winter, several good species were picked up on the various regional Christmas Bird Counts. Here are the highlights of the past week:

SNOW GOOSE – the only report was of 24 seen flying over Kingston on 24th.

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE – the adult bird found on Wolfe Island on 8th continues in the vicinity of Reed’s Bay into the new year.

CACKLING GOOSE – 1-3 birds were present at Bath for the last week of the year but the most consistent location is Reed’s Bay, Wolfe Island where at least 3 birds also continue.

TRUMPETER SWAN – high counts came from Chaffey’s Locks where 58 were counted on 24th. 44 birds were seen at Bedford Mills on 29th.

TUNDRA SWAN – the best spot for this species was definitely Wolfe Island though numbers never really exceeded 50 or so. Elsewhere, the species was hard to come by.

NORTHERN PINTAIL – with waters remaining open, there were several reports over the period, including at least 6 birds on Wolfe Island through to the end of the month.

GREEN-WINGED TEAL – as many as 12 birds were still present at Belle Park, Kingston, through to 19th at least.

CANVASBACK – not common in the area, singles were seen in Kingston on three occasions mid-month.

HARLEQUIN DUCK – a female was seen on Amherst Island 24th-25th.

RED-NECKED GREBE – the only report was of a single bird at Grays Beach, Gananoque on 31st.

ICELAND GULL – singles were seen at Lansdowne on 26th, Collin’s Bay, Kingston, on 29th and Bath on 31st.

GLAUCOUS GULL – this species is more widespread than the above with reports from Prince Edward, Bath, Kingston, Amherst Island, and Lower Brewers Locks.

RED-THROATED LOON – a single bird was seen at Parrotts Bay on 19th.

TURKEY VULTURE – singles were seen on Amherst Island on 12th and Landon Bay on 16th.

GOLDEN EAGLE – a bird of unknown age was seen on Amherst Island on 20th.

NORTHERN GOSHAWK – a lone bird was encountered on Bur Brook Road, Kingston, on 17th.

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK – Amherst and Wolfe Islands both have fairly good numbers this year though Amherst has consistently higher one-day totals with 20 seen there on 12th.

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER – single reports came form 5 distinct locations in Kingston, and 1 on Howe Island over the period.

PEREGRINE FALCON – most of the reports pertained to the Kingston bird(s) but other observations came from Bath and Wolfe Island.

NORTHERN SHRIKE – this species seems to be fairly well represented across the area this winter.

TUFTED TITMOUSE – a continuing bird was seen at the approach to Howe Island on 21st – 23rd, with others reported from Gananoque, and Burnt Hills/Rideau Road.

CAROLINA WREN – birds continued at Marshlands CA, Kingston, Ravensview, Kingston, Bateau Lane, and Landon Bay.

GRAY CATBIRD – a continuing bird was last seen at Marshlands CA, Kingston, on 23rd, with another at Reddendale on 30th.

BROWN THRASHER – wintering birds were seen at Emery on 22nd and Opinicon Road on 31st.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD – the Marshlands CA, Kingston, bird continued to 22nd, with another on Wolfe Island on 17th.

HERMIT THRUSH – we often have one or two birds over-winter but at least 12 birds were reported over the 3 final weeks of the year.

EVENING GROSBEAK – 15 birds were seen at Verona on 30th, 14 at Camden East on 26th, and 1 on Opinicon Road on 31st.

PINE GROSBEAK – a single bird was noted at Verona on 27th.

COMMON REDPOLL – birds have been fairly consistent in the Verona area but the 30 on Wolfe Island on 28th may be indicative of a southerly movement.

PINE SISKIN – there have been a handful of sightings over the period but nothing to indicate an irruption.

SNOW BUNTING – Wolfe and Amherst have the majority of birds but without significant snow cover they are tricky to track down. 100 were seen on Amherst on 28th with 120 on Wolfe the same day.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW – birds were reported from 4 locations with ‘long-staying’ birds at Millhaven and Gananoque.

EASTERN TOWHEE – a late bird was found on Howe Island on 19th.

RUSTY BLACKBIRD – 2 birds were seen near Emery on 22nd.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER – this species remains fairly easy to find.

In order to minimise disturbance to wildlife and property in the recording area, Kingston Field Naturalists has adopted the KFN Sensitive Sightings Policy. Please note that you must be a card-carrying member of Kingston Field Naturalists (KFN), or be accompanied by a member, to access both the Martin Edwards Reserve and Amherstview Sewage Lagoons. Permits are being checked on a regular basis at Amherstview and those without are being evicted. KFN members wishing to enter the Invista property, must enter through the west gate and show their membership card to security.

As always, a big thank you goes to all those who have submitted sightings directly or via eBird.


Mark D. Read

337 Button Bay Road,

Wolfe Island,

Kingston, Ontario

K0H 2Y0