Outing Report – Waterfowl of Owen Sound Bay

Clarke Birchard

On Saturday November 16, unusually balmy for the date, a small group of SFN members joined leader Fred Jazvac for a trip around the bay in search of waterfowl.

When this outing was scheduled some months ago we did not anticipate conflicts with the Owen Sound Christmas Parade and the BPBO fund raising dinner. The first of these involved the  closure of some streets and two of three Owen Sound bridges making travel through the city in the morning a challenge. Members who would normally have attended the outing opted to make only one trip to Owen Sound that day and chose the BPBO dinner.

For those of us who attended the outing it turned out to be a most rewarding day. Fred’s and Dave Schaus’s spotting scopes and Jean’s telephoto camera lens were essential tools for identifying the birds at a distance on the water where even the best binoculars were limited.

A highlight of the day was a flock of about 20 Great White-fronted Geese on a rocky island near Leith. Other sightings, including a few land birds, were as follows: Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Canada Goose, Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers, Mallard, Bufflehead, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, American Widgeon, Gadwall, Long-tailed Duck, Horned Grebe, Black Duck, Mute and Trumpeter Swans, Rock Dove, American Crow, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, Black-capped Chickadee, Blue Jay and a large flock of Snow Bunting.

On the way home Dave and Jean Schaus spotted flocks of Wild Turkey and Sandhill Crane.

Fred predicted that we should get 25 to 30 species. Count them up to see how close he was. And thanks Fred for a great outing.

Unexpected sightings for his late in the season were many people cutting lawns and dandelions in flower.

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