On January 14, we left home early, bound for a long weekend of birding in Ontario. The six-hour drive sped by and soon we had arrived at the ferry dock for transport to our first and most anticipated location of the trip: The Amherst Island Owl Woods! We met our guide, Kurt, at the dock, and we were soon on our way to the island.
The 15 minute ferry ride was rather uneventful and we had soon arrived at our destination. While driving down the entrance road, we spotted a number of Red-tailed Hawks and one Rough-legged. It was then on to the owls. On our way in, we stopped to “hand feed” (no seed) a group of tame Black-capped Chickadees.
And just three minutes later, we were looking at our #1 target of the trip, BOREAL OWL!!
We were speechless and awed by this breathtaking owl and spent a long while enjoying this bird. The success we had with the Boreal Owl set the tone for the entire trip!
Soon, Kurt’s incredible skill came in handy once again, when he pulled out a well-hidden Northern Saw-whet Owl in a dense grove of pines.
But why stop there?? Less then ten minutes later, we were looking at a Long-eared Owl, our third owl of the trip!!
In just under one hour we had seen three species of owl, including Boreal. On our way out, an adult Northern Shrike flew in and proceeded to give great looks.
The day just kept getting better and better! Our incredible success at the Owl Woods, filtered into our success on the rest of the island. The hour and a half we spent driving the the fields was rewarded by 10 Rough-legged Hawks and 1 Short-eared Owl.
On our way out, we found a Common Redpoll visiting a feeder near the ferry dock.
An incredible day! Much thanks goes to Kurt Hennige, whom without, we probably wouldn’t have seen many of the spectacular birds.