2018 SPRING MIGRATION Sightings
The Observatory is open for the Spring Banding mid-April to May 31. Banding takes place for 6 hours each day starting at dawn. Nets are not opened if it is raining or too windy. The best time to visit the Observatory is in the mornings.
The Observatory closes for the summer on May 31.
The National Wildlife Area is an excellent place to bird even when the Observatory is not open. Trails around the Observatory and Prince Edward Point are open all year.
Prince Edward County also offers great birding with many trails and habitats to explore (MAPS and DIRECTIONS)
Join us for the many events of the SPRING BIRDING FESTIVAL - May 12-21, 2018
Saturday and Sunday were mainly days of setting up the nets but there can always be a surprise out there if your lucky such as the Black Vulture that flew over with 11 Turkey Vultures. Very few migrants are moving yet but two Northern Shoveler flew past on Monday, a House Sparrow has been seen or heard on three dates and Eastern Phoebes have been present every day. A Snowy Owl was seen on Monday evening at the start of the gravel road. Eight Green-winged Teal were in the harbour on Tuesday, a fairly high number for recent years. Also that day, the first Towhee was seen and a White-throated Sparrow sang briefly. Wednesday saw firsts in the way of Brown Creeper, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren, Myrtle Warbler and Purple Finch. The rain held off on Thursday and the first Tree Swallow and Savannah Sparrow arrived. A Belted Kingfisher also flew over calling. Banding has been quiet with just 73 birds of 16 species being caught.
Common Loon Double-crested Cormorant Turkey Vulture Canada Goose Mute Swan
Wood Duck Mallard Northern Shoveler American Green-winged Teal
Greater Scaup White-winged Scoter Long-tailed Duck Bufflehead Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser Red-br. Merganser Merlin Ruffed Grouse Wild Turkey
Wilson's Snipe Bonaparte’s Gull Ring-billed Gull Herring Gull Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker Eastern Phoebe Blue Jay
American Crow Tree Swallow Black-capped Chickadee White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper Winter Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet American Robin
European Starling Myrtle Warbler Eastern Towhee American Tree Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow Song Sparrow White-throated Sparrow Slate-coloured Junco
Northern Cardinal Red-winged Blackbird Common Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird
Purple Finch American Goldfinch House Sparrow Black Vulture
TIPS FOR VISITING the OBSERVATORY
Bring a jacket in case of rain or extra layers - weather can be very different down at the Observatory and the lake can make it cooler.Wear close-toed shoes or hiking boots.
Mosquitoes are sometimes a problem - repellent may be useful but don't use it around the birds (i.e. at the nets or in the banding lab).
Long sleeves and long pants are recommended - a few places have poison ivy and there have been reports of ticks. Stay on paths and do a tick check after visiting the Point
Binoculars, if you have them, are useful for seeing birds in their habitat
While visitors are encouraged to observe the banding operations, please stay away from the mist nets in the net lanes. Only trained volunteers are allowed to extract birds from the nets. You can view the birds up close at the banding lab as they are banded.
On very busy days, when the bander and scribe have a lot of birds to process, there should be no talking in the lab. They are always more than willing to answer questions, but the birds come first, and they need to focus on their work. So watch, but please don’t talk or interrupt.
Overnight camping and campfires are not permitted in the National Wildlife Area.
Toilets are available, but there is no drinking water on site.
Please respect the habitat and vegetation by staying on the road or trails.
Enjoy the birds!
Blue-winged Warbler (Photo © Bruce Parker)