Monday, May 29, 2023


Trip report: OFO Field Trip at Porcupine Lake - Timmins Area 

Four participants joined me on May 21st, 2023 for the OFO Field Trip at Porcupine Lake and area. It was 3°C with a wind chill factor of -1°C when we started at 7am at the White Waterfront Conservation Area, with heavy north winds gusting between 30-50 km/h. 

Least Sandpiper (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

We started the morning by watching a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks taking cover in a shrub, a Least Sandpiper on the beach with a Killdeer, a young Bald Eagle being chased by an American Crow and a beautiful Sandhill Crane flying low over us. 

Sandhill Crane (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

We moved to the east side of the lake in search of migrating waterfowl; a pair of Redheads was showing well along with a few Lesser Scaups, Common Goldeneyes and Ring-necked Ducks. 

Redheads (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

After grabbing coffee to warm up, we walked the forested part of Porcupine Lake's Prospectors Trail hoping that warblers and other songbirds would be sheltering and feeding away from the high winds. We were not disappointed. If warblers were fewer than usual for May 21st in numbers, they sure made up for it in variety and awesome views! Ten different species of warblers were present along that short section of trail and all of us had wonderful views of Blackpoll Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and a Black-and-white Warbler to name a few. We also saw a very cooperative Merlin. 

Group along the Prospectors Trail
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

Group along the Prospectors Trail
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

Bay-breasted Warbler (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

Merlin (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

Blackpoll Warbler (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

By the time we moved on to the last location, it had warmed up to 9°C and the winds were slightly calmer. At this last spot we admired some Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, and American Wigeons in the scope. The sheltered patch of mixed forest adjacent to the pond offered us good songbird diversity, with nine species of warblers, Least Flycatchers, and a surprise appearance by a male Bobolink singing away on a poplar branch! We had particularly great views of a Northern Parula, a Wilson's Warbler, a Palm Warbler, and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. 

OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area
Group scanning Porcupine Lake (21 May 2023)

Northern Parula (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

Chestnut-sided Warbler (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

Gadwall (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

Palm Warbler (21 May 2023)
OFO Field Trip - Porcupine Lake and Area

Overall, it was a great day out with great people, and we observed a total of 59 species, including 17 different species of warblers. A sincere thank you to participants Mike Leahy, Ann Black, Joanne Bourdon, and Gary Dowe for a great day!

Check out the Ontario Field Ornithologists website for upcoming walks and meetings (look under the Field Trips and Webinars tab)

Local bird walks are also listed on the Timmins Area Birds site. Check often, as we will be adding more summer and fall walks shortly. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

2023 Spring migration and upcoming events in Timmins!

Spring Migration is on!

We are all very happy to welcome the first few migrating birds in the Timmins Area this week! We still have plenty of snow and only a few sections of some rivers are starting to show open water, but a few species have arrived. 

We'll be compiling the arrival dates together this year again (it'll be the 7th year). See the Timmins Area Spring Arrival Dates page for a list of new arrivals. You can view all the arrival dates compiled since 2017 on the following sheet: Timmins Birds Arrival Dates 2017-2022 (PDF)

Upcoming bird walks in the Timmins area

Some spring bird walks have already been posted on the Timmins and Area Birds page. These are all free and open to everyone interested in birds. Visit the Upcoming Bird Walks page for details and registration info. More walks will be added soon, so check the page again before May! 

Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas-3 - Kicking off the 3rd year!

We are excited to start the 3rd year of the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas! If you are anywhere in Ontario and go out birding this summer, your sightings are all valuable. Here are 2 events coming up:

Region 41 Virtual Meeting: Atlassing Basics & How to Contribute to the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas project.

Date/time: Wednesday, 19 April 2023 (7-8pm) Online. Contact for link.

The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas project can often seem overwhelming due its various elements and surveys but contributing your bird observations is very easy. Every observation counts and makes an impact on bird conservation! Join us for a quick overview of the project and learn how every birder can contribute. Downloading the NatureCounts App prior to the meeting will be beneficial. 

* If you can't attend this meeting but would like to meet on another day for a quick session on how you can contribute, don't hesitate to contact me. I'd be happy to set up a meeting. 

Join us at Porcupine Lake to Kick-off the 3rd year!

Whether you are an atlas participant or a birder who would like to learn more about how you can contribute to the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, join us for this fun morning as we kick off the 3rd year of the project!

Date/Time: Saturday, April 22, 2023 (9:30am to 12pm)

Location: Porcupine Lake - White Waterfront Conservation Area (located at the corner of Bloor avenue and Lakeview drive in South Porcupine)

9:30am - 10:15am: Join us at the picnic shelter to chat with fellow atlassers and birders. We will share a few words on Region 41's accomplishments to date, on a few easy ways birders of all levels can contribute to the Atlas-3 project and how each sighting submitted to NatureCounts is valuable for bird conservation. 

10:15am - 12pm: If the weather is good, we will walk part of the Prospector Trail together to look for birds. We will then explore a few other local spots depending on snow and ice conditions (Bart Thompson trail, Porcupine River). We will look for early breeders like Canada Jay and Ruffed Grouse and learn how to submit our observations. We will also get the opportunity to see some exciting spring migrants! Dress warm, bring your binoculars and wear proper footwear (trails may be covered in snow, slush, water, and mud)

Confirm your attendance or obtain more details by contacting 

There are Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas Year 3 Kick-off events in various places in Ontario; find one near you here.  

Canada Jay - South Porcupine (5 March 2023)