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Friday, December 29, 2017


Over the holidays, birders have been trekking out to the wintry headlands and bays in search of the Tufted Duck and the Purple Sandpiper which have graced us recently with their presence.
Both species are way out of their winter range and are generally referred to as "accidentals".  As we approach the end of the year, serious annual listers are anxious to catch a sighting of these last minute oddities to top up their totals.

Sam Smith Tufted Duck - Photographer Eric Baldo
The Tufted Duck is a common Old World diving duck, the Eurasian counterpart of our Ring-Necked Duck.  They sometimes wander to eastern North America from Europe and Iceland and are considered rare.

The Purple Sandpiper breeds in the northern tundra
Purple Sandpiper in winter plumage - Photographer Jean Iron
on Arctic islands and coastal shorelines in Eastern Canada and its winter migration route follows the eastern shoreline south to rocky ice-free coasts in the Canadian maritimes and, sometimes, as far south as the Carolinas.  Our visitor is definitely off course.

There have also been numerous reports of Snowy Owls seen in the park in the last few weeks.  They can generally be found in the marina either on the docks or on the frozen bay.

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Yesterday the weather was working against us. The bitter cold and wind prevented anyone who went to the park from staying long. 
I would like to extend our FOSS Boxing Weak Bird Count until Sunday Dec. 31.
Please see previous post for reporting information.

Brian Keaveney
FOSS President

Monday, December 25, 2017


December 26 there will be a FOSS Boxing Day Bird Count at Colonel Sam Smith Park.
Come out and take a walk in the park. Please report just the names of any bird species you see in the park or on the water and the time of day you visited the park. Please send to my email address. I will report back the species  later in the week. Have fun and stay warm.
If you have the opportunity also send a photo of the park with or without any birds.
It will be a white Christmas.

Brian Keaveney
President FOSS