Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mud Lake

April 10, 2018

With all the cold weather, migration is stalled, although we did see a few song sparrows.  

The edge of the lake is opening up and the Canada Geese, Wood Ducks and Mallards were taking full advantage.  There was quite a bit of pushing and shoving going on among the ducks.

We hiked down the trail along Mud Lake and ran into Henk.  He offered to take us to a tree with a roosting Screech Owl, so we gratefully accepted.

 Later, we hiked the ridge hoping to find the Cardinal that will feed from the hand.  The ones we saw were too shy, but not a Downy Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch nor Black-capped Chickadee.  A good day.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Third Try for the Red-Headed Woodpecker

April 1, 2018

They say three's the charm, but not this time.  No sign of the woodpecker that everyone else has been reporting in Constance Bay.  It was deathly quiet, but we finally spotted a White-breasted Nuthatch and a Hairy Woodpecker.

Before heading home, we decided to check out the Short-eared Owl location.  No luck.  But when coming back on Marchurst Rd, we spotted a lovely pair of Hooded Mergansers in a flooded field.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Tundra Swans

March 31 2018

The lure of Tundra Swans had us out on Milton Road again two days later.  Incredibly, we saw a Red-tailed Hawk at the corner of Leitrim and Limebank on the same post where we had seen a Snowy Owl two days earlier.

There was much more flooding this time on the Milton road fields and there were many more Northern Pintails around.  The swans were extremely far off, and we would have missed them had there not been another birder looking too.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

MIlton Road, Lafleche and Cobb Creek

March 29, 2018

(story by Jane)

We met Bill and Barb on Milton and we drove slowly down the road to Smith looking for Sandhill Cranes, unfortunately we did not see any.

Then we checked out Frank Kenny for any Snowy Owls,  no luck.

We eventually arrived at Lafleche to see flocks of Snow Geese.  John Ruddy was there with his group and he told us they had good views of 2 Ross's geese, but none for us.

We then went over to check out County Roads 21, 20 and 10.  On 20, we spotted a falcon, but unfortunately we did not get a good enough view to identify it.  We did see Snow Buntings and Horned Larks.  We stopped to look at a Rough-legged Hawk.  Stopped for lunch on County Road 19, no Snowy Owl.  We drove to the corner then turned around and drove to about where we had lunch and yes a Snowy Owl in the field. (Barb and Bill already had seen a Snowy on Leitrim Road the way to meet us - so it was their 2nd of the day).  We kept driving down 19 and there on a far tree a full adult Bald Eagle.  Barb, Connie and I then had a discussion on what was a better find Snowy Owl or Bald Eagle.  Snowy Owls always put a smile on my face, but there is something magnificent about a Bald Eagle

We drove to Cobb Creek in the hope of seeing Snow Geese, we were not disappointed, there must have been 5000+ .

On Russell Road we were fortunate to have a Pileated Woodpecker fly the front of our car.  Barb and Bill left us at Leitrim Road, we kept driving to Dolman Ridge.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Short-eared Owl

March 19, 2018    6:15 pm

Barbara, Grant & I headed out to Marchurst Road to try for the owl.  It was our third attempt, but this time there were no other birders lined up in their cars.

We cruised back and forth slowly with no success, then decided to go further west past the intersection of the loop road.  Suddenly we all spotted it simultaneously with it's characteristic moth-like flight over the field to the south.  It was distant, at the back of the field.

We jumped out and attempted a few photos, knowing full well that it was too far for a good image.

After flying back and forth a couple of times, it vanished behind the trees.  We drove all around the roads, hoping to pick it up, but we only got a fleeting even more distant look.

This was a life bird, so we were pleased, in spite of the poor quality of the photos we obtained.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Northern Hawk Owl

 March 16, 2018

Jane told us of a Northern Hawk Owl in a park in the city of Gatineau.  The instructions were not definite, but we muddled around until we spotted a photographer getting out of his car. Ha!  The trail was very icy and we had to proceed carefully, since we had not brought our spikes.  Soon we spotted a few photographers gathered together in the bush, a definite sign that our quarry was near.  Sure enough, there it was, perched out in the open with a nice blue sky behind.

While in the neighbourhood, we decided to check out Lac Beauchamp for possible activities for the grandkids.  While there, we saw a few deer cross the road.

Before going home, we decided to go to the Rideau Tennis club for Barrow’s Goldeneye.  Alas, no luck, but there were several Commons.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

J-C Birding Report - March 13, 2018 - Shirley's Bay to Constance Bay

Bill and Barb joined Connie and I at the feeder on Hilda.  When Connie put out some seeds, the birds arrived.  Lots of Red-winged Blackbirds, many American Tree Sparrows sprinkled with Downy and Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jays and Northern Cardinals along with a couple of Mourning Doves.  Connie got her first American Robin (the only one of the day), a Merlin flew by as did three Cedar Waxwings.

Barb pointed out a Hare at a puddle, it appeared to be drinking, but once it noticed us, it was off like a shot.

We dropped my car off at the Metro near Tim Horton's, the entrance from Carling Ave has now been barricaded off, only entrance now is off of March Road - inconvenient!

We drove down March Valley, nothing, then to Berry Side Road.  While we did not see any new birds we did see a very hungry porcupine chewing away at a branch, paying no attention to us. (Lots of photos taken. Note the orange teeth in photos -- like those a Beaver they grow continuously and are fortified with iron.)

We turned around and when driving toward Constance Lake, Connie stops the car and says is that a crow, no!  a Cooper's Hawk eating.  I got out of the car to set up my scope and to tell Bill and Barb what we saw.  Quick-thinking Bill, out of the car camera in hand, got some quick pictures.  As soon as the bird realized it had been spotted, off it flew.  Barb walked down the road to investigate and she yelled to us, it was flying low toward us.   It is amazing how a bird can fly into the woods and totally disappear.

We drove a little further and a flock of about 30 Wild Turkeys were seen in the field.

On Greenland we stopped to look at a very large crow like bird - Common Raven.

Connie's phone rang, it was Anne saying she was at Constance Bay, so we drove off to meet up with her.  Our hope was to see a Red-headed Woodpecker, we walked all the trails but to no avail.  We did get a small tin man hanging from a tree and some interesting fungi but not the woodpeckers.  Fine we will drive around Constance Bay and maybe the woodpeckers are there - no.

Next street was Monty, Jeff's house was alive with American Goldfinch.

Back to the parking lot by 3:00.  I had a meeting in Kanata and it was over by 5:45. While driving home between Eagleson and Old Richmond Road on Fallowfield there were huge flocks of Canada Geese in the cut corn fields.  Why I mention this because Connie and I noted no geese in the fields around the areas we drove.  The only Canada Geese we saw were flying overhead at Hilda.

Thank you Bill and Barb and Connie for the photos.

Jane Burgess

Birds Noted

1.  Blue Jay
2.  Northern Cardinal
3.  Black-capped Chickadee
4.  American Tree Sparrow
5.  Hairy Woodpecker
6.  Downy Woodpecker
7.  American Robin
8.  Mourning Dove
9.  Cedar Waxwing
10. Red-wing Blackbird
11. Merlin
12. Ring-bill Gull
13. Canada Geese
14. American Crow
15. Mallard
16. Cooper's Hawk
17. White-breasted Nuthatch
18. Wild turkey
19. European Starling
20. Common Raven
21. American Goldfinch
22. Rock Dove

Critters Noted
1. Hare
2. Deer
3. Porcupine
4. Racoon
5. Squirrel (when don't we seen these guys)