Friday, April 17, 2009

Mer Bleue & Open Country - Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Tuesday Apr 14, 7:30am

Today there were 10 participants, with many new faces.
Before reaching the parking lot of the Dewberry Trail, along the Dolman Ridge Road, Tony located an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk.
We walked the road beyond the gate hearing the songs of many migrants and seeing Dark-eyed Juncos, American Robins, Song Sparrows, Mourning Doves and American Tree Sparrows. An American Kestrel flew quickly past.
We car-pooled over to the Ridge Road parking lot and walked the Mer Bleue boardwalk. We saw a pair of Eastern Phoebes with nest-building materials.
Tony and I heard a single glump sound which may have been an American Bittern. We certainly heard several Wilson’s Snipe winnowing, and eventually saw one come down.
In the distance, we could see a Northern Harrier, a Red-tailed Hawk and a pair of Wood Ducks did a fly past. A Porcupine was asleep in a tree. While leaving the ponds, several Green-winged Teal came in.
We headed out to Milton Road via Renaud, where we saw a perched Turkey Vulture right beside the road. We made a couple of stops along Milton Road where we watched a Common Raven and another female Harrier. Eventually we spotted 6 or 7 Sandhill Cranes in the distance across the fields.
We came back west along Russell Road, stopping at the dead end on Hall Road. We watched our first Savannah Sparrow of the spring walking in a field beside a puddle. We briefly spotted a pair of Eastern Bluebirds, which Helena I stayed to try and photograph while the rest of the group walked the road looking for Purple Finches, which Tony had heard.

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