Thursday, April 2, 2009
A beautiful sunny day. Today I went birding with Colin & Hilda Wooles to the east end of rural Ottawa. Our first stop was at Milton Road, where the flooded field, where I had seen a Greater White-fronted Goose the previous week, had all but dried up. We managed to get one or two Green-winged Teal and a few Northern Pintails. Colin spotted a Killdeer. Hilda saw a perched Rough-legged Hawk which flew off to be seen again later.
Our next stop was Frank Kenny, where the fields were full of water. Here we saw a Red-tailed Hawk that flew over the road, a pair of Wood Ducks, and many more Northern Pintails.
We decided to push on east of Bourget to Johnston Road. We scanned the Canada Geese (1000s) and Northern Pintails (100s) for some time. We thought we could make out Snow Geese in the extreme distance, but weren’t sure, until they lifted off. There were thousands of them. It’s quite a spectacle as they turn seemingly in unison like shorebirds. Bob Cermak and a couple of other helpful birders showed up.We drove around through Pendleton to get to the other side, but the Snow Geese were still too distant for photography. We drove down a farm lane to get better views of the Northern Pintails and were rewarded by seeing both American (few) and Eurasion Widgeon (one). Colin did a masterful job of turning around without getting stuck.We retraced our steps, stopping at Armstrong Road on the way back. Somewhere along the way, we spotted a couple of American Kestrels. At High Road, Colin spotted a male Eastern Bluebird on a fence post right beside the car, and another one on the wire.
We celebrated our enjoyable day with a stop at Colin & Hilda’s local Tim Hortons for a coffee and muffin.