Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cedar Lake, Quebec. Hairy Woodpecker pair and another Common Loon nest

Sunday, June 21 2009

Barbara noticed this pair of Hairy Woodpeckers, the one feeding the other.
Kayaking friends, CĂ©line & David told us of a new loon nest on the mainland, just around the point of our bay. So, naturally, we had to investigate.

Sadly, this nest and two others were lost due to flooding later in the month.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Big Cedar Lake Loon Count

Saturday, June 13, 2:30 pm

We have been doing this count for several years now. This was our first official count of the season, but I had spotted some earlier while fishing.
We saw 17 adult birds, and 7 possible pairs. We did observe one loon on a nest, and another nest with nobody home.
The water is quite high, so we think most of the pairs have delayed nesting. We hope they will all be successful.

The Herring Gulls have already nested, and chicks are out and about. We got between one and the parents, and they were most upset, dive bombing and defecating on us!

Bill Mason Centre & Constance Bay

Friday, June 12, 11:00 am
Pamela & Craig had a late afternoon flight home to Saskatoon, but we decided we had enough time for birding.
We parked at the Bill Mason Centre and started down the boardwalk. There were a few students and other hikers about, but it was still fairly quiet.
I played my Virginia Rail song on the voice recorder. It was the click-click song, not the more common one. Although they did not come out in droves, we had one very cooperative rail come out and forage in the open.
In the shrubby areas there were several Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats tearing around. It was really hard to see them, much less take photographs.
We took the short loop through the woods, where we saw a couple of Blue Jays, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and several Eastern Wood Peewees. We also heard an Ovenbird. We had all three common woodpeckers. Back on the boardwalk, we flushed a Wilson’s Snipe and called out a second Virginia Rail, although this one did not stick around.

We still had time, so drove out to the old burn site at Constance Bay. We hiked down the trail a ways, but it was completely silent. Then, happily, we saw at least three adult Red-headed Woodpeckers. Our outing a success, we headed back to Constance Creek on the way home. An Osprey was on the nest, soon replaced by its mate. A quick check of the ponds at March Valley Road and Klondike revealed only a Great-blue Heron and a family of Canada Geese.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sparrows and Open Country - Ottawa South/East with Tony Beck

Thursday, June 11, 7:30 am

We met at Tim Hortons on Hunt Club Road. There was quite a large group on this fine spring day – myself and my daughter-in-law, Pamela, Russell, Rick, Martha, Judith, Heather, Jane, Brenda, and Helena, as well as Tony.

We got our first sparrow, A Chipping Sparrow in the Timmy’s parking lot. We negotiated the rush-hour traffic and headed to Bowesville Road behind the airport, where we saw a couple of Savannah Sparrows as we headed down the trail.
We saw a House Wren and a Clay-colored Sparrow, and then heard a Field Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow. The Field Sparrow was photographed in a tree top. Tony played the machine and we got a Song Sparrow.
A Tree Swallow flew overhead as we photographed a Vesper Sparrow. We moved to a chain-link fence and Tony was able to coax out a very cooperative Grasshopper Sparrow. After that we got another Vesper Sparrow, Field Sparrow and Clay-colored Sparrow and Savannah Sparrow. Tiring of Sparrow, we saw a Baltimore Oriole out of habitat.
At my request, Tony called in a Brown Thrasher, and we had a distant Eastern Bluebird. We carpooled to Mer Bleue boardwalk. There was a very close Chestnut-sided Warbler in the parking lot. Shortly into the boardwalk, we got a Swamp Sparrow. We surprised a Wilson’s Snipe, that jumped up from close by. A Coopers Hawk flew overhead.
At the back of the boardwalk we had a Broad-winged Hawk overhead. Then we saw a White-throated Sparrow. We got a glimpse of a Common Yellowthroat and a Palm Warbler. Later we saw an Eastern Kingbird, Cedar Waxwing and some American Goldfinches. At last we spotted a Linclon’s Sparrow.
We decided to call it a day, but Tony stopped to point out an Indigo Bunting along Ridge Road. Along Anderson Road, we saw a Northern Harrier.
The group broke up, but Pamela and I went south to High Road and Armstrong Road for some car birding. We were rewarded with close ups of several Eastern Kingbirds, an Eastern Bluebird, several sparrows, two kinds of Swallows (Tree and Barn), and a Kildeer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gatineau Park with Tony Beck

Tuesday, June 9, 7:30 am

We met at Gamelin visitor reception area. It was pouring buckets, so there are no photos of this day’s action.

In spite of the poor weather, a new member, Donna, came out to join Jane, Rick, Helena and me. We saw a Great Blue Heron fly over in the parking lot. Then we headed right away for the Champlain Parkway and the Waterfall Trail to try for the Louisiana Waterthrush.

In the heavy rain, we managed to hear an Ovenbird and got good looks at a Black-throated Blue Warbler. We did spot the Ovenbird, and Tony saw a Hermit Thrush from the lookout, down on the creek.

We went back to the car and headed to Champlain lookout with the heater on full.
On the trail, we had good looks at a Black-throated Green Warbler. We could hear a Northern Waterthrush, Black and White Warbler and a Black-billed Cuckoo. The Cuckoo eventually came out into view.

Returning to the parking lot, we heard the marvelous call of a Winter Wren, and saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

The rain was not letting up, so we decided to call it a day shortly after 11.

Meech Creek Valley Ottawa Field-Naturalists outing with Bernie Ladouceur and Bob Cermak

Sunday, June 7, 7:00 am

We met at Champlain Bridge, and then proceeded to P16 in Gatineau Park off Pine Road.
We saw a Black-billed Cuckoo in the parking lot before the others arrived.
We walked along Cowley Road as far as one can go. We saw an Alder Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Indigo Bunting and a really close Black-billed Cuckoo along the road.
There were lots of Common Yellowthroat calling, but they were hard to spot. We did see a small flock of Cedar Waxwing, an Indigo Bunting, Song Sparrows and a Baltimore Oriole. When we got to the bridge, we saw a Spotted Sandpiper, another Oriole, a pair of Eastern Phoebes, and a Hairy Woodpecker. At the end of the road, there was a very cooperative perched Ruby-throated Hummingbird. We saw a Great Blue Heron and Red-tailed Hawk fly overhead. Back at the bridge, we had good looks at a Chestnut-sided Warbler.
On the hike back to the cars, we say a Great-crested Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat, Turkey Vulture and Bobolink. We hiked down the hill to the bridge on the ski trail, seeing more of the same birds.

Embrun Sewage Lagoons

Wednesday, June 3, 2:00 pm
This was a solo trip after completing some chores downtown to check out some recent exciting reports.
At first I did not see a lot, except for a couple of Northern Shovellers and a distant pair of Blue-winged Teal.
Then I noticed quite a few shorebirds tight to the bank under my feet. They were mostly Semi-palmated Sandpipers with few Dunlin in breeding plumage. There were several Ruddy Ducks in the second cell back, and a mother Wood Duck with 9 ducklings.
There was another birder/photographer, unknown to me, making his way around the cell furthest east. I told him of my sandpipers and he pointed out a Wilson’s Phalarope close by in the far corner. There was no sign of any Red-necked Phalaropes.

Britannia Conservation Area - Late Spring Migrants with Tony Beck

Thursday May 28, 7:30 am

Today there was a visiting birder, Dan, as well as Russell, Heather and me plus Tony.

When we arrived, Tony already had an adult Black-Crowned Night-heron in the scope.

We checked the bottom of the ridge area by the river, hoping to see a Blackpoll Warbler. We did not, but had a Yellow Warbler and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. A Purple Martin and a Common Loon did a fly past.

Moving up onto the ridge, we saw a young male American Redstart and some Cedar Waxwings and American Goldfinches. A pair of Baltimore Orioles put in an appearance, as did an adult Coopers Hawk.

We were alerted that a rare gull was at the point, so we quickly headed down there. Tony got it in the scope and we all had good view s of a Little Gull, as well as several Bonaparte Gulls.

We decide to have a look for shorebirds, so headed off to the March Valley Road ponds. At the corner of Klondike, we saw a pair of Blue-winged Teal together with several Semi-palmated Plovers, Least Sandpipers and a Dunlin.
Then we were off to Fernbank Road for more shorebirds. On the small north-side pond, there was a Spotted Sandpiper more Semi-palmated Plovers, a Killdeer, and some Semi-palmated Sandpipers.
On the way back, we checked Burnside pit, where we found Bank Swallows, Barn Swallows, Purple Martin and a Pied-billed Grebe. On returning to the cars at Mud Lake, we saw lots of Chimney Swifts and a female Red-winged Blackbird.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gatineau Park with Tony Beck

Tuesday May 26, 7:30 am

Today there was a small group – Helena, Martha, Russell, Al & me plus Tony.

We met at the Gamelin Blvd visitor reception area and carpooled directly to the Champlain Parkway and the Waterfall Trail.

Right off, we saw a Blue Jay and a Broad-winged Hawk. We heard a Veery and a Black-throated Green Warbler. Then Tony saw a perched Ovenbird which we were able to photograph in the dim light. By the Bridal Veil Falls, we saw a Hermit Thrush and a pair of Scarlet Tanagers. We also heard a Wood Thrush and a Black and White Warbler.
We moved to the Champlain Lookout parking where e saw a Blackburnian Warbler and an American Redstart. Then we saw an amazing three species of vireo in the same tree – Philadelphia, Yellow-throated and Red-eyed. Moving down the trail, we saw a White-breasted Nuthatch and Scarlet Tanager. Once again, we heard, but could not entice out, a Blackpoll Warbler. We saw both Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers.
At Western Lodge, we had great views of a male Indigo Bunting, a female Cerulean Warbler, and a male Canada Warbler. There was a photogenic Eastern Phoebe at the wood shed.
On the way back to the cars, we saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Chestnut-sided Warbler and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Andrew Haydon & Shirley’s Bay with Tony Beck

Thursday May 21, 7:30 am

Today there was a new face, Gabriella, along with regulars Helena, Russell, Rick & me plus Tony.
After checking the gulls, we quickly departed for Shirley’s Bay. At the parking area, we had a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Phoebe, male and female American Redstart, Baltimore Oriole, Song Sparrow and Brown-headed Cowbird. Hiking along the road towards the trail, we had a pair of Black and White Warblers.
Shortly into the trail, Rick spotted a Wilson’s Warbler. We also had a Veery, and close encounters with a Red-eyed Vireo and Black-billed Cuckoo. Tony played the magic machine, and drew in a Chestnut–sided Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Eastern Wood Peewee and Red-breasted Nuthatch. As we approached the dyke, we heard female Wood Ducks taking flight. The magic machine drew in a Yellow-rumped Warbler, Warbling Vireo, White-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker and Northern Flicker. We also heard a Pileated Woodpecker.
Tony could hear a Blackpoll Warbler, but despite a lot of trying, it would not come in. But we did have a quick visit from a Northern Water Thrush.
Out on Shirley’s Bay, we spied a Greater Scaup and heard a Pied-billed Grebe.
To finish the morning, we left to check out shorebirds at the Twin Elm dead end at Cambrian Road. We saw a Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Least Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs and Semi-palmated Plovers. On the way back, we stopped briefly at Burnside pit. It was quiet there, with only a Double-crested Cormorant and Common Tern. A Savannah Sparrow landed on the pile of dirt in the foreground. Common visitors were an American Goldfinch, Brown-headed Cowbird and lots of Bank Swallows.