Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mud Lake

July 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Not the ideal time for birding, but it was the only time that would work for Pamela, so we went anyway.

We saw lots of ducks on Mud Lake – Mallards, Blacks, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Wood Ducks and a Gadwall with young. We saw no showy males, which makes me think that they are now in eclipse plumage. We saw a Great-crested Flycatcher, lots of Cedar Waxwings, a couple of Great Blue Herons, several American Goldfinches and a Gray Catbird.
There was actually more action on the other wildlife front. There were many Painted Turtles, but we did not see any other species. We had a close encounter with a White-tailed Deer and a Muskrat and saw the largest American Toad I have ever seen.

Jane & Connie’s trip to Richmond and Munster

July 23, 2009 6:45 am

We met at Moodie & Fallowfield. Besides Jane & Connie, there were Nadine, Janet & me.

We stopped first at Burnside Pit where we saw an American Coot, a Green-winged Teal, a Spotted Sandpiper and several Pied-billed Grebes.

Our next stop was the Richmond Lagoons, where we saw many Tree Swallows, a Great-blue Heron, a Belted Kingfisher, groups of Cedar Waxwings and up to four Green Herons. There were several American Goldfinches, Wood Ducks, a Yellow Warbler and another warbler we could not identify.

We moved on to Jock Trail seeing a Northern Harrier along the way. There was a whole crowd of Cedar Waxwings perched in a dead tree. We heard a Great-crested Flycatcher and saw a Common Yellowthroat and a Gray Catbird. From there we went to Munster Side Road to look for Bitterns – no luck, but we did spot an Eastern Phoebe, an Eastern Kingbird and an Alder Flycatcher. We had a fleeting glimpse of a Wilson’s Snipe, then heard and later saw a Swamp Sparrow. We toured the back roads around Munster looking for Upland Sandpipers, but were not successful. Janet did spot an Eastern Meadowlark.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Montreal Botanical Gardens (not quite Ottawa area, I admit)

July 20, 2009

We took Howard and June to see the roses, but there were a couple of birding surprises. The biggie was the close up encounter with two juvenile Cooper’s Hawks. The other good find were two juvenile Pied-billed Grebes in the duck pond.

Sandhill Cranes, Kazabazua Quebec and Loon News Bad and Good

July 19, 2009 4:00 pm

After seeing these cranes reported on Quebec Birds, we looked several times over a two week period without seeing them. Barbara had just made the comment that they must have moved on, when suddenly I spotted them in an agricultural pasture.
In loon news, I am sorry to report that all three nests that we had observed in June have been lost due to flooding. The high water, due to our rainy summer, combined with high wind and waves did them in. On the bright side, however, we did observe one loon chick born to parents whose nest we had not seen in our surveys. You have to look closely to see the little guy in the photo.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jane & Connie’s trip to Chaffey’s Lock

July 10, 2009

We met at 6:30 am at Jane’s. Besides Jane & Connie, there was Barb C., Marc, Rick and myself.

We carpooled to Chaffey’s Lock via Franktown Road & Smith’s Falls on what turned out to be a beautiful day. Along the way, we saw many common species as well as Eastern Meadowlark and American Bittern.

We stopped on Chaffey’s Lock Road for nice views of a pair of Eastern Bluebirds.

We proceeded to the lock station for a bathroom break, then on to Indian Lake Road and the Cataraqui Trail. Highlights were a Scarlet Tanager, Ruby-throated Hummingbird and several species of butterfly and dragon fly.
From there we went down the Queen’s University Biological Station Road and found the first of many Indigo Buntings and Pine Warblers. We spoke to a couple of profs and got directions to the best warbler hot spots. We had out picnic lunch there, enjoying the outdoors and singing birds.
After lunch, we proceeded down the Opinicon Road and stopped to try and coax out a Cerulean Warbler. We could hear at least one, maybe more. It was difficult with the darn Indigo Bunting singing constantly!We did get a brief glimpse, but it would not pop out for us. We briefly saw a Red-shouldered Hawk and had good views of a Broad-winged Hawk.

We hiked the trail for Golden-winged Warblers, but were not successful. We did see a couple more Indigo Buntings, a Black-and-white Warbler and a flock of Wild Turkeys. Rick and I had to get back, but the others stayed on. Here is Jane’s day list:

1. Mourning Dove
2. European Starling
3. American Robin
4. Red Wing Blackbird
5. American Crow
6. American Bittern fly by
7. Eastern Meadowlark
8. Mallard
9. Tree Swallow
10. Great Blue Heron
11. American Goldfinch
12. Common Grackle
13. Ring Bill Gull
14. Osprey
Chaffey's Lock area
15. Wilson Snipe(h)
16. Common Yellowthroat
17. Gray Catbird
18. Song Sparrow
19. King Bird
20. Ruby throated Hummingbird
21. Chipping Sparrow
22. Blue Jay
23. Eastern Blue Bird
24. Sapsucker
25. Yellow Warbler
26. Brown headed Cowbird
27. Barn Swallow
28. Common Loon
29. Scarlet Tanager
30. Black capped Chickadee
31. Red eyed Vireo
32. Cedar Waxwing
33. Oven Bird (h)
34. Indigo Bunting
35. Eastern Phoebe
36. Pine Warbler
37. Red Shouldered Hawk
38. Cerulean Warbler
39. Great Crested Flycatcher
40. Wild Turkey
41. White breasted Nuthatch
42. Black & White Warbler
43. Downy Woodpecker
44. Broad winged Hawk
45.Yellow billed Cuckoo
46. Golden Wing warbler (h)
47. Rock Pigeon
The Narrows
48. Green Heron
49. Belted Kingfisher
50. Canada Goose
Perth - Tim Horton's
51. Chimney Swifts

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Monday, July 6 2009

Pamela had a 7 pm flight to Saskatoon, so we spent several hours on the Quebec side.

We first drove to Marais des Laîches Quest and found a very good road after we got past the bumpy part in front of the houses. There were lots of sparrows on the road in, none perched for any length of time. When we reached the parking area, we could find no path that didn’t get very wet. We concluded that we would see nothing here, although we could hear some tantalizing calls. So we moved on a short way to Marais des Laîches Est, and here we had better luck. We saw a number of Bobolinks on the road in as well as many Grasshopper Sparrows. The road was less good, with some serious potholes.
From the parking area, we were able to follow a trail along a ridge between ponds. There were lots of Black Terns, none perched, but we spotted a very cooperative Green Heron and a Great Blue Heron fly past. We walked all the way to the river without seeing much else, although we could hear Coots calling. We moved again down the road to Marais des Grenouillettes. We went slowly along the very bumpy road, being harassed by two guys in a Jeep. They were looking for all the worst bumps and puddles for their off-road experience. They even went down our trail, but turned back before spoiling the whole thing.
We crept slowly along the trail and saw a pair of American Coots briefly in the distance. We flushed a mother Mallard and her large ducklings. There were a number of Eastern Kingbirds and a belted Kingfisher kept jumping ahead of us.
We saw a Northern Harrier being harassed by a smaller bird. We almost tripped over a fairly large moss-covered Snapping Turtle, which I at first thought was a dead Muskrat. By the river, we saw an American Goldfinch and three Common Moorhen, which we scoped briefly. I heard a Pied-billed Grebe and a Least Bittern calling. We packed it in and drove to Masson, where the ferry was waiting for us. We crossed over to Cumberland and headed for Petrie Island for a late lunch. There was nothing much doing there – no Map Turtles, only a few Painted.