Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shorebirds, Raptors and Waterfowl – Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Tuesday, Oct. 13. We met at Petrie Island at 7:30 am in a light drizzle.

There were many handsome drake Wood Ducks and a couple of Great Blue Herons in the ponds where we parked. We modified the day’s plan, somewhat, to look for rare geese in the fields along and near Milton Road.

Along rural Trim Road, we saw a mixed flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds and European Starlings.

We scanned several large bunches of Canada Geese in the fields and ponds, finally spotting at least two Cackling Geese. It was cold and wet, so we decided to go for a coffee. On the way, just south of Smith Road, we spotted our main target – an adult Ross’s Goose. It was a lifer for me!After warming up, we went back to the same area. We saw a perched Northern Harrier on Smith Road. We also saw an American Kestrel.

We parked by the bridge on Milton and walked a short way along a road into the field. There were lots of sparrows – White-crowned, White-throated, Song and Swamp. Also a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

We also went down Carlsbad Road where we found huge flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds following the cattle. Finally, we saw another Northern Harrier make a kill in the field. We looked carefully for Sandhill Cranes, but could not spot any.

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