Monday, November 23, 2009

Late Fall Migration – Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Thursday, Nov 19, 7:30 am

We met at Petrie Island – Tony, Heather, Rick, Janet W, Jeremy and me.
There was one lone Green-winged Teal swimming around in the dim light west of the causeway. On the other side were four or five Common Mergansers including a drake.

We took off in two vehicles, stopping on Wall Road where we saw a large flock of Snow Buntings and a couple of American Tree Sparrows.

We stopped in Navan for coffee and a bathroom break, then went down Perrault and out to Milton Road. We saw a bunch of Wild Turkeys on the east side and a Red-tailed Hawk perched in the distance on the west side. Also on the east side we spotted six or seven Greater Snow Geese in with a flock of Canadas.

We turned west on Smith Road and saw a bunch of Sandhill Cranes, including some in flight in the fields south of Smith Road. We stopped to try to count them – there were at least 35. We drove south on Milton Road and stopped to look at and digiscope a light morph Rough-legged Hawk. We drove down to the 417 and headed east to Casselman. Just at the exit, Janet drew our attention to the white cloud over the highway. There had to be 12,000 Greater Snow Geese rising off the fields at the Casselman exit. We pulled off and tried to photograph the spectacle – the most Snow Geese most of us had ever seen. The majority seemed to be heading further east, so we drove to Conc. 20. They had not reached that far, but there was one surprise Snowy Owl on a utility pole. After much photography of the unconcerned owl, we headed back, stopping at Giroux ponds. There were many Canada Geese and a few Common Mergansers. Heather spotted another Red-tailed Hawk.

We headed back to the Trim Road Park and Ride, where we had left our vehicles. Another Red-tailed Hawk soared overhead to cap out a great day of birding.

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