Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ottawa West with Tony Beck

Jack Pine Trail, 7:30 am

We met at the parking lot and discovered that the near boardwalk was under construction and closed to hikers. We headed off down the trail, noting that the winter feeders were not yet in place.

Things were very quiet until we reached the far boardwalk, where Tony noticed two rather late Greater Yellowlegs fly over for good looks.

We decided to retrace our way to the parking lot since there was not a lot of activity. However on the way back, we found a White-throated Sparrow, several Dark-eyed Juncos, a White-breasted Nuthatch and a Blue Jay, all at the same spot.

We headed for Burnside Pit, seeing our first Red-tailed Hawk perched nearby. As we were setting up, a Long-tailed Duck flew overhead. You could really see that long tail streaming out behind.

On the pond, we found several Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Ducks, and Hooded Mergansers. There were Great Black-backed, Herring and Ring-billed Gulls in good numbers. We also saw a few Common Mergansers and a couple of Pied-billed Grebes and Buffleheads.

We headed over to Richmond to cruise the back roads. Stopping on Eagleson Road, we saw four or five Snow Geese among the hundreds of Canadas. On Rushmore Road, we saw several American Tree Sparrows and American Pipits, along with a few Horned Larks and Snow Buntings. A Downy Woodpecker posed for us too. On Twin Elm, we saw four Rusty Blackbirds high in a tree. They took off as we drew close to try for a photo.

We came east on Brophy to Moodie and returned to Burnside Pit. This time we got our Ring-necked Ducks. We went to Fallowfield for a coffee, then cruised Cambrian Road by the dump. We had another perched Red-tailed Hawk and a couple more hovering in the fields. We carried on around beside Hwy 416 to Barnsdale Road, where Tony spotted yet another Red-tailed Hawk in heavy brush intent on something on the ground. This first-year bird allowed us to take several poor photos before it finally took off and flew right overhead. Once more, we stopped at Burnside Pit, this time to study the gulls in our scopes. Tony pointed out a single Iceland Gull and four Lesser Black-backed Gulls among the thousands of ordinary ones. It was quite windy and getting very chilly, so we called it a day.

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