Monday, February 22, 2010

Rideau Tennis Club Winter Ducks

Feb 17, 2010 2:00 pm

I made a quick visit to the Tennis Club. We had seen a male Barrow’s Goldeneye at Remic Rapids recently, so was not sure what to expect. But virtually the first duck I spotted was a male Barrow’s Goldeneye with a bunch of Common Goldeneye. There were a couple of other suspicious characters, which may have been hybrids. I was just getting on them when a fly-by flock of Mallards spooked the whole crowd, and they all took off.

I moved upstream to where most of them had landed, but could not relocate those ducks, only the male Barrow’s and a possible female.

There were two male Common Mergansers and one female enjoying the open water. The only other ducks were American Blacks and Mallards.

Monday, February 15, 2010

West End Birding with Connie & Jane’s Group

Wednesday, Feb 10, 9:00 am

It was another beautiful sunny day with comfortable temperature.
Today’s was another large turnout - Jane, Nadine, Janet, Bill, Russell, Hedrik, Barb R., Peggy, Marc D'A, Lena & Connie.

We met at Mud Lake and toured the ridge and the forest across the road. Picking were a bit slim:
1 American Black Duck (flying over)
2 American Crow
3 Black Duck
4 Black-capped Chickadee
5 Common Goldeneye (m, f)
6 Common Raven
We also heard a Northern Cardinal and White-breasted Nuthatch.

Jane knew of some finches on Jamieson, so we made a stop there.
7 House Finch (m, f; feeder on Jamieson) 8 House Sparrow (feeder on Jamieson)
9 Mallard
10 White-breasted Nuthatch

We headed west to Scrivens St. down by the river. The river was completely frozen, and not offering much. But we did get both small woodpeckers at a feeder.
11 Downy Woodpecker
12 Hairy Woodpecker (m)

Some of the group went to the Coliseum to set up a car pool, while a few went to Tim Horton’s for a beverage. I went ahead to Grandview road where I saw a couple of European Starlings at the corner of Carling. While driving down Grandview, Hedrik spotted a Coopers Hawk, which was the highlight of the day.
13 Blue Jay
14 Cooper's Hawk (Grandview)
15 Dark-eyed Junco (Hastings)
16 Rock Pigeon

From there, we went to Hilda Road to check the feeders. En route, we saw a flock of perhaps 50 Bohemian Waxwings on Rifle Road. 17 American Tree Sparrow (Hilda)
18 Bohemian Waxwings (50+; Rifle)
I had to depart, but the group carried on for several more stops.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

OFNC Snowshoe Outing to Algonquin Park with Jeff Skevington

February 7, 2010, 8:30 am

Today a group of 43 of us went to the Barron River Canyon for some mid-winter exploration. Over half were non-members of OFNC, who heard Jeff being interviewed on CBC’s In Town and Out on Saturday.

We met at Lincoln Fields Plaza and car pooled, meeting up at the Irving Gas Bar on Paul Martin Drive in Pembroke. Margaret Ann, Barbara and I (followed by Peggy, Jane & Marc) made a slight detour on Snake River Line to look for the Northern Hawk Owl, but did not spot it.

After hot chocolate, we proceeded in convoy to Achray Road, where we came upon an unexpected treat, a pair of Red Crossbills on the road, just before the Sand Lake Gate.
Most of us had to purchase day passes at the gate (first seniors rate for me!). We reconvened briefly at the Squirrel Rapids Bridge, and then proceeded to the Barron Canyon Trail, where we parked along the road.

We donned our snowshoes and split into two groups. Jeff took half the group clockwise around the trail, while we went counter-clockwise with the second group, led by Carolyn.

We stopped often to study tracks in the snow. Carolyn instructed us in the characteristics to look for and was able to discover tracks of Red Squirrel, Pine Martin, Ermine, Snowshoe Hare, Red Fox, Deer Mouse, Fisher and Moose. It was a chilly exercise, as we did not move around much.

Finally we joined the other half of the group at the canyon rim and enjoyed the magnificent view while munching on our lunch and sipping our hot soup. Carolyn tried howling to the wolves (she is a wolf expert), but there was no response.

After lunch we returned to the cars and drove a short way to the McManus Lake Road. We explored the black spruce swamp beside the road on snowshoes. There was ample sign of Black-backed Woodpeckers, but even with Jeff’s calling, we only saw a Hairy Woodpecker and a couple of singleton Chickadees. The only other birds seen were Common Ravens. Returning to the cars, Jeff pointed out some wolf tracks. With some daylight still left, Jeff led those interested back via Snake River Line to look for the Northern Hawk Owl. We did find it, rather far off, and a bonus Snowy Owl on the other side of the road. As I was the only one who had brought a scope, I suddenly became very popular!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fletcher Wildlife Garden and Ottawa River & environs

February 3, 9:00 am

(text by Connie)
Birds Observed Wednesday, February 03, 2010 Ottawa and Gatineau - Fletcher Wildlife Gardens, Ottawa River, Miller St., Maple Grove (Gat.)
(Jane, Janet, Bill, Russell, Hedrik, Barb R., Peggy, Marc D'A., Lena, Connie)

Ottawa - Fletcher Wildlife Garden 1 American Crow2 American Goldfinch3 Black-capped Chickadee4 Dark-eyed Junco5 Downy Woodpecker6 Hairy Woodpecker7 House Finch8 Mallard (4 flying over)9 Mourning Dove10 Red-tailed Hawk Ottawa - Ottawa River around Tunney's Pasture and Remic Rapids 11 Barrow's Goldeneye12 Common Goldeneye13 European Starling Gatineau - Miller St. (Off Taché - near downtown Gatineau; feeders in back yard at park) *** American Goldfinch*** Black-capped Chickadee*** European Starling14 House Sparrow (Jane's name "Snow Sparrow")15 Rock Pigeon

Gatineau - Maple Grove Rd. and streets in vicinity (Off Aylmer Road, across from Golf Road) 16 American Black Duck17 Mallard18 White-breasted Nuthatch
Gatineau - Ottawa River East of Vanier Road 19 Canada Goose20 Hooded Merganser Ottawa - Cowley Ave (Barb Robertson's) 21 Northern Cardinal (f)

Total: Birds Observed =21 Birds Heard Only =0 Note: On Miller St. looking for Carolina Wren and White-throated Sparrow -- did not find. On Maple Grove Road looking for Red-shouldered Hawk - did not find.