Monday, July 26, 2010

Gatineau Park Parking Lot 17 & Trails 53/51

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

While checking out routes for a fall scouting event, I discovered a grassland bonanza near the parking area. There were many Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows in the first 100 meters of the trail. Further along, Indigo Buntings flew across as a biked along and a Common Yellowthroat responded to pishing.

Near the old disused bridge over the Lapeche River, a Magnolia Warbler was lurking.

And at Pine Road, a family of Wild Turkeys was on the edge of the road.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Surprise cottage visitor and Common Loon news

July 10, 2010

While having coffee on our cottage deck near Maniwaki, there was a thump on the window. A small bird was lying on its back on the bench below the window. It was a male Magnolia Warbler, the first one we had ever seen there

At first it looked like a goner, but after a few minutes it managed to turn over and sit there with its beak open. It still did not look good, but after twenty minutes, it finally flew over to a branch and, a few minutes later, it disappeared.
Later we did our loon count on Grand Lac des C├Ędres. Last year was a disaster, as all the nests were lost in the high water. This year, of course, was very dry, but many of the loons were apparently refusing to nest in the traditional locations. However, we did see one pair with a newborn in Pike Bay and another pair towards the outlet with two slightly larger chicks. We are still keeping an eye on some other likely pairs, but there are no other chicks yet.

Embrun Lagoons

July 8, 2010 10 am

Another very hot day. There were mother Wood Ducks with their ducklings all over the place. There were also quite a few Ruddy Ducks and a singles of American Coot and Common Moorhen. An American Bittern called briefly from the back cells.

There were several Lesser Yellowlegs, a Kildeer, a bunch of Least Sandpipers on the mud flats. I used the scope attachment with my Nikon to take photos, but the results were less than brilliant. I think I can do better with the regular 400mm and cropping.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Petrie Island with Tony Beck

Tues, June 29, 2010, 7:30 am

Quite a big group today: Tony, Heather, Rick, Russell, Sally, Chris & a friend and Irene.

We heard a Marsh Wren close by. Tony tried to call it out, but the trucks backing up drowned him out.
We watched the Ring-billed Gulls and Red-winged Blackbirds for a while and Sally heard a Belted Kingfisher. A Great Blue Heron flew past and I spotted a Mallard. Also spotted were Barn Swallows, American Robin, Baltimore Oriole and a Mourning Dove. With patience we saw American Goldfinches, a Yellow Warbler, a distant Osprey and a silhouetted Great-crested Flycatcher. Tony saw a Northern Flicker fly across and we heard Common Grackles, Song Sparrows and an American Redstart.

The best birds were a few Black Terns and a hard to spot Green Heron.

Unfortunately, it began to drizzle and it quickly turned to steady rain. We decided to head to Tim Hortons to regroup, although Chris and his lady friend went straight to Embrun. Irene decided to pack it in, as she was not prepared for rain.

We car pooled to Embrun, and were somewhat surprised to see Chris & friend already there at the lagoons. The rain had let up, so we got out our equipment and hopped the fence. There were lots of Ruddy Ducks, which Tony explained were the only duck in breeding plumage at this time of year. We also saw a Northern Shoveller and a Pied-billed Grebe. But no sooner did we set up than the rain came on hard again. Chris decided to pack it in.

There was not point in staying, so we worked our way back stopping at the Dignard constructed wetland. It was drizzling and there was mud everywhere – what a mess.
We only saw a Kildeer, a Savannah Sparrow, Barn Swallows, European Starlings and Rock Pigeons for our trouble.

Our next stop was at Giroux Ponds. More Kildeers and an Eastern Kingbird. Tony saw a Spotted Sandpiper and a female Green-winged Teal on the far shore. I spotted a Belted Kingfisher perched on a Mullein plant. Further along Giroux Road, we saw several male and female Bobolinks. Rick saw an Eastern Meadowlark. Tony and Heather went on a futile trek across the fields looking for a Clay-colored Sparrow.

Our final stop was along Wall Road looking for an Upland Sandpiper, but we came up empty. No photos today due to the constant drizzle.