Monday, November 22, 2010

West end birding with Jane & Connie’s group

Nov 18, 9:00 am

We met at Andrew Haydon Park’s west end. There was a large group - Jane, Peggy, Brenda, Rick, Hedrick, Barb R., Janet B., Marc & me.

It was a grey cold day. The only thing of interest at Andrew Haydon was a group of Green-winged Teal near the Ottawa River shore with some Mallards and Black Ducks.
So went drove to Shirley’s Bay where we had more luck. There were Common Goldeneye, Lesser Scaup, and a female Bufflehead. Rick spotted an Adult Bald Eagle away on the far shore.

We decided to check Hilda feeders. We saw a Northern Cardinal, lots of Black-capped Chickadees, several Blue Jays, some American Tree Sparrows, a White-throated Sparrow and a Dark-eyed Junco.
A Hairy Woodpecker looked dead as it huddled against a tree trunk. Soon the reason became clear, as Rick spotted a Merlin perched up on a neighboring snag.

We went out March Valley Road and saw a Red-tailed Hawk fly across in front of us. We stopped at McEwen’s for a break and coffee, then went over to Kerwin trail in another fruitless effort to find a Black-backed Woodpecker. In fact, there was nothing on the trail at all, so we turned back.

We drove along Fifth Line Road and took a detour down Berry Side Road, seeing nothing. Back on Fifth Line, a raptor was spotted. Those that stopped saw it was a Rough-legged Hawk.

Our next stop was at Constance Creek on Thomas Dolan Parkway where we saw several American Wigeon, too far off to photograph. There was also one Lesser Scaup, and, on the other side of the bridge, three Hooded Merganser males. As we watched, two Common Raven flew past making raven noises.

Our final stop was the man-made ponds nearby on Constance Creek Road, where we saw some distant Buffleheads.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kerwin Road and Shirley’s Bay with Craig & Pamela

November 7, 2010 11:00 am

Today Barbara joined us as we had a quick west-end outing.

We went to Kerwin Road to look for a reported Black-backed Woodpecker, but all we found were other birders.
Then we went to Hilda Road feeders where we saw several Blue Jays and Black-capped Chickadees along with a Red-winged Blackbird , an American Goldfinch and a few American Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos.

We moved on to Shirley’s Bay where we saw quite a few Ring-necked Ducks and Lesser Scaup and one Pied-billed Grebe. Another birder said there were several Horned Grebes, but we couldn’t spot them.

At Andrew Haydon Park, we saw Common Goldeneye, Common Mergansers, Buffleheads and a couple of distant Common Loons in winter plumage.  A Beaver swam right across the bay in front of us.  Returning to the car, we saw a Great Blue Heron.
Craig and Pamela had to leave for Kirk’s, so we went out to Burnside after dropping off some hazardous waste at the dump. There were lots of Hooded Mergansers and some Ruddy Ducks. Too bad we missed these earlier with Craig and Pamela.

As compensation, they had a Barred Owl right in Kirk’s yard!

Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese with Craig & Pamela

November 6, 2010 10:00 am

We drove straight to Milton Road and cruised slowly along without seeing any cranes. That all changed when we turned onto Smith. There was quite a large flock –perhaps 60. A few were relatively close, so Pamela got out to photograph them while I set up the scope. By the time I was finished, the close ones had flown off, so was left with the more distant ones.

We then drove out past Casselman to Concession 20, but there was nothing at all. We crossed back over the 417 and saw a large flock of Snow Geese in the fields. We could not get close, but with the scope, we could see that there were very few blue morph among them. Tony had said that blue morphs were much more common out west, and Pamela agreed.
On the way back, we stopped at Embrun, but it was a bust.

Jack Pine Trail and Munster Side Road with Tony Beck

October 19, 7:30 am

We met at Jack Pine – Tony, Nina, Rick, Heather and me. We had the usual suspects, A Ring-billed Gull, American Crows, Black-capped Chickadees, Canada Geese and Blue Jays. We went to the feeder area and got a Hairy Woodpecker.

Along the trail, there were quite a few Dark-eyed Juncos and American Robins. We saw an Red-breasted Nuthatch and a Chipping Sparrow too.

We headed out onto the boardwalk where there were lots of Mallards and a couple of shy Green-winged Teal. We has a Red-winged Blackbird calling and saw a Yellow-rumped Warbler. We did see an American Tree Sparrow, a Fox Sparrow and a Northern Cardinal.

Out perched, backlit by the sun, were a couple of Rusty Blackbirds. An American Black Duck flew over.

We moved on to Burnside where we saw a Greater Yellowlegs at the spit. We had some Ring-necked Ducks and a couple of flying Great Blue Herons. There were Hooded, Red-breasted and Common Mergansers, Lesser Scaup and Bufflehead.

We drove out to Munster Side Road, but it was really quiet there. We did get a nice Hermit Thrush and both Kinglets.

Ottawa West and Golden-crowned Sparrow with Tony Beck

October 14, 2010 7:30 am

We met at Andrew Haydon Park. – Tony, Nina, Heather, me and a visiting birder, Sue.

We saw a Cackling Goose, a Great-blue Heron and a pair of Green-winged Teal. We went over to the Ottawa River, where we saw 2 Surf Scoters, a White-winged Scoter and a couple of female Lesser Scaup. A White-throated Sparrow was behind us. Tony saw a Double-crested Cormorant come in, and there was Great Black-backed Gull out on the river.

Walking back to the cars, we saw a Downy Woodpecker down low in the shrubs and a very secretive Hermit Thrush.

We carpooled to Moodie Ponds, and on the way, on Eagleson, we saw a Great Egret in one of the storm ponds.

At Burnside, we had a Red-tailed Hawk sitting on the ground. There were a couple of Ring-necked Ducks in the foreground and several Ruddy Ducks. Tony spotted a Lesser Black-backed Gull. A pair of Northern Shovellers flew past too. In the distance we could see a female Common Merganser. An American Pipit blasted across right in from of us and out of sight.

We drove to Rothwell Heights, 12 Cedar Road, to look for a rarity – a Golden-crowned Sparrow that had been coming to a feeder. We saw lots of White-throated Sparrows on the ground, then a Northern Cardinal. A Song Sparrow showed up and then the Golden-crowned. Finally, a Dark-eyed Junco and a House Finch appeared too.