Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tony & Nina's Wedding

Dec. 24, 12:00 noon

 We gathered at the Jack Pine Trial for the momentous occasion.

Best man was Mark Gawn and Maid of Honour was Jenn Spalin.

Those in attendance were two White-tailed Deer, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, a Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, countless Chickadees, Bill & Barbara, Rick & Sharon, Bob & Nancy, Tony’s sister Cynthia with husband Dave, and their daughter Morgan. An Anglican priest, who lives in their condo, performed the ceremony.

The reception was at Mark’s house.

Twitcher's Delight - Ottawa Centre & West with Tony Beck

Tuesday Dec 21, 8:00am

Today we had Al, Craig, Bob, Peter, Heather, Rick, Nina, Tony, & me.

We started at Britannia Ridge where we saw an adult Bald Eagle, lots of Great Black-backed Gulls and Common Goldeneye. Heather got a nice male White-breasted Nuthatch to come out for us. A Downy-Woodpecker showed up too, as we tried to hand-feed them. There were also a couple of American Goldfinches.

A quick fly-past by a Pileated Woodpecker got us excited. A Common Raven responded to Rick’s imitation.
We wandered down to the river launch and saw a Hairy Woodpecker at the edge of the river and a couple of male Common Mergansers way off in the distance on the Quebec side.

There were several Mallards, one Black Duck, a female Common Merganser and three Canada Geese.
Walking back up the road, Craig got a lifer – a male Pileated Woodpecker.
We drove to Aylmer to twitch for rarities that had been reported on the CBC. We checked for an Eastern Screech Owl, but could not locate it. Same story for a Carolina Wren. But we did see some Dark-eyed Juncos, a male and female Northern Cardinal, a White-throated Sparrow, and both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers while looking for the Wren.
We decided to check on the owl again, but could only find a couple of American Robins. In the Deschenes Rapids, we saw a single female Bufflehead, a Lesser Scaup and three more male Common Mergansers and one female.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Aylmer & Eardley Escarpment with Connie & Jane's group

*** text by Connie ***
We did go birding December 16th as planned. Another beautiful day, but once again, quiet for birds. I think the most prominent bird was Blue Jay. They seemed to be around at many locations. The puffed-up one in the attached photo was with a group on the Eardley-Masham Road.
Best bird for the day was White-winged Cross-bill. We saw 8-10 of these on the Eardley-Masham Road, along with one Bald Eagle and a Common Raven. Our first stop for the day in Quebec was the Lakeview Road area of Aylmer looking for the Red-shouldered Hawk and Carolina Wren that had been reported in the area. We did not find them but did see a Pileated Woodpecker. We were surprised to see the Dark-eyed Juncos this late (Therien Road in Quebec), but I saw several in my backyard the following day as well.

Not on my list, but very likely seen by Bill & Jane in the group was a Long-eared Owl that flew over a trail off the Eardley-Masham Road. My list for the day is below.

Note - after consulting with Tony, we are now thinking Great Horned Owl is most likely.


Birds Observed, Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gatineau West Quebec

(Jane, Connie, Bill, Rick, Hedrik)

Ottawa West - 40 Holitman

1 American Tree Sparrow (1)

2 House Sparrow (lots)

Ottawa West - Fallowfield, Woodroffe

3 Mourning Dove

4 Red-tailed Hawk

5 Rock Pigeon

Aylmer Quebec

6 Pileated Woodpecker (rue des veterans)

7 American Crow (Lakeview Avenue)

Gatineau Quebec - Vanier Road

8 Black-capped Chickadee

9 Common Goldeneye

10 European Starling

11 Hairy Woodpecker

12 White-breasted Nuthatch

Gatineau Quebec - Hwy 148 West of Aylmer

13 Wild Turkey

Gatineau Quebec - Eardley Masham Road

14 Bald Eagle (1)

*** Black-capped Chickadee

15 Blue Jay

16 Common Raven

17 Downy Woodpecker (m)

18 White-winged Crossbill (8-10)

Gatineau Quebec - West - Therien Road

19 Dark-eyed Junco

*** Red-tailed Hawk

Total: Birds Observed =19 Birds Heard Only = 0

Note: Others likely saw Long-eared Owl (two saw this fly over trail off Eardley-Masham Road);

Coyote and Deer (Eardley Masham Road)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wild Turkeys (no Greater White-fronted Geese)

Dec 4, 2010 2:00 pm

We were at home on Saturday, making some preparations for Christmas. A hot tip arrived on OntBirds that 7 Greater White-fronted Geese had been observed near Carp. We needed a break, so decided to head right over to check it out.

Another birder was there scoping the fields, so I joined him. No luck, the geese had left. There were two and then just one Snow Geese left with the flocks of Canadas. It was cold and windy, so Barbara looked from the car, while I toughed it out outside.

Disappointed we left and went home via Carling Avenue. Near the corner of Rifle Road, Barbara spotted a flock of Wild Turkeys right along the road. We did a U-turn, and went back to get some images.

Later, it was reported on OntBirds that the geese came back in around 4:00 pm. Nuts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Strathcona Park with Connie & Jane’s group

Nov 29, 2010 – 9:00 am

A large turnout today to see the Barrow’s Goldeneye - Lynn, Colleen, Connie, Peggy, Jane, Ed, Marc, Brenda, Barb R. and me.

I arrived a few minutes early to find Connie already scoping the Barrow’s Goldeneye. There were lots of Common Goldeneye and Mallards, which made finding Waldo in the crowd difficult. I could not get on it, and without warning, a large flock took off upstream. It must have been with them, because nobody else could locate it either.

We did have a couple of male Common Mergansers and female Hooded Mergansers and a Lesser Scaup on the far shore.  In the distance were a couple of American Black Ducks.

Most of us decided to hike upstream to look for the Barrow’s Goldeneye. In the trees bordering the river, Jane saw a white-breasted Nuthatch, several Black-capped Chickadees and an American Crow.

We stopped at an opening in the trees, and I spotted a pair of Hooded Mergansers, also on the far shore. With no sign of the target species, we headed back downstream. We notice a lone Herring Gull sitting on a rock in the middle of the current. There was a Hairy Woodpecker in the tree beside the path, poking away at what looked like a squirrel’s nest.

Then, Connie discovered the Barrow’s Goldeneye again, and eventually, everyone got good scope views.

The group was going to the west end to check the Ottawa River, but I decided to head east to see the Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes. Boy, did I draw a blank – no sign of either species. The best I could report were a couple of Red-tailed Hawks, a Rough-legged Hawk and an American Kestrel along Concessions 19 and 20.