Monday, March 28, 2011

The First Spring Arrivals - Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Thursday Mar 24, 8:00am - Meeting Place: The parking lot of the Dewberry Trail, along the Dolman Ridge Road.

I arrived a couple of minutes late to a very excited Tony. He and Rick jumped into my car and we drove back to Anderson Road leaving the others behind. He had seen a Moose on the way in, but it had unfortunately departed by the time we got there. So we drove back to Dewberry Trail to join the others - Nina, Al, Chris and Betty.

Once again, it was as cold as mid-winter, so we shivered. We saw Mourning Doves, Blue Jays, American Crow and Black-capped Chickadees at the feeder. We walked down the road a bit and Nina saw a Pileated Woodpecker. There were lots of Common Redpolls and Red-winged Blackbirds in the treetops.

We went to Tim Horton's in Blackburn Hamlet to warm up, then headed to Milton Road / Smith Road to look for Sandhill Cranes - no luck. But there was a large flock of Wild Turkeys. We stopped along Milton, but all we saw were White-tailed Deer. Finally at the bridge, Tony spotted a single Greater Snow Goose on the east side with the large flock of Canadas. On the west side, there was another flock of about 20 Wild Turkeys, and sharp-eyed Nina spotted a distant Red-tailed Hawk.

We went down to Russell Road and over to Frank Kenny. We saw a pair of Mourning Doves on the wire. At a large pond ,we saw a few Northern Pintails along with some Mallards and lots of Canada Geese. Tony could hear a Song Sparrow. We went across Perrault to Milton again and back to Russell. We turned west, then north on Carlsbad Lane where we saw a Rough-legged Hawk and yet more Wild Turkeys. A flock of Canada Geese flew over which included a leucistic one. We went further west to Hall Road to look at Mer Bleue. Tony pointed out the stand of pines which one can access from the boardwalk.

Before giving up, we returned to Smith Road for another try. We had a great view of a Song Sparrow. That's about it.

On the way home, I decided to stop at Walmart on Innes to check out the field behind. There were lots of American Robins, a singing Common Grackle and a House Finch. No sign of the owl or American woodcock that had been reported by Barbara's friend Jim.

Postscript - Barbara and I returned on Friday at 6 pm, but saw even fewer birds. There was a Red-tailed Hawk perched in the tall pines that we saw as we drove around to the back of Walmart.

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