Monday, March 28, 2011

The First Spring Arrivals - Ottawa West with Tony Beck

Tuesday Mar 22, 8:00am

Today there were Rick, Heather, Bob, Al, Nina, Tony and me. We met at the Coliseum and then went to Britannia Pier to check the ice. We heard a Song Sparrow and saw a Downy Woodpecker and Dark-eyed Junco in the tree at the base of the pier. There were Ring-billed Gulls and a single American Black Duck at the edge of the ice, and several Common Goldeneyes in the water. There were also a few Great Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls.

We went to Hilda feeders next. We saw Mourning Doves, Red-winged Blackbirds, Downy Woodpecker, American Tree Sparrows, Common and Hoary Redpolls, a female Northern Cardinal, and a Black-capped Chickadee with a white tail, but no sign of the leucistic Common Redpoll.

On Rifle Road, we stopped to look at an adult Porcupine in a tree. We proceeded to March Valley Road. We saw Green-winged Teal, Mallard, American Black Duck and Canada Geese in the pond. Nina spotted a Red-tailed Hawk.

We took March Road, stopping at the Carp River. There were lots of American Black Ducks as well as Mallards and thousands of Canada Geese. We turned down Carp Road and stopped again where there were more thousands of Canada Geese. Bob spotted a blue-phase Snow Goose, but after examination, Tony declared it a weird hybrid with barnyard genes. The wind was bitterly cold as we searched for the reported Greater White-fronted Geese. Most of us got in the cars to warm up, but Tony stuck it out and eventually spotted all six of them sleeping in amongst the Canadas. It was hard to see them, except for the orange legs. Once in a while, one or two of them would lift its head slightly and we could see the white frontal patch.

Our next quarry was the Ross's Geese, so we went to Richmond. We saw a Turkey Vulture - perhaps our first of spring. We drove to the dead end on Twin Elm, but only saw Canada Geese and a few Mallards. Tony heard a Killdeer. So we went over to Burnside pit, checking the fields along the way. There were lots of gulls on the ice - Ring-billed, Herring and Great Black-backs. Tony was able to show us a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and then a nice fly past of Northern Pintails.

We circled back to Twin Elm via Brophy, checking the fields full of Canada Geese along the way. This time Rick spotted a White-breasted Nuthatch, and Nina saw an adult Bald Eagle way in the distance,which I had seen the first time but forgot to mention. But our search for Ross's Geese was unsuccessful.  Coming back along Hwy 416, we saw some Wild Turkeys by the Log Farm.

No comments:

Post a Comment