Monday, April 25, 2011

Petrie Island & Migratory Staging Areas - Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Thursday Apr 21, 7:30am

A very cool spring morning with lots of wind.  Today there were Janet, Tony, Nina, Jen, Helena, Michael and me.

We had some Bufflehead in the main bay and two Northern Pintails flew overhead.  A female Belted Kingfisher flew briefly into the docks.  There were several American Goldfinch in a tree, and Janet noticed a single Common Redpoll with them.   A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker showed up too.  A female Common Merganser was on the east side of the causeway by the shore. 

The wind was bitterly cold, but we were seeing birds.  Next up was a Brown-headed Cowbird.  There seems to be an abundance of these this year.

As we walked towards the beach, we saw a Hairy Woodpecker.  Tony pointed out a young Great Black-backed Gull.  We had a Bald Eagle and an Osprey flying away over the river.  We huddled beside a building to stay out of the wind.

We headed back to the woods where Nina saw a Northern Flicker.  Then Tony spotted a Hermit Thrush, but it was not very cooperative.  A male Wood Duck in the flooded trees gave us better looks.  A pair of Hooded Mergansers were quite distant.  As we crossed back over the causeway, we saw a male Common Merganser fly over and also a flock of about 50 Common Redpolls.  Tony pointed out a Double-crested Cormorant too.

We went to Tim Hortons for a hot beverage and a warm up, then headed down Frank Kenny.  We stopped for a Northern Harrier.  Then, as we approached Bear Brook ,we could see masses of white in the flooded fields - about 3000 Greater Snow Geese.   There were many Northern pintails as well.
We went out Russell Road towards Larose Forest.  En route we saw another Northern Harrier, an American Kestrel and some Wild Turkeys displaying.  While I was photographing the Harrier, Janet spotted an Eastern Meadowlark.  At the entrance to Larose Forest we stopped for a Merlin.

We made a few stops along Clarence Cambridge Road through the forest.  We hiked down a little snowshoe trail a short way and found a Brown Creeper.  Tony also heard a Ruffed Grouse which we tried to search out, but were unsuccessful. 
We saw a Common Raven and Great Blue Heron at one of the stops.  At the last stop there were feeders where we saw Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Dark-eyed Juncos and a bright male Common Redpoll.  On the lawn, there were dozens of American Robins and one Northern Flicker.  Tony could hear Evening Grosbeaks, but try as we might, we could not chase them down.

We returned to Frank Kenny, where we were pleased to see that many of the Snow Geese and Northern Pintails had returned.  Tony also pointed out a Cackling Goose.

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