Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Waterfowl Migration East of Ottawa

OFO trip with Bob Cermak

April 3, 7:30 am

It was to be a beautiful warm day, but at 7:30 am beside the ice at Petrie Island, it was definitely chilly. There was a large group today, including many of the people that regularly go out with Jane and Connie. We also recognized some OFNC regulars and some participants from past OFO trips. Bob was assisted by Bernie Ladouceur and others. While waiting for everyone to gather, Barbara wandered down to the bridge and got two Ring-necked Ducks and couple of American Goldfinches in the trees.

We left Petrie for Tims to get coffeed up and to arrange car pools. Our next stop was Smith Road by Milton Road to look for Sandhill Cranes. We did not see any, but heard a Song Sparrow singing, and we did spot a Common Raven on the ground and their nest on a silo.

We moved down onto Milton Road and stopped to scan. On the east side of the road, a small flock of Greater Snow Geese took off, disturbed by our arrival.
Some people saw the heads of a couple of Sandhill Cranes, way to the west, but most of the time their heads were down and therefore invisible. We looked and looked, but most did not get on them.

We finally gave up and took Perrault over to Frank Kenny Road and Bear Brook. Here we had good looks at 4 or 5 pair of Northern Pintail and one pair of American Black Ducks. Some people towards the back of the pack saw two Gray Partridges on the other side of the road, but they quickly scurried into the corn stalks and vanished. Bernie tried flushing them out, but they only went further away. Meanwhile Nadine and others saw a Pied-billed Grebe go under the bridge, but it also disappeared.

We moved to Johnson Road off Russell Road, past Bourget. Just as we were arriving, a male Nothern Harrier flew low right across in front of the car. The fields were nearly dry, in contrast to a few years ago. A flock of about 40 Greater Snow Geese took off and flew overhead. There were also minor flights of the many Northern Pintails that were in the field.

We drove past Cobbs Lake and went down Boudreau to Lalonde, stopping near the corner of Du Lac. We got our best view yet of Northern Pintails.

We turned down Du Lac a short way and stopped before the bridge. Here we scanned the Canada Geese and found a Cackling Goose, making it a three-goose day.

We had to get back home, so retraced our steps. Coming along Lalonde, Barbara spotted a quite large flock of Snow Geese high over the treetops. I could not see them at all, so we turned down Rollin Road to get a better view and a few photos.
Back at Cobb's Lake, we saw hordes of Canadas and Northern Pintails. I spotted a dark duck, which I at first thought was a Lesser Scaup, but concluded it was a female Common Goldeneye. Or maybe it was a Redhead - the group saw one later?  We went straight back Russell Road to Anderson, then on to the 417. It will be interesting to find out where else the OFO group went.

No comments:

Post a Comment