Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Peak Spring Migration - Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Wednesday May 11, 7:30am

I arrived at Petrie Island to find Russell with the scope on a Common Moorhen.  We were the only ones to see it, as it vanished just as the others arrived.  They were Tony, Nina, Bob, Michael, Rick, Heather, Betty and another new guy whose name I think was Al.

Several very large Carp were jumping right clear of the water just in front of us - it's that time of year!  We saw a lot of Tree Swallows and Red-winged Blackbirds.  A few Double-crested Cormorants were flying in the distance.  We saw a young Herring Gull fly near, and an Eastern Kingbird perched on the wire.  I spotted a Great Blue Heron on the far shore, and, incredibly, Tony scoped a Virginia Rail barely visible in the distance.

A pair of Blue-winged Teals flew in and a Wilson's Snipe flew up and was seen briefly. The teals took off and you could see their blue wing patches  - gorgeous.  We notices some Barn Swallows and Bank Swallows among the many Tree Swallows.  A Red-tailed Hawk flew over while we watched the swallows.

We moved across the causeway bridge where we heard a Song Sparrow and a Yellow Warbler singing.  A Least Flycatcher came in for good views and photographs.  We also saw two Great-crested Flycatchers.  In the same location, we saw a Downy Woodpecker, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Kingbird, Yellow Warbler and some American Goldfinches.  A pair of Common Mergansers with an extra female were noted on the other side of the causeway.  A young Double-crested Cormorant was sitting on a stump in the water and another one flew right over us.

We moved along to where there was a large puddle with two Solitary Sandpipers feeding. Heather got an American Redstart and a Gray Catbird put on quite a show. Another Yellow Warbler, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, a Northern Parula, a House Wren and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet came in too. Tony could hear Rusty Blackbirds in the distance, but they did not come in. But a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and a Warbling Vireo did show.

We moved along the road and Heather briefly saw a Cape May Warbler and a young male Blackburnian Warbler , but most of us didn't.  A White-throated Sparrow and a Blue-headed Vireo came in.

We moved to the turtle pond where we saw many Map Turtles.  Some of the larger ones seemed to be moulting.  One had a Painted Turtle on it's back.

We went across to the river and saw more common warblers and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  Returning to the cars, we got good views of another Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Baltimore Oriole.

We went to the Park & Ride where we heard an Eastern Meadowlark and a Clay-coloured Sparrow,  but could not find them.  Then it was on toTim Horton's, even though it was almost noon.  We just had time to cruise Wall Road for Upland Sandpiper.  Well we did not get one, but had some very obliging Bobolinks and a Savannah Sparrow. 

Bob spotted a male Northern Harrier, and a Brown Thrasher flew across the road into a thick bush.  Tony pointed out a Broad-winged Hawk flying over.  Back at the Park & Ride, we heard then saw a Killdeer.

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