Monday, June 13, 2011

OFNC Sparrow Trip behind Ottawa Airport with Gord Belyea

Wednesday, May 25 7:30 am

I was a couple of minutes late due to the heavy traffic on Hunt Club.  I could see the group just taking off, so I joined the back of a rather large group.  Familiar faces were Rick, Marc and Peggy, among others.

Our first sparrow was a Savannah Sparrow on the fence, first misidentified as a Song Sparrow.  Two Brown Thrashers flew across as Gray Tree Frogs called continuously as we hiked along the trail parallel to Bowesville.

We could hear Common Yellowthroats, but no see them.  We did see a couple of Baltimore Orioles and Bobolinks and an Eastern Kingbird.  We had a fleeting view of a young male American |Redstart.  There were boxes, occupied by Tree Swallows, but one by Eastern Bluebirds.  We also saw a Yellow Warbler and some Turkey Vultures.

We finally did see a Song Sparrow, then a distant Eastern Meadowlark at the top of a tree.  We came to a traditional Least Flycatcher spot, and Anne played her machine.  We go a quick response and also saw American Goldfinches and a House Wren.

We heard a Field Sparrow, but could not get it to come in.  After spotting another Eastern Bluebird, we go decent views of a Grasshopper Sparrow in a low shrub.
A Great Blue Heron flew overhead, and some got briefly on a Black-billed Cuckoo.
We could hear an Ovenbird calling "Teacher Teacher Teacher" and saw another Brown Thrasher on top of a dead tree.  We made our way to the radar ball enclosure, where a Mourning Warbler was reputed to hang out.  But several tries with the recording failed to get a response.  Rick heard it, then saw a female Yellow Warbler come in and at first thought we had it, but no.

I spotted a raptor, which even Gord had trouble with.  He called for Marc to come forward with his scope, but even without it we soon identified it as a Red-tailed Hawk, even though there was no obvious red tail.  A Great Crested Flycatcher put on a good show for us. 

We heard another Black-billed Cuckoo.   We saw another House Wren at a nest box, then got excellent views of a Clay-colored Sparrow.

We had a quick view of a Gray Catbird, then heard a Pine Warbler.  We spend some time playing the recording, but it would not come out.  We did get great views of an Indigo Bunting.
Returning down the trail, some saw an American Kestrel and everyone saw another Brown Thrasher.

Afterwards, I drove out to High Road to check for Eastern Bluebirds, but all of the boxes seemed to be occupied by Tree Swallows.  I could see the radar dome and was surprised at how far we had walked.

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