Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chickadees, Nuthatches, Sparrows & Others - Ottawa West with Tony Beck

Thursday November 24, 7:30am

Today I was the first to arrive and thought I had come to the wrong meeting place.  However, soon the others arrived - Tony, Nina, and both Ricks.

As advertised, we soon saw lots of Black-capped Chickadees and a few White-breasted Nuthatches.  The sparrows were slower, but we did see them.

There were several Mourning Doves and Blue Jays along the trails and a couple of Hairy Woodpeckers.  A Song Sparrow was observed from the boardwalk.

We quickly moved to Burnside pond where there were a lot of Canada Geese.  It did not take long to spot good numbers of Hooded and Common Mergansers.  We also saw a few Ring-necked Ducks and one Ruddy Duck.  Just at the edge of the back pond, we could see an odd hybrid Canada Goose with a white head.  Nina noticed a Great Blue Heron on the far shore.  There were a few Mallards and some Blacks had been observed as we crossed the Jock River.

A flock of about 100 Snow Geese, which had been hidden from view, took off. Tony was trying to make out if there was a Ross's Goose among them, but it was not confirmed. Four Greater Snow Geese, which had stayed, swam out into view on the main pond. Tony showed us a very distant Red-tailed Hawk and a few Cackling Geese on the pond.
We drove around to the dump to observe the gulls.  There were a lot of Herring Gulls of all ages, and a few Ring-billed Gulls.  A couple of Great Black-backed Gulls really stood out from the crowd.  Tony also scoped up to three Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  No white-winged gulls were observed.

We drove over to Rushmore (Rick S. was really confused).  Tony stopped to scope a light-morph adult Rough-legged Hawk.  While scoping, we could see a large flock of Snow Buntings in the distance, and incredibly, a very distant Snowy Owl.  We drove down Eagleson to get a better look at the Snowy.
On Brownlee, we saw four American Crows harassing a flying Red-tailed Hawk and on Akins we had another Red-tailed Hawk, this one perched.

We headed to Tim Horton's on March Road, and just before turning in, Tony spotted a Peregrine Falcon on a hydro pylon.
After our break, we went to Shirley's Bay.  There were Mallards, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneye, Lesser Scaup, a few Common Loons and a female Hooded Merganser.

We went last to Hilda feeders, where there were four tame White-tailed Deer.
There were several Red-winged Blackbirds and American Goldfinches.  There was a Downy Woodpecker and an American Tree Sparrow.  As we were driving away, we saw two Northern Shrikes on Shirley Blvd.

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