Friday, November 4, 2011

Gatineau Escarpments, Eagles & Finches - Ottawa West with Tony Beck

Tuesday November 1, 7:30am

This was my first outing with Tony in a long time, apart from the OFO one. There was quite a large group today – Rick, Bob, Al, Lena, Peter, Roger, Nina and Tony. Also two people I had not met, Rick #2 and Heather #2.

We met at Gamelin Blvd, abd first toured the Pioneer Trail. It was extremely quiet, and Tony tried the machine to excite the birds. Only Black-capped Chickadees, a pair of Northern Cardinals and a few American Goldfinches responded. An American Crow flew over.

We headed out the Aylmer Road to Luskville. The gate to the falls parking was locked for the winter, so we hiked in. We noticed a couple of deer, one of which had an ugly growth hanging between its legs.
Outside of a Common Raven and Blue Jay, the quiet forest persisted, so Tony decided to go back after proceeding down the horse trail only as far as the creek. On the way out, we saw a flock of about ten Wild Turkeys.
We headed further west on Hwy 148 where Tony spotted a light-morph Rough-legged Hawk. It flew off while he was setting up his scope.

Just before the restaurant, we turned down Chemin Therien. I saw a Hairy Woodpecker from the car. Tony spotted a perched Red-tailed hawk, which he got in the scope. There were mixed flocks of American Robins and Eastern Bluebirds going back and forth in the tree tops, with a Cooper’s Hawk in hot pursuit. A Blue Jay flew in and perched in a tree top.

We headed for the restaurant, but it was closed. The sign said open at 11, so we decided to bird the Eardly-Masham Road for a while and return. It was pretty quiet up there too, with only a Red-breasted Nuthatch responding to the magic machine.

When we returned, the restaurant was still closed, so we made do with the depanneur across the road. We decided to take Bradley over to Steele Line. We stopped at the house with the vertical fence and fund a friendly dog and a White-breasted Nuthatch and a Brown Creeper. Tony and Nina got a brief view of a Northern Shrike and got it in the scope.

We stopped to scan on Steele, and Bob saved Tony’s skin by spotting a distant circling adult Bald Eagle. We all had good views. Returning on Bradley, Tony spotted another distant eagle, but this time a Golden Eagle. The eagle landed in a conifer, so we jumped back into the cars to drive closer. However, we could not relocate it, but got good views of another Red-tailed Hawk.

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