Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Petrie Island, Open Country & Eastern Lagoons - Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Tuesday November 22, 7:30am

Today there were only Al, Rick S., me, Tony & Nina.  The inner lagoons at Petrie were frozen, so devoid of waterfowl.  We quickly drove down to the main river for a quick look, but things were pretty quiet.  There were three Red-breasted Mergansers by the shore that high-tailed it out of there.  A small group of Canada Geese were huddled by the shore looking very cold.  Tony spotted a few Common Mergansers and Hooded Mergansers in the distance.  Rick noticed some Mallards as we crossed the causeway.  Tony scoped an adult Coopers Hawk a we were leaving the island.

We went to the park and ride and car-pooled from there.  We went out to Milton and then Smith Road where we saw 25 somewhat distant Sandhill Cranes.  We searched but could not locate the rest of the flock.  We saw three Red-tailed Hawks and maybe 200 Snow Buntings along Smith/Milton.

We drove out to Casselman in search of Snow Geese, but did not see any concentrations.  We turned south on Hwy 138, then west on Allaire Road towards the dump.  There were lots of gulls on the ground, mostly Herring Gulls with a few Ringed-bills thrown in. 
A Great Black-back stood out from the crowd and we spotted a young Iceland Gull with a speckled back and no contrast on the wings.  A flock of about 100 Snow Geese flew over high above us.

We checked out some of the nearby roads - Sandringham, Norman and Valley - but could not find a concentration of Snow Geese, just small flocks high above.  We saw another Red-tailed Hawk.

We backtracked to the other side of the 417, and on St. Rose, Nina spotted a Bald Eagle and Tony a Rough-legged Hawk.  And at the same spot, we spotted a Northern Harrier.  At the corner of Concession 21 and Road 9, there was a very close Red-tailed Hawk on a wire.
On 20th Concession, we saw the first Snowy Owl of the season on a mound of earth.  Another fairly large flock of Snow Geese flew overhead.

We started back, making a stop at Giroux Ponds.  On the south pond we had a Great Blue Heron, a couple of Hooded Mergansers and many Common Mergansers.  On the north side, there were thousands of Canada Geese.  Tony was able to pick out a couple of Cackling Geese among them.  Tony saw a Green-winged Teal, and there were many Common Mergansers.

We turned north on Fran Kenny and soon saw another light-morph Rough-legged Hawk.  While scanning at that point, Tony saw a second Snowy Owl.  We decided to finish the day with a quick drive on Wall Road, but nothing new was found.

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