Thursday, December 29, 2011

Britannia & Deschenes Rapids with Tony Beck

Thursday Dec 22, 8:00am

As I arrived at Cassels Street ,Tony was calling the Northern Flicker which flew across the road for good views.  As we went closer, it flew off, but was replaced by a Northern Cardinal.

Today there were Tony, Nina, Peter, Helena, Brenda, Rick, Bob, and me.

As Bob and Rick were a tad late, they missed the Northern Flicker.  So Tony played the tape just once, and it responded by flying across again giving us good looks.

We wanted to go for the Carolina Wren, but we had to proceed very cautiously on the icy trail.  Along the way we saw a White-breasted Nuthatch and the first of several Brown Creepers.  Then we saw two more of them in the same spot.

There were a dozen or so American Crows milling about and cawing, but they were not mobbing anything.  We heard their rattle call a couple of times - a first for me.

We came to the Carolina Wren spot and it did respond for some low quality photo ops.

Returning to the cars, Brenda saw the Northern Flicker again and some American Robins.
On the ground were a couple of Northern Cardinals and several European Starlings.

We had a Hairy Woodpecker, and a Downy came to Helena's had again for a peanut.
It was too slippery to go up on the ridge, so we went down by the water below.  There were a number of House Finches in a tree and several American Goldfinches in another. 

Peter thought he saw a Hooded Merganser, but may have mistaken it for a Common Goldeneye, as there were several flying out on the main river.  There were a couple of Mallards in close too.

We moved to Dick Bell park to do some scoping.  The first thing we saw were Canada Geese for the day list.  Tony saw a white blob on the Aylmer waterfront, which became a Snowy Owl when we saw it move it's head.  Then, incredibly, Tony saw a second one even further away.  He himself had doubts, but once again, we saw it move it's head.

We hiked out to the tip, at the lighthouse, and saw a couple of White-winged Scoters.  As we could not see the white wings patches, Tony had to rely on more subtle clues to be sure they weren't Surf Scoters.

We decided to stop at Timmy's then go to Shirley's Bay.  On the way, we saw the photographers on a Red-tailed Hawk at the former Nortel campus.  Helena stopped for a good shot, but we carried on and saw our own along Rifle Road.

At Shirley's Bay, we had a very distant Rough-legged Hawk.  There was a white blob at the point which we hoped was Bald Eagle, but it could not be confirmed.  Nina spotted a Common Loon in full winter plumage.  As well, there were groups of Common Goldeneyes.

We went to Hilda Road where we chased off several Mourning Doves and Blue Jays.  The only other thing of note, besides chickadees, a Hairy and a Downy, was an American Tree Sparrow.
We were about to call it a day, when a Bald Eagle flew overhead at Hilda, followed shortly thereafter by three Iceland Gulls.

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