Monday, December 12, 2011

The Gatineau Escarpment & The Steele Line with Tony Beck

Thursday Dec 1, 7:30am

There was a very large group today, perhaps because it was the last of the mid-week sessions for the fall season.  There were Brenda, Helena, Bob, Paul, both Ricks, Peter, Gary Sue, Al, myself, Tony and Nina.

We assembled at the Gamelin entrance to Gatineau Park where we all saw a Northern Shrike.  Luckily it flew to a nearby perch and we were able to get some photos. 

We also saw 4 Cedar Waxwings that spiralled around and landed in an apple tree right beside where we were standing.  They flew across the road to another tree and were joined by 3 Bohemian Waxwings.
We headed out Pink Rd, and made a stop in the rural part past Perry.  We saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Red-tailed Hawk, some Mourning Doves, a flock of European Starlings, and a Hairy Woodpecker there.  We saw 4 White-tailed Deer as well.

We went down Terry Fox to Hwy 148, then out to Ch. de la Rivière.  At the corner, Rick had spotted a light-morph Rough-legged Hawk, which flew to a pole on Ch. Smith-Léonard opposite. 

We did the tour of the back roads without seeing much, but as we returned to Hwy 148 at the junction of Ch. Tremblay, we saw an American Kestrel.

We decided to check out Ch Thérien, and were rewarded with a soaring full-adult Bald Eagle. (scope view).  We also saw some Blue Jays, Common Ravens and American Crows.

We stopped at the restaurant, but it was closed.  Tony could see people inside and they opened for us.  They were new owners and were completely renovating the place.

We went up Ch. Eardley-Masham, stopping once to scan the cliffs.  In the park, we made a couple of stops, but saw very little.  At the stop by Trail 56, there were some Hooded Mergansers in the small lake opposite (Lac Ramsay).  We retraced our path, then took Ch Bradley and 6e Concession.  We looked for Evening Grosbeaks, but there were none.

We went down Ch. Wilson, and stopped just before Steele Line.  Here we saw a second Rough-legged Hawk and another Bald Eagle.  We stopped on Ch. Steele Line where we saw a group of American Goldfinches and yet another Bald Eagle soaring in the distance.  This one was a first-year bird.

At the end of Ch. Steele Line, we turned around and started back the way we had come.  At the Hydro line cut, we pick up another Red-tailed Hawk sitting on the tower.  Back on Hwy 148, we saw 6 Wild Turkeys in a field., then an adult Golden Eagle soaring over the cliffs.  Tony was ecstatic.
Back at the Gamelin parking area, we had a Pileated Woodpecker fly-past to round out the day.

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