Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sarsaparilla Trail & Other Trails - Ottawa West with Tony Beck

Tuesday Jan 10, 8:00am

Today there were Tony, Nina, Helena, Bob, Rick, Brenda, Roger and me.  While waiting at the Coliseum, Ring-billed Gulls and Herring Gulls flew overhead.

Our first stop was at Grandview Road to look for a reported Northern Mockingbird.  We saw Blue Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, American Crows, Common Ravens, European Starlings, American Goldfinches, three House Finches, a Northern Cardinal, and an American Robin. Finally the Northern Mocking Bird made a brief appearance as it flew across the road and disappeared.
We decided to go into the Greenbelt field behind to chase it down.  No luck, but we did get a Hairy Woodpecker and a Mourning Dove.  We heard the call of a White-breasted Nuthtach that could easily be mistaken for a Northern Flicker call.
We moved on to Hilda feeders where we picked up an American tree Sparrow, and three Red-winged Blackbirds.

After a break, we went to the Sarsaparilla Trail, where we had a pleasant hike.  Brenda fed the chickadees and Tony got her to put some seeds on her head.
We went out Moodie to Rushworth, then on to Eagleson and Aikens.  We saw no Snowy Owls, but had a good sized flock of Snow Buntings on Aikens.  On Brownlee, we had good views of a Coyote.  Back on Eagleson, we stopped to scope a really dark morph Rough-legged Hawk, which left it's perch and flew across the road.

We tuned onto Barnsdale road, and Tony spotted a Gray Partridge beside a brush pile.  It scooted in where it was impossible to see, even with binoculars.  However, with the scope, we could just make out, not one, but three Gray Partridges huddled under the brush pile.   Then, incredibly, a Northern Shrike flew in and landed briefly on top of the same brush pile.

Then, on the way home, we saw a Red-tailed Hawk for Nina, perched in an evergreen along Moodie Drive.

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