Monday, February 27, 2012

Dewberry Trail, Mer Bleue & Wall Road - Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Tuesday Feb 21, 8:00am

A large group today at Dolman Ridge Road - Tony & Nina, Margot, Ron, Bob, Brenda, Rick, Roger and me.

We went for a short stroll, but there was nothing much happening.  We heard the unusual call of the White-breasted Nuthatch and saw a few American Crows.  At the feeders, we had Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker and several American Tree Sparrows on the ground.  A male Northern Cardinal started singing across the road, then flew over.  A Blue Jay was sitting motionless in a tree.
We all drove over to the Navan Arena and carpooled from there.  Along the way, we stopped, but it turned out to be only a flock of European Starlings.

We proceeded down Trim Road to a feeder where a Yellow-rumped Warbler had been reported.  It did not appear for us, but we did have a good bunch of American Goldfinches at a thistle seed feeder.

We started south again and soon saw a Red-tailed Hawk fly across the road in front of us.  Just slightly further on, there was a row of evergreens that was full of Dark-eyed Juncos.   We also heard an American Crow making a really strange sound.

Nina spotted a small mammal, perhaps a Mink.  But by the time we got out, it had vanished.  Tony spotted a dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk way in the distance, so he got it in the scope.

We headed out to St Isidore area and stopped to scan on Conc. 20.  Brenda spotted a white Snowy Owl on St. Rose Road, sitting on a fence post.  We also saw a small flock of Horned Larks  Tony spotted a second, darker, Snowy Owl on the other side of the road.  It was too far for binoculars, but we could see it well enough in his scope. 
We turned onto St. Rose, and saw a small flock of Snow Buntings on the dirt pile beside a utility pole.  Later we had three or four Horned Larks right on the road.  Looking back, we saw House Sparrows and a Common Raven.
We turned left on Conc. 21 and saw two more Red-tailed Hawks.  We went back via Conc. 19 where we saw another Snowy Owl, although it could have been the second one from a different vantage point.   There was also a fairly large flock of Snow Buntings and a distant light-morph Rough-legged Hawk.

We turned onto Des Noyers Road and saw a mixed flock of Horned Larks and Snow Buntings, and also another, or perhaps the same, light-morph Rough-legged Hawk.

We drove straight to Russell at 175 Forced Road to check out a feeder for a reported Eastern Towhee.  We were not successful, in spite of spending some time there.  Only Mourning Doves were coming to the feeder.
There was an interesting trail across the road into a woodlot.  American Crows were going crazy, so we were sure they were mobbing an owl.  We went in rather deep, but could not find anything - even the crows vanished.  On the way back to Navan, a mangy Coyote crossed right in front of us.  Although we saw it well, the bushes beside the road prevented a decent photo op.

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