Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Gatineau Escarpment & The Steele Line with Tony Beck

Thursday Feb 16, 8:00am

A small group today - Tony & Nina, Helena, Brenda and me.

We met at the Gamelin Road entrance to Gatineau Park.  While in the parking lot, we saw ten Bohemian Waxwings fly across and land in a tree, followed by another 30.  Tony quickly got the scope on them.

We made one stop along Pink Road - we saw European Starlings, American Robins and American Crows.  A stop along Hwy 148 added only House Sparrows.  We stopped again to view a Red-tailed Hawk being harassed by a couple of American Crows, and we also saw a group of about 20 Wild Turkeys in a field with a White-tailed Deer.

We drove down Ch. Thérien where we saw more turkeys and deer and some Rock Pigeons - no sign of any eagles.  Then we spotted an adult Bald Eagle and a Red-tailed Hawk which was at first mistaken for a Golden Eagle.  Before we left, we saw a Common Raven and another Red-tailed Hawk.

Back on Hwy 148, we had two more Red-tailed Hawks, including a nicely-patterned one; and a female Pileated Woodpecker on top of a utility pole.
We turned onto Eardley-Masham Road and stopped at the base of the escarpment to scope.  We had more crows and ravens, and yet another Red-tailed Hawk.  Another group of birders consisting of Jane, Connie, Peter, Janet, Peggy and Barb R. stopped briefly to compare notes.  Brenda was scanning with her scope and spotted a perched Golden Eagle.  We watched it unperturbed, while a Bald Eagle and a Blue Jay flew right across in front of it.

We drove up into the hills and stopped to look for finches.  We saw both nuthatches, a Downy Woodpecker, a Blue Jay, some Golden-crowned Kinglets, and had a brief flyover of a couple of Red Crossbills.  The latter continued to call in the forest, but we could not see them.

Four Pines Siskins flew across and landed in the trees by the road.  Then we saw another small group of them right on the road, as well as a male Purple Finch.  We also kept seeing multiple Red-breasted Nuthatches.  We saw another adult Bald Eagle soaring over the hills.

We turned onto Ch. Sincennes, stopped and played the machine.  We attracted many chickadees, nuthatches and Pine Siskins, but nothing else.  Back at the corner of Ch. Eardley-Masham, we saw a pair of Red Crossbills on the road getting grit, which gave us a great photo op.

We returned to get a snack at the Dépanneur and check out Ch. Steele Line.  We saw an immature Bald Eagle, another Red-tailed Hawk, and still another adult Bald Eagle being chased by crows.

It was quite a day for raptors!

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