Monday, March 5, 2012

Larose Forest & Open Fields - Ottawa East with Tony Beck

Sunday Mar 4, 8:00am

Today there were Tony, Nina, Gary, Sue, Martha, Josh, Barbara and me, as well as two new birders, Rob and Giselle.  The latter live in Limoges, the area to be explored today.

We saw both American Crow and Common Raven in the Park 'n Ride on Trim Road.

After a brief stop at Tim Hortons on Trim Rd, we went east on Innes Rd then south on Frank Kenny.  We soon stopped when we saw 2 Coyotes in the field.  Then, a little further on, we stopped again as somehow Tony spotted a Red-tailed Hawk part way up a tree in behind lots of branches.
We went east on Russell Rd, then south on Saumure Rd to Indian Creek Rd which becomes Ch Clarence Cambridge as it passes through Larose Forest.  Along the way, we saw a bunch of European Starlings and some Wild Turkeys in a field. 

At the entrance to Larose Forest, there is a house with feeders.  We saw many American Goldfinches, a Pine Siskin, a Hairy Woodpecker and both nuthatches and several Black-capped Chickadees.  Further along, we saw a flock of about 40 Common Redpolls flush off the road, and linger briefly low down in the alders.  We also saw our first Blue Jays.  Tony and Nina pished and Martha gave an excellent Barred Owl imitation.

We went south on Bertrand Rd to Calypso Rd where we made a brief stop to check for the Varied Thrush.  It did not show, but we were able to add Mourning Dove, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Tree Sparrows, Rock Pigeon and several Red-winged Blackbirds.  There were bickering Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and lots of scolding Blue Jays too.

We retraced our steps to Ch Clarence Cambridge to complete the tour through Larose Forest.  It's a good thing we did, because at the far end, Tony heard then chased down our first Evening Grosbeak of the winter!  Then at the junction of Road 8,  a young Red Crossbill perched on top of a pine for a photo op.

We crossed the South Nation River on Road 8, then turned east on Road 3 to Des Noyers, then south to Conc 19.  Horned Larks were everywhere along this road and we also saw some flocks of Snow Buntings.  We saw a few Lapland Longspurs, but could not get close enough for a decent photo.

We went east on Conc 19, south on St.  Rose, then west on Conc. 20.  We saw three different Snowy Owls, all on the ground, and all distant.  We also saw House Sparrows at one of the farms.  Upon returning to Road 8, we went west on Hwy 417 to Casselman where we went for a bathroom break at Tim Horton's.  This was the end of Tony's tour.
Barbara and I gassed up and returned east to the same Hwy 417 exit, but this time heading south to Alaire Rd and the Lafleche dump.  Most of the gulls were in the air, which made identification difficult.  For certain, there were many Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls.  We also saw one all-white gull, but not well enough to get an ID.

We returned to Conc 20, then made a rectangle on St. Rose, Conc. 21, Ste. Catherine and back to Conc 20.  There were many more photo ops for Horned Larks and Snow Buntings along St. Rose and Conc 21.  On Conc 20, we saw a second Red-tail Hawk, which we were able to photograph.

We decided to call it a day, but saw one more Red-tailed Hawk from Hwy 417 as we neared the city limits.

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