Monday, April 30, 2012

Ope Work Weekend

April 27-29, 2012

Here we are again at the Scout Camp west of Perth.  It's normally a great place to bird, but this time is was very cold, especially at night, and there were not as many birds around as usual.  Not only that, but we were working almost all the time and not birding. 

Nonetheless, we did grab a few minutes and were rewarded with a perched Broad-winged Hawk, lots of Chipping Sparrows, some Eastern Phoebes and a Belted Kingfisher.  During the work, one of the resident Ospreys came by and put on a good show, even diving into the lake to catch a fish.  At one point we could see 7 or 8 Turkey Vultures circling overhead.  Later, while teaching canoeing, an adult Bald Eagle soared over.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sparrows in Our Garden

Apr 25, 2012

I saw the first White-throated Sparrows of the season in back of our lot eating all the grass seed that Barbara had sewn.  Later, Dark-eyed Juncos joined the party.

Cottage Work Party

April 20-24, 2012

We wanted to reset some posts in concrete at the cottage and sand the back.  We thought it would be good to get this done before the start of the cottage season.  We did get the work done, including repairing a burst pipe, but the weather was terrible - high winds, snow and rain every day. 

The first two days, there was no action at our feeders, but then many American Goldfinches arrived along with some Pine Siskins, in spite of the snow.

Bird List

  1. Northern Flicker
  2. Merlin
  3. Northern Harrier
  4. American Kestrel
  5. Common Raven
  6. Turkey Vulture
  7. American Crow
  8. Red-winged Blackbird
  9. European Snarling
  10. American Robin
  11. Red-tailed Hawk
  12. American Goldfinch
  13. Wood Duck
  14. Ruffed Grouse
  15. Hooded Merganser
  16. Broad-winged Hawk
  17. Pine Siskin
  18. Great Blue Heron
  19. American Tree Sparrow
  20. Eastern Phoebe (H)
  21. White-breasted Nuthatch (H)

Petrie Island & Migratory Staging Areas with Tony Beck

Thursday Apr 19, 7:30 am

Today there were Tony, Peter, Al, Pavel, Antonia, Ron and me.

A pair of Buffledhead greeted us.  We spent the morning exploring Petrie Island, then went to Wall Road, where I had to leave for another commitment.  Afterwards, Barbara and I went to Aylmer on a whim, and found the Easetrn Screech Owl.

Bird List

  1. Bufflehead
  2. Red-winged Blackbird
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Mallard
  5. Green-winged Teal
  6. Great Blue Heron
  7. Killdeer
  8. Wood Duck
  9. Tree Swallow
  10. Barn Swallow
  11. Swamp Sparrow
  12. Virginia Rail (H)
  13. Ring-billed Gull
  14. Wilson’s Snipe
  15. Song Sparrow
  16. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (H)
  17. Double-crested Cormorant
  18. Black-capped Chickadee
  19. Common Merganser
  20. Common Goldeneye
  21. American Black Duck
  22. European Starling
  23. Northern Flicker (H)
  24. Downy Woodpecker
  25. American Goldfinch
  26. Brown-headed Cowbird (H)
  27. Purple Finch
  28. Rusty Blackbird
  29. White-breasted Nuthatch
  30. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  31. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  32. Horned Grebe
  33. Dark-eyed Junco
  34. American Crow
  35. American Robin
  36. Hairy Woodpecker
  37. Lesser Scaup
  38. Red-breasted Merganser
  39. Mourning Dove
  40. Northern Harrier
  41. Common Raven
  42. Savannah Sparrow
  43. Eastern Screech Owl


  1. Northern Leopard Frog
  2. Map Turtle
  3. Midland Painted Turtle


  1. Red Admiral

Cycloparc PP&J

April 15, 2012
We decided to spend the weekend biking on the PP&J, since our trip to Manitoulan Island was cancelled.  We had previously biked a couple of other sections of this trail.

We went up on the Ontario side, crossing at Chenaux, which was very scenic.  We passed the Bryson Turkey Vulture roost, and saw dozens swirling overhead.  We had a small section of trail to complete between Campbell’s Bay and Shawville to complete, so did that 13 km round trip on the way to our bed and breakfast in Waltham.  The Riverside B&B was on the shore of the Black River (Riviere Noire).

We had dinner on Alumette Island and turned in early.  The next morning we did some birding before breakfast, then after, borrowed a canoe and paddled out to the Ottawa River, then back up to the dam.  We explored some oxbows and had nice sightings of Wood Ducks and a Rough-legged Hawk.  After returning the canoe, we saw a couple of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers along the road.

We picked up our bikes at the B&B and biked south to Ch. Thomas Lefebvre West – a round trip journey of 22.8 km.  It was mostly along the Ottawa River – very scenic.

We drove home crossing at Pembroke and Morrison Island.  Since we met Hwy 17 just north of Cobden, we decided to check out our Phoebe nest on the Snake River.  No luck there, but further along Snake River Line, we saw a pair of Northern Pintails and three Tundra Swans.

Bird List

  1. Dark-eyed Junco
  2. Turkey Vulture
  3. American Crow
  4. American Robin
  5. European Starling
  6. Ring-billed Gull
  7. Song Sparrow
  8. Wild Turkey
  9. Blue Jay
  10. Red-winged Blackbird
  11. Common Grackle
  12. American Kestrel
  13. Mourning Dove
  14. Hairy Woodpecker
  15. Black-capped Chickadee
  16. Eastern Phoebe
  17. Wood Duck
  18. Bufflhead
  19. Swamp Sparrow
  20. Canada Goose
  21. Common Merganser
  22. Rough-legged Hawk
  23. Common Raven
  24. Coopers Hawk (H)
  25. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  26. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  27. Red-tailed Hawk
  28. Northern Flicker
  29. Rock Pigeon
  30. Northern Pintail
  31. Tundra Swan


  1. Wood Frog
  2. Leopard Frog
  3. Spring Peeper
  4. Midland Painted Turtle

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mer Bleue & Open Country with Tony Beck

Thursday Apr 12, 7:30 am

We met at Dolman Ridge Road.  Today there were Peter, Paul, Heather, Rick, Al, and new members Pavel and Antonia, plus Tony and me.  Nina was still looking after sick cats.

There were Dark-eyed Juncos all over, Blue Jays, Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Mourning Doves and American Tree Sparrows at the feeder.  We saw a Brown-headed Cowbird in the tree tops.  Tony heard a Fox Sparrow and then we saw one under the feeder.
We went a short way down the road and saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (FOS) on a utility pole.  We also spotted a White-breasted Nuthatch gathering nest material.  There were several Song Sparrows and Black-capped Chickadees along the road.  We also had good looks at a female Purple Finch which was singing.
Before leaving, we also picked up Hairy Woodpecker, American Crow and American Goldfinch in the feeder area.  Some of us heard a Ruffed Grouse, so we ventured down the trail to look for it without success.
We left and drove to the Navan Arena where we set up car pools.  From there we went down Trim Road to Perrault.  We stopped at the farm and picked up European Starling, House Sparrow, Killdeer and Wild Turkey.  At the corner of Milton Road, we had a Red-tailed Hawk soaring quite close to us.  We saw a few more distant Wild Turkeys and Rick spotted a Northern Harrier.
Further along Milton Road, we were able to count about 14 Sandhill Cranes in the distance.   At the corner of Smith Rd, were were able to observe the Common Raven on the nest on the silo.  On the other side of the road, Rick heard an Eastern Meadowlark and we soon got on it.  Back near the Raven, there was one more Sandhill Crane.

We drove over to Colonial and Dunning to look for Snow Geese, but they had all departed.  We had to be content with a Turkey Vulture.
We turned onto Regimbald, still looking for Snow Geese, when a Northern Flicker (FOS) flew by.  We also saw another Northern Harrier and an American Kestrel.

At Giroux Ponds, Rick spotted a Northern Shrike on the south side. 
On the north side were 4 Ring-necked Ducks and a couple of Green-winged Teal.  The pond on the south side had lots of Common Mergansers and we also saw a Merlin, a Killdeer and a Lesser Scaup.  A Tree Swallow flew overhead.

We returned to Dunning where we had scanned the geese before.  We were able to confirm Heather's sighting of two white-headed geese, apparently blue morph Snow Geese.