Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hawks, Owls & Open Country - Ottawa East with Tony Beck

January 8, 2013  8:00 am

We met at the Park & Ride on Trim Road.  I was first to arrive followed by Tony, Nina, Josh, Bob, Pavel, Antonia, Nikon Bob, and three new birders just out for the day - Jacqueline and her husband, Chris and her sister, Patricia.

Tony had spotted a Red-tailed Hawk as he drove in, and soon had it in the scope.

There was a slight change of plans as Tony want to go west to the Rockliffe Parkway to look for a Great Gray Owl that had been reported.  Sure enough, Tony spotted a photographer in the files as we drove by.  We had to park a kilometre away and hike along the road, but it was well worth it. The owl was still visible from the road.

We hiked in through the deep snow to get as close as we dared.  Suddenly, the owl rose up and we saw a second one in behind.  The two interacted and one of them made a strange duck-like sound.  They swooped back and forth a few times before we decided it was best to leave them alone.


After hiking back to the cars, it was time for a coffee break, so we went back to Timmy's on Trim Road to muster for the rest of the outing.  But first, we scoped a Northern Shrike at the parking lot on the parkway.

We went south on Trim Rd, then onto Frank Kenny where we stopped to scope a beautiful light morph Rough-legged Hawk.  Tony said it was a first-year bird - he could tell by the lack of banding in the tail feathers.

We carried on to Giroux Rd, where we saw a couple of Horned Larks eating the grit on the road.  A little further along Giroux, we saw a small flock of Snow Buntings on the ground in the field.  Tony scoped them and found a single Lapland Longspur with them.

We then headed for Mer Bleue on Dolman Ridge Road to check the feeders.  We made one stop on Renaud to scope a second Red-tailed Hawk.

At the feeders, we got Downy and Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Tree Sparrow, Northern Cardinal and Common Redpoll.

On the way back to the Park & Ride, Bob and I saw some Rock Pigeons, American Crows and Wild Turkeys to round out the list.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Years at the Cottage

Dec 30 - Jan 1

We went to our cottage during the day on December 30.  The feeders were empty, so Grant filled them right away.  But the birds did not discover them that day.

The next morning, the hordes arrived.  There were mostly chickadees, but also a few of both nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers.  After breakfast, I noticed a stranger, a single Common Redpoll.  Then Barbara saw that there were several at the nyger feeder.  They stayed for about 10 minutes, then vanished.  In the backyard, we had up to 4 Blue Jays picking up seed on the ground.  The Redpoll was a new species for our cottage list.

On New Years Day, the redpolls returned and spent more time, even joining the jays in the back.  We also saw a few at the tops of trees of our neighbours.