Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Gatineau Escarpment & The Steele Line with Tony Beck

Tuesday, Feb 12, 8:00 am

The group  met at the Gamelin entrance to Gatineau Park - Tony, Nina, Josh, Rick, Judith, Bob, Pavel, Antonia and daughter Hanna, Michael and me.

We headed out to Hwy 148, where we soon spotted Wild Turkeys in the fields.  We saw American Crows, a Blue Jay, European Starlings, and a good sized flock of Snow Buntings.  Tony showed us one dark bird among the latter, most likely a Lapland Longspur.

We turned down Tremblay to the Ottawa River to check out the feeders at Hirondelles.  We saw several House Sparrows, a female Northern Cardinal, a White-breasted Nuthatch, a Downy Woodpecker, some Dark-eyed Juncos, a bunch of Common Redpolls and a surprising Song Sparrow!

We went to the other feeder at Colibris and heard a Common Raven.  Tony briefly played the call of the Red-bellied Woodpecker, and sharp-eared Bob heard one in the distance.  We drove back to Hirondelles and Hanna spotted it high up in a cedar.  It flew across, but did not come in close for good photos.

We went for a break at the D√©panneur 148, then explored the Eardley-Masham Road.  It was quiet save for a Hairy Woodpecker,

We retraced our steps and went onto Bradley to check a feeder there.  Lots of birds, but nothing new.  Then a flock of redpolls came in and we could clearly see a Hoary among them.  Chickadees. American Tree Sparrows and a Mourning Dove were added to the list.

With time running out, we drove along Steele Line without seeing anything new.  We returned to Hwy 148, checked out Murray, then started back.  Tony pulled over when he saw an eagle from the car.  Scope view revealed a Bald Eagle and a Golden Eagle, then a second Bald Eagle.  The heavy snow rendered photos poor.  But it was an exciting finish to a slow day.



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