Friday, November 22, 2013

Search for the Ross's Gull

Nov 21, 2013  6 am start

Judith, Rick and I gave up one of Tony's outings to drive to Chambly Québec to try for this rarity.  I am sorry to report that we were not successful.

After an uneventful drive via the new Hwy 30, we went straight to the sewage ponds.  There was nobody there and few gulls, so we went to Timmy's, then over to the river by the fort.  Here we saw a couple of birders, but no gull. 

We tried a location on the lake where we saw Vermont birders - same result.  We were told that the gull had been present at 7 am and 9 am (the latter when we arrive at the lagoons!) but had been spooked by a Peregrine Falcon and sped away towards the far side of the lake.  We could see some distant gulls circling, so we drove around to the far side.  But as so often happens, when we got there, they seemed to be back where we had come from.

We went back to the lagoons where there were several birders, including some that Rick had met in Florida (Noreen).  There were only Bonaparte Gulls, so after a bit we returned to the lake.  We spent the rest of the afternoon there as other birders shuffled back and forth between there and the lagoons.  In the end, it was a no show.  We drove back home arriving almost exactly 12 hours after we had left.



Bird List

  1. Red-tailed Hawk
  2. Rough-legged Hawk
  3. Blue Jay
  4. Bonaparte Gull
  5. Mallard
  6. Ring-billed Gull
  7. American Black Duck
  8. Great Black-backed Gull
  9. Common Loon
  10. Hooded Merganser
  11. Common Goldeneye
  12. Red-breasted Merganser
  13. Common Merganser (hundreds)
  14. Herring Gull




Late Fall Migration along the Ottawa River – Ottawa West with Tony & Nina

Tuesday Nov 19

It was another of those horribly windy cold fall days.  We spent a lot of uncomfortable time along the river trying to relocate the King Eider, without success.

Braving the elements were Rick, Judith, Josh, Karen, Nina, Tony and me.

We started near Scrivens, moving up and down the river as far as Andrew Haydon East.  Then to the main part of Andrew Haydon with still no sightings.  A brief stop at Dick Bell had the same result.

So we headed out o Carp to check the floodplain, where we saw numbers of Cackling Geese and 5 Greater White-fronted Geese.

Then back we went to Andrew Haydon, but the King Eider had either left or expired.

We made one last try at Britannia Point, with no luck.



Bird List

  1. Bufflehead
  2. American Crow
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Ring-billed Gull
  5. Common Goldeneye
  6. Lesser Scaup
  7. Mallard
  8. Brant
  9. Greater Scaup
  10. Red-breasted Merganser
  11. Cackling Goose
  12. Greater White-fronted Goose


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Eagles & Finches – Gatineau Escarpment with Tony & Nina

Thursday Nov 14

We met at the information Kiosk at the Gatineau Park.  I arrived on time, but had I been a minute earlier, I would have seen the Cooper's Hawk.

Today there were Tony, Nina, Josh, Karen, Paula, Lorraine, Brian, and Rick.

We checked the trail across the road, then headed straight out Hwy 148.  We pulled off to see a Bald Eagle, then spotted a second one beneath.  We went up Eardley Masham Road part way, and around the back roads to Steele Line.  Here we saw another Bald Eagle.  Making our was back along Bradley, we saw a Golden Eagle!  Then we spotted a couple of Rough-legged Hawks.  All of these great raptors were too distant for photos.

We decided to head back to town to Andrew Haydon to try for the King Eider.  She was indeed there, but mostly sleeping.  We saw several other water birds at the same location.

Some photographers tipped me off about a Lapland Longspur at Britannia Point.  I told our crew, but I was the only one to go for it.  There were three nice Snow Buntings with the Longspur.



Bird List

  1. American Robin
  2. Northern Cardinal
  3. Blue Jay
  4. Black-capped Chickadee
  5. White-throated Sparrow
  6. Common Raven
  7. Purple Finch
  8. Bald Eagle
  9. Pileated Woodpecker
  10. Red-tailed Hawk
  11. Golden Eagle
  12. Blue Jay
  13. Rough-legged Hawk
  14. Bufflehead
  15. Canada Goose
  16. King Eider
  17. Lesser Scaup
  18. Greater Scaup
  19. Red-necked Grebe
  20. Red-breasted Merganser
  21. Snow Bunting
  22. Lapland Longspur

King Eider

Nov 13 13

The first Ontbirds report came in from Bruce Di Labio that there were three females on the Ottawa River at Andrew Haydon Park.   Then about 11 am, Anouk Hoedeman reported that there was only one, but that it had moved to the foot of Scrivens St.

I went right over and looked high and low for quite some distance on either side of Scrivens, but could not locate it. There were lots of other ducks and even a Hairy Woodpecker.  I returned home and got further posts reporting that it had gone back to Andrew Haydon.  So after doing some chores, I returned and saw some photographers with scopes - good sign.  Sure enough, she was there, but the light was starting to fade.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Diving Ducks, Loons & Others – Ottawa West with Tony & Nina

Tuesday Nov 12

It was just Tony, Nina, Karen & me today.  A freezing very windy day, the kind of cold that goes right through you.  We started at Britannia Point, then went to Andrew Haydon.   The conditions on the river were terrible, and we did not stay long.  We went to Timmy's and got a hot beverage.  Then we tried Shirley's Bay,  but drew a blank.  Hilda was little better.  We went out to Constance Creek and picked up a few hawks and ducks.  We cruised the back roads near Richmond, and got a few Snow Geese.  We stopped at Burnside briefly, then went around to the dump to finish with a Herring Gull.


Bird List

  1. Ring-billed Gull
  2. Mallard
  3. Long-tailed Duck
  4. Common Goldeneye
  5. Lesser Scaup
  6. Hooded Merganser
  7. Greater Scaup
  8. Red-necked Grebe
  9. Brant
  10. Canada Goose
  11. Common Merganser
  12. Bufflehead
  13. Great Black-backed Gull
  14. Blue Jay
  15. White-breasted Nuthatch
  16. Black-capped Chickadee
  17. American Tree Sparrow
  18. Dark-eyed Junco
  19. Wild Turkey
  20. Red-tailed Hawk
  21. Common Raven
  22. Hairy Woodpecker
  23. Rock Pigeon
  24. Rough-legged Hawk
  25. Horned Lark
  26. Greater Snow Goose ( incl Blue Morph)
  27. Ring-necked Duck
  28. Northern Shoveller
  29. Herring Gull

Friday, November 15, 2013

Another Cottage Work Weekend

Nov 8-11, 2013

We were determined to finish our work, and we did.  A lot of rafts of ducks on Grand Lac des Cèdres kept getting our attention, but did not really come close enough for decent photos.

We were able to identify a large flock of Ring-necked Ducks and another of Common Mergansers.  These were obviously migrants.  A few Common Loons in winter plumage swam out in the bay.  We also saw a pair of Purple Finches at our feeder as well as the usual chickadees and woodpeckers.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

FULL DAY ~ Amherst Island – Kingston with Tony & Nina

Thursday Nov 7

We met at 5:45 am at the Coliseum.  Elena and I drove with Al, while Josh and Karen drove with Tony and Nina.  We met Geoff and Lorraine at the Brophy Park & Ride and proceed to the ferry.  Once across, we linked up with Robin & Pat, who have a vacation home on the island.

We scanned the water by the ferry dock for scoters and Bufflehead.  Then we drove straight across Stella 40 Foot Rd, stopping to view an American Kestrel. 

We turned onto S Shore Rd, passing Robin & Pat's place.  We stopped a couple of times to view the ducks and grebes on Lake Ontario, then turned up Marshall 40 Foot Rd to Owl Woods.

We donned our boots and hiked in carefully looking at all trees for perched owls.  It was cool and windy, but there was no rain; those who were well dressed were fine, but Karen got wet feet and Pat was cold.  We saw no owls until we had been inside the woods for some time.  Suddenly, Josh came face to face with a Long-eared Owl.  But the minute the owl knew it had been seen, it took of quickly.  We followed it once more, but it flew again and Tony said we were bothering it and had to stop.

After that, we returned to our cars to have lunch, but Robin and Pat generously offered to let us eat at their house and use their bathroom.  Pat even brewed some coffee and tea for those who wanted it.

After a good chance to warm up, we got back in the cars and patrolled the roads, seeing several more raptors.  We headed for Front Road around dusk to look for Short-eared Owls, but they did not show.  A cold and tried bunch, we headed for the 5 pm ferry and the long drive home.  Thanks to Al for driving the whole way!







Bird List

  1. European Starling
  2. Canada Goose
  3. Mallard
  4. Blue Jay
  5. American Crow
  6. Red-breasted Merganser
  7. Herring Gull
  8. Ring-billed Gull
  9. Great Black-backed Gull
  10. Cedar Waxwing
  11. American Robin
  12. Common Loon
  13. Surf Scoter
  14. Bufflehead
  15. American Kestrel
  16. Horned Grebe
  17. Northern Harrier
  18. Common Goldeneye
  19. Black Scoter
  20. Red-tailed Hawk
  21. Black-capped Chickadee
  22. White-breasted Nuthatch
  23. Red-bellied Woodpecker (H)
  24. Mourning Dove
  25. Downy Woodpecker
  26. Long-eared Owl
  27. Northern Cardinal
  28. Rough-legged Hawk
  29. Bald Eagle
  30. Bonaparte's Gull
  31. Greater Yellowlegs
  32. Gadwall
  33. Lesser Scaup
  34. Snow Bunting

7 White-tailed Deer

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chickadees, Nuthatches, Sparrows & Others – Ottawa West with Tony & Nina

Tuesday Nov 5

We met at Jack Pine Trail.  A much larger group today - Tony, Nina, Ron, Rick, Loraine, Al, Brian, Josh & Eric.

Eric needed at Red-breasted Nuthatch, but Tony had to pull out all the stops to get even a poor view of one.  It was that slow on Jack Pine Trail.  The highlight for me was a pair of Golden-crowned Kinglets.

Bird List

  1. Black-capped Chickadee
  2. American Crow
  3. Mourning Dove
  4. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  5. Blue Jay
  6. Mallard
  7. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  8. Dark-eyed Junco
  9. Hairy Woodpecker
  10. Canada Goose
  11. Hooded Merganser
  12. Common Merganser
  13. Red-tailed Hawk
  14. Cackling Goose
  15. Northern Pintail
  16. European Starling
  17. Ring-necked Duck
  18. Red-winged Blackbird
  19. Great Black-backed Gull
  20. Great Blue Heron
  21. American Tree Sparrow
  22. Northern Cardinal
  23. Greater Snow Goose
  24. Green-winged Teal
  25. American Black Duck
  26. Rough-legged Hawk
  27. Northern Harrier
  28. Wild Turkey
  29. Lesser Black-backed Gull