Just a quick stop on a frigid morning to see if a Barrow's
Goldeneye could be seen.No luck, but
plenty of Common Goldeneye in good light.I was surprised at the paucity of open water so early in the winter.
A new young guy, Alex, joined Tony, Nina, Josh, Rick and me
today.We went out to St Isidore
,stopped and got two Snowy Owls, one on each side of the road.We cruised around and got three more Snowys
as well as huge flock of Snow Buntings.We spotted just a couple of Lapland Longspurs and Horned Larks.A visit to Lafleche Dump netted us large
numbers of Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls.We returned to Ottawa
via Milton Road, where we
had an adult Bald Eagle fly over and we saw two Rough-legged Hawks.
Today there are Tony, Nina, Rick,
Lorraine & me.It was to be a day exploring Greenbelt
trails.The reality was entirely
A couple of Harlequin Ducks had been reported on the Ottawa
River, so we went to Shirley's Bay for a look, stopping first at
Hilda.There was nothing much doing, so
we went to the boat launch.Tony spotted
a very close adult Bald Eagle on a deer carcass on the Ottawa River.It flew up to a perch as we got out of the
cars, and was too nervous to return while we were there.
Next we went to Mud lake / Britannia Point to scan the
rapids.We had all but given up when
Tony got the two Harlequins in his scope.It appeared that they were closer to the Quebec
side, so we decided to drive over to Vanier Road
in Aylmer for a closer look.
When we were getting out of our cars, an excited Outaouais
birder met us with news of a very recent sighting of a Black-throated Gray
Warbler.Our immediate reaction was
disbelief, since such a bird would be away out of ranged (west side of the Rockies)
and a first for the Ottawa
area.The bird was discovered by Gary
McNulty, a respected birder.
We hurried down to the water, where a large number of
birders were scoping the two Harlequin Duck (one adult male and one immature
male).The buzz was all about the
warbler, and Bob Cermak was there quizzing Gary.He immediately put out the Rare Bird Alert.
We trudged back and forth on the path looking for the
showed the exact spot where he had seen it.The Outaouias birders headed up to the foot bridge, and a whistle from
Bob told us that the Black-throated Gray Warbler had been re-found there.Off we went, and soon we all had good views -
a lifer for many.
We attempted many photos with moderate success. Other birders started arriving from their
offices, responding to the rare bird alert, many in their suits, leaving
meetings and coming in borrowed cars.It
was posted to OntBirds and, before long, the who's who of local birding were
all on hand for this spectacular find.I
have never seen so many of our local expert birders all together at the same
time.What a day!
Tony, Nina and Josh arrived at Trim Road Park & Ride
shortly before 8.A Bald Eagle flew over
heading for PetrieIsland.
As I was the only other birder, I rode with them.We drove over to Dolman Ridge to meet Rick,
then went to Smith Road,
but there were no Sandhill Cranes left.We decided to go out to St Isidore to look for Snowy Owls, and found
two, both on the ground and rather distant.There were large flocks of Snow Buntings and a few Horned Larks and
Lapland Longspurs.The wind was bitter,
and it was one of those days that it was hard to force oneself out of the car.