Monday, March 31, 2014

Full Day Trip to Amherst Island with Always an Adventure

March 27, 2014.

We met at the Coliseum at 5:40 am.  Heather Pikor and Jariya drove with me, while Josh and Karen drove with Tony and Nina.

We spotted 12 Snowy Owls today, starting with one on the trip down.  Tony also spotted a Great-Horned Owl in the gloom just before we got onto the 401.

We easily made it to the 8:30 ferry on time.  We saw 2 more Snowys on the ice and a Red Fox on the trip over.

The highlight of the day was Barred Owl on the way into Owl Woods.  It was buried in the branches, so hard to get a clear shot.  We found no other owls in Owl Woods.

Back on the roads, we saw several Rough-legged Hawks, American Kestrels, Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks.  I also saw a Merlin.  There were lots more Snowys out on the ice.

There was one small patch of open water on the south shore, where there were hundreds of Long-tailed Ducks and Common Goldeneyes along with a few Redheads and Buffleheads.

We decided to take the 4pm ferry and go to the Dupont Invicta lagoon in Kingston on the way back.  This proved fruitful with dozen of Gadwalls and a few American Coots and a lone male Wood Duck and a single Red-necked Grebe.  A beautiful male Common Merganser was a new bird for Heather.

Bird & Mammal List

  1. Red-tailed Hawk
  2. Canada Goose
  3. American Crow
  4. Great Horned Owl
  5. Snowy Owl
  6. Wild Turkey
  7. Ruffed Grouse
  8. Red Fox
  9. European Starling
  10. Mourning Dove
  11. American Kestrel
  12. Ring-billed Gull
  13. Red-winged Blackbird
  14. Rough-legged Hawk
  15. Snow Bunting
  16. Mallard
  17. Long-tailed Duck
  18. Common Goldeneye
  19. Redhead
  20. Red-breasted Mergnaser
  21. Bufflehead
  22. Great Black-backed Gull
  23. Northern Harrier
  24. Common Raven
  25. American Robin
  26. Herring Gull
  27. Gadwall
  28. Common Merganser
  29. Red-necked Grebe
  30. American Coot
  31. Wood Duck

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hawk Watch with Jon Ruddy

Mar 25, 2014

Jon offers these to OFNC members on Tuesday and Saturday afternoons on Greenland past the Thomas Dolan Parkway

I went to the Lincoln Fields meeting place for 11:30 and only Eric was there.  Soon Jon arrived and we drove out to Geenland.  I noticed a line of cars and a few scopes already out.  Brenda McRea and Dave Moore were the ones I knew.  A few others arrived and some left.

The first bird spotted was a Turkey Vulture, FOS!  We saw a couple more and one came in quite close.  Suddenly Jon spotted a Bald Eagle right overhead, and we even got a few images.

Jeff Skevington arrived and spotted a Merlin coming straight at us.  We had great looks but no chance for a photo.

There were  few very distant raptors, one of which was surely a Red-tailed Hawk. 

It was a good introduction to hawk-watching while getting caught up with news from friends.  I was telling Brenda about our upcoming arctic trip on the Thelon, when another watcher, Gene, came up and said he had done that trip several years ago.  What a coincidence, as most people have never even heard of the Thelon.  We had a good chat.

D90 Sports Setting

March 24, 2014

For some time I have been dissatisfied with the quality of my images taken with Aperture Priority.  For an experiment, I switched to the Sports setting and shot some images of feeder birds through my back window.  Seems promising ...

Snowy Close to Home

March 20, 2014

We were relaxing at home when Dave called to say that he had just driven past a Snowy Owl on Hunt Club, just west of Greenbank.  We got our cameras and bins and were there within 10 minutes.   We parked on Siskin and hiked along the shoulder of Hunt Club after spotting it on a lamp standard.  It was late afternoon, but Barbara still got a good photo.

Search for Trumpeter Swans

March 16, 2014

Both us had been laid low with colds, so weren't getting out much.  A Sunday drive in the country on a sunny but cool day was just what the doctor ordered.

We tried for swans, visiting the headwaters of the Jock (frozen solid), and the open water of the Mississippi around Carleton Place.  Seeing none, we headed downstream on the Mississippi checking out Appleton, Almonte, Blakeney and Packenham.  At the last spot, we saw a few Common Goldeneyes below the falls, and a flock of Wild Turkeys along the road just before.  We never did see any swans, although they were reported on Ontbirds in Carleton Place soon after.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

West End Birding with Always an Adventure

March 4, 2014

A new birder came out today, Lilyann, who had grown up in Argentina.  There was also a couple, Wayne & Dina who were originally from Ottawa, spend their winters in Arizona, and their summers at Groundhog Lake, west of Timmins.  They were back in Ottawa to visit a relative, and found they had some time for birding.  Other than that, it was me Tony & Nina.

We were hard pressed to get numbers of species today, but got an incredible 9 Snowy Owls and at least 5 Red-tailed Hawks.  We also saw a small flock of Horned Larks with two Lapland Longspurs among them.

Bird List

  1. Rock Pigeon
  2. American Crow
  3. Snowy Owl
  4. Horned Lark
  5. Lapland Longspur
  6. Red-tailed Hawk
  7. European Starling
  8. House Sparrow
  9. Mourning Dove
  10. Black-capped Chickadee
  11. American Tree Sparrow
  12. White-breasted Nuthatch
  13. Downy Woodpecker
  14. Hairy Woodpecker
  15. Blue Jay