Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mer Bleue and Eastern Fields with Always and Adventure

Apr 22, 2014

Today there were Tony & Nina, Bree, Rick, Judith and me.  It was a very rainy day and foggy on the Ottawa River at Petrie Island.  So we left without further ado, and went to Giroux.  From there we went to Smith Road.  Then on to Milton Road, and Hall Road, where we saw our first Bluebirds.  Finally we went to Dolman Ridge Road to chek the feeder.

Bird List

  1. Brown Thrasher
  2. Tree Swallow
  3. Barn Swallow
  4. Bufflehead
  5. Red-winged Blackbird
  6. American Robin
  7. Canada Goose
  8. Great Blue Heron
  9. Herring Gull
  10. Great Black-backed Gull
  11. American Tree Sparrow
  12. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  13. Red-tailed Hawk
  14. Song Sparrow
  15. Brown-headed Cowbird
  16. Cackling Goose
  17. Northern Harrier
  18. American Black Duck
  19. Common Raven
  20. Mourning Dove
  21. Savannah Sparrow
  22. Rock Pigeon
  23. European Starling
  24. Eastern Bluebird
  25. Fox Sparrow
  26. White-throated Sparrow
  27. Dark-eyed Junco
  28. Black-capped Chickadee
  29. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  30. Northern Flicker
  31. American Goldfinch
  32. Field Sparrow (H)
  33. Blue Jay
  34. Wilson's Snipe
  35. Wild Turkey
  36. Northern Shoveller
  37. American Black Duck
  38. Green-winged Teal
  39. Mallard
  40. Hairy Woodpecker
  41. White-breasted Nuthatch

Cottage Visit - Grand Lac des Cèdres

Apr 21, 2014

We wanted to open up the cottage and take a few things up prior to the season opener on May 2-4.  We also wanted to check out the Rivière Picanoc for canoeing possibilites, given the late spring.

Well, the river was open, but the lake was not.  No snow in town, but lots still at the lake.

We saw many kestrels and sapsuckers - a major movement was taking place.

Bird List

  1. American Robin
  2. American Kestrel
  3. Northern Flicker
  4. Eastern Phoebe
  5. American Crow
  6. Osprey
  7. Mallard
  8. Common Merganser
  9. Song Sparrow
  10. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Rare Bird Alert - Yellow-headed Blackbird

April 18 & 19, 2014

Although it was Easter Weekend, we could not resist going for the Yellow-headed Blackbird in nearby Kanata.

When we arrived in the early afternoon, we met Mark Gawn and began our search.  We asked a neighbour to let us through the fence onto the golf course, and spend the next house wandering around in an unsuccessful search.  We only go a Great Blue Heron fly past.  Finally we gave up and returned home.

Surprise, a new report that the bird was being seen again! So I headed back out (as did Mark), and we failed again.  This time, I saw the neighbourhood Osprey and had several other birders to commiserate with.

In the morning, it was reported again.  We headed out one last time and met Judith this time.  We searched in the same location and came up empty.  Judith had to leave, but we followed some other birders down the street to a new access point to the golf course.  While Barbara was parking, I checked it out and saw a bunch of photographers with their big guns firing.

I headed right over and there it was.  At first we only had skulking views, but eventually it flew up to gave us good shots.  Third time's the charm!

Larose Forest and Open Fields - Ottawa East with Always an Adventure

April 17, 2014

Today there were Tony, Nina, Josh, Judith, Rick and me.

We covered a lot of ground today.  The water at Petrie Island was still frozen, so we spent little time there.  We went to Wall Road, then Milton Road for the cranes and waterfowl in the flooded fields.  We went way out to Bourget where we saw lots of Snow Geese, including a high proportion of blue ones.  Tony picked out a Ross's Goose from among the multitudes. We also got a lone Snowy Owl out there.  We returned via Larose Forest, where we got our last 15 species.

Bird etc. List

  1. American Robin
  2. Ring-billed Gull
  3. American Crow
  4. Red-winged Blackbird
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Song Sparrow
  7. Downy Woodpecker
  8. Mallard
  9. Wood Frog (H)
  10. Mourning Dove
  11. Wood Duck
  12. Savannah Sparrow
  13. Meadow Lark
  14. Northern Harrier
  15. European Starling
  16. Sandhill Crane
  17. Wild Turkey
  18. Herring Gull
  19. Rough-legged Hawk
  20. Snow Goose
  21. Green-winged Teal
  22. American Black Duck
  23. Northern Pintail
  24. Bufflehead
  25. Horned Grebe
  26. Ring-necked Duck
  27. Hooded Merganser
  28. Bald Eagle
  29. American Wigeon
  30. Northern Shoveller
  31. Cackling Goose
  32. Turkey Vulture
  33. Lesser Scaup
  34. Snowy Owl
  35. Ross's Goose
  36. Broad-winged Hawk
  37. Fox Sparrow
  38. White-throated Sparrow
  39. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  40. Blue Jay
  41. King Fisher
  42. Northern Flicker
  43. Great Blue Heron
  44. American Kestrel
  45. Dark-eyed Junco
  46. American Goldfinch
  47. Black-capped Chickadee
  48. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  49. Purple Finch
  50. Red-shouldered Hawk

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waterfowl East of Ottawa - OFO trip with Bob Cermak

Apr 13, 2014

Bob reports:
"Sunday morning, April 13th, 17 OFO members found 55 species east of Ottawa at the Petrie Island causeway and bridge and on the flooded fields along Trim, Milton and Frank Kenney Roads.The day was very cold, 2 C and windy with the wind chill well below freezing and light rain until mid morning. 
Snow (2), Cackling (10 including one group of 9) and over 1000 Canada Geese were found. Fourteen duck species were found the most interesting being American Wigeon (1 m), Blue-winged Teal (1 m), Northern Pintail (500+), Redhead (pair), Lesser Scaup (14), and Bufflehead (27). Also found were Pied-billed Grebe (2). The highlights of the day for many were single Great Egret and Greater Yellowlegs, Sandhill Crane (15), Lapland Longspur (2 calling) and Tree Swallow (45+).  Good birding, Bob"

Barbara & I went on this despite a very late night the day before.  Bernie Ladouceur co-led the trip.  Our friend Rick Collins spotted the Sandhill Cranes after several cars had driven right past them.  A special treat was a Great-horned Owl at an undisclosed location.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Plaisance Wildlife Reserve – Gatineau East

Tuesday April 8

Although prospects for open water were not good, we decided to go anyway to check it out.  Today there were Tony, Nina, Karen, Josh, Margaret and me.

We met at the Gamelin entrance to Gatineau Park, then headed east on Hwy 50.  First good bird was a Red-tailed Hawk on the fence along side of the throughway.

We exited at Masson and took the 148 east towards Plaisance.  Margaret spotted a lone Sandhill Crane in a field beside a house just outside of the village.

We turned into the park and debated about paying the fee, finally deciding to have a look first.  Just past the entrance, Josh spotted a Ruffed Grouse in the bush at the edge of the road.  A quick drive around showed that there was no open water and no prospects of seeing any waterfowl.  So we turned around and headed back to Gatineau, stopping to view a perched light-morph Rough-legged Hawk and a Snowy Owl.

We drove all the way back through Gatineau to Aylmer, turning at Vanier Rd to check the Ottawa River.  At least the river was open, but there were only a few ducks to be seen.

Bird List

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Common Grackle
  3. American Robin
  4. American Crow
  5. Ring-billed Gull
  6. European Starling
  7. Red-tailed Hawk
  8. Sandhill Crane
  9. Killdeer
  10. House Sparrow
  11. Brown-headed Cowbird
  12. Red-winged Blackbird
  13. Song Sparrow
  14. Ruffed Grouse
  15. Rough-legged Hawk
  16. Snowy Owl
  17. Common Goldeneye
  18. Mallard
  19. Common Merganser
  20. Herring Gull
  21. Wood Duck
  22. Great Blue Heron
  23. Hooded Merganser
  24. Lesser Scaup

Monday, April 7, 2014

Red-shouldered Hawk

April 6, 2014

Returning from skiing in Gatineau Park, Barbara spotted a hawk perched beside Highway 5 as we sped past.  A quick glimpse at 100 km/h was enough to convince me that it was not a Red tail.  So we turned around at the next exit and went back for another look.  This time we pulled over in advance and Barbara got a great shot out the window.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Late Winter Birding – Ottawa East with Always an Adventure

April 1, 2014

The first spring arrivals would have to wait for spring weather - this was a winter outing! 

We met at Petrie Island - Tony, Nina, Josh, Margaret, Rick & me.  There were no waterfowl at Petrie Island in the only tiny trickle of open water under the causeway.  So we went to Wall Road to get our Snowy Owl fix, but could not locate the bird.  We tried Bear Brook on Milton and Frank Kenney, but there was no open water to speak of.

We proceeded to Larose Forest, and picked up a few finches and nuthatches.  No sign of any grosbeaks.  So we continued on to east of Caselman where we saw lots of Horned Larks and some Snow Buntings.  We also located 5 Snowy Owls, including 3 cooperative ones.  We saw a very dark Rough-legged Hawk, which was nice to find. 

Finally, we went back to Mer Bleue to pad the list.

Bird List

  1. Red-winged Blackbird
  2. Downy Woodpecker
  3. American Crow
  4. American Robin
  5. House Sparrow
  6. Common Raven
  7. Pileated Woodpecker
  8. Blue Jay
  9. American Goldfinch
  10. White-breasted Nuthatch
  11. Blue Jay
  12. Purple Finch
  13. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  14. Common Grackle
  15. Hairy Woodpecker
  16. Snow Bunting
  17. Horned Lark
  18. Ring-billed Gull
  19. Snowy Owl
  20. Rough-legged Hawk
  21. Mourning Dove
  22. Turkey Vulture
  23. Northern Cardinal
  24. European Starling