Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sparrow Walk with Gord Belyea, OFNC

May 28, 2014

It was a cool, grey day with showers forecast, although none came.  Nevertheless, there was a good turnout with friends Rick, Heather, Margaret, Lorraine and many others.  Gord was assisted by his wife, Anne, and by Roy John.

Bird List

  1. Wilson's Snipe
  2. Tree Swallow
  3. Bobolink
  4. Song Sparrow
  5. Eastern Meadowlark
  6. Grasshopper Sparrow
  7. Alder Flycatcher
  8. Common Raven
  9. Cedar Waxwing
  10. Common Yellowthroat
  11. White-throated Sparrow (H)
  12. American Goldfinch
  13. European Starling
  14. Merlin
  15. Ovenbird (H)
  16. Red-eyed Vireo (H)
  17. Indigo Bunting
  18. Gray Catbird
  19. Baltimore Oriole
  20. Field Sparrow
  21. Nashville Warbler
  22. Great Crested Flycatcher
  23. Chipping Sparrow
  24. Vesper Sparrow
  25. Clay-colored Sparrow
  26. Eastern Kingbird
  27. Savannah Sparrow
  28. Eastern Bluebird
  29. Northern Flicker
  30. Mallard
  31. Purple Finch
  32. Barn Swallow
  33. Yellow Warbler
  34. Black and White Warbler (H)
  35. Red-tailed Hawk
  36. American Crow

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mud Lake with Samuel & David

May 26, 2014

Although the purpose of the outing was to find turtles (and we found lots), we also got some frogs, mammals and birds.  Nests of baby beavers and racoons were highlights, as was hand-feeding a White-breasted Nuthatch.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Whitewater Lessons in Petawawa

May 24-25, 2014

A very busy weekend with the Venturer Scouts.  Nevertheless, I was always on the lookout.  The calling at the Black Bear Campground was constant and intriguing.  I even heard an American Woodcock peenting in the evening.  There were also a lots of warblers down by the river, including a female Black-throated Blue that was only a few feet away at ground level gathering nesting material - and me without a camera!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mothers' Day at Lac Leamy

May 11, 2014

We  all gathered at Lac Leamy (minus Karine, who had to work) to have brunch at Saint Eloi and to bike and roller blade on the trails around the lake.

Sam is really good with this vélo now sans training wheels, but he still needs to pay attention to the right of way of other users.  David was pushed in the chariot by papa on his roller blades.

Right outside the restaurant, there was a pair of Lesser Scaup on the lake and also a Double-crested Cormorant.   Sam tried in vain to see them through the binoculars.  We also had a male Mallard practically under foot.

After circumnavigating Lac Leamy, we headed up along the Gatineau River as far as the train bridge.  Along this stretch, we heard many Yellow Warblers and American Redstarts.  We stopped to photographs some, and also saw an Eastern Kingbird and a Cedar Waxwing.   By the train bridge, we saw many Northern Rough-winged Swallows.  On the ride back, we saw yet another Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Warblers and Finches at Grand lac des Cèdres

May 10, 2014

It hardly seemed worth it to make a day trip to the cottage, but we had plans for Sunday's Mothers Day.  And we would not be back for nearly a month; so we wanted to try to resolve our water pump problems.

We tried a little early morning birding, and found the area teeming with Yellow-rumped Warblers.

We finished our work and I went out in the boat to try a little fishing.  It was too early and too windy, so I soon gave it up.  But not before seeing a pair of Buffleheads and a pair of Common Mergansers sitting on a rock.  This is the only chance to see male mergansers, as they make themselves scarce once the chick duties arrive.

Meanwhile Barbara was working around the cottage and having good luck with finches and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Northern Goshawks

May 8, 2014

A few weeks ago, Stew had posted on Naturelist that his Goshawks were back.  Naturally, I asked him about a visit, and he suggested early May.

I arrived shortly after 9 am to the sounds of White-throated Sparrows singing up a storm on a beautiful day. 

It's a good thing that Stew knew where the nest was, as we hiked a few hundred metres though the bush.  The female was on the nest, and the male was making quite a racket nearby.

Stew took me on another trail, and when we came back, the female was off the nest, and both birds were calling.  Stew said that he would leave while I hid to see if the female would return to the nest.  I could see the male in the poplars behind the nest tree and hear the female calling.  The only other sound was the singing of many Ovenbirds.

After a while, the female flew in beside the male, then the male flew over my head screaming - busted!  I knew it was no use staying , so I headed back to Stew's, passing two Garter Snakes on the trail.  We had a coffee together, then listened to the Field Sparrows from his back porch.

It was a privilege to have this opportunity, and I promised Stew that I would not divulge the location.