Saturday, December 26, 2015

American Wigeon at Mud Lake

December 26, 2015

It was another fairly mild day with no snow on the ground and the lake mostly open.  We knew that the wigeon were in the corner from an ebird posting.  But they was not in sight when we looked from the filtration plant side  So, after looking in vain for the Northern Mockingbird, we made our way around back of the lake and out to the first trail that leads to the water.  No luck there.  So we backtracked on a path we had never taken before as far as we could go towards the corner.  We got a glimpse, but realized we would have to get much closer for a photo op.  So we bushwhacked on several faint trails, but were always stymied by the ponds.  Finally we made our way back to the filtration plant side and they they were.  Had we waited them out, we could have saved a lot of trouble.  But it was fun exploring new paths.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Andrew Haydon Park

December 19, 2015

Not a rarity this time ,but still a nice bird, especially so close.  The Greater White-fronted Goose was in the west pond at Andrew Haydon Park, right at the shore.

The only other bird of note was a Greater Snow Goose swimming out in the middle with the Canada Geese.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mountain Bluebird

December 13, 2015

Yes, another rarity for the Ottawa area, this one just east of Richmond.  We went out and saw a number of birders already there.  Before even parking, we saw the bird fly across and land on the fence along Century Road,  It did not allow close approach, but did not see overly bothered by our presence. 

It flew back and forth for a while stopping to catch a caterpillar.  Then it flew off.  We relocated it a half km down Goodstown Road.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Bullock's Oriole in Packenham

December 7, 2015

This is yet another rarity in the Ottawa area this year.  This one, from the west, stuck for several days in the unusual mild weather, giving us time to get out there for a look.

When we arrived, other birders told us it had just left and would certainly return in an hour or two.  So we waited...

The best vantage point is an apple tree close to the road.  But we went across the old railway bed and located it very briefly in an apple tree  over there.  It only stayed a few seconds, then bolted so the roadside tree.  Of course, it did not perch out in plain sight, but buried among the apples and branches.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cackling Goose at Andrew Haydon Park

November 20, 2015

We stopped in to see if any water fowl were on the ponds.  There was not much, just a bunch of geese.  But wait, a kind gentleman pointed out a Cackling Goose to us.  There was no doubt.  The goose of the right is a Cackling.

Snow Geese at Winchester

Nov 15, 2015

There were good reports on OntBirds and it is an area we have never visited.  So off we went.  We found a few thousand by the lagoons, which is not bad.  Some were even close to the road, but when we stopped, they quickly moved off.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Aventure dans le "mid-ouest"

November 7, 2015

Barbara spotted a small article in Le Droit advertising a birding outing with le Club des ornithologues de l'Outaouais to the Breckinridge, Quyon, Norway Bay area.  This is an area that we have birded often with Always an Adventure, so we thought it would be fun to join.

We drove to the Tim Hortons at Ch Vanier & Allumettières at 7:30am.  At first we saw nobody, but inside there was a couple with binoculars - a good sign.  Outside, we met Gérard Desjardins and Daniel Toussaint.  They are both fluently bilingual and tolerated our best efforts in French.  We soon met Claude Martineau too. A few others arrived.

We proceeded in four vehicles to Breckinridge and Ch de la Rivière.  We stopped and scoped two dark hawks in a distant tree.  At first we thought Red-tails, but then changed to dark morph Roughies.  Now we are not so sure!  Another hawk, definitely a Red-tail, was even more distant.  So we drove farther along to get a closer view.  But from the same vantage point, we saw an adult Bald Eagle perched with a juvenile below.  Then a second juvenile soared into view - 3 eagles!

We planned to check out Ch Therrien, but the eagles took too much time as we had a rendezvous at the Quyon Ferry dock at 9 am.  Indeed, there were a few others there at the dock when we arrived. We viewed a pair of Hooded Mergansers and a lone Red-breasted Merganser in the bay.  One of these, Deb Powell, joined our group as we headed out on the back roads.

We cruised Chemins Pontiac, Bronson, Bryant, Clarendon, MacKechnie, Knox, 8th Line, Ragged Chute and Bristol.  Sightings included an immense flock of Red-winged Blackbirds, several isolated American Goldfinches, a few Grackles and Ravens, and a Red-breasted Nuthatch (and some apple-loving horses).  We headed to Pine Lodge for lunch, but it was closed for some special occasion.  So on Deb's advice (but she could not come), we headed to Café 349 in Shawville, where we enjoyed a relaxing meal with the Club des ornithologues de l'Outaouais birders.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cattle Egret

November 3, 2015

The Pink-footed Goose was proving hard to get, so we figured the Cattle Egret near Kemptville might be easier.  We were right!  This is a first in Canada for us.

Snow Geese

October 31, 2014

The lure of a Pink-footed Goose on Lafleche Road go us out past Casselman to try for it.  It was not to be, but we did see 80,000 Snow Geese and Rick and Lorraine!

There were quite a few blue morph Snow Geese in the crowd.  Others spotted a Greater White-fronted Goose and a Ross's Goose, but we did not.  We weren't disappointed.  The spectacle of 80,000 Snow Geese is amazing.

Cottage Visit for Colleen's Birthday

October 19, 2015

With little turnaround after our fall RoVent weekend camp, we headed back up to the cottage for a day, then back home for Rick's birthday.

There were still plenty of Common Loons, most of them in their fall plumage.  The feeder birds were very active, especially the Blue Jays.

Fall Colours at Thanksgiving

October 12, 2015

We had to close up our cottage, drain the water and pull out the boat.  But we took time to enjoy the large flock of Common Mergansers and the magnificent fall colours.