Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The First Spring Arrivals – Ottawa West with Always an Adventure

Tuesday March 17

It was nearly spring, but the strong winds and snow flurries belied that fact.
Today there were Tony, Nina, Josh, Dahlia, Sandra, Rick and me.

We went to Hilda looking for blackbirds, but were disappointed, although a flock of Bohemian Waxwings was a nice consolation.  So we took off for Carleton Place to look for Trumpeter Swans, but had no luck,  We did look exhaustively at several points along the Mississippi River.

We returned to Kanata to look for hawks and owls in the farm fields, but the wind was terrible and all we came up with was a coyote, although Tony did spot an American Kestrel flying away.

We did find a number of gulls on the ice at Burnside, mostly Ring-billed and Herring.

Tony was convinced that Britannia would yield some migrants, so we went straight there.  There were lots of Common Goldeneye on the river and an adult Bald Eagle flew over really close.  But migrants were in short supply.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Amherst Island with Always an Adventure

March 10, 2015

A good crowd today.  I met Al and Rick at Brophy Park & Ride at 6 am and rode with them.  With Tony and Nina were Josh and Arjun.  In the CRV were Karine, Emily, Mary and John.

We were away before 6:10 and made good time. stopping briefly at the EnRoute.  We were at the ferry by 8:15, but it had to refuel and we did not get away until 8:45.

We went to the east end of the island then back around to the road to Owl Woods.  We saw 5 or 6 Snowy Owls and a like number of Redtails, before hiking into the woods.  We heard and briefly saw a couple of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, a Pileated and a few feeder birds, but the woods was completely devoid of owls.  Disappointed, we hiked back to the cars to have our lunch.

Then we drove back to the ferry to use the washroom, but it was out of order.  Some got on the ferry to use their facility, while others enjoyed the Long-tailed Ducks and Redheads that were in the open water by the ferry dock (all elsewhere was solid ice).

We then cruised the back roads picking up some Rough-legged Hawks and more Redtails plus more Snowies.  We visited a sheep farm on John's invitation where we watched the feeder and toured the wool sales shed.  Some went to check out the sheep.

Then it was more back roads and back for the 4 pm ferry.  On the Millhaven side, there was a large flock of gulls, and a gorgeous male Red-breasted Merganser by the dock in the open water.

We then drove into Kingston to the Invista Canada lagoon where there were many waterfowl including several Mute Swans and a single Trumpeter Swan (K29).  For information on K29, read Nathan's Blog http://nathanmillerbirds.blogspot.ca/2015/02/ontario-trumpeter-swans.html
It had been a long and interesting day, but it was time to head home.


March 7, 2015

We haven't seen many of these guys this winter, but there were good numbers at Herridge Lodge in Gatineau Park.  They were mostly feeding on the ground under the feeder (thanks, NCC, for putting back the feeders!).  It was a great day skiing with family, brunching at the lodge, and observing the Common Redpolls.