Thursday, March 2, 2017

More Snowys

February 28, 2017

Lucky Jane got a Gyrfalcon on Rushmore Road on the 27th.  So after finishing our shopping at Costco, we drove over for a look.  Not surprisingly, several others were on the lookout too.  But we were all disappointed.  We had to make do with four Snowy Owls, one on Rushmore, one on Fallowfield, and two flying across Eagleson.

An Early Kingfisher

February 26, 2017

We went chasing a report of Greater White-fronted Geese on Eagleson near Hope Side Road in the storm water ponds.  Alas, we were not the only ones to be disappointed.  But a belted Kingfisher put on a good show for us.  In the back of the ponds, there was a small group of Hooded Mergansers.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

More Owls

February 19, 2017

A Great Gray was reported several times on March Valley Road.  An earlier try was unsuccessful, but this time, a few cars were parked on the side of the road and birders were in the adjacent field.  We joined them and looked where the were pointing their cameras, but saw nothing.  It was well camouflaged perched in plain sight.  Soon we saw it - what a beauty.  There was no baiting or disrespectful behaviour, thank goodness.

We decided to head for the far east end to look for Snowy Owls.  We patrolled all the back roads without success, although we did see many Horned Larks and Snow Buntings.  We also spotted a couple of Rough-legged Hawks and a Common Raven with a dead bird it had either captured or scavenged.

February 20, 2017

A fresh report of a Snowy Owl in the west end sent us out again.  We tried Roger Stevens Drive and Moodie Drive without success.  Finally we spotted one on Barnsdale Rd.  We cruised the back roads and had good views of more Horned Larks and Snow Buntings, as well as a surprising number of American Robins.

February 22, 2017

We decided to try for the Eastern Bluebird reported on Malakoff Rd, but had no luck.  Taking back roads home, we again passed Barnsdale Rd, and our Snowy Owl was closer this time on a significant hump.  A pickup truck with three young locals stopped and were thrilled to see the owl through our binoculars.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Barred Owl in Orleans

Feb 12, 2017

Al Z emailed to say that a large owl was roosting in a tree at his son-in-law's house.  In spite of the snowy weather, we braved the storm and got the owl.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Golden Eagle

February 1, 2017

We were driving south on Hwy 148 in the Pontiac, when we both saw a raptor perched by the Ottawa River opposite Calumet Island.  We pulled over for a look and quickly saw that it was an eagle.  A little more study and we knew we had a Golden Eagle.  A special sighting!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rideau River - Hurdman's Bridge and Billing's Bridge

January 22, 2017

We decided to go for the ducks that have been reported.  We tried parking at Ottawa U near the footbridge, but there is no parking there.  So, we went to Queen Mary Rd.

There is not  much open water from Queen Mary upstream until one come to Hurdman's Bridge.  Here there were lots of Common Goldeneye and Common Mergansers.

No sign of the Harlequin Duck, so we went half way across the footbridge to scan.  Still no Harlequin, but 2 male Barrow's Goldeneyes.  There was also a female Barrow's with them.

We crossed over to the west side and went under the highway, soon spotting the Harlequin Duck with the female Common Goldeneyes.  The Harlequin Duck does look like a female, but it is most likely a young male just starting to get adult plumage. 

We met another birder who told us of a feeder back on the other side of the river and of a Cooper's Hawk hanging around it.  So, we headed back over and found the feeder in the forest with a White-throated Sparrow and Northern Cardinal at it.  We even spotted the Cooper's Hawk blasting by low to the river.

We headed back towards the car, running into Sami, Jane and her grandson, Mitchell.  Sami had received a text saying that an American Wigeon was showing well at Billings Bridge.  So we went there too.  There were tons of ducks, but it did not take long to pick out the wigeon.  We also saw a male Wood Duck and more Common Mergansers.  Our best photos were from the bridge.


We walked to Harvey's for a snack, and on our return met Sami again looking for the wigeon.  Surprisingly, he was able to pick it out.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Deer Carcass on the Ottawa River at Baskin's Beach

Jan 14 and 15, 2017

When we got back from the OFO outing, there was a message from my friend, Ray, to say that wolves had taken down a deer right in front of their home, and that 2 Bald Eagles were scavenging on it.  Off I went!

The eagles had departed, but soon returned for a fly past. One of them alighted on the ice some 20 feet from the carcass, but did not go to it.


Barbara wanted in on the action, so, after confirming with Ray, we headed out there again.  This time we parked at the marina and snowshoed along the ice.

There was a Bald Eagle at the carcass when were donning our snowshoes, but it soon departed.  We snowshoed right up to the carcass without seeing another animal.  So, we decided to go past a bit, before turning back. 

Then we spotted a Red Fox trotting out onto the ice for a snack.  It left for a few minutes and came back for a second round.  Finally, it left for good and the Common Ravens took their turn.