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.

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