Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ottawa East and South - Milton Rd, Bourget, Lancaster, Cooper Marsh

April 12, 2017
Text by Connie

This was a much better date to go looking for Snow Geese and waterfowl -- lots of flooded fields and birds.  What a change from 2 weeks ago!  From reports it was apparent that there were more Snow Geese east of Ottawa than south.  Hence we spent quite a while around Milton, Smith, Frank Kenny and Bourget.

On Milton we found only three Snow Geese, but at the flooded area were many ducks.  All the Northern Pintails today were quite far away but Barb B manage to get a photo of a few.  The cloudy day meant little heat haze so scope views today were great.  Along with Bufflehead, Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, and American Black Duck we also had Tree Swallow and a Vesper Sparrow.  Barb managed to get a quick photo of the sparrow -- it was not there long but was showing off its reddish shoulder patch beautifully.  We checked along Milton for Sandhill Cranes but eventually found about 10 of them on Smith Road a bit closer than they often are.  They were vocalizing a lot as you can see in one of the photos.

The flooded fields on Frank Kenny also yielded some first-of-the-year waterfowl for us.  We had both Teal (Blue and Green Winged), American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, and Wood Ducks.  There were many more Northern Pintail here too.  We also had an American Kestrel along Frank Kenny.

Further east on Russell Road, East of Bourget, we saw 2000+ Snow Geese in flooded fields.  And south of Curran on CR 9 in another flooded area we had 1000+ more Snow Geese.  One area had a large number of Blue Morphs.  Throughout the area one could see in the distance, ribbons of geese that went on forever.  One photo of the black dots shows only a very small portion of what we saw.  I should mention too that we saw many, many Canada Geese today as well -- some in almost every field!

On Hwy 2 east of Cornwall we saw our first Osprey on a Nest beside the river.  Also along here we had great views of a Common Merganser pair, Gadwall pair, and Pied-billed Grebe which did manage to catch a tasty snack!  Our next stop was the Cooper Marsh.  We thought it might be too wet to go far but the boardwalk through the marsh was fully open.  Some good birds were see here:  Brown Creeper, both Kinglets, Wilson's Snipe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and a Pine Warbler!  I saw a hawk briefly and after checking some references have since decided for sure that it was a Broad-winged Hawk.

We took the South Service Road east of South Lancaster but the river was extremely rough and we saw very little on it.  We did find a Northern Harrier (m) flying low over the fields near the Wesley Point area.  And on the way back to Ottawa we had another Norther Harrier, this time a female.  We concluded our day with views of Wild Turkey and Red Tailed Hawk.

So a good day despite the fact that the sun only materialized briefly, and the wind reminded you that it is still early spring.

The list for the day is below -- surprisingly we had 50 birds seen plus one we just heard.

Connie Denyes

Birds Observed Wednesday, April 12, 2017   
Ottawa East and South - Milton Rd, Bourget, Lancaster, Cooper Marsh
(Barb C, Bill & Barb, Connie)   
Ottawa East - Russell Road   
1    American Crow
2    Canada Goose
3    Red-winged Blackbird (m)
4    Rock Pigeon
Ottawa East - Milton Road   
5    American Black Duck
6    Bufflehead(m,f)
***    Canada Goose (thousands)
7    Dark-eyed Junco
8    Gadwall
9    Lesser Scaup
10    Mallard
11    Northern Pintail
12    Ring-billed Gull
13    Ring-necked Duck (m)
14    Snow Goose (3)
15    Song Sparrow
16    Tree Swallow
17    Vesper Sparrow
Ottawa East - Smith Road   
18    American Robin
19    Black-capped Chickadee
20    Common Grackle
21    Mourning Dove
22    Sandhill Crane (10)
Ottawa East - Meteor (off Smith)   
23    Blue Jay
24    Northern Flicker
Ottawa East - Frank Kenny   
25    American Kestrel
26    American Wigeon
27    Blue-winged Teal
28    Common Raven
29    Green-winged Teal
30    Herring Gull
***    Northern Pintail (many)
31    Northern Shoveler
32    Wood Duck (m, f)
Ottawa East - Russell Road    
33    Killdeer
***    Snow Goose (2000+ near Beaulieu)
34    Turkey Vulture (at Cheney)
Ottawa East - County Road 9   
35    House Sparrow
***    Snow Goose (1000+, South of Curran)
Cornwall - Hwy 2 east of Cornwall   
36    Osprey (on nest)
37    Common Merganser (m, f)
38    Pied-billed Grebe
***    Bufflehead
***    Gadwall (pair)
39    Cormorant (colony)
Cornwall-Lancaster -- Cooper Marsh   
40    Broad-winged Hawk
41    Brown Creeper (at least 2)
42    Downy Woodpecker
***    Northern Flicker
43    Golden-crowned Kinglet
44    Pine Warbler
45    Ruby-crowned Kinglet
***    White-breasted Nuthatch (heard only)
46    Wilson's Snipe
47    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
South Lancaster - East - 2nd Line (Westley's Point)   
48    Northern Harrier (m)
Cornwall - Guindon Park   
***    Herring Gull
Highway 138   
49    Wild Turkey (m, 2f)
Ottawa East - Highway 417   
***    Northern Harrier (f)
50    Red-tailed Hawk

Total:    Birds Observed =   50     Birds Heard Only =  1   

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