[Ontbirds] Ottawa/Gatineau - 23 January 2014 - Recent Reports

Bob Cermak robertcermak9 at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 23 13:38:27 EST 2014

January 23, 2014
Ottawa/Gatineau (Canada National Capital Region) E. Ontario, W. Quebec
Compiler & transcriber Bob Cermak robertcermak at hotmail.com or sightings at ofnc.ca
The Ottawa area OFO birding field trip Sunday, January 19th was enjoyed by many hardy birders:
"Thirty-eight resilient birders faced -5 C temperatures with a really nasty wind that made it seem much colder, and many snow flurries obscuring our view, to see 29 species of bird. Ottawa has not been bird friendly this winter so the going was tough, with even common birds hard to find. That said we had a good day with the highlights being 
Barrow's Goldeneye (2 m 1 f), Snowy Owl (4), Glaucous Gull, Northern Shrike and a flock of 30 Cedar Waxwings, usually scarce in Ottawa in winter. We also saw two gatherings of wind-blown Snow Buntings, probably about 100 in total."
The massive irruption of SNOWY OWLS from the north into and through our area continues. A Cornwall area birder reported that he and a friend:

"tallied 32 Snowy Owls today in areas south and east of Ottawa. The greatest number were located in the general
WInchester-Chesterville area and from Casselman east to St. Isidore. Most birds were located along roads atop telephone or power poles or on silos. Others were on barns but birds on the ground or in trees were rare. We did
not see any adult males."

Numbers of SNOWY OWLS can also be found south and west of Ottawa at locations such as Earl Armstrong Rd, Fallowfield Rd between Merivale and Woodroffe, Greenbank Rd between Hunt Club and Fallowfield Rd and the Rushmore Rd, Eagleson, Brownlee, Shea, Akins and Fallowfield Rd area.


An extremely late, first January record in our area, 1st winter YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER has been seen this month east of the Rideau Canal and south of the Pretoria bridge in the area between McNaughton Ave and Merritt Ave.


Probably a record high number of NORTHERN SHRIKE continue to move from the north through our area, one birder found 9 west of Ottawa on the 16th and 5 more were found north west of Ottawa the next day.


Interesting sightings this week were:

HERMIT THRUSH continues near an air vent below the walkway behind the parliament buildings, LONG-TAILED DUCK (1 f) continues above or below the Deschenes Rapids or west of Bate Island, amazing for this time of year with the extreme cold we have been experiencing a flock of 500+ gulls, mostly GREAT BLACK-BACKED and HERRING with 12+ GLAUCOUS flew over the Ottawa River at Bate Island on the 18th. It is likely that during the very brief period of warmer weather at that time most of this flock had flown up from the St Lawrence River to check out feeding conditions in our area. BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (2 m 1 f) and BUFFLEHEAD (3) have been seen with the COMMON GOLDENEYE and a few COMMON MERGANSER west of Bate Island, CAROLINA WREN (1) continues on Esquimault Ave, GOLDEN EAGLE (1 ad) and BALD EAGLE (5) were seen over the Gatineau Hills from the north end of Ch. Therien which is on hwy 148 just east of Ch. Eardley-Masham (where 4 PURPLE FINCH were found) at Eardley, Quebec on the 19th, BALD EAGLES and AMERICAN ROBINS continue to be reported, a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (m) was found November 21st near the Jack Pine trail feeder, a 1st winter NORTHERN GOSHAWK has been feeding on a deer carcass along the Jack Pine trails since the 18th.

Thank you to everyone who contributed bird observations,

Good birding.


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