[Ontbirds] Ottawa/ Gatineau-recent reports to February 5, 2015

Gregory Zbitnew k_zbitnew2 at bell.net
Thu Feb 5 20:38:53 EST 2015

Ottawa Field Naturalists' Club
Ottawa/Gatineau (National Capital Region) E. Ontario, W. Quebec
Compiler and transcriber: Greg Zbitnew at k_zbitnew2 at bell.net or sightings at ofnc.ca

Recent reports to February 5, 2015

As in the previous week, normal winter conditions prevailed in Ottawa this week, and there was no significant change to the bird life. Birders looking for new things to do did a dry run of a hoped-for new Christmas bird count in Winchester, Ontario. The 35 species recorded was not bad considering the time of year and the complete absence of open water. Interesting sightings were and unusually high 5 SONG SPARROWS and 2 RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS, the latter indicative of the expansion of this species into the Ottawa area. A trip to Rideau River Provincial Park on Feb. 1st indicated that there were still a few pockets of bird activity. There were some sightings there of birds that have not commonly been reported this winter, including BUFFLEHEAD, RING-BILLED GULL, CEDAR WAXWING, PEREGRINE FALCON, AMERICAN KESTREL and PURPLE FINCH.

The variety of lingering waterfowl has diminished:

1. GREATER SCAUP was at Britannia as recently as Feb. 5st.

2. NORTHERN SHOVELER and NORTHERN PINTAIL (not noted here previously) were seen at Appaloosa Park as recently as Feb. 2nd.

GRAY PARTRIDGE were seen at the Embrun sewage lagoon on Feb. 1st.

Interesting WOODPECKERS continue in the region. The AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER was seen on Chemin Grimes on February 5th. Jack Pine Trail had 2 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS on the 31st, and one was seen in the east end between 10th line and Willow St. north of the bicycle path on the 29th. The RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen again in Rothwell Heights on the 31st.

A GYRFALCON was reported at the Laflèche landfill on the 1st. Recent sightings of other hawks included ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at the Trail Road Landfill on the 2nd, COOPER’S HAWK at Clyde Woods on the 2nd, and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK near Montreal Road and Blair on the 5th.

WAXWINGS continue in small flocks there and there, as do AMERICAN ROBINS, while a HERMIT THRUSH was seen near Shirley’s bay on the 31st.

LAPLAND LONGSPUR were seen a number of times in farm fields south of Ottawa. A WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was seen at a feeder in the Beacon Hill area, and a CHIPPING SPARROW was seen at a feeder in Uplands AFB. Both these SPARROWS are rare in winter.

There are still regular reports of COMMON REDPOLL in many locations but only scattered reports of HOARY REDPOLL and PINE SISKIN.

The OFNC's Birds Committee no longer reports owl sightings on the Internet. We will continue to encourage the reporting of owls to sightings at ofnc.ca for the purpose of maintaining local records.

Thanks to everyone who contributed bird observations.

Good birding. 		 	   		  

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