[Ontbirds] Ottawa/ Gatineau-recent sightings to October 1, 2015

Gregory Zbitnew k_zbitnew2 at bell.net
Thu Oct 1 20:03:10 EDT 2015

-----Original Message-----

From: "Gregory Zbitnew" <k_zbitnew2 at bell.net>
Sent: October 1, 2015 7:41 PM
To: "Gregory Zbitnew" <k_zbitnew2 at bell.net>
Subject: Ottawa/ Gatineau-recent sightings to October 1, 2015

Ottawa Field Naturalists' Club
 Ottawa/Gatineau (50 Km radius from Parliament Hill) E. Ontario, W. Quebec
 Compiler:  Greg Zbitnew at k_zbitnew2 at bell.net or sightings at ofnc.ca

Recent sightings to October 1, 2015

The best bird of the week was a WESTERN KINGBIRD which was first seen at Fletcher Wildlife Garden on the morning of the 27th.  It was still there (mostly west of the “old field”) on the 1st, and has been seen by many people.  In the recent cool weather it has been seen eating berries (and this area is full of berries, exotic and native), and was not always conspicuous, but generally it has not left the area.  The PARASITIC JAEGER was last seen near Ottawa Beach on the 29th.  Other notable birds were HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Petrie Island on the 26th, and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE (at the Moodie Drive Ponds and elsewhere) from the 25th.

There was a major change to the bird population this week. A series of weather fronts, culminating in rain on the 29th and several days of brisk northerly winds, ended Ottawa’s warmest September, and appears to have vacuumed out a good percentage of the migrant passerines as well as the shorebirds. It was accompanied by some significant movements of waterbirds.

GEESE have begun to flood into the area, starting on the 25th.  CANADA GEESE have suddenly become abundant almost everywhere; there were 20,000 at the Moodie Drive pond on the 27th.  Up to 24 SNOW GEESE and a few CACKLING GEESE have been there as well. Likely these are high arctic birds arriving from the recently frozen north. A flock of 31 CACKLING GEESE at Almonte on the 28th was an unusually large number.

A TRUMPETER SWAN was near Franktown on the 26th, but did not stick around.   The first of the season BLACK SCOTER were here on the 24th, and SURF SCOTER on the 29th.  At dawn on the 30th there were a few flocks of early waterfowl (which quickly departed): 75 WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, 50 GREATER SCAUP, 5-6 each of SURF SCOTER and BRANT (particularly early).  There were still a few WHITE-WINGED SCOTER left on the 1st.  Other more common waterfowl are in the usual spots.  SHIRLEY’S BAY was very good on the 30th.

This week all 9 PUDDLE DUCKS were here as well as 12 other DUCKS.

Shorebird variety dropped quite a bit, and they had almost vanished by the 1st.  Regionally 14 species were seen this week.  The LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS remained at Shirley’s bay at least until the 1st, and at Richmond until the 1st as well.

Some recent sightings include:

Shirley’s bay:  22 birds of 7 species on the 28th; 5 birds of 2 species on the 30th.

Giroux Ponds: 45 birds of 6 species on the 28th; 16 birds of 4 species on the 29th.

Richmond Conservation area: 21 birds of 6 species on the 1st.

Russell: 5 birds of 4 species on the 26th.

Almonte: 30 birds of 4 species on the 28th.

Embrun: 5 birds of 2 species on the 27th.

Warbler variety declined considerably.  As of the 1st, 2-5 species per trip are all that can be expected. Regionally although 21 species were seen this week, many more were seen earlier rather than later in the week.  At least 11 species were seen on October 1st.

The first FOX SPARROWS of the fall arrived on the 1st (2 locations). Meanwhile, populations of WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS is building up considerably, and the last NELSON’S SPARROW was at Constance Bay on the 28th.

Finally, a few other notable sightings:

An immature GOLDEN EAGLE flew over Pakenham on the 25th.

5 SWALLOWS (not identified to species) were at Shirley’s Bay on the 30th.

There were a few late COMMON TERN on the 30th (Ottawa River).

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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