[Ontbirds] Ottawa/ Gatineau-recent sightings to December 10, 2015

Gregory Zbitnew k_zbitnew2 at bell.net
Thu Dec 10 19:29:46 EST 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 December 10, 2015

Rarities keep popping up in Ottawa! The latest was a light morph NORTHERN FULMAR, a rare visitor not seen for 20 years, at Andrew Haydon Park on the 10th. Meanwhile, the BULLOCK’S ORIOLE persists in Pakenham as of the 10th as well.

These 2 eclipsed an otherwise excellent bird, a LITTLE GULL, possibly a late record, at the Moodie Drive ponds on the 9th, but not relocated.

Weather in Ottawa has continued to be above seasonal to near record high temperatures. As a result the rivers are wide open, and some of the ponds previously frozen have melted. Consequently, water birds are here in abnormally high numbers and variety.

Starting with the GEESE, aside from 1000s of CANADA GEESE being seen in the water and on the bare fields, large numbers of SNOW GEESE persist in the east. There were 20,000 SNOW GEESE at Russell on the 7th, 10,000 SNOW GEESE at Winchester on the 6th (and large numbers still on the 10th) with a bonus ROSSES GOOSE on the 6th. A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was at Embrun along with 100s of SNOW GEESE. Completing the set was CACKLING GOOSE at the Moodie Ponds and west of the Champlain bridge.

20 species of DUCK were seen this week, which is astonishingly more variety than last week. Among the less common were RUDDY DUCK, REDHEAD (Moodie drive) NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Bruce Pit), GADWALL (Embrun). Baie Noire had AMERICAN WIGEON and AMERICAN COOT.

A RED-THROATED LOON was seen in Quyon as recently as the 5th, and a couple of late DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT are still on the Ottawa River near Britannia.

Birds of prey are around in good numbers. Aside from the regulars, 2 GOLDEN EAGLE were seen from Steele Line on the 6th, and NORTHERN HARRIER are still around.

Due to the bare ground, SANDHILL CRANES (19 on the 9th) are still being seen from Smith Road.

Other notable lingerers include:

1. COMMON GRACKLE on Chemin-du-Fer-à-cheval in Masson the 9th.
2. HERMIT THRUSH at Britannia on the 6th.
3. BELTED KINGFISHER on the 8th in Hull at ruisseau de la brasserie.

Finally, 12 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL on a trail north of Meech Lake on the 7th were the first recent sighting of this species.

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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