[Ontbirds] OFO Field Trip: Ottawa East April 24

mark gawn gawnbirding at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 24 21:17:15 EDT 2016

A dozen OFO members enjoyed a sunny day birding sites east of Ottawa. First up, Petrie Island, a former sand mine now conservation area. There, a short walk produced Common Loon and a woodpecker concert, culminated by an impressive Pileated drum solo. Next up, Mer Bleu, a relic bog conveniently transected by a boardwalk. Emily B got us on the target bird, a beautiful Eastern Palm Warbler. This species is an exceptionally rare breeder in Ontario with only two known breeding stations, of which Mer Bleu is one. Further on we picked up another, which entertained the group by singing from nearby Black Spruces. The cattails surrounding the bog produced two vociferous Virginia Rails which sadly declined a viewing. A flock of sparrows near the car park compensated by providing views of a leaf raking Fox Sparrow, among many soon-to-depart American Tree Sparrow. Nearby fields along Smith Road allowed distant and fleeting views of a pair of Sandhill Crane, a local breeder; better still was a large flock of Snow Geese along Frank Kenny Road, estimated at 1,500. As most of the geese were white phase, and due to the presence of some smaller birds, we assumed this flock to be mostly Greater. Our final stop was at the Giroux Road ponds which held an assortment of duck chief among which, Bufflehead and Ring-necked Duck. While in general there were few migrants, an active Great Horned Owl nest, complete with downy owlet, was a highlight for many. Many thanks to Bernie Ladoucer for co-leading and e-bird scribing.

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