[Ontbirds] Ottawa/ Gatineau-recent sightings to December 22, 2016

Gregory Zbitnew gkzbitnew at gmail.com
Thu Dec 22 17:41:59 EST 2016

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

December 22 2016

The highlight of the birding week was the Ottawa-Gatineau Christmas Bird
Count, on the 18th.  Unfortunately, weather just prior to the count
severely hampered it, and the preliminary species tally of 67 was the
lowest in a number of years.  The -28 temperature on the 16th froze up the
rivers, except for the fast flowing regions.  There was 20 cm of snow
starting the 17th which continued into early on the 18th.  Adding to this
there was a bit of wind and declining temperatures, so some birders were
 struggling through knee-deep snow and getting little to show for their
efforts.  Still, the combined efforts of so many people did produce some
good birds.

There were no new birds, but a few record or tied totals were set:

1.       2 HARLEQUIN DUCKS (tied record), one near Hurdman (still present
on the 22nd), and one in Aylmer.

2.       10 BUFFLEHEAD

3.       5 NORTHERN FLICKER (tied record).

4.       Over 1000 AMERICAN ROBIN, over double the previous record.

5.       445 CEDAR WAXWING.

Some other notable sightings were as follows:

1.       WOOD DUCK and RING-NECKED DUCK at Billings Bridge


3.       HERMIT THRUSH in the Hull Sector (still there on the 22nd)

4.       FOX SPARROW in the Britannia Sector

Finally among the count highlights, a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was seen in
the Rideauview area in the count week (the 21st).

Outside of the count day and area, there were some other interesting
sightings.  Temperatures rose to well above seasonal by the end of the
week, but the earlier cold weather reduced the WATERBIRD levels to regular
early winter levels.  Only a few lingering CANADA GEESE are about.   Only
14 species of DUCKS were present in the severely reduced area of open
water, the vast majority being MALLARD and COMMON GOLDENEYE. Aside from a
handful of lingerers on the Ottawa River, a NORTHERN PINTAIL was at a pond
on Iber Road on the 19th.

A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER is a regular visitor to a feeder in the
FALLOWFIELD area. A flock of about 14 GRAY PARTRIDGE have been seen
irregularly on Eagleson between Rushmore and Richmond Road.  A  CAROLINA
WREN is an irregular visitor to a feeder in Carleton Place, and a TUFTED
TITMOUSE is coming to a feeder in Quyon.

On and near Rushmore Road, a mixed flock of up to 70 SNOW BUNTING, 11
HORNED LARK and 1 LAPLAND LONGSPUR were present on the 20th.  A RED-WINGED
BLACKBIRD was in Gatineau on the 16th.

Finally, at least 1 HOARY REDPOLL is still present in a small flock of
COMMON REDPOLL on the Eardley-Masham Road.  This road is otherwise almost
empty of birds.

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. We encourage everyone
to report their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of the entire
birding community.

Good birding.

More information about the ONTBIRDS mailing list