[Ontbirds] Ottawa/ Gatineau: recent sightings to January 4, 2018

Gregory Zbitnew gkzbitnew at gmail.com
Thu Jan 4 17:18:00 EST 2018

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

January 4, 2018

There were no real highlights again this week, although there were a few
more local Christmas Bird Counts (CBC): Dunrobin-Breckenridge on the 30th
and Larose Forest on the 2nd.  Perhaps the biggest surprise given the
weather, a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was near Cope Drive on the 29th-31st,
likely the same one there earlier in the month.

Bitter cold continued, frigid even by Ottawa's low standards, with the
coldest day since 2009 on the 1st, chilling the normal enthusiasm on this
day.  Temperatures moderated a bit on the 3rd with some light snow.
Overall, birding has been very difficult, and mostly it is just the regular
winter birds around. Still, since the start of the year, over 60 species
have been seen.

There are still reasonable stretches of open water on the Ottawa, but the
Rideau north of Hurdman is, unusually, almost completely frozen, markedly
reducing the WATERBIRD population.  Aside from a the regulars, there are a
few straggling CANADA GEESE here and there, 2 WOOD DUCKS are at Billings
Bridge, and an AMERICAN WIGEON has been there and at the Rideau Tennis
Club.  A NORTHERN PINTAIL was on Pinecrest Creek on the 1st.

It was too cold even for GULLS.  4 species of GULL were present this week
at the Trail Road landfill, but all in very small numbers.

A BELTED KINGFISHER was in Kanata on the 28th and one was in
Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham on the 31st.

A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER continues at a feeder in Luskville as of the 3rd
and a very late YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was at the Fletcher Wildlife
Garden on the 3rd.

On the Eardley-Masham Road at the base of the escarpment, there were 2
GOLDEN EAGLES on the 1st and the 3rd.

7 GRAY PARTRIDGE were near Cope Drive on the 1st.  6-7 were seen the same
day on Groningen St.

A WINTER WREN was seen at both Britannia and Innis Point on the 30th. Both
CEDAR WAXWINGS and AMERICAN ROBINS were at the Arboretum on the 3rd.

A CHIPPING SPARROW and WINTER WREN were seen on the Dunrobin-Breckenridge
CBC.  The SAVANNAH SPARROW continued on Hanson Side Road as of the 29th.

2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS among 100s of SNOW BUNTINGS on Steeple Hill near Old
Richmond road, as late as the 3rd.  Although outside the region, LAPLAND
LONGSPURS were found in modest numbers in the agricultural areas east of

Up to 6 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS were at a feeder on Steeple Hill as late as
the 3rd. Both RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD and COMMON GRACKLES were at a feeder
near Masson as of the 3rd.  A COMMON GRACKLE was in Kanata South on the 29th,
and another was in Galetta on the same day.

The Eardley-Masham Road continues to be the best spot in the region to
locate WINTER FINCHES, and the area south of Ramsay Lake is the most
reliable area.  While the numbers are low, PURPLE FINCH, PINE SISKIN,
week.  There have been a few scattered sightings of EVENING GROSBEAK here
and there but not on this road, oddly enough.

Just as a matter of interest, the year 2017 was a good one in the region
with 275 species seen, and 2 new all-time records. Thanks to everyone who
contributed bird observations in 2017. We encourage everyone to report
their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of the entire birding

Good birding in 2018!

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