Ottawa Field Naturalists' Club
Ottawa/Gatineau (50 Km radius from Parliament Hill) E. Ontario, W. Quebec
Compiler: Gregory Zbitnew at sighti...@ofnc.ca
December 1, 2016
Although well outside the region, a THICK-BILLED MURRE was found on Muskrat
Lake near Cobden on the 25-28th. This ALCID is provincially rare and sent
many Ottawa and even Southern Ontario birders winging their way north to
chase it. Rather astoundingly (or not) another rare bird, a PACIFIC LOON,
was found on the same lake on the 27th and was still present on the 30th.
Weather improved this week, with good birding conditions on the weekend and
temperatures mild enough to melt all of last week’s snow. Rivers remain
open, but there is some icing on the edges and most small ponds are frozen.
Given the excitement west of Ottawa, it is worth mentioning that Muskrat
Lake had some other interesting birds like RED-THROATED LOON, and that Lac
Doré, near Renfrew, is often excellent in the fall and hosted an EARED
GREBE on the 26th to at least the 30th. Other than the excitement west of
Ottawa, the bird population this week was quite similar to last week. That
is, there was a reasonable number and variety of WATERBIRDS, but PASSERINES
were mostly at their winter populations with a small number of the hardier
SPARROWS and fruit-eating birds.
19 Species and reasonable numbers of DUCKS were in the region this week as
rivers and larger ponds were open. There were also plenty of the usual
GEESE with 10 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE still on Lake Madawaska near
Arnprior as late as the 27th. The most interesting sighting on the water
was on the 25th where there was a fallout of RED-THROATED LOONS on the
Ottawa River. One observer counted 226. 1 or 2 lingered in the area for a
few days afterwards.
A GOLDEN EAGLE was on Smith Road on the 26th along with 71 SANDHILL
CRANES. 30 were there on the 1st. A somewhat late BELTED KINGFISHER was
near Lincoln Fields on the 27th. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER has been coming
to a feeder in Gatineau since the 26th.
There have been a number of sightings of both BOHEMIAN and CEDAR WAXWING.
A CAROLINA WREN was in Gatineau on the 29th. 4 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS at
Eardley on the 27th were late, as was a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER at Shirley’s
bay on the 26th //and another at Dow’s Lake on the 1st.
A rather large number of ICTERID species were reported this week,
considering the late date. A RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD at La Pêche on the 29th was
only a bit late, but EASTERN MEADOWLARK in Luskville on the 27th, RUSTY
BLACKBIRD near Almonte on the 28th, COMMON GRACKLE in Gatineau on the 29th
and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD at Trail Road on the 1st were definitely late.
7 LAPLAND LONGSPUR were on Steele Line on the 27thand 1 was at Trail Road
as late as the 1st. A FOX SPARROW is still coming to a feeder in Richmond
as of the 30th and Nepean as of the 1st.
A PINE GROSBEAK in Constance Bay on the 24th was the only notable FINCH
*NOTE RE: ACCESS TO THE SHIRLEY’S BAY CAUSEWAY*. The OFNC has a signed
agreement with DND and PWGSC that gives OFNC members limited access to this
important birding area. You must call the Range Control Office
(613-991-5740) before entering DND property, and you will be informed how
far down the causeway you may go. For your safety, please respect their
instructions, as the shooting patterns vary from day to day.
The OFNC's Birds Committee no longer reports owl sightings on the Internet.
We will continue to encourage the reporting of owls to sighti...@ofnc.ca
for the purpose of maintaining local records.
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