January 28th, 2018

We had a good morning traipsing through parts of the Alta Vista neighbourhood looking for birds. We found some of the “best birds” before even leaving our meeting place at the Billings Bridge shopping centre parking lot. Dave spotted a Peregrine Falcon perched on a nearby building, and then a second one. Jakob picked out a Pileated Woodpecker in the large trees near the Rideau River. After checking out the duck gathering in open water under the bridge, where a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk perched near us the whole time, we headed over to the long green space corridor that runs through the area. Here participants had the chance to partake in something like horizontal mountaineering, as the paths were very icy due to recent thawing and freezing. The other option was to bash through the icy crust off-trail. Along with several regularly expected species, we heard sparrows’ tseeep calls. We had heard rumours of White-throated Sparrows in the area and there’s a good chance that’s what made the sound. For our final stop, Gretchen and Tony kindly offered us the option of observing visitors to their backyard feeders. Thank you very much to everyone who came. I enjoyed the company and look forward to exploring this area some more. Thank you to Dave for the bird list, below.

Bev McBride (replacing scheduled leader Richard Knapton who was unable to attend)

Bird species seen or heard: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, American Black Duck, Common Merganser, Cooper’s Hawk, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Peregrine Falcon, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow (probable), American Goldfinch