Report on the 26 January 2019 field trip along the Rideau River

by Gregory Zbitnew

Nine participants enjoyed a pleasantly bleak mid-winter morning near Hurdman, the Adawe Bridge, and Billings Bridge.

Conditions were actually almost pleasant, or at any rate only slightly uncomfortable, with average temperatures, little wind, and a bit of sun. We saw 15 species at the three stops. Unfortunately recent severe cold diminished the open water and may have been a factor in the absence of the BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, which had been seen daily until a few weeks ago. Five species of DUCK were seen, including the expected pair of WOOD DUCKS at Billings Bridge.

One mild surprise was a SONG SPARROW under the Queensway overpass, the same spot where one lingered last winter.

The stop at Billings Bridge was cut short and so we missed the AMERICAN WIGEON which was there. However, no one was sorry as the reason for this was that everyone wanted to rush to Britannia to see the GYRFALCON which was sighted just as we arrived at Billings. As far as I know everyone was able to get good looks at this bird before it flew off again.

Photo above: Wood Ducks photographed at Billings Bridge by Judith Gustafsson (10 January 2019)