by Sophie Roy

On May 20, 21 birders enjoyed the bird life of Gatineau Park, with leaders Justin Peter and yours truly.

Photo by Norbert Haché

The group started the day off well with two Black-Billed Cuckoos calling at the meeting point, at P8. After birding the parking lot we headed to the nearby “P8 pond” and observed Pied-billed Grebes, Northern Rough-winged Swallows and a male Black-throated Blue Warbler. On the walk back to the parking lot the group had incredible views of three American Bitterns in flight.

One of three American Bitterns seen near parking lot P8. Photo by Sandra Dashney

We then headed to two other parking lots by car (Camp Fortune and P9) and found Blackburnian Warblers, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flickers, Bay-breasted Warblers, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Belvédère Huron was the next stop, a lookout along the Champlain parkway, where the group heard the first Blue-headed Vireos of the day. Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-throated Green Warbler and Veery were also heard and seen at this location.

The next stop was Étienne Brulé Lookout. Here, we had stunning views of an adult Broad-winged Hawk coasting along the Eardley Escarpment. The outing concluded with a short hike on Western Lodge and Pioneer Road trails. At the end of the Western Lodge Trail the group stopped at the lookout and were surprised to see a Peregrine Falcon harassing a Turkey Vulture. Along the trillium-covered trails, we observed a Least Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager, and Blackburnian Warbler and heard Northern Waterthrush, Tennessee Warblers, and Ovenbirds. During the outing we also enjoyed seeing an Ovenbird nest, a first for many members.

Plant life and trees were also looked at, many members smelling the Red Trillium for the first time.

Scarlet Tanager photographed by Sandra Dashney

Ovenbird photographed by Norbert Haché

Ovenbird nest photographed by Derek Dunnett

Blackburnian Warbler photographed by Sandra Dashney