Recent bird sightings

/Recent bird sightings
Recent bird sightings 2020-04-03T12:53:08-04:00

Note: For a better look at the wonderful photos submitted by OFNC birders, please click on images.

Thanks to everyone who contributes bird observations. We encourage everyone to report their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of the entire birding community.

NOTE: Sightings of GYRFALCON will no longer be mentioned in the weekly reports. This is to be consistent with eBird policy on this species due to its sensitivity and vulnerability.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 2 April 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Highlights

Milton Road gets its own section this week.  There were TUNDRA SWANS, ROSS’S GOOSE (2), GREATER-WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, SNOW GOOSE, CANVASBACK, and lots of other waterfowl.

There are 15 million Snow Geese in the world. Some years you can see flocks of tens of thousands in the OFNC circle, and the sight and sound is stunning. How overwhelming must a flock of a billion Passenger Pigeons have been? A slice of a 32,000 bird flock by Nina Stavlund.

Spring arrived, bringing too many new species to list, so here are just a few notable sightings:

SNOW GOOSE are everywhere East, South and West of Ottawa.

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were reported from Carp River and Milton Rd.

GADWELL, REDHEAD, and NORTHERN SHOVELER were reported around Britannia
Park and/or Conservation Area.

TRUMPETER SWANS were reported from Constance Lake.

SANDHILL CRANES were seen  on Chemin Crégheur, Pontiac.

An adult GLAUCOUS GULL with all white wing tips was seen downriver from Britannia Conservation Area.

OSPREY have returned, including one on Twin Elm.

GOLDEN EAGLES were sighted over the Carp River, and in The Nation, Prescott and Russell.  If you find swirling panicked geese, look above the geese.

A very early TREE SWALLOW showed up on Wolf Grove Road, Lanark.

A pair of CAROLINA WREN were seen (and heard singing) in Bridlewood, along the Trans Canada trail.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues at Perrault off Milton.

The YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER continues near the Rideau Tennis Club.

A  WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW was seen on Glen St., Ottawa (Metcalfe).

Can you tell which species contributed genes to this confusing goose? Hybrid by Janice Stewart.

This is the easiest to see of the three shorebirds that show up locally by April 1st. Can you name the other two species? Killdeer by Jarrett Hather.

A close look reveals a blackbird is rarely appears entirely black. Common Grackle by Judith Gustafsson.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 26 March 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

This male Tom singled out this female and separated her from from his harem. Wild Turkey by Tony Beck.

Highlights

Spring waterfowl are here!  The most exciting new birds might be the CANVASBACK pair seen first below and then above the Deschenes rapids.  These huge and beautiful ducks were seen from both provinces.

Other notable sightings

SNOW GOOSE are being reported everywhere – Carp, Milton Rd., Baxter Conservation Area,  John Shaw, etc.

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were reported from Carp.

These rare but annual visitors to Ottawa are very easy to spot among huge flocks of Canada Geese when showing their orange bills or legs. And impossible to re-find a second later when you want to show someone else. Greater-white Fronted Goose by Janice Stewart.

Two ROSS’s GEESE, of apparently very debatable parentage, have been seen in both Carp and on Milton Rd.

The BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continues on the Ottawa on the Rideau River at Strathcona Park, Ottawa.

NORTHERN SHOVELER were reported downriver from Deschenes rapids.

One or more pairs of TRUMPETER SWANS were first reported from Mississippi Mills, then Constance Creek.

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS continue at Parc Mousette, Gatineau.

GOLDEN EAGLES were sighted over the Carp River, above Frank Kenny, and in The Nation, Prescott and Russell. Basically anywhere huge flocks of geese are gathered.

CAROLINA WREN continues in Britannia Conservation Area, Ottawa.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues at Perrault off Milton.

The YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER continues near the Rideau Tennis Club.

A FOX SPARROW dined at a feeder in Val-Tétreau, Gatineau.

A RUSTY BLACKBIRD was spotted at the Reveller feeders.

Translation: “Mine! And I will fight you!” Red-winged Blackbird by Judith Gustafsson.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 19 March 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Highlights

Spring brought the geese: several species of geese were reported this week.  In addition to CANADA GOOSE, Milton Road provided SNOW GOOSE, and CACKLING GOOSE.   GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE were seen on Barnsdale on Tuesday.  A CANADA x SNOW GOOSE hybrid was photographed in multiple locations.  A ROSS’S x SNOW GOOSE was photographed on Milton as well.

SANDHILL CRANES were heard from Heritage Dr. in Lanark.

Hybrid heartbreak: Ross’s x Lesser Snow Goose by Keith Wickens.

Other notable sightings

The BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continue on the Ottawa on the Rideau River at Strathcona Park.

A NORTHERN SHOVELER was seen on the Iber Stormwater Pond.

A LONG-TAILED DUCK was spotted in the Deschenes Rapids.

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS continue at Parc Mousette, Gatineau.

Two GOLDEN EAGLES were sighted from the Greenland Rd. Hawk watch.

A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was photographed at the Richmond Lagoons.

WINTER WRENS were reported from different locations around Britannia Conservation Area, Ottawa.

EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were seen near the Greenland Rd. Hawkwatch.

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS were reported from Perrault off Milton, and Saw Mill Creek Pathway.

SONG SPARROWS are singing from the Britannia Conservation Area, Ottawa, and Munster.

The YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER continues near the Rideau Tennis Club.

Brown Creeper by Tony Beck. This bird is impossible to photograph, and this photo fills the compiler with jealousy.

Ring-billed Gull by Judith Gustafsson. The red orbital ring around the eye and the red gape at the base of the bill tells us that the bird is in breeding condition. The pizza tells us the bird is not afraid of a few carbs.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 12 March 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

First-year male Red-winged Blackbird, photographed at Britannia by Tony Beck.

 

Highlights
Five species of gull reported this week from either side of the Deschenes  rapids, as well as Parc Moussette, Gatineau. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL and ICELAND GULL are out on the ice, hidden among all the RING-BILLED and HERRING GULLS.

Other notable sightings
The BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continues on the Ottawa on the Rideau River at Strathcona Park.

BELTED KINGFISHER hunting Thomas A Dolan, Ottawa.

NORTHERN FLICKERS were reported from Marais Lamoureux, Gatineau, Bruce St, Metcalfe, and the Jack Pine Trail.

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS were reported from Canaan Rd., Prescott and Russell, and Touraine, Gatineau.

CAROLINA and WINTER WREN continue in Britannia Conservation Area.

The GRAY CATBIRD continues at Marais Lamoureux.

The Rue Leblanc NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD has started singing.

As many as five EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were sighted near the Greenland Road hawk watch site in Dunrobin this week.

CHIPPING SPARROWS continue at Shirley Avenue and Jean Talon Blvd, Ottawa, as well as la ferme Moore, Gatineau.

More RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS flooded into the circle, reinforced by COMMON GRACKLE.

A lone EASTERN MEADOWLARK was photographed on Akins, Ottawa.

At first glance, it’s a scruffy-looking male Mallard, maybe a hybrid? But the black on the top of the bill is a major clue that something else is going on. This is a old female whose hormone levels have changed and no longer repress the male plumage pattern. Photographed at Strathcona Park by Judith Gustafsson.

Cooper’s Hawk terrorizing pigeons in Manor Park. Photo by Andrea Stewart.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 5 March 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Male Red-winged Blackbirds race north in the spring to claim the best territory. This year the leading edge is well ahead of natural food sources, so expect them at feeders. Photo by Susan Jenkins, Munster.

Ring-billed Gulls in crisp breeding plumage are big beautiful birds. Photo by Tony Beck, Britannia.

Opinion may vary on whether these are highlights or lowlights, but the influx of RING-BILLED GULLS and male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS starting last week heralds a change of seasons.

Other notable sightings

The BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continue on the Ottawa on the Rideau River at Strathcona Park.  After March they will be much harder to find until next winter.

A single GRAY PARTRIDGE was reported off Hazeldean on the 1st.

A GOLDEN EAGLE flew over the Jack Pine Trail on Feb. 28.

The eternal clash of the raptor and the corvid – Bald Eagle edition. The size and species change, but the conflict endures. Photo by Kim Séguin,
Rockcliffe. Can you identify the corvids?

The Northern Flicker at the Richmond lagoons has successfully overwintered into March.

The CAROLINA WREN continues in the south-west of Britannia Conservation Area.

WINTER WRENS were reported from different locations around Britannia Conservation Area, Ottawa, and Ch. Lamoureux, Gatineau (near the GRAY CATBIRD).

All three mimics made it to March:  the Rue Leblanc NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, the GRAY CATBIRD at Marais Lamoureux, and the BROWN THRASHER south-west of Forêt-la-Blanche.

RED CROSSBILL and WHITE_WINGED CROSSBILL continue in les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.   Singing WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLs may be attempting to nest in the area.

A CHIPPING SPARROW was reported from Jean Talon St. Ottawa.

Horned lark actually showing off its namesake horns. Photo by Janice Stewart, Wall Road.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 27 February 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

This surprising Vesper Sparrow is too neatly feathered to be any of the usual suspects. Always check the sparrows twice! – Tony Beck

Highlights

The find of the week was a much unexpected Vesper Sparrow on Drouin Rd in Prescott and Russell.

A COMMON GRACKLE was photographed around Fitzroy.

In contrast to the winter gray this week, many male ducks like this Hooded Merganser are in full breeding plumage – Judith Gustafsson

On the other hand, this immature male Common Goldeneye has yet to develop his breeding finery – Jack Pelletier

Other notable sightings

Single pairs of WOOD DUCKS continue along the Rideau at Billing Bridge and along the Ruisseau de la Brasserie, Gatineau.

BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continue on the Ottawa at Parc Moussette, and on the Rideau at Strathcona Park.

The GRAY PARTRIDGE were last reported off Hazeldean on the 21st, but
are probably just hiding well.

The immature RED-SHOULDERED HAWK continues daily at the Trail Road landfill.

Golden eagle was reported from the 417 south-east of Ottawa, and as
usual from Chemin Eardley Masham in les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

A BELTED KINGFISHER continues at Eccolands Park, Ottawa, and another was reported from Val-des-Monts, les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

CAROLINA WREN were reported from Britannia Conservation Area,  Trend Arlington Park, Elmhurst Park, and Navan.

WINTER WRENS were reported from different locations around Britannia Conservation Area, Ottawa, and Ch. Lamoureux, Gatineau.

All three mimics continue to overwinter successfully: the Rue Leblanc,
Gatineau, NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, the GRAY CATBIRD at Marais Lamoureux, and the BROWN THRASHER southwest of Forêt-la-Blanche.

Winter finches continue north of the Ottawa River and but went
unreported south of it this week.  Look for PINE SISKIN, PURPLE FINCH,
and RED CROSSBILL around Mayo in the East and Chemin Bradley in the West.

Proof that there is always a blackbird lurking unreported somewhere, a
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD was reported from Dewberry Trail.

The Quebec half of the circle may have all the winter finches, but the Ontario side is full of winter birds too – small flocks of Horned Larks and huge numbers of Snow Bunting like this one shot by Janice Stewart.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 20 February 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Cedar Waxwings in Gatineau Park show off their namesake wings tips, dipped in bright yellow wax. Photo by Claudia Benz.

BARROWS GOLDENEYE and the pair of WOOD DUCKS continue along the Rideau.

GRAY PARTRIDGE continue off Hazeldean.  Their numbers may have dwindled to 5.

The immature RED-SHOULDERED HAWK continues daily at the Trail Road landfill.    It’s been reported from a wide-variety of perches along
more than a kilometer, so if you don’t see it right away, don’t give
up.

NORTHERN GOSHAWKS were reported from Hammond, Ramsay Con. 7B in Lanark, and the 417/174 spilt in Gloucester.

A first-year Lapland Longspur surrounded by Horned Larks near the village of Ormond. Photo by Tony Beck.

A NORTHERN FLICKER is visiting feeders daily in Kanata North.  Another was seen on Chemin de la Sapinière, Luskville.

CAROLINA WREN were reported from Britannia Conservation Area, Trend Arlington Park, Elmhurst Park, and Navan.

WINTER WRENS were reported from different locations around the
Britannia Conservation Area in Ottawa, and Ch. Lamoureux, Gatineau.

The Rue Leblanc, Gatineau, NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues to be seen most days.

The GRAY CATBIRD at Marais Lamoureux, Gatineau, was seen again this week.

The BROWN THRASHER was reported again South-West of Forêt-la-Blanche.

At least one EASTERN BLUEBIRD continues on Chemin Steele, Les
Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

Winter finches continued to be very findable north of the Ottawa River
and very rare south of it.  Look for PINE SISKIN, PURPLE FINCH, RED
CROSSBILL, and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL around Mayo in the East and Chemin Bradley in the West.  Single PURPLE FINCH were reported from Richmond and Hammond.  A flock of 9 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS flew over Old Almonte Rd. on the 14th.

A big increase in sparrow (and wren) reports this week is more likely
the result of the Great Backyard Bird Count, and not a harbinger of
spring.

CHIPPING SPARROWS were reported from Carleton Place, Bells Corners,
and along the Rideau.

A single Song Sparrow was reported from Ottawa Valley Rail Trail, Lanark County.

WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were reported from Russell, Fletcher Wildlife
Garden, and Britannia Conservation Area.

Northern Shrike checks out the menu at a bird feeder in Munster. Photo by
Susan Jenkins.

Snow Buntings photographed on Giroux by Keith Wickens.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 13 February 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Icy Wood Duck, photographed by Judith Gustafsson

The pair of WOOD DUCKS, the NORTHERN PINTAIL, and the BARROWS GOLDENEYE all continue along the Rideau.

The GRAY PARTRIDGE continue sneakily off Hazeldean.

The Hammond NORTHERN GOSHAWK continues its feeder patrol.

GOLDEN EAGLE were reported on Bellamy Road, Lanark, as week as Chemin Bradley, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

The immature RED-SHOULDERED HAWK hanging around the Trail Road landfill Ottawa, offered many observers amazing views, but only frustration to many others.

Red-Shoulder Hawk holding prey, photographed by Ken Ball

An immature YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was reported at the Chapman Mills Conservation Area, Ottawa, not far from the January sighting at Beryl Gaffney Park.  Is this the same bird?

CAROLINA WREN continues at Britannia Conservation Area and in Trend Arlington Park, Ottawa.

WINTER WREN were reported from Gatineau.

The GRAY CATBIRD at Marais Lamoureux, Gatineau., was seen by many observers this week.

A BROWN THRASHER was reported again from private property near Forêt-la-Blanche.

The NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues on Rue Leblanc.

PINE SISKIN, PURPLE FINCH, RED CROSSBILL, and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL all continue on the north side of the river.

PURPLE FINCH creeped across the river into Mississippi Mills, Hammond and the Eccolands Park in Ottawa.

PINE SISKIN was reported from Fitzroy Harbour.

Groups of CEDAR WAXWINGS were reported from Gatineau Park and Shirley’s Bay.

CHIPPING SPARROWS were reported from Morris St., Carleton Place, and Shirley Ave., Ottawa.

The WHITE-THROATED SPARROW over-wintering at Fletcher was spotted again this week.

The YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER went unreported this week, but some intel came in that the bird had been at this location for a couple of weeks before it was first reported to eBird, a reminder of how much can still be out there in well-birded locations.

Flock of Cedar Waxwings photographed by Tony Beck


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 6 February 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Highlights
The first warbler of 2020 is a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER seen just south of the Rideau Tennis Club in Ottawa on January 30, and several times since.  This tough species can be the last warbler leave and first to return. It would be interesting to know if this individual is coming or going.

Other notable sightings
The pair of WOOD DUCKS, the NORTHERN PINTAIL, and the BARROWS GOLDENEYE continue along the Rideau.

The Billings Bridge male Northern Pintail has
spectacular plumage from any angle. Photo by Judith Gustafsson

The GRAY PARTRIDGE continue off Hazeldean.

NORTHERN GOSHAWKS were reported from Hammond, Carleton Place, and Dunrobin.

Dunrobin also produced a GOLDEN EAGLE.

A male NORTHERN HARRIER was seen on Old Almonte Road, Ottawa.

The immature RED-SHOULDERED HAWK continues at the Trail Road landfill, Ottawa.

The Red-shouldered Hawk at Trail road shows off its beautiful wings. Photo by Susan Jenkins

A BELTED KINGFISHER continues at the Strandherd Drive Stormwater management pond.

NORTHERN FLICKERS were reported from Rideau Hall and Kanata.

CAROLINA WRENS continue at Britannia Conservation Area and in Trend Arlington Park, Ottawa.

Multiple WINTER WRENS were reported from the South March Highlands and at least one, maybe more continue at Britannia Conservation Area.

Female plumage Brown-headed Cowbirds like this are frequently mis-identified. This was one of eight visiting a feeder in the village of Cheney on Saturday, Feb 1. Photo by Tony Beck

The Rue Leblanc NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues in Gatineau, but with two new additions, all three local members of the mimic family were reported from the Quebec half of the circle this week, with a GRAY CATBIRD at Marais Lamoureux, Gatineau, and a BROWN THRASHER in Forêt-la-Blanche.

A HERMIT THRUSH was reported from Parc du Lac-Leamy, Gatineau.

An EASTERN BLUEBIRD continues on Chemin Steele, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

PINE SISKIN, PURPLE FINCH, RED CROSSBILL, and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL all continue in the Chemin Steele  and Chemin Eardley Masham area. PURPLE FINCH were also reported across the river near Constance Bay. Six WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL were seen on the 2nd on Russell Road and 5 more were photographed just North of Mayo.

A CHIPPING SPARROW was seen in Vanier.

White-winged Crossbills have a dangerous habit of
gathering grit from roads. Photo by Keith Wickens


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 30 January 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

White-throated Sparrow photographed by Judith Gustafsson

Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais seem to be the place to be this week, with
many reports of Northern Finches, EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and GOLDEN EAGLES.

Other notable sightings

The pair of WOOD DUCKS and a male NORTHERN PINTAIL continue to pop up
at Billings Bridge.  Another female WOOD DUCK was spotted along
Ruisseau-de-la-Brasserie, Gatineau.

At least one male BARROWS GOLDENEYE continues along the Rideau.

Two MUTE SWANS performed a brief flyover on Old Almonte Road.

The female GREEN-WINGED TEAL may have relocated from the Arboretum to
Nepean Creek, Colonnade Road, Ottawa.

The GRAY PARTRIDGES continue off Hazeldean.

A GREAT BLUE HERON flew over the Corridor du Ruisseau-des-Fées, Gatineau.

NORTHERN GOSHAWKS continue in Hammond and Russel.

Northern Goshaw photographed by Bree Tucker

GOLDEN EAGLE continues in Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais along Chemin
Steele and along Chemin Eardley Masham.

A male NORTHERN HARRIER hunted on Cope Drive, Ottawa.

A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was photographed at the Trail Road Landfill, Ottawa.

One or more BELTED KINGFISHERS continue at the Strandherd Drive
Stormwater management pond and the nearby Chapman Mills Conservation
Area in Ottawa.

NORTHERN FLICKERS were reported from both sides of the river, in Les
Collines-de-l’Outaouais, and along March Valley Road in Ottawa.

CAROLINA WRENS continue at Britannia Conservation Area and in
Trend_Arlington Park, Ottawa.

A WINTER WREN continues at Britannia Conservation Area.

The Rue Leblanc NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues in Gatineau.

HERMIT THRUSHES were reported from Gatineau Park and Parc  Moussette
on the Quebec side, as well as Beckett Creek Bird Sanctuary,
Cumberland.

A couple of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS have been hanging around on Chemin
Steele, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais, since November.

Multiple reports of PINE SISKIN, PURPLE FINCH, RED CROSSBILL, and
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL along either Chemin Steele or Chemin Eardley
Masham.  A single RED CROSSBILL North of Constance Lake and a trio of
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS in Larose Forest give faint hope to the
Ontario listers.

A single Pine Grossbeak reported from Lac Meech brings the weekly
count up to 5 Northern Finches in the OFNC circle.

A RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD visits a feeder daily between Richmond and North Gower.

Thanks to everyone who contributed bird observations. We encourage
everyone to report their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of
the entire birding community.

Bald Eagle photographed by Tony Beck


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 23 January 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

White-winged Crossbill photographed by Gregory Zbitnew

Five species of Northern Finches have been reported in the circle this week.  In the northwest: multiple reports of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, RED CROSSBILL, PINE SISKIN, and PURPLE FINCH along Chemin Eardley Masham, and a single report of EVENING GROSBEAK somewhere in Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.  In the Northeast of the circle, both crossbill species, PINE SISKIN and PURPLE FINCH were seen near Mayo.

Both WOOD DUCKS and BARROWS GOLDENEYES continue along the Rideau.

The male NORTHERN PINTAIL, last reported on Jan 8, reappeared on Jan 22.  Where was it hiding? Who else was hiding with it?

The GRAY PARTRIDGE continue off Hazeldean.

A GREAT BLUE HERON was flushed from Bilberry Creek in Orleans.

NORTHERN GOSHAWKS patrol the edges of the circle in Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais, Hammond, and Russel.

GOLDEN EAGLES continue in Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

Pine Siskin photographed by Tony Beck

The Strandherd Drive Stormwater pond produced the first BELTED KINGFISHER of the year for Ottawa County. This tiny bit of water beside the Home Depot parking lot has been very generous with good birds over the last couple of years. An earlier kingfisher in Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais on the 15th escaped the last report.

A couple of CAROLINA WRENS continue, as do at least 6 WINTER WRENS, which is surprising as unlike the homebody CAROLINA WRENS, the WINTER WRENS are supposed to pack up for warmer climes by the first heavy snowfall.

The Rue Leblanc NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues in Gatineau.

Multiple HERMIT THRUSHES continue on both sides of the river.

A single EASTERN BLUEBIRD was reported on Scotch Pine road.

A CHIPPING SPARROW was photographed January 19 along Shirley Avenue, an area that has produced several good reports this winter.

Thanks to everyone who contributed bird observations. We encourage everyone to report their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of the entire birding community.

Chipping Sparrow photographed by Brendan Kelly


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 16 January 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Fewer reports this week, probably due to weather, not fewer birds.

Highlights: The 7 GRAY PARTRIDGE South of Hazeldean continue.

After weeks of scattered and unsatisfying flyover reports, a male WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL was observed singing on territory on Eardley Masham Road.

This adult male White-winged Crossbill was seen singing on territory with a seemingly responsive female close by. Most North American bird species migrate and breed on a seasonal cycle, but White-winged Crossbills set up breeding territory where ever and whenever they find good numbers of Spruce or Tamarack with dense seed crops. Photo by Tony Beck


Other notable sightings

Joined by a female and a second male, the 3 BARROW’S GOLDENEYE on the Rideau can be found mainly between the Hurdman and the Adawe footbridges.

The female GEEN-WINGED TEAL continues at the Arboretum.

The pair of WOOD DUCKs continues at Billings Bridge.

Two or more GREAT BLUE HERON are attempting to overwinter in the circle. Birds were reported from Boulevard Saint-Raymond on the Gatineau side, and Moodie Drive and Abbott Street East on the Ottawa side.

A TURKEY VULTURE was photographed flying above Etang Grimes, Gatineau.

At least three GOLDEN EAGLEs currently hunt the Eardley Escarpment. A single bird was seen in Pakenham on the 13th.

The name NORTHERN GOSHAWK might invoke visions of remote wilderness, but an immature has been spotted more than once this month patrolling the same section of the Rideau as the Barrows. If you see an enormous accipiter, check it twice. The adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK on Nolan in Hammond was seen again this week.

Northern Goshawk waiting for the Mourning doves to return in Hammond. Photo by Bree Tucker


Homemade suet attracted a NORTHERN FLICKER on Shirley Avenue.

The CAROLINA and WINTER WRENS continue at Britannia Conservation Area. Another CAROLINA WREN in Trend Arlington Park continues from the Fall.

HERMIT THRUSH were reported from Sentier Gamelin, Parc de la Gatineau, the Greenbelt pathway south of Davidson Road, Ottawa, and Berry Side Road, Dunrobin.

The NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues in Gatineau.

REDCROSSBILLs were reported from Eardley Masham (as well as Mer Bleue). PURPLE FINCHES and PINE SISKINS along this same road may give hope to birders South of the Ottawa River.

Mourning Dove fluffed up for insulation from the cold. Photo by Judith Gustafsson


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 9 January 2020

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Hooded Merganser photographed at Billings Bridge by Judith Gustafsson

The only big change from last week was a HORNED GREBE that was seen on the 7th and 8th between Bate Island and Parc Moussette. A scope is recommended to see this bird.

The small flock of GRAY PARTRIDGE South of Hazeldean continued to delight and/or frustrate birders until at least Jan 7. These stealthy birds went mostly unreported from April until December. It can take patience to see them.

Other notable sightings

The female GEEN-WINGED TEAL continues at the Arboretum.

The male BARROWS GOLDENEYE continues near the Hurdman foot bridge.

The pair of WOOD DUCKs continues at Billings Bridge, and the male is in brilliant breeding plumage.

At least one GOLDEN EAGLE still hunts the Eardley Escarpment.

Not surprisingly, the extra attention from the pursuit of the
partridge family led to other good winter birds such as NORTHERN HARRIER and NORTHERN FLICKER at the same spot. Several flickers remain in the circle.

Both a CAROLINA and a WINTER WREN skulk around the fallen trees at Britannia Conservation Area.

Carolina Wren at Britannia photographed by Gregory Zbitnew

14 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were counted in the Dunrobin CBC on the 4th.

Eastern Bluebird photographed near Constance Creek by Tony Beck

Like their bluebird cousins, a couple of HERMIT THRUSH are hanging tough at Parc du Lac-Leamy and Shirley’s Brook Park.

The reliable NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD in Gatineau continues.

Check every flock of starlings carefully, as there are scattered reports of BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS around the region this week.

Finches continue to tantalize with 4 RED CROSSBILLS at Baie Noire but more just Northeast of the circle, and 5 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS on Kinburn Side Road on the 4th.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 2 January 2020

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

Hermit Thrush photographed by Gregory Zbitnew at Pine Grove Trail

A minor highlight this week was 7 GRAY PARTRIDGE off Hazeldean west of Terry Fox that were seen there regularly on the 1-2nd. Suitable habitat for the species in that area is in rapid decline but they will likely attempt to stay the winter.

Continuing fairly mild temperatures and calm conditions prevailed during the week, despite the wintery blast on the 30-31st that has finally coated the ground with a normal depth of snow. While there was little change to the bird population, conditions were good for a number of local Christmas Bird Counts (CBC), where there was a small assortment of lingering birds. The new birding year started off fairly well, with at least 60 species found in the region to date.

The regular winter DUCKS continue to be seen, exceptions being a GREEN-WINGED TEAL continuing at the Arboretum as of the 31st and 2 WOOD DUCKS continuing at Billings Bridge as late as the 31st.

Female Mallard photographed by Judith Gustafsson at Billings Bridge

Other notable sightings this week included:

  • A GREAT BLUE HERON in Stittsville on the 29th.
  • Up to 3 GOLDEN EAGLES are being seen on the Eardley Escarpment.
  • A NORTHERN HARRIER off Hazeldean Road on the 2nd.
  • A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen on the Carleton Place CBC on the 27th.
  • A NORTHERN FLICKER was in the Richmond area on the 28th-1st, and another was off Steele Line Road on the 1st.
  • An EASTERN BLUEBIRD was near Steele Line Road on the 1st.
  • HERMIT THRUSHES were seen at Hurdman, Pine Grove Trail, and Lac Leamy this week.
  • WINTER WRENS were in Britannia and Almonte on the 1st, and a CAROLINA WREN was in Britannia on the 1st-2nd.
  • NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues in Gatineau as of the 2nd.
  • A RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD near Richmond on the 28th.
  • BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD at the Trail Road landfill on the 1st.
  • A COMMON GRACKLE was in or near Richmond on the 28th-31st.
  • CHIPPING SPARROWS continue at feeders in Constance Bay as of the 2ndand Carleton Place as of the 31st.
  • A COMMON REDPOLL in the Fallowfield area on the 29th.

American Crow photographed by Judith Gustafsson at Billings Bridge

Again this week there were multiple and seemingly random sightings of both RED and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, but except for the Eardley-Masham Road (both species as well as PINE SISKIN) and a near-inaccessible area of the Mer Bleue (WHITE-WINGED), they are just flying over.

Thanks to everyone who contributed bird observations. We encourage everyone to report their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of the entire birding community.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 26 December 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

The weather was generally conducive to birding, being relatively mild, dry and calm, with only a few cold days, and a surprising green Christmas. Unfortunately, there were just not a whole lot of birds around in most areas. About 70 species were seen in the last week, which is about the typical early winter level in the region. Most of these were isolated lingering species.

9 species of DUCK were seen in the last week. Notable only was a GREEN-WINGED TEAL continuing at the Arboretum as of the 26th and 2 on Chemin de Golf on the 22nd.

Green winged Teal photographed at the Arboretum by Judith Gustafsson

Some notable sightings included:

  • A GREAT BLUE HERON was seen in Centretown on the 22nd.
  • A NORTHERN HARRIER was in Richmond on the 22nd.
  • A BELTED KINGFISHER was north of Lac St. Pierre in Val des Monts on the 24th.
  • A GOLDEN EAGLE was seen on Chemin Thérien on the Eardley Escarpment on the 22nd.
  • WINTER WREN in Almonte on the 23rd.
  • HERMIT THRUSH north of Quyon on the 21st. Another at Lac Leamy on the 22nd.
  • NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD at the Reveler Trails on the 20th. Continuing in Gatineay as of the 24th.
  • CHIPPING SPARROWS were in the Deschênes area of Aylmer as of the 24th, in Constance Bay as of the 20thand in Carleton place as of the 25th.
  • FIELD SPARROWS were seen on Grant’s Side Road and at the Reveler feeders on the 25th.
  • A COMMON GRACKLE was in Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham on the 24th. and in Russell on the 23rd.

An exception to the “few birds” rule that seems to be applying this fall, is that there have been FINCH sightings this week in a number of areas, mostly well outside the urban core. Spruce trees in general are bearing a good crop of cones, but there are far more cones than birds now. On a trip on the Eardley-Masham Road in Western Gatineau Park on the 22nd there were PINE SISKINS, 80 PURPLE FINCHES (50 in one large flock) and 15 RED CROSSBILLS. On the 23rd there were 2 each of RED CROSSBILL, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL and PURPLE FINCH, all in the black spruce north of Lac Ramsey. Elsewhere there were both species of CROSSBILLS on Bellamy Road and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS in Almonte, Stony Swamp, the Fletcher Wildlife Garden and in Dunrobin this week.

Thanks to everyone who contributed bird observations. We encourage everyone to report their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of the entire birding community.

Barrow’s Goldeneye photographed at Strathcona Park by Judith Gustafsson


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 19 December 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

Rock Pigeon photographed at Billings Bridge by Judith Gustafsson

The highlight of the week was a NORTHERN FULMAR, seen in the Deschenes Rapids on the 15th during the Ottawa/ Gatineau Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The bird was seen in both Ontario and Quebec for a few hours until dusk, but unfortunately was not seen the next day.

Preliminary results from the CBC are in, with only 61 species, the 3rd lowest in the last 30 years, which was hampered by very windy conditions all day. WILD TURKEY totals set a new record, with near or at the record for BALD EAGLE, AMERICAN CROW and COMMON RAVEN. Other highlights included 2 NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS and a GRAY CATBIRD in Gatineau, and BROWN THRASHER in Gloucester.

Temperatures were generally seasonal to well above, but turned much colder with the coldest day of the season on the 19th. Snow cover remains below average.

Wood Duck photographed at Billings Bridge by Judith Gustafsson

12 species of DUCKS were seen this week, with the most unusual being a CANVASBACK in Carleton Place on the 15-18th. A NORTHERN PINTAIL and a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER were at Britannia on the 16th. A GREEN-WINGED TEAL was in the Arboretum as late as the 18th.

A GREAT BLUE HERON was at Lac McGregor on the 13th. A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was near Andrew Haydon park on the 14th. A NORTHERN GOSHAWK has been seen from time to time near Nolan/ Belvedere in Prescott-Russell, and one was seen on Berry Side Road on the 16th.

Some other notable sightings of the week included:

  • A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was at the Reveler Recreational Trails on the 18th.
  • A HERMIT THRUSH was at Lac Leamy on the 17th.
  • 1 EASTERN BLUEBIRD was seen in the Thomas Dolan/ Greenland Road area on the 16th.
  • A RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD was in Richmond as recently as the 15th, in Kanata on the 16th, and 2 were in Riverside park South on the 15th.
  • A COMMON GRACKLE was in Masson on the 17th.
  • Up to 2 CHIPPING SPARROWS have been at Ferme Moore on the 13-15th, and one was in Constance Bay on the 19th.
  • A YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was on Bate Island on the 16th.

Finally, while the FINCH numbers are, in general, very low, both WHITE-WINGED and RED CROSSBILLS have been in the black spruce in the Mer Bleue southeast of the Dolman Ridge Feeder but unfortunately they are not near a trail.

Thanks to everyone who contributed bird observations. We encourage everyone to report their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of the entire birding community.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 12 December 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

Some very mild weather until the 10th melted the little snow on the ground, again making it a bit easier for lingering birds and keeping the rivers open. More seasonal weather followed with very little snow. Birds are quite sparse in most areas outside the rivers or feeders.

Note: “Tis the season” to be counting birds-it’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season again! The CBC is an annual survey by the Audubon Society, and thousands of individual counts are held all over the world from December 14-January 5. This season there are 10 counts all or partly within the 50K study region, starting with Ottawa/ Gatineau on the 15th. If you want to get involved, you can see the list here.

11 species of DUCK were in the region this week. Aside from the 4 common regular wintering ones, there are:

  • 2 BARROW’S GOLDENEYE were on the Rideau River between Hurdman and Strathcona Park.
  • GREEN-WINGED TEAL (a female) continues in the Arboretum as of the 10th, and one was on Grimes in Gatineau on the 8th. WOOD DUCKS are in Gatineau and probably on the Rideau River too.
  • HOODED MERGANSER on the Rideau River, and
  • RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, LESSER SCAUP, and BUFFLEHEAD on the Ottawa River

Barrow’s Goldeneye photographed by Judith Gustafsson at Strathcona Park

Common Goldeneye also photographed by Judith Gustafsson at Strathcona Park

A CACKLING GOOSE at Britannia on the 10th rounded out the WATERBIRD list.

2 GOLDEN EAGLES were in Gatineau Park West on the 10th. A BELTED KINGFISHER continues on Ruisseau de la Brasserie in Gatineau as of the 8th.

Despite the general scarcity of birds, as always there are always a few interesting lingerers:

EASTERN BLUEBIRDS continue near Thomas Dolan/ Greenland Road/ Berry Side Road as of the 12th, and also in Pontiac (Chemin Steele) as of the 5th.

For some reason, there are a number of WINTER WRENS still lingering, at least 4: Rapides Deschênes on the 7th, Almonte as of the 10th, Emerald Meadows as of the 9th, and Britannia as of the 11th. A pair of CAROLINA WRENS was in Bridlewood on the 9th, and a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was in the Arboretum on the 9th.

A CHIPPING SPARROW was in Vanier on the 9th.

A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues in the District des promenades in Gatineau as of the 10th.

2 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS were at the Trail Road Landfill on the 8th. Up to 4 LAPLAND LONGSPURS have been on Akins road, most recently on the 7th. Finally, 4 COMMON REDPOLLS were in Trend-Arlington Park on the 10th.

Thanks to everyone who contributed bird observations. We encourage everyone to report their bird sightings on eBird for the benefit of the entire birding community.

Good birding.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 5 December 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

Dark-eyed Junco photographed by Judith Gustafsson at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Like last week, temperatures were near normal with no snow until the 4th. Birding was quiet again, but at least with a few interesting lingerers. LANDBIRDS have not made any movement to feeders, and WATERBIRDS are not concentrated yet due to the extensive areas of open water. Since the start of the birding winter on December 1 (as of the 4th), about 70 species have been seen in the region.

14 species of DUCK were seen this week. A smattering of lingering DABBLING DUCKS were included, specifically NORTHERN PINTAILS at the Iber Road storm outlet, and near the Masson water treatment plant; a GREEN-WINGED TEAL at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden on the 4th and 2 in Gatineau (Etang Grimes ) on the 3rd; WOOD DUCKS at Sawmill Creek, Petrie Island, Ruisseau de la Brasserie and Billings Bridge; and a GADWALL at Britannia on the 2nd. 3 BLACK SCOTERS at Britannia on the 3rd rounded out the list of exceptional DUCKS.

A BELTED KINGFISHER was on Ruisseau de la Brasserie in Gatineau on the 3rd, while a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON at Strathcona Park on the 29th was quite unusual.

ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS are still at the Trail Road Landfill. A GOLDEN EAGLE was at Lac McGregor on the 2nd, a NORTHERN GOSHAWK was in Sarsfield on the 4th, and a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was in Carleton Place on the 2nd.

WINTER WRENS were at both Britannia and Almonte on the 3rd. A CAROLINA WREN was in Richmond on the 29th. EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, from 1 to 15, have been seen regularly, but not always, near Thomas Dolan and Greenland Road, most recently on the 3rd, and also on Berry Side Road, most recently on the 4th.

A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD continues on Perrault at Milton as late as the 5th and another continues as of the 4th in Gatineau (District des Promenades).

3 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS were on Barnsdale on the 1st, and COMMON GRACKLES were in Russell and in Gatineau (Chemin du Fer à cheval) on the 1st.

For those who are interested in a sighting outside the 50K region, a HARRIS’ SPARROW has been regular at a feeder on Ault Island near Morrisburg.

Finally, perhaps the most unusual of the lingerers was an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER in the Monaghan Forest on the 30th.

Northern Cardinal photographed by Judith Gustafsson at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 28 November 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

Cooper’s Hawk photographed at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden by Judith Gustafsson

The highlight of the week were 2 sightings of WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS: 2 on the 24th on Berry Side Road and 1 on the 25th on Greenland Road.

It was a pleasant week weatherwise with mostly above average temperatures and conditions conducive to good birding. However, the volume and variety of birds is typical of early winter. A few interesting lingerers are here, but while snow cover is gone the forests are pretty empty. Rivers are wide open as of the 28th but there are few WATERBIRDS aside from COMMON GOLDENEYE.

Although 17 species of duck were seen in the region, mostly of these were isolated sightings; in particular there are very few lingering DABBLING DUCKS about. The HARLEQUIN DUCK continues in Strathcona Park as of the 24th, and up to 2 BARROW’S GOLDENEYE are there as well. A RED-THROATED LOON was in Aylmer on the 26th, and at Shirley’s Bay-Grandview on the 23rd.

A BONAPARTE’S GULL was at the Moodie Drive ponds on the 26th, and both ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS are there from time to time. A LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was at Dick Bell Park on the 27th.

A BELTED KINGFISHER was at Lac Meech on the 25th.

70 SANDHILL CRANES were flying over Metcalfe on the 24th and a NORTHERN FLICKER was in Dunrobin on the 23rd.

The CAROLINA WREN was in Britannia most recently on the 28th. At least 2 WINTER WRENS have been there Britannia as late as the 28th and there is a continuing one in Almonte as of the 26th.

2 NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS continue on Perrault near Milton as of the 25th. Another was in Gatineau (District des Promenades) on the 24th. A HERMIT THRUSH was at Val des Monts on the 23rd. 13 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS were near Greenland Road on the 24th, while a single was on Berry Side Road on the 28th. A GRAY CATBIRD was in Barry Mullen Park on the 24th.

15 CEDAR WAXWINGS at the Fletcher on the 27th. This spot merits regular checking due to the excellent fruit crop.

8 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS were at the Trail Road Landfill on the 27th and 4 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS were in Richmond on the 24th.

Finally, although the CROSSBILL sightings recently have not been repeated, it seems likely that there is a small movement through the region, although it is not expected to be a good winter here for them. Therefor any suitable habitat is worth checking out. Small numbers of PINE SISKINS have been seen in the northern reaches of the region.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 21 November 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

Canada Goose photographed at Britannia by Bailey Wright.

The TUFTED DUCK continued at Shirley’s Bay until the 16th, and was seen again briefly on the 18th. There were 2 sightings of RED CROSSBILL, the first sightings since January. 1 was north of Lac la Pêche on the 17th and 2 were at the Mer Bleue on the 20th. 2 NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS were on Perrault Road as late as the 20th.

Weather improved from appalling to near normal by the end of the week. Most areas are quite quiet, but there have been some good days on the rivers, and there a number of lingering birds on the land, most at feeders. Snow on the ground has diminished somewhat and is not significantly hindering travel.

Blue Jay photographed by Keith Wickens on Limebank Road

19 species of DUCK were seen this week including all 3 SCOTERS and all 3 MERGANSERS. Most, aside from MALLARDS, are COMMON GOLDENEYE. There were some especially good viewing conditions on the Ottawa River on the 19th. Most ponds, in particular the Moodie Drive Ponds, are iced over for the season. Sheltered bays on the Ottawa River have a thin layer of ice, which might well clear for a few days with this predicted rain and thaw. The HARLEQUIN DUCK is still at Strathcona Park as of the 21st. A ROSS’S GOOSE was on Limebank Road on the 16th, and an AMERICAN COOT was at Dow’s lake on the 15th.

Up to 5 species of GULL have been at the Trail Road landfill this week. Numbers are far from large and consistent, but with persistence you will find the 3 scarcer species: LESSER BLACK-BACKED, ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS.

There have been a number of lingering species all over the area, some more surprising than others. Here are the more interesting ones:

  • A TURKEY VULTURE in Crysler on the 18th
  • A CHIPPING SPARROW at the Deschênes Rapids on the 21st, and at the Experimental Farm on the 19th
  • A HERMIT THRUSH at Britannia on the 21st, and in the Glebe on the 20th
  • An AMERICAN PIPIT at Dick Bell Park on the 19th, and Shirley’s bay on the 21st
  • A YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden on the 20th
  • 3 WINTER WRENS at the Nortel Marsh on the 21stand a surprising 5 at Britannia on the 18th
  • A NORTHERN FLICKER at Baie Noire on the 19thand one at Strathcona park on the 18th
  • A FOX SPARROW in the Honey Gables area on the 18th
  • A WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW near Munster on the 16th
  • An EASTERN BLUEBIRD at Parc Aquamarine in Gatineau on the 19th, 2 on Chemin Steele on the 19th, and 2 on 5thLine Road on the 20th
  • A YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER at Fitzroy Provincial park on the 17th

While not particularly late, there were 16 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS and 10 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS at the Reveler Recreation Trails on the 15th, 20 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS at the Trail Road Landfill on the 20th and 2 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS at the Richmond CA on the 17th.

2 LAPLAND LONGSPURS were at Baie Cornu (east of Quyon) on the 17th, and 2 were in North Gower on the 15th.

In the FINCH front while very sparse, there were 2 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS in Larrimac on the 20th; 5 PINE SISKINS on the Eardley-Masham Road on the 19th and 16 on Clayton Road on the 19th; and 2 COMMON REDPOLLS at Parc Brébeuf on the 15th.

Northern Mockingbird photographed by Norbert Haché on Perrault Road


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 14 November 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

The bird of the week was a female TUFTED DUCK, found just east of the Shirley’s Bay boat launch on the 14th, and seen by many observers so far. This is the first sighting of this species in 7 years, in more or less the same spot. Next was a WHITE-EYED VIREO at Ferme Moore on the 10th but not reported again. In a distant 3rd place, there were 2 very late sightings: a WOOD THRUSH was at Ferme Moore on the 13th, and a SCARLET TANAGER in Brantwood Park on the 9-10th

Female Hooded Mergansers photographed at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden by Judith Gustafsson.

Winter arrived on the 11th, with heavy snow and unspeakably early cold. Unfortunately it is shaping up to be a repeat of last year’s early winter, or worse. Thus any surviving lingering land birds will be headed to feeders, and with ponds rapidly freezing up, the rivers are the places to go.

WATERBIRDS in general were here in good variety, with 23 species of DUCKS seen, although the numbers are not large, and as usual Shirley’s Bay to Britannia is the best area. Expect big drops as everything ices up. On the rivers, at least, ice currently restricted to the shore. The HARLEQUIN DUCK continues near the Adawe Bridge as of the 13th and 2 RUDDY DUCKS were at the Moodie Drive Ponds on the 11th. A RED-THROATED LOON was at Shirley’s Bay on the 14th, and an AMERICAN COOT was at Dow’s Lake on the 13th.

KILLDEER and GREATER YELLOWLEGS at Emerald Meadows on the 10th were the last SHOREBIRDS reported.

A GOLDEN EAGLE was on Chemin Steele on the 9th. There have been a few scattered sightings of ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK.

An ICELAND GULL was at the Moodie Drive Ponds on the 11th, with 5 other common species there from time to time.

House Finch photographed at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden by Judith Gustafsson.

Among the FINCHES, a WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL was in Gatineau on the 13th and there have been a few scattered sightings of PINE SISKIN here and there.

A number of late/ lingering birds were of note:

  • FOX SPARROW in Richmond on the 13th.
  • EASTERN BLUEBIRD in Almonte on the 14th.
  • WINTER WRENS in Forêt Boucher on the 8th, Britannia on the 9th, and one near Almonte on the 10th.
  • CAROLINA WREN in Britannia on the 9th.
  • RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET near Munster on the 14th
  • NORTHERN PA RULA in Kanata on the 8th.
  • YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER in Brantwood Park on the 10th.
  • CHIPPING SPARROW on the 14thnear Hawthorne and St. Laurent.

Ottawa and area bird sightings to 7 November 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

Harlequin Duck photographed by Judith Gustafsson at Strathcona Park.

The highlight of the week was a HARLEQUIN DUCK, which was found in the swift water around the Adawe Bridge on the 2nd, and was still there on the 4th. This was the first sighting of this species in over 2 years. Another good bird was the first sighting of the fall: 2 female CANVASBACKS at Shirley’s Bay (the inner bay) on the 4th, and at least one was still there on the 5th.

This week, among the land birds only a few hardier lingering ones, fewer than usual it seems, were notable: it was quite quiet away from the water. Temperatures were below seasonal most of the week, with the first snow of the season on the 7th. Very cold weather is in the forecast for several days, so expect some freezing of shallow ponds to start and the variety of birds to drop further, especially away from the rivers.

There was a good variety of WATERBIRDS this week, although the numbers were not large: about 500 at times at Shirley’s Bay, and as usual, Shirley’s Bay to Britannia was the best place. 25 species of DUCK were seen in the region this week. Up to 2 BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continue at Shirley’s Bay. Up to 3 RUDDY DUCKS have been at the Moodie Drive ponds. A BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Andrew Haydon Park on the 1st was late. A ROSSES GOOSE was near Winchester on the 6th, while flocks of 100+ BRANT have been seen flying/ on the river near Andrew Haydon Park.

Hooded Mergansers photographed by Judith Gustafsson at Dow’s Lake

A BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON at Strathcona Park and Billings Bridge on the 3rd was late. An ICELAND GULL in the Deschênes rapids on the 3rd was the first for the fall.

A last few straggling TURKEY VULTURES were soaring over the city on the 5-6th. 2 sightings of GOLDEN EAGLE were on the 3rd over Tunney’s Pasture and on the 6th at Shirley’s Bay.

Among late SHOREBIRDS, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS was in the Cumberland Forest on the 6th and an AMERICAN WOODCOCK was in Sarsfield on the 6th.

A few other late sightings were notable:

  • A BLUE-HEADED VIREO was on the Pinecrest Creek Pathway on the 2nd.
  • A FIELD SPARROW was at the Almonte lagoons on the 3rd.
  • 8 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS was in Almonte on the 5th.
  • A SWAMP SPARROW was at Dow’s lake on the 6th.
  • A HERMIT THRUSH was at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden on the 5th
  • A WINTER WREN was in downtown Ottawa on the 5thand another was on Petrie Island on the 6th.
  • A YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER was at the Old Quarry trail on the 2nd.

Fox Sparrow photographed by Eric Lay at Brewer Park


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 31 October 2019

by Greg Zbitnew at sightings@ofnc.ca

There was one “treat” this week, a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER at Parc Brébeuf on the 26th.

There was a fair bit of rain and generally above-seasonal temperatures, but it only translated into quite quiet conditions, especially as so many SHOREBIRDS and PASSERINES have cleared out. There will be a big “Trick” next week with near winter conditions expected, so a big change to the bird population is likely.

American Wigeon at Britannia, photographed by Jack Pelletier.

WATERBIRDS at least are in good supply. At the traditional areas of concentration, about 200 DUCKS of 8 species were at Baie Noire on the 29th, most of them AMERICAN WIGEON. On the 25th there, though, a thorough search turned up 1300 DUCKS of 16 species of DUCK, including a EURASIAN WIGEON and 5 REDHEAD. Most were RING-NECKED DUCKS and AMERICAN WIGEON. About 500 ducks of 13 species at Shirley’s bay on the 26th. Getting late were up to 3 BLUE-WINGED TEALS at Andrew Haydon Park at least until the 30th. The first of the season, an adult male BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was at Remic Rapids on the 28th. While 24 species of DUCK were seen this week, probably number and variety have peaked.

Aside from DUCKS, a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was at Crysler on the 29th and a RED-THROATED LOON was at Britannia pier on the 28th.

Among other WATERBIRDS, a COMMON GALLINULE was at the Almonte Lagoons and Baie Noire on the 25th, while 2 were at Shirley’s Bay on the 26th.

A late AMERICAN BITTERN was at Petrie Island on the 25th, and 2 late BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS were at Strathcona Park on the 31st.

7 species of SHOREBIRD were seen this week, but they were rather scattered sightings in small numbers. The heavy rain on the 31st-1st will likely wipe out the river SHOREBIRD habitat.

Sandhill Cranes photographed by Norbert Haché on McFadden near Frank Kenny Road.

A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK and a NORTHERN GOSHAWK were at Stony Swamp on the 26th.

There were 2 very late sightings of RED-EYED VIREO: at Britannia on the 26th and in Richmond on the 30th. A GRAY CATBIRD in Almonte on the 26th was a bit late.

AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS have nearly reached their winter levels, with the others declining rapidly. A SAVANNAH SPARROW at Andrew Haydon Park on the 29th was a bit late.

There have been a couple of flyovers of COMMON REDPOLLS in Gatineau and Ottawa, the first of the season. Unfortunately this will not be a good winter for this species.

Finally, and this is disappointingly early but expected, WARBLERS have pretty much disappeared. Aside from a late BLACKBURNIAN WARLER at Meech Lake on the 28th, the last sighting was 7 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS on Dolman Ridge Road on the 29th.


Earlier sightings are available on request ofnc@ofnc.ca