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Ottawa and area bird sightings to 24 November 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Horned Grebe, Andrew Haydon Park, Al Short. The red eye of some diving birds is always captivating, but it’s stunning against the stark black and white non-breeding plumage.

Horned Grebe, Andrew Haydon Park, Al Short. Most diving birds invest time in grooming their feathers to preserve the interlocking mechanisms and applying oil for waterproofing. Look at the water bead off this bird.

Leucistic Black-capped Chickadee, location unknown, Richard Till.

Female Red-bellied Woodpecker, Dewberry Trail, Eric Leger.

Adult Bald Eagle, Carp, Mona Williams. Heck of a yard bird.

Adult Ring-billed Gull, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Gillian Wright. The streaked head is a far cry from the crisp white of breeding plumage, which is how the adults show up here each spring. The subtle pink blush is believed to be diet-related.

American Robin, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Gillian Wright. This looks like an example of avian keratin disorder in which fast growth of the outer layer of the beak causes long crossed bills. This is a fairly new disease and poorly understood.

Evening Grosbeak, Greenbelt Pathway just east of Conroy, Janet McCullough. Although Evening Grosbeaks are appearing all over Ottawa, the flock in this location has returned consistently for a couple of weeks now. This photo shows the tree seeds they are feeding on.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Pinecrest Creek, Derek Dunnett. With enough experience, sharpies and coops become easy to tell apart. After 30+ years of birding, Derek expects the “easy” to kick in any decade now. The size of this very large female fooled him into overlooking other field marks such as the lack of a white tail tip, the white supercilium, and head shape.

Ross’s Goose – Continuing Winchester sewage lagoons, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.  Nov 18, Cayer Rd, North Dundas, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.  Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell.

Northern Shoveler  (7) Nov 20, Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa.

Barrow’s Goldeneye – A male back in Strathcona Park, Ottawa, once again.

Turkey Vulture – Nov 19, Britannia, Ottawa.

Golden Eagle – Nov 20, -Trail Road Landfill, Ottawa.

Black-backed Woodpecker – Nov 19, Stony Swamp (Jack Pine Trail), Ottawa.  Have you found your own northern woodpecker yet?  There is one for everyone this year, you just have to find it.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Continuing Dewberry Trail Parking Feeder, Ottawa.   Continuing Parkway Road (East of Greely), Ottawa.  Nov 23, Ch Pine Ridge, Wakefield, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.  Nov 21,Quigley Hill Rd, Ottawa.

Winter Wren – Nov 24, Pine Grove Trailhead P19, Ottawa.   Stony Swamp (Jack Pine Trail), Ottawa.

Carolina Wren  – Continuing Richland Dr, Ottawa.  Continuing Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Nov 23, Strathcona Park, Ottawa.  Nov 18-19, Rideau Tennis Club, Ottawa.

Swainson’s Thrush – Nov 20, Rideau Tennis Club, Ottawa.

Evening Grosbeak.  Continuing Greenbelt Pathway (East/West of Conroy), Ottawa.  Everywhere in small numbers.

Fox Sparrow – Nov 22, Osgoode Trail, Ottawa.  Nov 20, Stony Swamp (Jack Pine Trail), Ottawa.   Fletcher Wildlife Gardens, Ottawa.  Nov 12-20, Devlin Cres, Ottawa.

White-crowned Sparrow – Nov 21, Pinetrail Crescent, Ottawa.

Eastern Towhee – Nov 18, Voyageur Dr, Orléans, Ottawa.

Rusty Blackbird – Nov 23, Ch Fer- à-Cheval/sentier des Libellules, Gatineau.  Osgoode Trail, Ottawa.

Common Grackle – Continuing Dewberry Trail Parking Feeder, Ottawa. Continuing, Fine Estate, Ottawa.

Bay-breasted Warbler, Nov 18, Rideau Tennis Club, Ottawa.  An unidentified warbler was seen in addition.  Keep an eye out.


Did you know that even though fall is upon us, there are local birds that could be breeding at this time of year including both Red and White-winged Crossbills, Eastern Screech Owls, and Great Horned Owls.

The Third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas welcomes your observations of these species even if they are only heard or seen. The Atlas is a five-year effort that will provide essential information for Canadian researchers, scientists, government officials and conservation professionals that will guide environmental policies and conservation strategies across Ontario for years to come. For more information, visit  https://www.birdsontario.org/ or contact the Atlas Ottawa Regional Coordinator at Ottawa@birdsontario.org


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 17 November 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

A big movement of flocks of Red-throated Loons on Nov 16, with one flock of 120 birds.  Three-toed woodpeckers continue with a new male at a new site this week.  And a brief visit from a Kittiwake.

Mystery Mallard, Greenbelt East, Gillian Wright. Gillian has seen this individual at this location for the last couple of years. What do you think? Hybrid? If so, with what?

Black-crowned Night Heron, Eagleson Ponds, Gillian Mastromatteo.

Rock Pigeon, Strathcona Park, Judith Gustafsson. Birds love water and will bathe in cold water even in cold weather. The value for plumage maintenance must outweigh the risk of freezing.

European Starlings, The Arboretum, Judith Gustafsson. Again with the water, and cold weather wading.

Evening Grosbeaks, Dewberry Feeders, Gillian Wright. Gillian observed one of the apparently adult males was begging from another male. Is this an immature bird with adult plumage?

Leucistic Canada Goose, near Embrun, Mary Jane Armstrong. At first glance, especially from a distance, this might be a hybrid. But zoom in on the face, and the pigmentless red eye, dark bill, and no trace of a grin patch tell us this is actually a leucistic Canada Goose, missing pigment starting at the base of the neck.

Pine Grosbeak, Greenbelt East, Derek Dunnett. Birders staking out the rare woodpeckers just east of Conroy are seeing lots of good birds: Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills, Northern Goshawk, weird ducks, etc. In a case like this, it’s hard to know if the spot is special, or if all the extra eyes just eventually see everything.

American Wigeon, Andrew Haydon, Alan Short. That white forehead can be seen a considerable distance away, helping with id.

Common Merganser, Andrew Haydon, Alan Short. Which is the parent, and which is the child?

Ross’s Goose (4) Nov 11, 15, Winchester sewage lagoons, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.  Nov 15, PN de Plaisance–Tête de la Baie, Papineau.  Nov 13, Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell.  Nov 13, Route 500 W, The Nation, Prescott and Russell.

Greater White-fronted Goose – Nov 12-15, Hidden Lake Trail, Carp, Ottawa.  Nov 10, 11, 14, Moodie Drive Quarry, Ottawa.

Black-legged Kittiwake – Nov 14, Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa.

Black-crowned Night-Heron – Nov 11, Emerald Meadows x Eagleson storm water ponds, Ottawa.

Red-shouldered Hawk x Red-tailed Hawk – Nov 13, Colonnade Road South, Ottawa.

American Three-toed Woodpecker – Continuing to at least  Nov. 15, Greenbelt Pathway (East/West of Conroy), Ottawa.  Another male Nov 15, Rideau River Eastern Pathway, Ottawa.  North of Billings Bridge?

Red-bellied Woodpecker – So many Red-bellied Woodpeckers!  Continuing Dewberry Trail Parking Feeder,Ottawa.  Nov 14-16, Rue Wells, Gatineau. Nov 15, Constance Bay, Ottawa (Along Bayview Drive near Ritchie).  Nov 15, Beacon Hill North (calling near Rebecca and Oriole), Ottawa.  Nov 14, Ch. Fer-à-Cheval/sentier des Libellules, Gatineau.   Nov 13, Parkway Road (East of Greely), Ottawa.

Winter Wren – Nov 11, De La Sapinière, Luskville.

Carolina Wren  – Continuing Richland Dr, Ottawa.  Continuing Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.  Nov 12, Greenbelt Pathway (East/West of Conroy), Ottawa.

Gray Catbird – Nov 13, 15, Baie Simard, Gatineau.

Common Grackle – Continuing, Fine Estate, Ottawa.

Ovenbird – Nov 11-14, Apache Crescent, Ottawa.


 

Ottawa and area bird sightings to 10 November 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Hooded Merganser, Rideau Canal (at the Arboretum), Judith Gustafsson. Possibly the greatest natural display in the urban area is the mating display of ducks in the fall and winter. These males are competing for the attention of the same female. The condition of their feathers and the vigour and endurance of their dance signals a lot of health information to the females watching. Often the female seems to be totally ignoring the display, and then suddenly swims off with the winner. Turns out she was gauging his efforts all along.

Hooded Merganser, Rideau Canal (at the Arboretum), Judith Gustafsson. Derek has observed the chest-out/head back display many times, but has never noticed the neck extension that Judith captured here.

European Starling, Ottawa, Christopher Clunas. Water features are often the best way to attract birds to your yard. They involve some commitment: daily water changes and frequent cleaning will prevent mosquito breeding and disease transmission. The reward is worth the work. Many birds that will scorn feeders will stop for a drink or a bath, even migrating warblers.

Merlin, Mud lake, Eric Leger. Once while your humble compiler motionlessly scanned Mud lake, the resident Merlin attacked a Wood Duck at his feet. It’s not clear who ended up more shocked or scared: the duck, the falcon, or the birder. All three fled with racing hearts.

Pink-footed Goose, Concession road 2, East Hawkesbury, Arlene Harrold. Outside the OFNC circle, but since some people are driving all the way from Toronto to see it, it’s definitely worth mentioning.

Snow Goose, Embrum, Janet McCullough. Another local wonder, but usually outside the city and east or southeast of Ottawa.

Red-bellied Woodpecker, Dewberry Trail, Aaron Hywarren. This gorgeous–if poorly named bird–is pretty easy to photograph near the feeders. Perhaps it’s not easy to get a great photo, but seeing the bird just takes a little patience.

Black-backed Woodpecker, Greenbelt Pathway east from Hawethrone, Aaron Hywarren. The awesome fall of northern woodpeckers continues, and the American Three-toed and the Black-backed will probably continue in the area for a while. Don’t be discouraged if they go a couple of days without reports. There is a lot of territory there.

Female and male Hooded Merganser, Dow’s lake, Alan Short.

Female Scaup, Dow’s lake, Alan Short. As you can clearly see by the, um, ID points, this is obviously a, uh, greater? Maybe lesser? Ok, this is now a quiz bird. Which is it, and why?

Ross’s Goose (5) Nov 09, Winchester sewage lagoons, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.  Nov 08, Nov 04, Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell. Nov 06, County Road 5, Limoges, Prescott and Russell. Nov 05, Moodie Drive Quarry, Ottawa.

Greater White-fronted Goose (2) Nov 10, Nov 05-06, Moodie Drive Ponds, Ottawa.  Nov 07, Hidden Lake Trail, Ottawa,

Blue-winged Teal (2) Nov 06, Dunrobin (Constance Creek), Ottawa.  Nov 04, Bruce Pit, Ottawa.

Pied-billed Grebe  (2) Nov 07, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Greater Yellowlegs (4) Nov 06, Carleton Place–Hwy 7 Storm Pond, Lanark.

Great Egret – Continuing, Petrie Island, Ottawa.

Turkey Vulture – Nov 06, County Road 22, Ottawa.

Red-shouldered Hawk – Nov 06, Kerwin Rd trail, Ottawa.

Golden Eagle – Nov 08, Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa.

American Three-toed Woodpecker – At least 3, last reported Nov . 06. Male and female, Greenbelt Pathway (East/West of Conroy), Ottawa. East Of Hawthorne, Greenbelt Pathway, Ottawa.

Black-backed Woodpecker – Nov 06, Greenbelt Pathway East from Hawthorne Rd, Ottawa.  Nov 04, Greenbelt Pathway (East/West of Conroy), Ottawa.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Continuing Dewberry Trail Parking Feeder, Ottawa.  Parc Marlene-Goyet, Gatineau.

Carolina Wren  – Continuing Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.  Nov 08, Heart’s Desire Park, Ottawa.

Evening Grosbeak – large numbers in the region this week.  The small flock at the woodpecker stakeout has been consistent.

Townsend’s Solitaire – Nov 09, Nepean/Barrhaven, Ottawa.  Window strike.

Swamp Sparrow (5) Nov 07, PN de Plaisance–Presqu’îles (Grande & Petite), Papineau

Yellow-rumped Warbler – Nov 04, Perth Wildlife Reserve, Lanark.


 

Ottawa and area bird sightings to 3 November 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Boreal treats for halloween:  American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Black-backed Woodpeckers, and 2 recent Boreal Chickadees.  The chickadees seem to be part of a larger movement with reports from Renfrew as well.  8 unseasonable warblers is noteworthy. A large flock of 37 Bonaparte’s was unusual for Oct 31.

Boreal Chickadee, Orlando Park, Aaron Hywarren. Part of a bigger movement beyond Ottawa, there are probably more out there to find.

Male and Female American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Greenbelt Pathway, east of Conroy, Gillian Wright. With all the windthrow, might some try breeding in Ottawa?

Female Black-backed Woodpecker, Old Quarry trail, Gillian Mastromatteo. Both woodpecker species share the unusual three-toed arrangement, but the solid back black is unique to the Black-backed.

Female and Male Hooded Mergansers, Rideau Canal, Judith Gustafsson. There is stunning nature to be found in urban areas, and Hooded Mergansers in winter are among the most stunning. If not for the long white feathers, would you even guess these are the same species?

First-year Northern Shrike, Lime Kiln Trail, Janet McCullough. Immature birds of many species lack the high contrast of adult plumage. Individual survival matters more than passing on the genes at that life stage.

Brant Geese, Andrew Haydon, Alan Short.

Pileated Woodpecker, Mud Lake, Alan Short. Pileated Woodpeckers have the more standard 4-toe arrangement of most woodpecker species.

Snow Bunting, Andrew Haydon, Alan Short.

Male American Three-toed Woodpecker, Greenbelt Pathway, east of Conroy, Gillian Wright. Not just a nice pic of the male, this photo captures some cool behaviour. Examine the bark. Both Three-toed and Blacked backed are known for flicking off flakes of bark instead of digging holes. They do dig nesting cavities, so this is a feeding adaptation.

Highlights

American Three-toed Woodpecker  – Continuing.  Both male and female seen on the greenbelt pathway trail just east of Conroy, Ottawa.  Male last reported Nov 01.

Black-backed Woodpecker – Continuing.  Female seen on the greenbelt pathway trail just east of Conroy , Ottawa.  Another female Nov 03, Old Quarry Trail, Ottawa.

Little Gull –  Oct 31, Petrie Island, Ottawa.  Hanging with some Bonaparte’s.

Boreal Chickadee – Oct 27-28, Orlando Park, Ottawa.

Other interesting birds

Greater White-fronted Goose  – Nov 03, Chapman Mills CA, Ottawa. North of Vimy Memorial Bridge. Oct 29, -Moodie Drive Quarry, Ottawa.

Ross’s Goose – Oct 31, Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell.

Not to be confused with …

Snow x Ross’s Goose – Oct 29, Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell.

Blue-winged Teal – Oct 30, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.  Oct 30, Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Sewage Lagoons), Ottawa.

Lesser Yellowlegs – Nov 02-03, Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Sewage Lagoons), Ottawa.

White-rumped Sandpiper (3) Oct 30, Rideau River – Black Rapids to Mosquito Creek, Ottawa.

Long-billed Dowitcher – Oct 31, Halte routière, Lochaber, Papineau.

Great Egret – Continuing, Petrie Island, Ottawa.

Black-crowned Night-Heron – Oct 30, Emerald Meadows x Eagleson storm water ponds, Ottawa.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Continuing Nov 02,  Parc Marlene-Goyet, Gatineau.  Dewberry Trail Parking Feeder, Ottawa.  Oct 31, Twin Elm Road Wetlands, Ottawa. Oct 29, NCC Trail 24, Ottawa.

Blue-headed Vireo – Nov 01, Rockcliffe Parkway between Ogilvie and Green’s Creek, Ottawa.

Carolina Wren – Continuing Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.

Black-and-white Warbler –  Oct 30, Baie McLaurin, Gatineau.

Tennessee Warbler – Nov 01, Quail Dr, Ottawa.

Nashville Warbler – Oct 30, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa.

Common Yellowthroat – Nov 02, Greenbelt Pathway (East/West of Conroy), Ottawa.

Cape May Warbler – Nov 01, Rockcliffe Parkway between Ogilvie and Green’s Creek, Ottawa.

Bay-breasted Warbler – Oct 30, Britannia CA–Mud Lake, Ottawa.

Yellow Warbler – Nov 01, Rockcliffe Parkway between Ogilvie and Green’s Creek, Ottawa.

Palm Warbler – Oct 30, Rockcliffe Parkway between Ogilvie and Green’s Creek, Ottawa.


The second year of the Third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas is coming to a close.  It is a five-year effort that will provide essential information for Canadian researchers, scientists, government officials and conservation professionals that will guide environmental policies and conservation strategies across Ontario for years to come.  Data compilation for this year is underway and submitting your records as soon as possible will be particularly helpful. Do you have some interesting sightings in eBird? It takes only 90 seconds to share your eBird checklist with the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. For more information, visit  https://www.birdsontario.org/ or contact the Atlas Ottawa Regional Coordinator at Ottawa@birdsontario.org


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 27 October 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

This week’s October’s special is Surf & Turf.  Alcids and Dickcissels!

A new American Three-toed Woodpecker!  And a late-breaking Cattle Egret just outside the circle in Lanark.  12 noteworthy warblers at the end of October is surprising.  There was a strong visible migration today (Thursday) at the west end of Lake Deschenes, driven by cold northwesterlies, with hundreds of Brant along with other “northern” ducks including numbers of Pintail and widgeon. Not surprisingly, a good raptor push included a Northern Goshawk.

Dickcissel, Ottawa (Derek’s yard), Tom Devecseri. Rare for our region, Dickcissel are known for vagrancy and associating with House Sparrows on their wanderings. So checking every single House Sparrow for years may actually pay off. Individuals in Gatineau, Ottawa and Kingston might suggest a movement. If so, how many more wait to be found?

Winter Wren, Ottawa (Derek’s yard), Brian Morin. Sometimes while waiting for a stakeout bird, one can get a spectacular shot of another species attracted to similar conditions (in this case tangled shelter and water).

Razorbills, Ottawa River, Brian Morin. Alcids like the Razorbills breed along the Atlantic coast. They are seen frequently as far as Québec city, but some years a few come inland as far as Ottawa.

Ruffed Grouse, Stoney Swamp, Brandon Lee. This bird followed Brandon around for a while as he hiked. This behaviour is often attributed to territoriality.

Northern Parula, Frank Ryn, Sanam Goudarzi. There was an impressive run of late warblers last weekend, and Sanam caught this gorgeous bird.

Scaup, Andrew haydon park, Alan Short. If ducks in non-breeding plumage weren’t hard enough, they can roll on their sides, making the white patches even more confusing from a distance.

Great Egret, Rideau Canal, Judith Gustafsson. Bonus points if you can ID the fish.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Alta Vista, Christopher Clunas.

Great Blue Heron, Arboretum, Judith Gustafsson. Judith watched this large bird hanging out on relatively thin branches, trying to catch something in the leaves.

Fox Sparrow, Mud lake, Alan Short.

Highlights

Razorbill (2-4) Oct 24 Seen from Bates Island to the Rapides Deschênes.  The razorbills were accompanied by a smaller alcid identified as a Puffin.

Atlantic Puffin – Oct 24, Deschenes Rapids Lookout, Ottawa.

American three-toed Woodpecker– Oct 22, Greenbelt P19, Ottawa.  Near the C marker.  Beware impassable trails.  This was a male, so this is a different bird than last week.

Cattle Egret – Lanark 43, Merrickville, Lanark.

Boreal Chickadee – Oct 27, Heron Park, Ottawa.

Dickcissel – Oct 21-27, Bloomsbury Crescent, Ottawa.  And another Oct 26, Gatineau!  The Bloomsbury bird is surprisingly gettable with some patience.

Other sightings

Ross’s Goose – Oct 22, PN de Plaisance–Tête de la Baie, Papineau.

Greater White-fronted Goose – Oct 23, Oct 27 Emerald Meadows x Eagleson storm water ponds, Ottawa.  Oct 21, Wall and Trim, Ottawa.

Trumpeter Swan – Oct 23, Kettles Road, Ottawa, Ontario

Blue-winged Teal – Oct 24, Oct 22 Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.  Oct 24, Oct 22 Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.  Oct 22 Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Sewage Lagoons), Ottawa.

Ruddy Duck – Oct 25 Seen from both sides of the river, from Britannia to Shirley’s Bay.

Sora – Oct 26, Dunrobin (Constance Creek), Ottawa,

Virginia Rail – Oct 23,  Carleton Place–Hwy 7 Storm Pond, Lanark. Oct Kettles Road, Ottawa, Ontario

Common Gallinule – Oct 25, PN de Plaisance–Baie Noire (Est & Ouest), Papineau.

Spotted Sandpiper – Oct 21-26, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Oct 26, Rue Wells, Gatineau.  Oct 25-26, Bon Echo, Ottawa.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Oct 22, Petrie Island, Ottawa. Oct 22, Champlain Park Woods, Ottawa.

Green Heron – Oct 26, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Ottawa. Oct 21-23, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa. Oct 21, Greenbank Pond, Ottawa.

Osprey – Oct 22, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Golden Eagle – Oct 21, Russell @ Rockdale, Ottawa. lAN

Blue-headed Vireo – Oct 23, Clyde Woods, Ottawa.  Oct 22, Champlain Park Woods, Ottawa.

Carolina Wren (4) Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.  Oct 26, Pine Grove Trail, Ottawa. Oct 26, Gloucester-Southgate, Ottawa. Oct 26, Pine Grove Trailhead P19, Ottawa. Oct 23-24, Chapel Hill North, Ottawa. Oct 23, Russell, Prescott and Russell.

Gray Catbird – Oct 23, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa.

Savannah Sparrow – Oct 23, Lalonde Road, Prescott and Russell.

Lincoln’s Sparrow – Oct 27, Manotick, Ottawa. Oct 23, Russell Trail Link, Ottawa.  Oct 22, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa

Eastern Towhee – Oct 27, Kirchoffer Ave, Ottawa.  Oct 23, Manotick, Ottawa.

Nashville Warbler – Reported Oct 23, Parc Queen, Gatineau. Oct 23, Britannia CA (the ridge), Ottawa.

Tennessee Warbler – Oct 24, Chelsea, , Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais. Oct 23, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Nashville Warbler – Oct 22, Parc Guillot & Marais Lamoureux, Gatineau. Oct 22, Nepean Tent and Trailer Campgrounds, Ottawa.

Common Yellowthroat – Oct 22, Nepean Tent and Trailer Campgrounds, Ottawa.

Cape May Warbler –  Oct 23, Britannia CA–Woods, Ottawa.

Northern Parula – Oct 27, Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa. Oct 25, Green’s Creek Sewage Treatment Facility, Ottawa.  Oct 23, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.  Oct 22, Remic Rapids and Champlain Bridge area (Kitchissippi Woods), Ottawa.

Bay-breasted Warbler – Oct 21, Bruce Pit, Ottawa.

Yellow Warbler – Oct 25, Green’s Creek Sewage Treatment Facility, Ottawa. Oct 24, Rockcliffe parkway between Ogilvie and Green’s creek, Ottawa.

Blackpoll Warbler – Oct 22, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Black-throated Blue Warbler – Oct 22, Strathcona Park, Ottawa.  Oct 22, Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.

Blue-headed Vireo (2) Oct 22, Nepean Tent and Trailer Campgrounds, Ottawa.

Palm Warbler – Oct 23, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Black-throated Green Warbler – Oct 23, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Scarlet Tanager – Oct 23, Morris Island CA, Ottawa.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 20 October 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Barnacle Goose, Forster’s Tern, Boreal Chickadee, and nine species of woodpecker, including American Three-toed Woodpecker.  Despite a lot of effort, few birders managed to find these birds.  But there was plenty to see with an unusual number of late season warblers.  And  4 Black-backed Woodpeckers within the 50-km circle this fall suggests some sort of movement for this irruptive species.

American Three-toed Woodpecker, Pine Grove, Gillian Wright. The white spots on the back reveal that this is not the more expected Black-backed Woodpecker. With all the dead trees in the Greenbelt from the storm, this rarity may still be around. Irruptive woodpeckers exploit the insects that follow fires and windthrow. Check out the position of the outermost toe. The bird can swing it forward or backwards, whichever is most helpful at the time.

Boreal Chickadee, Bates Island, Clifford Rostek. Clifford found this bird on a very foggy morning. It wasn’t associated with any of the black-capped chickadees present that morning. It’s unusual to find this species outside a spruce forest.

White-winged Scoter, Ottawa, Alan Short. Fall is waterfowl season, and there is a great diversity of birds to scan for in late October. All that is required is patience, although good gear and a hot thermos help.

Blue-winged Teal, Andrew Haydon Park, Tony Beck.

Cackling Goose with Canada Geese, Richmond Conservation Area, Tony Beck. Some Cackling Geese are challenging to id, but this one is all classic cackler: tiny, ‘cute’ head with short beak, short neck.

Forster’s Tern, Shirley’s Bay, Tony Beck. Breeding in marshy areas of the prairies, the southern great lakes, and a few other locations, Forster’s Tern is rarely seen in Ottawa, and this one got the birders racing.

Forster’s Tern, Shirley’s Bay, Arlene Harrold. Size is incredibly hard to judge in a lone bird, leading to a lot of incorrect ids. The Ring-billed Gull demonstrates just how small the tern is.

Bonaparte Gull, Shirley’s Bay, Arlene Harrold.

Double-crested Cormorants, Dow’s lake, Judith Gustafsson. Dow’s Lake can be a great bird watching destination once the water level is lowered in the fall. Many species of waterfowl will stop there, and sometimes thousands of geese will fly in for the night.

Cape May Warbler, Mud Lake, Gerald MacGillivray. There was a surprising number of late warblers this week.

Ross’s Goose – Oct 16, PN de Plaisance–Tête de la Baie, Papineau.

Greater White-fronted Goose – Oct 18, Halte routière, Lochaber, Papineau.

Barnacle Goose – Oct 19, Birchgrove Road, Ottawa.

Trumpeter Swan – Oct 20, Marlborough Forest–Roger’s Pond, Ottawa. Oct 19, Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Sewage Lagoons), Ottawa.

Long-billed Dowitcher – Oct 07-14, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Ottawa.

Spotted Sandpiper –  Oct 19, Nolan Quarry, Prescott and Russell.  Oct 15, Ottawa River Pathway (view of Britannia Bay). Oct 15-16, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.

Forster’s Tern – Oct 17, Shirley’s Bay (boat launch), Ottawa.

Osprey –  Oct 15, Reeve Craig, Ottawa.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Oct 16, Ch Fer- à-Cheval/sentier des Libellules, Gatineau.  Oct 16,  Parc Marlene-Goyet, Gatineau.  Oct 15, Rapides Deschênes (incluant Parc), Gatineau.

American Three-toed Woodpecker – Oct 16, Pine grove trail, Ottawa.

Black-backed Woodpecker – Oct 16, Larose Forest, Prescott and Russell.

Boreal Chickadee – Oct 19, Bate Island, Ottawa.

Tree Swallow – Oct 20, Britannia area, Ottawa.

Carolina Wren – Pine Grove trail, Ottawa.

Evening Grosbeak – Still everywhere. Enjoy it.

Pine Grosbeak – Oct 18, Parc Martin Larouche, Gatineau

Lincoln’s Sparrow – Oct 19,  Chapman Mills CA, Ottawa.  Oct 18, Stittsville Main St, Ottawa.  Oct 18, Merivale Gardens, Ottawa.  Oct 16, Britannia Park (pier), Ottawa.  Oct 16, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa.  Oct 16, McCooey Lane, Ottawa.

Tennessee Warbler Oct 18, Mud Lake, Ottawa.  Oct 18, Merivale Gardens, Ottawa.

Orange-crowned Warbler – Oct 20,  Carp River, Hazeldean Rd to Maple Grove Rd, Ottawa.   Oct 18, Stittsville Main St, Ottawa.

Nashville Warbler – Oct 19, Pine grove trail, Ottawa.  Oct 18, Greenbelt Pathway (East/West of Conroy), Ottawa.  Oct 16, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa.   Oct 18, Merivale Gardens, Ottawa. Oct 16, Pleasant Park-Kilborn Gardens Corridor, Ottawa.

Common Yellowthroat– Oct 19, Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Sewage Lagoons), Ottawa.  Oct 18, Marais Sabourin, Gatineau.  Oct 18, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.

American Redstart – Oct 16, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa.

Cape May Warbler – Oct 19, Oct 16, Oct 14, Britannia Ridge, Ottawa.

Northern Parula – Oct 19, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa.

Black-throated Blue Warbler – Oct 18, Merivale Gardens, Ottawa.  Oct 16, Mud Lake, Ottawa.

Palm Warbler – Oct 19, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa.

Scarlet Tanager – Oct 20, Fine Estate, Ottawa.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 13 October 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

There was a major movement of waterfowl on Oct 9, a day with strong northwesterlies and rain squalls, with birds seen in southward passage notably at the west end of Lake Deschenes. Not surprisingly, Oct 10 was an awesome day of birding.

Long-billed Dowitcher, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Arlene Harrold. Common migrants in the West, a Long-billed Dowitcher is fairly rare in eastern Ontario, and this bird generated a lot of attention this week.

Wilson Snipe, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Janet McCullough. Unlike the dowitcher, snipe are common in Ottawa, but so well camouflaged they often go unseen. Looks a lot like a dowitcher you say? Dowitchers were known as Red-breasted Snipe in the 1700s.

Song Sparrow, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Judith Gustafsson. Ottawa’s ubiquitous sparrow is worth getting to know, for itself, and as a comparison species. This week you can hear young birds singing weird broken versions of the species’ song.

Eastern Bluebird, Beaver Trail, Richard Kohl. Richard found a pair hunting insects in the grass.

Orange-crowned Warbler, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Erik Pohanka. Low contrast, muted, subtle beauty. Numbers peak in Ottawa in mid-Sept to mid-Oct in Ottawa.

Greater White-fronted Goose, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area (Winterset pond), Arlene Harrold. The pond off Winterset has been amazing this week, with Redhead, Snow Goose, Cackling Goose, and other waterfowl and shorebirds.

Snow Bunting, Shirley’s Bay, Derek Dunnett. The camouflage works equally well on the shoreline or in a snow covered field of stubble.

Eastern Bluebird, Embrum, Arlene Harrold.

White-winged Scoter – (5) Oct 12, east of Britannia Point, Ottawa. Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.  (7) Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa.  (42)  Oct 10, Andrew haydon park, Ottawa.

Long-tailed Duck – Oct 12, east of Britannia Point, Ottawa, and Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa.

Brant – Moving along the river since Oct. 08.

Greater White-fronted Goose – Oct 08-12, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Ottawa (Winterset pond, in with Canada Geese, and sometimes Snow Goose and Cackling Goose).

Iceland Gull – Oct 07, Rapides Deschênes (incluant Parc), Gatineau.

Red-throated Loon (2) Oct 09, Shirley’s Bay (boat launch), Ottawa.

Black-billed/Yellow-billed Cuckoo – Oct 10, bike path south of Mud lake.

Common Nighthawk – Oct 11,  Kanata–Beaverbrook Park, Ottawa.

Long-billed Dowitcher – Oct 07-12, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Ottawa.  Moves around and disappears.  Often in the northernmost pond.

Green Heron – Oct 12, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.  Oct 11-12, Fox Run stormwater ponds, Ottawa.  Oct 08-12, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Ottawa. Oct 08,  Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Sewage Lagoons), Ottawa.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Oct 12, Rapides Deschênes (incluant Parc), Gatineau.  Oct 08, Sentier des Voyageurs–Pont Champlain<->Parc des Rapides-Deschênes, Gatineau.

Wood Thrush – Oct 07, Beacon Hill North, Ottawa.  Multi use path by river west of P7.

Swallow sp. – Oct 10, Shirley’s Bay (boat launch), Ottawa.

Eastern Wood-Pewee – Oct 10, Champlain Park Woods, Ottawa.

Carolina Wren – Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.

House Wren – Oct 07, Almonte Lagoons, Lanark.

Marsh Wren – Oct 07-12, Almonte Lagoons, Lanark.

Evening Grosbeak – All over the region.

Pine Grosbeak – Oct 09, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Snow Bunting  (15) Oct 10, McFadden Road, Ottawa.  Oct 10, Shirley’s Bay (boat launch), Ottawa.

Baltimore Oriole – Oct 06, Wolf Grove, Lanark.

Tennessee Warbler – Oct 12, Champlain Park Woods, Ottawa.  Oct 12, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.  (3) Oct 10, Carp River Watershed Reclamation Area, Ottawa.  Oct 09, Britannia Ridge, Ottawa.

Common Yellowthroat – Oct 09, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa.

American Redstart – Oct 09, Nepean Tent and Trailer Campgrounds, Ottawa.

Magnolia Warbler – Oct 12, Champlain Park Woods, Ottawa.

Common Yellowthroat – Oct 11, Beacon Hill North-general area, Ottawa.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 6 October 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

A county first Tropical Kingbird!  A nice influx of Evening Grosbeaks, and some lingering Nelson’s Sparrows.

Tropical Kingbird, Richmond Conservation Area, Chris Allen. Chris saw the bird for less than a minute, but captured several photos. This is a great habit for when you see a bird you think might be rare. Thanks to the photos this will probably be the first confirmed Tropical Kingbird for Ottawa. Many birders quickly descended on the CA, but the bird was never refound.

Tropical Kingbird, Richmond Conservation Area, Chris Allen. The enormous bill and the yellow all the way to the throat demonstrate that this is not the already rare-enough but expected Western Kingbird.

Great Blue Heron, Andrew Haydon, Alan Short. Who needs hands when your mouth can grab, spear and perform delicate grooming?

Field Sparrows, Shirley’s Bay, Arlene Harrold. The pink bill makes this an easy ID.

Blue-winged Teal, Andrew Haydon, Alan Short. Eponymous blue nowhere to be seen.

Blue-winged Teal (with lesser Yellowlegs), Andrew Haydon, Janet McCullough. Flaunting the blue.

Blue-winged Teal, Andrew Haydon, Janet McCullough. The blue is gone again, but zoom in on that bill for some nightmare fodder. Although ducks don’t have teeth, bills evolve and ducks specialize. Dabbling ducks such as Mallards and Teal have structures to assist straining their food from the water. Note how different this bill is from the Great Blue Heron. They feed in the same shallow waters, but using completely different equipment and strategy.

American Black Duck, Rideau Canal, Judith Gustafsson. This bird may have no Mallard blood. No white anywhere, not in the speculum, not on the butt, nor elsewhere.

Mallard, Rideau Canal, Judith Gustafsson. This is the latest in our collection of ducks eating unexpected things. Probably a nice change from duckweed and small invertebrates strained from dirty canal water.

Bufflehead – Oct 03, Parc Jacques-Cartier), Gatineau.

Greater White-fronted Goose (2) Oct 01, Sep 30, Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Sewage Lagoons), Ottawa.

Common Nighthawk –  Oct 02  Rapides Deschênes (incluant Parc), Gatineau.

Sora – Oct 03, Mer Bleue Bog, Ottawa.

Long-billed Dowitcher – Sep 30, Carleton Place–Hwy 7 Storm Pond, Lanark.  Immature bird.

Black-backed Woodpecker – Sep 30, Gatineau Park Trail 59, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

Tropical Kingbird – Oct 02, Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Sewage Lagoons), Ottawa.  A 45-second, single observer sighting, but the observer had the presence of mind to snap off many photos.

Warbling Vireo – Oct 04, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Bank Swallow – Oct 01, Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell.

Barn Swallow –  Oct 01, Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell.

House Wren – Oct 04, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa.

Carolina Wren – Oct 05, Constance Bay, Ottawa.  Corner of Bayview and Dunster.

Evening Grosbeak – Oct 06, Mer Bleue Bog, Ottawa.  (15) Oct 05, Transitway along Corkstown Road, Ottawa.  (3) Oct 05, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa. (11) Oct 04, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa, “Flock of 9 mostly adult males flyover, 2 immature in trees.” (4) Oct 03, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa. Oct 03, Mer Bleue Bog, Ottawa. Oct 03,  Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.  Oct 02, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa.  (6) Oct 01, West River Drive, Ottawa.

Eastern Towhee – Oct 01, Pinhey’s Point Historic Site, Ottawa.

Nelson’s Sparrow – Oct 03, Constance Bay, Ottawa.  Oct 02, Beckwith trails, McTavish Branch, Lanark. Sep30-Oct 01,  Ottawa River at mouth of Constance Creek, Ottawa

Fox Sparrow – Oct 02, Torbolton, Ottawa.

Chestnut-sided Warbler – Oct 02, Nortel Marsh, Ottawa.

Ovenbird – Sep 30, sentier de ski nakkertok, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 29 September 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Lingering birds and an influx of fall migrants.  White-crowned Sparrows are suddenly everywhere, and scattered reports of Lincoln’s and Nelson’s Sparrow.

Gray Partridge, Giroux, Janice Stewart. Janice found a whole flock of the always challenging Gray Partridge. Even better, she captured this shot of a young bird growing in feathers. What are those white strings? Feather tubes: modified skin cells that grow as tubes, then unfurl into feathers that an animal can fly with. Evolution clearly works drunk.

American Pipit, Régimbald Rd near Dunning Rd, Janice Stewart. Janice saw 2 flocks of 20 pipits taking advantage of the plowed fields.

Double-crested Cormorant, Billings Bridge, Judith Gustafsson. Note the feather on the beak from preening. Outside the breeding season, birds’ priorities are feeding and feather maintenance, and not necessarily in that order.

Green Heron, Andrew Hayden Park, Alison Leith. Birds in parks with lots of human activity may start the season very wary, and by fall the same individuals may become acclimated to humans.

Golden-crowned Kinglet, Forest Valley Woods, Keith Wickens. Keith enjoyed one of the great fall experiences this week, becoming surrounded by a big flock of kinglets.

Mystery Warbler, Mud lake, Alan Short. Go ahead, ID me, I dare you!

Downy Woodpecker, Mud lake, Alan Short. Come for the insects, stay for the view. Sumac is full of vitamin C and can make a nice tea. And if I ever find a head that isn’t completely full of insects, I’m going to try it.

Rusty Blackbird, Carleton Place, Arlene Harrold.

Sparrows, Giroux, Nina Stavlund. We have entered the seasons of sparrows. How many can you find in this picture? How many species? (Click on the image for a larger view.)

Greater White-fronted Goose – (2) Sep 24-25, Moodie Drive Quarry, Ottawa.

Black-billed Cuckoo –  Sep 24, Heart’s Desire Park, Ottawa.

Common Nighthawk – Sep 22, 24, Rapides Deschênes (incluant Parc), Gatineau.

Redhead – Sep 22-27, Moodie Drive Quarry, Ottawa.

American Coot – Sep 23-25, Moodie Drive Quarry, Ottawa.

American Golden-Plover (4) Sep 23, Fourth Line Road, Ottawa.

Whimbrel – Sep 23,  Ottawa International Airport, Ottawa.

White-rumped Sandpiper – Sep 25, Moodie Drive Quarry, Ottawa.

Least Bittern – Sep 23, South March Highlands Conservation Forest, Ottawa.

Least Flycatcher – Sep 25, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – Sep 28, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa. In the Old Field.

Olive-sided Flycatcher – Sep 25, Hunt Line Rd, Ottawa.

Carolina Wren – Sep 27,  Greenview Ave, Ottawa  Sep 23, Southmore Dr E.,  Ottawa.

Veery – Sep 25, Baie McLaurin, Gatineau.

Eastern Towhee  (2)  All on Sep 24: Fine Estate, Ottawa.  Stony Swamp (Jack Pine Trail), Ottawa.  Nepean Tent and Trailer Campgrounds, Ottawa.  A movement on the 24th?

Clay-colored Sparrow – Sep 24, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa,

Nelson’s Sparrow (6) Sep 27, Ottawa River, Ottawa.  Sep 26, Saint Fillans Road, Carleton Place, Lanark.  (5) Sep 24, Ottawa River, Prescott and Russell.

Fox Sparrow – Sep 25, Parc de la Gatineau–Sentier de la sucrerie, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.  Sep 24, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Ottawa.

Lincoln’s Sparrow – Sep 28, Giroux Rd, Navan, Ottawa.  Sep 26, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.Sep 25, St west of Joy’s Rd, Ottawa. Sep 24, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.  Sep 22, Rockcliffe Airport Woods, Ottawa.  Probably many more.

Canada Warbler – Sep 24,  Near Hampton Park, Ottawa.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 22 September 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Orange-crowned Warbler season!   Late swallows, and a continuous stream of warblers.  Duck and goose diversity increases. And a super rare hawk!

Golden-crowned Kinglet, Kerwin Road Trail, Jordan Milko. This tiny species is tough. In a mild winter, some populations may not migrate at all, or may just do a small displacement south. Most birds winter south of Ottawa, but some tough it out in snow-laden places such as New Brunswick and Maine, tiny birds foraging for tiny moths in huge conifers.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Kerwin Road Trail, Jordan Milko. Although in the fall migration, Golden-crowned shows up here before Ruby-crowned, there is an overlap period when both species are easily phished in.

Blue-headed Vireo, Steeple Hill, Arlene Harrold.

American Golden-Plover, Jay St., Arlene Harrold. Many birders tried to see this beautiful individual, as it spent a couple of days at Jay St., Andrew Haydon, and parts unknown. It can be challenging to tell Golden-plovers from Black-bellied Plovers in some plumages, but Golden-plovers always have a relatively dainty bill. The Killdeer (another plover species) next to the plover shows how large this shorebird is.

Rusty Blackbird, Parc des Rapides-Deschênes, Keith Wickens. An interesting example of a species whose non-breeding plumage (shown here) is more distinctive than their breeding plumage.

Pectoral Sandpiper, Andrew Haydon Park, Alan Short. Larger than the “peeps,” the distinctive and clean cut breast marking and yellow legs make this an easy ID.

American Pipit, Cobden, Arlene Harrold. Pipits are common here in migration on shorelines and in farm fields. But they are frequently overlooked by casual observers as “just another flock of robins.” Unlike a pink and gray spring bird, this individual could easily be confused with a thrush. Other paler individuals can be mistaken for the much smaller Palm Warbler. Pipits are just full of mis-identification potential.

Wood Duck, Billing Bridge, Judith Gustafsson. Judith observed Wood Ducks and Mallards taking advantage of the many acorns dropped by the squirrels. Acorns require a lot of processing to remove tannins, and unprocessed acorns are considered poisonous to humans, cattle and dogs. As usual, ducks mock our human frailty.

Snow Goose – Sep 22,  Burritt’s Rapids–Tip to Tip Trail, Leeds and Grenville.  Check those flocks for Cacklers and Snows.

Cackling Goose (2) Sep 19, Andrew Haydon Park east (formerly Ottawa Beach), Ottawa.

Redhead  (2-6)  Sep 20-21, Moodie Drive Quarry, Ottawa.

American Golden-Plover  Sep 18-19, Andrew Haydon Park, and Jay St, Ottawa.  Presumably the same bird.

Baird’s Sandpiper – Sep 19, Constance Bay (river area), Ottawa. (2) Sep 17, Andrew Haydon Park,  Ottawa.

Bank Swallow (2) Sep 20, Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell.

Cliff Swallow – Sep 20, Embrun Sewage Lagoons, Prescott and Russell.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow (3)  Sep 20, Britannia CA–Filtration Plant/Point, Ottawa.

Swainson’s Hawk – Sep 17, Breckenridge, Chemin Smith-Léonard, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

Red-headed Woodpecker –  Sep 17, Constance Bay, Ottawa.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – Sep 21, John C. Foster Park, Leeds and Grenville.

Least Flycatcher –  Sep 22, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Sep 17,  Chemin de la Rivière, Chelsea, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

Carolina Wren –  Sep 17, Constance Bay, Ottawa.  Sep 18, Pine Grove trail, Ottawa.  Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.

Evening Grosbeak  (2) Sep 19, Gatineau view crescent, Ottawa.  (5) Sep 17,  Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Clay-colored Sparrow – Sep 21, March Valley Road, Ottawa.  Always double-check the little brown birds.  Sep 16,  Burnt Lands Provincial Park, Ottawa

Canada Warbler – Sep 18, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.

Northern Waterthrush – Reported Sep 17, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Orange-crowned Warbler – Sep 17, Dolman Ridge Road, Ottawa.  Sep 19, Britannia Ridge, Ottawa.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 15 September 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Cerulean Warbler! Cold fronts!  Nocturnal thrush migration!

Orange-crowned warblers incoming!  What’s not to love about fall migration?  Heavy migration overnight Wednesday – will Thursday night be as rich?

Cooper’s Hawk, Mud lake, Alan Short. Note the extra long toe. All 3 accipiter species have this foot design, believed to help in grasping prey birds in flight.

Shorebirds, Aaron Hywarren, Andrew Haydon Park (West). There are five species of shorebird in this remarkable photo. Can you name them all?

Northern Pintail and Mallard, Arlene Harrold, Andrew Haydon Park. Check all the brown ducks twice, then check them again. Blue-gray bill? That’s not a Mallard! The Northern Shoveler at the same location is also brown and easy to overlook.

Nashville Warbler, Alan Short, Mud Lake.

Empidonax flycatcher, Britannia Ridge, Sanam Goudarzi.

Palm Warbler, Experimental Farm, Arlene Harrold. Sometimes compost heaps and manure piles are a bird’s best friend.

Gray Catbird, Fletcher, Judith Gustafsson.

Juvenile American Robin, Fletcher, Judith Gustafsson. From this angle, the resemblance of the young robins to other thrushes is more obvious.

Wilson Warbler, Pinecrest Park, Derek Dunnett. Sometimes you walk for hours looking for a particular species to no avail, then return home, start your weekly bird report, and suddenly hear it calling five feet away from your window.

Snow Goose – Sep 10, Green’s Creek Sewage Treatment Facility, Ottawa.

Red-necked Grebe – Sep 09, Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa.

Baird’s Sandpiper –  Sep 15, Constance Bay, Ottawa.   Sep 11-14, Parc Brébeuf, Gatineau. Sep 14 , Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.

Least Bittern – Sep 11, South March Highlands, Ottawa.

Black-backed Woodpecker – Sep 15,  Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Sep 10, River Road, Ottawa.

Alder Flycatcher – Sep 13, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa. Sep 10, Rapides Deschênes, Gatineau.

Olive-sided Flycatcher – Sep 11, Stanley Park, Ottawa.

Yellow-throated Vireo – Sep 09, De La Sapinière, Luskville, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais.

Carolina Wren – Continuing Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa Mud Lake, Ottawa.  Sep 10, Pinecrest Creek/George C. Brown Park, Ottawa. Sep 14, Frank Bender St, Ottawa. Sep 09, Olde Towne Ave, Russell, Prescott and Russell.

Evening Grosbeak –  Sep 14, Athlone Avenue, Ottawa.  (7) Sep 13, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Clay-colored Sparrow – Sep 13, Rideau Tennis Club, Ottawa.  (2) Sep 11, Champlain Park Woods, Ottawa.   Sep 10, Giroux Rd and ponds, Ottawa.

Bobolink (25)  Sep 12, Marais des Laîches, Gatineau.

Orange-crowned Warbler – Sep 15,  Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.

Orange-crowned Warbler – Sep 11, Piste cyc. Sentier des Voyageurs-Parc Brébeuf-Pont Champlain, Gatineau.

Blue-winged Warbler – Sep 12, Strathcona Park, Ottawa.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Reported Sep 11, Champlain Park Woods, Ottawa. Sep 10,  Fine Estate, Ottawa.

Cerulean Warbler – Sep 10, Rapides Deschênes, Gatineau.

White-winged Crossbill – Sep 09, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 8 September 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Philadelphia Vireo, Shirley’s Bay, Nina Stavlund.

Greater Yellowlegs, Andrew Hayden Park, Alan Short.

Red-eyed Vireo, Mud Lake, Alan Short.

Mystery Warbler, Mud Lake, Alan Short.

Northern Flicker and Hairy Woodpecker, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Judith Gustafsson. “Wait, those come in yellow?”

Northern Cardinals, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, Judith Gustafsson. Juvenile songbirds (left) can be the same size as their parents (right) before they leave the nest.

Lesser Scaup, Station d’epuration, Gatineau.

Snow Goose, Sep 5 Carlton Place, Hwy 7 Storm Pond, Lanark.

Red-necked Grebe – Sep 05, 08 Moodie drive Quarry, Ottawa. Sep 07 Andrew Hayden park, Ottawa.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Carleton Place–Hwy 7 Storm Pond, Lanark.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Sep 03 Nepean tent and Trailer Campgrounds, Ottawa.

Yellow-throated Vireo, Sep 05 Champlain Park woods, Ottawa.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Sep 04 Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa.  Sep 02 Britannia Ridge, Ottawa.

Carolina Wren, Frank Ryn & Elmhurst Parks, Ottawa.  Mud Lake, Ottawa.

Clay-colored Sparrow, Sep 08, Pinhey’s point, Ottawa.


Ottawa and area bird sightings to 1 September 2022

by Derek Dunnett at sightings@ofnc.ca

Broad-winged Hawk, Bruce Pit, Gillian Mastromatteo. The destruction caused by the ash die-off and subsequent storms created holes in the mixed deciduous canopy. This, and the nearby water, created ideal nesting habitat for the Broad-winged this year. The birds responded. Birders at Bruce Pit in July may have heard the territorial screams of the parents.

Common Loon, Clayton Lake, Janet McCullough. Ever wonder why loons have red eyes? A quick Internet search will assure you that the retina is red to help the bird see underwater. The main problem with that very easy to believe theory is that the iris is red, not the retina. And the iris just controls the amount of light entering the eye. So the real reason loons have red eyes is… unknown. Another theory is that the bright red eye is just another sexual display. We just don’t know yet.

Semipalmated Plover, Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary, Janet McCullough. We can tell this is a juvenile, and not just a faded post-breeding adult, by the white fringes to the feathers. This beautiful scalloping effect is a common juvenile shorebird trait.

Osprey, Cameron Harvey, Leah Mulligan. What’s the last thing a fish sees? Many birds sacrifice binocular vision for wide fields of view. Watch a bird feeder closely and you’ll see many prey birds cock their heads to watch the sky with a single eye. They can focus both eyes on a single object, but only in a very narrow range straight ahead. Raptors however -as this Osprey demonstrates – have excellent binocular vision, and hence great depth perception.

Immature Bald Eagle, Farran Park, Janet McCullough. All it would take to convince a casual observer that they had seen a Golden Eagle is some strong yellow early morning light on the nape.

Red Knot (1) – Last reported Aug 26, Petrie Island, Ottawa.  (1) Aug 27, Halte routière, Lochaber, Papineau.

Baird’s Sandpiper (1) – Aug 31, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.  (2) Aug 29, Constance Bay, Ottawa.

Pectoral Sandpiper (1) – Aug 31, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.

Ruddy Turnstone  (1) – Aug 27, Britannia Point, Ottawa.

Least Bittern  (2) – Aug 27, South March Highlands Conservation Forest, Ottawa.

Black-crowned Night-Heron  (1) – Aug 27, Carleton Place–Hwy 7 Storm Pond, Lanark.

Red-headed Woodpecker (3) – Len Purcell Drive, Ottawa

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (1) Aug 31, Petrie Island, Ottawa,

Yellow-throated Vireo  (1) – Aug 29, Sheila McKee Park, Ottawa.  (1) Aug 27, Britannia CA (general location), Ottawa.   (1)  Aug 27, Remic Rapids Lookout, Ottawa.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1) – Aug 30, Fine Estate, Ottawa.

Carolina Wren – Continuing Mud Lake, Ottawa.

Dark-eyed Junco (1) – Aug 27, South March Highlands Conservation Forest, Ottawa.


Earlier sightings from 2022

Sightings from 2021

Sightings from 2020