Recent bird sightings

/Recent bird sightings
Recent bird sightings 2020-01-16T21:47:03+00:00

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 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