Monday, April 11, 2011

March 31- April 9, 2011 Local Birding Ottawa area

The spring migrations is still moving at a snails pace. Hopefully the warmer weather forecast for later this week will kick start the north bound movement. Very little different since last week except move Canada Geese on the move and many of our resident pairs are back at their familiar nesting locations. On Tuesday, April 5th I birded Shirley's Bay and there was a nice selection of waterfowl including 3 Greater Scaup, 11 Lesser Scaup, 24 Ring-necked Duck, 2 Hooded Merganser, 3 Northern Pintail, 1 American Wigeon, and 8 Great Blue Heron which are back at the heronry. I've noticed an increase in Dark-eyed Junco starting to move through the region and had 4 Northern Harrier yesterday, April 5th near Woodlawn and I saw the Red-bellied Woodpecker at Constance Bay too. The only migrant of note was an Eastern Phoebe along Huntmar Road on April 4th. Still haven't seen any swallows locally. Despite the slow start there are many signs that the breeding season is in full gear which American Crows collecting nesting material, European Starlings also in the process, Common Ravens sitting on eggs, Cooper's Hawk doing courtship displays, lots of singing from Northern Cardinals and House Finches while all the woodpeckers are drumming. This morning, April 6th, in Carp, I observed 120+ Common Redpoll and 1 Hoary Redpoll still coming to my niger feeder.
We're finally getting some migrants moving north! On Thursday, April 7th I had my first swallows, 2 Tree and 1 Barn Swallow at Britannia. Also , 7 Black-crowned Night-Herons were back at their breeding area at Deschenes Rapids. On April 8th, Ben observed 1 Osprey near Carleton Place. On Saturday, April 9th, Ben and I observed 32 Greater White-fronted Geese near Dunrobin. This is a record high for eastern Ontario. We also had 3 Osprey in the Shirley's Bay area. At Shirley's Bay 15 species of ducks were observed including 42 American Wigeon, 24 Green-winged Teal, 27 Wood Duck, and 14 Northern Pintail. We also observed 2 immature Bald Eagle. On Tuesday, April 13th, There was a noticeable increase in migrants including Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Winter Wren and Eastern Bluebird all in the Shirley's Bay-Dunrobin area.

A Northern Saw-whet Owl was one of 3 species of owls found locally over the past week in local wood lots. The other 2 species were Long-eared and Eastern Screech-Owl.

A Tree Swallow along the Ottawa River was a welcome sight this past week.

A group of Hooded Merganser at Shirley's Bay.

The Ring-necked Duck is a common migrant though eastern Ontario during late March and early April.

A group of male Bufflehead are all interested in the same female Bufflehead.

The battle begins.

It's now down to two males.

The winner now chases off the final male while the female watches.

No comments: