Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10-12, 2011 Nelson's Sparrows at Constance Bay

The Nelson's Sparrows continue to be found along the west side of the mouth of Constance Creek. On October 10th I observed at least 6 sparrows and on October 12th there were still 7 Nelson's. It was interesting to watch these skulkers as they fed on seeds of one of the plants. At one time I could see 3 together and 2 move nearby. This has been a real treat to have this sparrow around for a number of days and a high concentration. We'll have to wait till next year to see if this was just luck or do the Nelson's Sparrow regularly use this area during fall migration.

Directions courtesy of Jeff Skevington:

Park at the fire access road at the corner of Sand Bay Street and Baillie. Do not block the fire road. Then walk east down the beach along the Ottawa River for about 400 m until you get to the grassy area just past the last house. This is where you should look for the Nelson's Sparrows.
The best access point to start at is the fire access at the intersection of Sand Bay Street and Baillie Avenue. To get there, follow Constance Bay Drive in from Dunrobin Road. Turn right on Baillie just past the liquor store. Sand Bay is about 400 m east.

Historically, the Nelson's Sparrow was a very rare fall migrant but this status appears to have change.

The Nelson's Sparrow is easy to overlook and despite up to a dozen birds present it was sometimes difficult to locate.

Two Nelson's Sparrow sit quietly.

Sometimes they respond well to phishing and will sit up briefly before vanishing in the vegetation.

A view of the mouth of Constance Creek.

There is lots of this habitat along both sides of the Ottawa River.

How many years have they been passing through this area? Will find out next fall.

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