Monday, October 24, 2011

October 23, 2011 Razorbill continues at Deschenes Rapids

Spent the day birding various sewage lagoons, the Ottawa River and Lake Dore. Lots of activity and hightlights included Razorbill, Red Phalarope, lots of grebes, Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes and still shorebirds at both Alfred and Casselman Sewage Lagoons.
At dawn at Alfred Sewage Lagoon there were 350+ Snow Geese resting on the west cell, while the east cell was still under construction and had ample habitat with over 150 shorebirds including 75 White-rumped sandpiper, 50 Dunlin, 48 black-bellied Plover, 3 American Golden-Plover, and a late Ruddy Turnstone and Semipalmated Sandpiper. A brief stop at Casselman Sewage Lagoon produced a very cooperative Red Phalarope feeding along the waters edge of the west cell. At St. Albert Sewage Lagoons very few water birds but did have 30+ Lapland Longspur, 4 Snow Bunting, 20+ horned Lark and 30+ American Pipit.
Along Milton Road just east of Carlsbad Springs 46 Sandhill Cranes were observed in flight on the west side of the road near Perrault Road. The next stop was along the Ottawa River starting at Remic Rapids Lookout. A total of 4 horned Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe and 6 Brant were observed. At Deschenes Lookout the RAZORBILL was showing well and many birders were viewing it from Britannia Point, Deschenes Rapids and Deschenes Lookout. At one time it actually appeared to be on the Ontario side of the river! It was also interesting to see numbers of Horned Grebes below the rapids, 36 horned Grebe, along with 1 Red-throated loon and 200+ Ring-necked Duck.
Various stops between Dick Bell Park and Shirley's Bay produced 72 Horned Grebe, 43 Red-necked Grebe, 3 Common Loon, 21 White-winged Scoter, 4 Surf Scoter, and 17 Black Scoter. At the next stop Lake Dore, the viewing conditions continued to be excellent and 36 Common Loon, 48 Horned grebe, 22 Red-necked Grebe and 16 Bonaparte's Gull were counted . A great day birding!

Red Phalarope is a irregular rare fall visitor to eastern Ontario.

Since 1995 Sandhill Cranes have been regular along Milton Road where they stage for 4-6 weeks and numbers have reached 100+.

The Razorbill was still present and a lifer for many of the local birders.

A late lingering Brown Thrasher was a surprise at Lake Dore.

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