Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 8, 2011 Nelson's Sparrows at Constance Bay

The birding keeps getting better as the day goes on! Jeff Skevington and his dad, Richard, found 9 Nelson's Sparrows this morning at the mouth of Constance Creek at Constance Bay. This is an area I had mentioned to Jeff earlier during the week that I thought could be good for Nelson's Sparrow. He proved it correct. Ben and I headed up after Jeff's phone call and along with Jeff and his dad we observed at least 6 sparrows, great views! Shortly after both Bob Cermak and Nick von Maltzahn arrived and Ben got them on the sparrows. Along the shoreline we were able to see both the Hudsonian Godwit and 4 Long-billed Dowitcher along with 22 White-rumped sandpiper, 1 Dunlin, 3 Lesser Yellowlegs, and 3 Black-bellied Plover. An amazing afternoon for birding with sunny skies and +25c, not bad for a Thanksgiving Weekend! Both the sparrow and dowitcher were new for my Constance Bay list.

Good Birding, Bruce

Important Direction Information from Jeff Skevington

Directions: We have reassessed the possible impact on local landowners and suggest that you park at the fire access road at the corner of Sand Bay Street and Baillie. Do not block the fire road. The Hudsonian Godwit and Long-billed Dowitchers are still at this location. 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. This is an easier and drier walk than the previous directions that I gave and will be less invasive for the locals.

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.
The coordinates of the site are: 45.477453 N, 76.066583 W (using Google

The Nelson's Sparrow formerly Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow was regarded as a very rare fall migrant and difficult to find. Well, I think the status has definitely changed in our area!

This is the largest number ever recorded in the Ottawa district. Based on today we may ended up finding this species a lot easier to locate.

It has also been a good fall for Long-billed Dowitcher and Hudsonian Godwit along the Ottawa River. I'm certain that both species regularly fly over eastern Ontario but with the record? low water levels there is lots of good feeding.

The White-rumped Sandpiper is another regular fall migrant and numbers vary each fall. This is becoming one of the best falls in recent years due to both inclement weather and low water levels.

The Hudsonian Godwit is a long distant migrant traveling to South America for the winter.

Long-billed Dowitchers resting.

A Lesser Yellowlegs coming in for a landing.

The Dunlin is a regular fall migrant throughout eastern Ontario. This individual appears to be bathing but as it flew off it may have been weak or sick.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Wow Bruce, You captured some nice images of some great species!