Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23,2014 Lesser Black-backed Gull at Pembroke, Ontario

On May 21st while birding at the Pembroke Marina I observed and photographed a 3rd year Lesser Black-backed Gull resting with Ring-billed Gulls on the break wall of the marina. The Lesser black-backed Gull is very rare in Renfrew County and most records are from the fall months. The first record for Ontario was found in the Ottawa area during November 1971. This species had increased big time over the last 4 decades but recently the number of sightings have dropped off. During the past decade I had counts up to 20+ individuals along the Ottawa River. The decline may be tied to the changes in dumping practices at local land fill sites. Nowadays there is little food available for the gulls due to the green bin. The days off see 1000's of gulls at local landfill sites appear to gone. As a result the number of gulls in our region has decline significantly.
Good birding,
Bruce




Lesser Black-backed Gull 


Lesser Black-backed Gull


Lesser Black-backed Gull 

May 22,2014 Red-headed Woopeckers at Constance Bay

Hi Everyone

At least one Red-headed Woodpecker has returned to the old burn site at Constance Bay. On May 17th I heard and observed a very vocal adult as it perched high in one of the few remaining dead trees. These woodepckers have successfully bred at this site since first being discovered by my dad in late May/early June 2002. The habitat has     changed significantly  since the fire during the mid 1990's and most of the dead trees have fallen and the area has been filled in with new growth. If you are going to look for these birds please refrain from using playback, all you need is some patience! 
I was back again on May 22nd and the same bird was still very vocal as it was successfully flycatching for a high perch. 
Good birding,
Bruce

 Please review OFO's Ethical Birding Principles http://www.ofo.ca/webapp/site/page/view/aboutus.ethics

Directions: Constance Bay: RHWP: From Ottawa travel west bound on Hwy. 417 to the March Rd./Eagleson Road and exit right onto March Rd. Follow to Dunrobin Road and turn right continuing northwest through Woodlawn. At the hill turn right onto Constance Bay Rd following it for approx. 1.5 km. Turn left on Allbirch Road and drive 1.3 km to the " T " intersection. Turn left
on Bishop Davis Drive and then right on Bayview Drive. Follow Bayview Drive to Ritchie St. Turn right and go a short distance to Whistler Rd. Turn left and drive .3 km and watch for a gate on the right. The trail through the burn area is opposite the gate. Parking is limited. 



Red-headed Woodpecker

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 20, 2014 Late lingering Snowy Owls in eastern Ontario


After the most amazing winter for Snowy Owls we are still seeing late lingering individuals in eastern Ontario. After 40+ years of birding I recorded my first ever May Snowy Owl for the Ottawa -Gatineau district on May 1st. Since then no sightings but on May 20th I observed two individuals while driving to Pembroke, one was in the Fitzroy Harbour area and another along Highway 17 west of Cobden. It will be interesting to see if any over summer in the region.
Good birding,
Bruce




Late ingering Snowy Owls continue to be reported in eastern Ontario.


Snowy Owl 


Snowy Owl 

May 18,2014 Little Gull flock found on Lake Deschenes

While birding along the Ottawa River I observed a first year Little Gull in a small group of Bonaparte's Gulls off Britannia Pier. Later during the morning the number of  Little Gulls had grown to 6-7 1st year birds and 2 adult birds. The first record of Little Gull for the Ottawa-Gatineau district was found in June 1975 and over the past four decades there have been 40+ records. The majority of sightings have fallen between the latter part of May to mid June mainly along the Ottawa River between Britannia and Shirley's Bay and there are a few fall sightings. This represents the largest flock ever recorded in the Ottawa-Gatineau district. The previous high count was 5 on May 17,1987 along the ottawa river at Deschenes Rapids. 
Good birding, 
Bruce


The Little Gulls spent most of their time off Britannoa Pier and dick Bell Park. At one point I watched a flock of 1st years birds flying out over Lake Deschenes. I was able to digiscope them along with a few Bonapate's Gulls once them settled on the water. 

May 15,2014 White-eyed Vireo at Shirley's Bay

Hi Everyone
While going to check on the Bald eagle nest at Shirley's Bay I heard and briefly saw an adult White-eyed Vireo near the gate entrance to the  Rifle Range. The vireo sang a number of times as it slowly moved south and disappeared. The White-eyed Vireo is a very rare visitor to eastern Ontario and most records are from the fall season. The Bald Eagles are doing well and have two young. This is the third consecutive year that the eagles have nested
Good birding,
Bruce

Directions: Shirley's Bay: From Ottawa take Hwy. 417 west to the Moodie Drive exit and turn north (right) on Moodie Drive and continue to Carling Ave. Turn left at Carling Ave. and follow Carling to Rifle Road. Turn right (north) on Rifle Rd. Park at the lot at the end (boat launch). Walk back to the road, and continue through the gate on the Department of National Defense property. There is a trail on your right (clearly marked with vehicle "No Entry" signs) which heads into the woods, and, eventually to the causeway. There is lots of POISON IVY along the causeway.

**** PLEASE NOTE**** YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE RANGE CONTROL
OFFICE BEFORE ENTERING THE SHIRLEY'S BAY AREA-- Call (613) 991-5740 and request permission to visit the causeway area for birding.




Bald Eagles continue to successfully nest at Shirley's Bay. 

May 14,2014 Local birding: Britannia Conservation Area

Hi Ontbirders

The birding today, May 14th was excellent in the Ottawa area with a large number of migrant warblers and other land birds in various woodlots around the city. At the Britannia Conservation Area-Mud Lake there were 20 species of warblers including 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 10+ Northern Parula, 450+ Yellow -rumped Warbler, 40 Yellow Warbler, 30 American Redstart, 7 Black-throated Blue Warbler, and smaller numbers of Bay-breasted, Pine, Palm, Magnolia, Canada, Wilson, Blackburnian and other species. Numerous vireos including 3 Philadelphia Vireo, 15 Warbling Vireo, 6 Red-eyed Vireo and 3 Bobolink flew over and 500+ Cedar Waxwing were observed. A Northern Mockingbird was found south of the BOCA along the bike path. Over the village of Britannia a loose flock of 100+ Chimney Swift were observed feeding high in the sky. A Yellow-throated Vireo was observed in a small wood lot off Island Park Drive and the Ottawa River Parkway. Lots of activity!
Good birding,
Bruce

Directions: The Britannia Conservation Area-Mud Lake is located north of Carling Ave at Richmond Road. Follow Britannia Road north to Cassels Road and turn right.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March 1-3,2014 Birding the Tapichalaca and Copalinga areas in southern Ecuador.

Hi Everyone

On our first morning we were rain out but the hummingbird feeders keep us busy with Long-tailed Sylph, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Amethyst-throated and Flame-throated Sunangels, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Collared Inca, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, and Speckled Hummingbird. It was a challenge identifying all these hummers and remembering their names! 
Our last early morning outing in the Tapichalaca Reserve started with a visit  to the now famous Jocotoco Antpitta feeder. This species was first discovered in the late 1990's and has been a major attraction for birders from all over the world. After a short wait the Jocotoco Antpitta arrived for its feeding of worms. At one point there were 3 antpittas, 2 adults and one young. 
The following morning at Copalinga we birded along a trail in the Bombuscaro sector of the Podocarpus National Park and had an amazing variety of hard to find birds starting with Amazonian Umbrellabird, Black-streaked Puffinbird and Lanceolated Monklet among other species. During the afternoon at the Copalinga Lodge  the feeders and property were active with many species including Violet-fronted Brilliant, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Orange-billed Sparrow, Silver-beaked Tanager, Spotted Tanager, Green Honeyeater and even a male Blackburnian Warbler. The highlight was a female Spangled Coquette! 

Good birding,
Bruce




Jocotoco Antpitta

female Spangled Coquette 

Black-streaked Puffbird

male Powerful Woodpecker 

male Green Honeyeater 

Common Tody-Flycatcher 

male Blackburnian Warbler 

Violet-headed Hummingbird 

Oilbird 

Amazonian Umbrellabird

Lanceolated Monklet