Friday, September 25, 2009

Shirley's Bay still the "hot spot" for birding. September 25, 2009

Despite the recent rain, Shirley's Bay remains the local "hot spot" for birding. A large area of exposed mudflat is still attracting migrating shorebirds and the Marbled Godwit continues to enjoy its now week long stay. The 4 Long-billed Dowitcher were very vocal this morning flying around but finally settled in to a feeding routine. A few birds of prey spoked the shorebirds a couple of times including but a sharp-shinned and cooper's Hawk. The 2 Great Egrets were still present and a small number of Ring-necked Duck and Lesser Scaup were resting on the river. Watch along the road and dyke area for migrating land birds. There were a number of Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, and White-throated Sparrows. 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 dyke. There is lots of POISON IVY along the dyke. **** PLEASE NOTE**** YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE RANGE CONTROL OFFICE BEFORE ENTERING THE DYKE AREA-- Call (613) 991-5740 and request permission to visit the dyke area for birding.

The Long-billed Dowitcher is easiest to pick out by is long bill, chunky body and feeding behavior. Probes deep and fast like a "sewing machine" action.

The Long-billed Dowitcher often calls in flight giving its distinctive single note "peep".

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