Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 21, 2009 Ottawa Local Birding

Still lots of Sandhill Cranes east of Ottawa off Milton Road. On Wednesday, November 17th Jack Romanow and I observed 70+ feeding in a recently harvested cornfield just west of Milton and Smith Road . The cranes were very vocal giving their loud trumpeting and rattling calls. It was interesting to hear the young cranes giving a cricket like call. At first I couldn't figure out where the other sound was coming from until i realized it was from the juveniles. Always something new to experience in the bird world! The cranes have now been present for over a month and will likely continue there flight south once the cold and snow finally sets into eastern Ontario. They do occasionally linger into December if the weather is mild. There was a Northern Shrike along Dunrobin Road at Murphy Side Road on Thursday and I have a few Purple Finch in the Carp area along with a noticeable increase in American Goldfinch, 50+, at my Niger feeders too. Yesterday while watching a female Barrow's Goldeneye at Deschenes Rapids, an adult Peregrine Falcon took a drive at a nearby female Common Goldeneye only missing it by a hair!

Sandhill Cranes feeding in cornfield.

The cranes are easy to overlook as they bend over to feed in the fields. There grayish brown plumage blends into the surroundings.

Hooded Mergansers are regular fall migrants throughout eastern Ontario.

The female Hooded Merganser is less striking but has a distinctive head shape.

Cooper's Hawk having breakfast.

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