Sunday, September 5, 2010

September 5, 2010 Evening birding at Shirly's Bay

This evening Ben and I spent a couple of hours birding the dyke at Shirley's. The main reason was to do a roost count of Great Egrets. Between 6:45 pm and 7: 38 pm we counted 33 Great Egret heading to their roost area for the night. Most birds appeared to come from either the south west or east. Not sure of the exact roost location but all birds took the same route to the "back bay" of Shirley's Bay. During our count we also had time to watch the gulls coming in to roost on the Ottawa River and had 4 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls land just east of the dyke on some of the exposed rocks. Had excellent views as they sat and preened. The weather conditions were variable with distant showers and dark skies. As we scanned over the river a flock of shorebirds flew by with 2 Ruddy Turnstone, 5 Semipalmated Plover and 1 Buff-breasted Sandpiper. The birds made a few passes before disappearing to the south. Other birds of note included 3 Common Nighthawk, 2 Black-crowned Night-Heron , 4 Baird's Sandpiper, and 1 Merlin.
Good birding, Bruce and Ben

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.

OFFICE BEFORE ENTERING THE DYKE AREA-- Call (613) 991-5740 and request permission to visit the dyke area for birding.

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