Today, April 3, I spent a number of hours birding along the Ottawa River in Ottawa visiting a number of open water areas including Nepean Bay, Lemieux Island, Remic Rapids and Deschenes Rapids. Overall, there was a significant increase in water birds with the highlight an adult winter Red-throated Loon at Deschenes Rapids. The bird spent most of its time at the top end of the rapids and was very wary, always looking around and up in the sky. My previous early record was an adult winter plumage at the Champlain Bridge/Remic Rapids back on April 5, 1974. That year ice conditions were similar to this spring after a long cold winter. There were 6 species of gulls present along the river including one adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Glaucous Gull, and 2 Iceland Gull. At least one of the male Barrow’s Goldeneye was present at Deschenes Rapids. Other recent arrivals including Great Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Red-necked Grebe, and Pied-billed Grebe. Another early record was an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron at Deschenes Rapids. My previous early record on April 4, 1973 at Clyde Ave Woods in Ottawa. New land bird migrants included Tree Swallow, Eastern Phoebe and Northern Flicker at the Britannia Conservation Area/Mud Lake. Cooler weather is on its way.
Directions: All these locations are located along the Ottawa River between Deschenes Rapids east to Nepean Bay and can be accessed from the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway and Carling Ave and Britannia Road to Cassels St.
If you require additional information, please email me privately.
Bruce Di Labio
P.O. Box 538