Since conditions are still mild and all waterways are ice free I started the day at Shirley’s Bay and had a male Barrow’s Goldeneye in a flock of 300+ Common Goldeneye on the west side of the causeway. Other water birds included 60 Lesser Scaup, 12 Ring-necked Ducks, one male Canvasback, one Long-tailed Duck, two White-winged Scoters and one Common Loon. A Snowy Owl was perched on Aylmer Island in Lake Deschenes.
At Muskrat Lake at Cobden there were four Common Loons and one Long-tailed Duck. My next stop was Lake Dore and there was still a good variety of late lingering water birds. Normally at this time of year most lakes are frozen and the ground snow covered.
Highlights included a male Barrow’s Goldeneye off the Township Park along Hwy 41, 9 Horned Grebes, 12 Red-necked Grebes, 33 Hooded Mergansers, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Common Loons, and two very late Bonaparte’s Gulls.
A brief stop at the Madawaska Head Pond at Arnprior produced three late lingering Double-crested Cormorants.
Directions: 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.
**** PLEASE NOTE**** YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE RANGE CONTROL
OFFICE BEFORE ENTERING THE SHIRLEY'S BAY CAUSEWAY AREA -- Call (613) 991-5740 and request permission to visit the causeway area for birding.
Male Barrow's Goldeneye at Shirley's Bay
The male Barrow's Goldeneye is distinguished from the male Common Goldeneye by it large crescent facial mark, black spur and checkered scapulars. Head shape is also important, steep forehead.
Male Barrow's on left side of flock of Common Goldeneye.
Lake Dore classic male Barrow's Goldeneye off Township Park.
Another view of the male Barrow's Goldeneye at Lake Dore.